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The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam - Northbound

From Berne, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 10 Days - Departs: Mon, Apr 26, 2021
Operator
Ship
Departure
Apr 26, 2021
Arrival
May 05, 2021

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River Cruise Itinerary

Follow the romantic Rhine River on its winding journey through Central Europe, taking in the sights, history and culture of Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and France, as your riverboat glides along the river.Experience medieval winetowns, cathedrals, castles, museums, and river landscapes of the kind that inspired JMW Turner and Richard Wagner. Enjoy a two-night stay at a luxury hotel in Bern, with a choice of a city tour or a trip up to the Jungfraujoch in the Alps, and an idyll in Lucerne; sail from Basel with visits to Colmar, Baden-Baden, Rudesheim and Cologne... a Tauck Exclusive evening of dinner and music at Schloss Ehreshoven... a visit to the windmills of Kinderdijk, and exploration of Amsterdam including a canal boat tour along the city’s historic waterways.

  1. Day 1
    Bern, Switzerland
    Mon, Apr 26, 2021

    Tour begins: 6:30 PM. A transfer is included from Zurich Airport or the train station (Zürich Hauptbahnhof) to the Bellevue Palace Bern in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, which is surrounded by the Aare River and distant Alpine peaks. Your two-night stay is at an historic luxury hotel favored by celebrities and heads of state, and featured in master spy novelist John LeCarré’s spy novels. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.


    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Bern, Switzerland
    Tue, Apr 27, 2021

    You have a choice of sightseeing adventures today. Head for the snow-capped mountains on a full-day’s excursion to Jungfraujoch, known as the "Top of Europe." Drive to the village of Lauterbrunnen for a train ride to Kleine Scheidegg, then board a cogwheel train for the scenic climb to Jungfraujoch, highest railway station in Europe; here you’ll find a restaurant, observatory, research station, a gallery of ice sculpture, and breathtaking views of the glacier-clad Bernese Alps. Alternatively, explore the eclectic charms of Bern on a walking tour, followed by time on your own. Sights include open-air markets and cozy underground bars, the Parliament Building, the Gothic cathedral, a bear park (in honor of the town’s symbol and mascot), a house where Einstein lived and wrote his "Theory of Relativity," and the Zytglogge, a 16th-century astronomical clock featuring animated figures. Spend the evening as you please; the vibrant nightlife includes trendy clubs and restaurants, and a grand casino.


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Wed, Apr 28, 2021
    Disembark your riverboat in Basel, Switzerland, a major industrial and cultural center where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet. The scenic mountain backdrop rises in stature and drama as you leave Basel and arrive in Lucerne, nestled beside a breathtaking blue lake in the alpine foothills. For those looking to experience the alpine beauty of Lucerne from up above, a gondola ride to the top of Mt. Rigi offers magnificent views of the lake and surrounding mountains with an opportunity to see Germany on a clear day. Enjoy a hike back down through alpine meadows or take the gondola. Alternatively, explore Lucerne’s medieval old town (picturesque market squares, burghers’ houses, spired churches, and restored ramparts) during a walking tour which includes the 14th-century Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, and a lake cruise on shimmering Lake Lucerne. Depart for Bern, the capital of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where an orientation tour discovers its spectacular medieval and Renaissance architecture (limestone buildings, arcades, bridges, fountains, and cathedral), beautifully restored and ringed by the Aare River. Check into the Bellevue Palace, a grand luxury hotel built in 1913, favored by celebrities and heads of state and featured in John le Carré’s spy novels. Your evening is free to spend as you please tonight in this city of cosmopolitan tastes and offbeat, intimate restaurants.
    Meals: Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Colmar, France
    Thu, Apr 29, 2021
    Dock in Breisach, then drive to the village of Colmar, France, in Alsatian wine country. The principal industry in Colmar is food and wine, but its irresistible charm lies in its beautifully preserved medieval architecture that conjures an idyllic place out of time: colorful half-timbered houses and gardens, rambling cobbled streets, arches and alleys, sculpted fountains, and canals that wind through a corner of town called Little Venice. Aside from its winemaking heritage, Colmar is known as the hometown of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty. A walking tour includes a visit to the Unterlinden Museum, housed in a Gothic convent, whose impressive collection includes Mathias Grünewald’s famous Isenheim Altarpiece, paintings, engravings and sculpture from medieval to modern (including works by Dürer and Holbein, Picasso and Léger), and a wealth of archaeological artifacts; join us for a private reception in the museum, a Tauck Exclusive! Sample the art of Alsatian cuisine at lunch on your own, then return to the riverboat for a sail through the Upper Rhine Plain. This evening, join us for the captain's welcome reception in the lounge, followed by the chef's Signature Dinner in the Compass Rose.
    Meals: Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Fri, Apr 30, 2021
    Arrive in Karlsruhe this morning and depart by coach to the spa town of Baden-Baden where curative waters and an air of olde-world luxury have attracted royals, the rich and many celebrities over the years. The Black Forest town boasts grand colonnaded buildings and whimsically turreted art nouveau villas spread across the hillsides framed by forested mountains. You'll enjoy a choice of three excursions in this grand dame of a German spa town that includes a guided walking tour, an opportunity to visit Caracella Spa with indoor and outdoor thermal baths, a rock grotto with hot and cold water, Roman sauna, steam bath and more, or an Ebike excursion where you'll explore Baden-Baden and the surrounding areas of interest riding past lush woodlands that stretch out along the flat Rhine valley with views of forested mountains in the distance. Return to the ship late afternoon for social hour in the lounge followed by dinner and musical entertainment onboard.

    Meals: Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Rüdesheim, Germany
    Sat, May 01, 2021
    Near the foot of the Neiderwald, surrounded by vineyards, the ruins of Ehrenfels Castle watch over the Rhine Gorge; just around the bend, you’ll dock in the winemaking town of Rüdesheim, under the lofty gaze of the famous Neiderwald Monument. The 1000-year-old town charms with its cobblestone streets of storybook houses, cafes and wine taverns; among its must-see attractions is Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett, a museum dedicated to antique self-playing musical instruments. Siegfried’s mesmerizing collection includes orchestrations, musical clocks, player pianos, fairground organs, self-playing violinas, and the world’s largest automated doll orchestra. Stop in for refreshments at Rudesheimer Schloss, an historic hotel and restaurant. Then return to the riverboat for a cruise on the romantic Middle Rhine. Sentinel castles, steep sloping vineyards and towering precipices like the Lorelei Rock wind past with commentary by your Tauck Director. Land at Linz am Rhein, then drive to Engelskirchen for a visit to its neighboring castle, Schloss Ehreshoven. Built in the 14th century and later expanded in the style of a grand Baroque manor house, the estate is surrounded by a moat, landscaped gardens, and a castle park. Schloss Ehreshoven is frequently used as a film location but this evening it’s the elegant setting for a Tauck Exclusive cocktail reception and dinner with entertainment. Tonight, sail for Bonn, where you’ll dock overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Köln, Germany
    Sun, May 02, 2021
    Depart Bonn this morning for a short cruise to Köln (Cologne). One of Germany’s oldest cities (founded in the 1st Century AD), Köln was once a Roman provincial capital, and later a fabulously wealthy medieval trading port; the city was almost totally destroyed during World War II, but many of its architectural treasures have been restored, including the towering Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) – a twin-spired masterpiece of High Gothic architecture – which you'll visit today, along with the nearby Roman Germanic Museum. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, you’ll cruise the lowlands of the Rhine (with commentary) en route to Dordrecht in the Netherlands.
    Meals: Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Dordrecht, Netherlands
    Mon, May 03, 2021

    Your riverboat arrives this morning in Dordrecht, a wealthy trading port in the Middle Ages, for an excursion that offers insights into windmills and their ubiquitous role in Dutch life... a visit to the village of Kinderdijk (Child’s Dyke), where the flat landscape, crisscrossed with canals, presents the largest concentration of historic windmills in The Netherlands – which you can choose to explore on a walking tour and a boat ride, or on a two-hour bicycle excursion. The 19 windmills, most of them built in the 18th century, are national monuments; for centuries, their massive wind-driven mechanisms have been used to pump water out of the polder and into reservoirs and canals, reclaiming land from the river. Such ingenious methods of water management have enabled a country that is almost fifty percent below sea level to exist at all, lending weight to the local saying, “God created the Earth, but the Dutch created Holland.” Return to the riverboat for lunch, with time to relax and enjoy onboard activities as you sail towards Amsterdam. Dine aboard ship this evening.


    Meals: Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Tue, May 04, 2021
    Arrive in Amsterdam this morning and embark on a city orientation tour that includes a visit to the world-famous Rijksmuseum, home to many art masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Amsterdam is often called the "Venice of the North" for its elaborate network of canals that wind through a romantic historic center of cobbled streets and stunningly well-preserved Dutch Renaissance architecture. Following your Rijksmuseum visit, you'll have a choice of boarding a canal boat for a cruise of the city from the inside, along 17th-century waterways lined with trees, gabled merchant houses and vibrant urban life (a great way to see it – including a slice of Dutch apple pie)... or joining a "Taste of Amsterdam" walking-and-tasting tour where you'll explore the culinary delights found in one of Amsterdam's local neighborhoods. Later, you’ll have time to explore the city on your own; Amsterdam’s compact urban landscape is made for exploring, brimming with art museums, coffeehouses, and eclectic architecture. Aboard ship this evening, enjoy a delightful choral performance before joining the crew for a farewell reception and dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Wed, May 05, 2021

    Tour ends: Amsterdam. Fly home anytime; a transfer from your riverboat to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport or Central Train Station is included. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport. For additional nights in Amsterdam, ask at booking.


    Meals: Breakfast

Countries Visited

France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland

Rivers Visited

Rhine

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Inclusions

Follow the romantic Rhine River on its winding journey through Central Europe, taking in the sights, history and culture of Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and France, as your riverboat glides along the river.Experience medieval winetowns, cathedrals, castles, museums, and river landscapes of the kind that inspired JMW Turner and Richard Wagner. Enjoy a two-night stay at a luxury hotel in Bern, with a choice of a city tour or a trip up to the Jungfraujoch in the Alps, and an idyll in Lucerne; sail from Basel with visits to Colmar, Baden-Baden, Rudesheim and Cologne... a Tauck Exclusive evening of dinner and music at Schloss Ehreshoven... a visit to the windmills of Kinderdijk, and exploration of Amsterdam including a canal boat tour along the city’s historic waterways.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Reception at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Dinner and entertainment at Schloss Ehreshoven, a German castle dating back to the 15th century
  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $2,375
  • Two nights at the Hotel Bellevue Bern
  • Choice of bicycle excursion in Baden-Baden
  • A guided visit to Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, plus a canal boat cruise or a walking & tasting tour 

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck

Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.

Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.

Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.

At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.

The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.

As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.

OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:

Tauck Staff
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.

Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.

Guest Responsibility
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.

Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.

Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.

We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.

We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.

And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:

Hotels
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:

  • Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.

In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:

TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.

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Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.5
Itinerary
4.7
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
4.5

Ratings based off 12 reviews - currently showing 3 reviews with comments only

Very good itinerary and great on board staff, including the Cruise Director, who was immensely helpful when my partner became ill with bronchitis. Local guides in Colmar, Stuttgart, and Amsterdam were very, very good too. Food and drink were plentiful and well-prepared.

Tauck tours are always very professional and first class. The river boat that Tauck leased was gorgeous, with large bathrooms and well appointed cabins. The food was ample and very good, with a reasonable selection for all palates. The ports of call were lovely; while we did not stop at some of the larger cities such as Cologne, it allowed us to often be the only river boat at each port for many of the ports of call. The tours on land were diverse and interesting, and the Tauck tour directors made sure that the tours were informative and top notch.

kudos to Tauck - You get what you pay for........

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AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Tauck. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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