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The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam - Southbound 2021

The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam - Southbound 2021

Operator: Tauck
Ship: MS Inspire
Starts: Amsterdam, Netherlands on Wed, Aug 11, 2021
Ends: Berne, Switzerland on Fri, Aug 20, 2021

Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland

Rivers Visited

Rhine

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.

Day 1 (Wed, Aug 11, 2021): Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tour begins: 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport or the train station to your riverboat. Settle in, meet your riverboat crew for an orientation briefing, then join us this evening for the welcome reception which is followed by dinner.
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 (Thu, Aug 12, 2021): Amsterdam, Netherlands

This morning, embark on an Amsterdam 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. Enjoy cocktails and onboard musical entertainment prior to dinner tonight, before sailing for Dordrecht.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 (Fri, Aug 13, 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 to Cologne, Germany. Dine aboard ship this evening.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 (Sat, Aug 14, 2021): Köln, Germany

Cruise the lowlands of the Rhine this morning before arriving in Köln (Cologne) for a walking tour. 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 its Romanesque churches, the 12th century town hall, and the towering Köln Cathedral, a twin-spired masterpiece of High Gothic architecture. Enjoy free time to discover Köln's urban treasures, such as its beer gardens, wine taverns and chocolate museum. Then depart for Engelskirchen and 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, gracious 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. Return to the riverboat, which sails tonight for Rüdesheim.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 (Sun, Aug 15, 2021): Rüdesheim, Germany

The romantic Middle Rhine with its castle ruins, wine-towns, and steep sloping vineyards unfolds on this morning’s cruise, with commentary by your Tauck director; the landscape is alive with myths and legends, from the Nibelung to the siren of Lorelei Rock. After lunch onboard, dock in the winemaking town of Rüdesheim, at the foot of the Niederwald, where the ruins of Ehrenfels Castle and the lofty Niederwald monument preside over the Rhine Gorge. Here, you may choose a walking tour of this 1,000-year-old town with its cobblestone streets of storybook houses, cozy cafés and wine taverns; among its unique, must-see attractions is Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett, a museum dedicated to antique self-playing musical instruments, which you'll visit. Siegfried’s mesmerizing collection includes orchestrions, musical clocks, player pianos, fairground organs, self-playing violinas, and the world’s largest automated doll orchestra. Stop in for wine-tasting and snacks at Rüdesheimer Schloss, an historic hotel and restaurant with its own vineyard and family wine estate. Alternatively, you may choose to join us for a one-hour bicycle excursion* along the Rhine. Return to the riverboat for a reception and the chef's Signature Dinner this evening as you sail for Karlsruhe.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 (Mon, Aug 16, 2021): Stuttgart, Germany

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 two excursions in this grand dame of a German spa town that includes a guided walking tour with 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 Included: Breakfast

Day 7 (Tue, Aug 17, 2021): Colmar, France

Dock in the rivertown of Breisach, Germany this morning, 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 houses and gardens, rambling cobbled streets 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 Matthias 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! Later, sample the art of Alsatian cuisine at lunch on your own, then return to the riverboat for a cruise through the dramatic Upper Rhine Plain where sentinel castles, forests and rising mountain ranges drift past. Join the crew tonight for a farewell reception which is followed by dinner.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 (Wed, Aug 18, 2021): Lucerne, Switzerland

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 Included: Breakfast

Day 9 (Thu, Aug 19, 2021): Bern, Switzerland

You have a choice of sightseeing adventures today. Head for the snow-capped Alps on a full-day’s excursion to the lofty Jungfraujoch, known as the "Top of Europe" – journey to Grindelwald for a train ride to Kleine Scheidegg, then board a cogwheel train for the scenic climb through the Eiger tunnel to Europe’s highest railway station; here you’ll find a restaurant, observatory, research station, a gallery of ice sculpture, and stunning views of glacier-clad peaks that go on forever. Or explore the eclectic charms of Bern on a walking tour, followed by time on your own: medieval and modern mix artfully in this unhurried atmosphere where 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 medieval astronomical clock featuring animated dancing figures. Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at the hotel.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 (Fri, Aug 20, 2021): Bern, Switzerland

Tour ends: Bern. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included from the Bellevue Palace Bern to the airport or train station (Bahnof Bern). Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.
Meals Included: Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

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
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • 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

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Ship Information

MS Inspire


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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

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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........


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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