Arrive in charming Amsterdam and embark your luxurious river cruise ship. Meet your fellow travelers tonight at the Welcome Cocktail Reception.
After breakfast, your tour of Amsterdam begins with a scenic canal cruise through the city known as the “Venice of the North.” See the beautiful homes that line the water, the fabled Skinny Bridge, and the famous Anne Frank House. Then, enjoy a panoramic city tour, where you will see the great landmarks of Amsterdam including a photo stop at a windmill. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to explore Amsterdam before returning to the ship. Depart early this afternoon for Germany.
The ship arrives in Cologne around lunch time. You will have a guided tour of the city, strolling through the Old Town and Cathedral Square, and visiting the fabled 13th-century Gothic Cathedral. During your free time, browse the festive Christmas Market in Cathedral Square – one of Europe’s best – or explore the city on your own. The ship cruises overnight.
This morning, we cruise through the fascinating Rhine Gorge, passing castle after castle and the infamous Lorelei Rock. Arrive in Rüdesheim in time for an early afternoon wine tasting with a local vintner. Explore the town’s Christmas Markets during your free time, or the Drosselgasse, a narrow alley lined with wine taverns and restaurants. This evening, visit the historic Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and its collection of robotic and self-playing musical instruments, made during the 18th-20th centuries. The ship departs very late tonight and cruises to Speyer.
Arrive in Speyer around lunchtime. Speyer is one of Germany’s oldest cities, known for its Cathedral, churches, and the Altpörtel – a 13th-century gate tower. Choose either a tour of Medieval Speyer or a half day excursion to Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled Castle and its Great Vat, a 49,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask, and see beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and Heidelberg below. You will have free time to wander what is said to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany, the “Haupstrasse,” or some of the city’s colorful Christmas Markets. This evening, the ship cruises to Strasbourg, France.
Capital of the Alsace region in northeastern France, Strasbourg is situated on the Ill River, where it flows into the Rhine on the German border. After arriving this morning, you will visit Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market – said to be the oldest and best of its kind in the country. You will also take a walking tour along the town’s narrow cobbled streets, see the European Parliament and visit the “La Petite France” district, with its sandstone Gothic cathedral and famous astronomical clock. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. The ship moors overnight in Strasbourg.
The ship arrives in Breisach after lunch today. You have two exciting excursions to choose from today. The first is a visit to Riquewihr, a picturesque town that looks much as it did back in the 16th century. A second option is a walking tour of Breisach and Freiburg. Breisach is a beautiful town on that houses one of Europe’s largest wine cellars. In Freiburg, you will visit the historical city center and the Augustinerplatz, site of Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone. Rejoin the ship in Breisach. This evening, set sail for Basel, Switzerland.
Disembark after breakfast and connect to your return flights home.