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Explore quaint towns along the Rhine

Castles Along the Rhine

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard River Empress
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This 8-day voyage aboard the River Empress is an ideal holiday for castle lovers. Sail along the Rhine river and marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an insider’s look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg; stroll through the fairytale town of Rüdesheim; and taste delightful white wines in the villages where the grapes are grown. The spires of medieval churches and castles appear around each bend in the river, and vineyards climb the verdant hillsides.

Select departures operate in reverse (Amsterdam to Basel)
Spring flowers in MannheimCologne's famous cathedral at sunset from the Rhine.Evening light over KehlWander the streets of RudesheimExplore quaint towns along the Rhine
Highlights
  • Explore the the capital of Alsatian wines, Breisach on a guided tour
  • Enjoy a visit the Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site in Speyer
  • Experience Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture
  • Walk through Strasbourg and experience its historic core as the locals do
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Basel | Embark

Arrive at the airport where you will be greeted by a representative and transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Breisach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road and your launching point for one of two excursions along the celebrated Route des Vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, or take a tour of the larger town of Colmar, the capital of Alsatian wines.

Choice of Alsatian “Village Day” or Colmar city tour

This morning, enjoy leisure time as you sail the scenic Upper Rhine to Breisach.  A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Day 3: Kehl (Strasbourg)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you will see Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital. 

Choice of “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour or Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town walk

You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own.

Day 4: Mannheim (Speyer)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town. You can wander through this beautiful city with an expert guide.

Choice of Speyer walking tour or Private Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting.

Day 5: Rüdesheim | Boppard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A perfect day for you to experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in one of two ways—an exclusive tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollrads or take the long way shoreward from the Germania monument with a vineyard hike.

Featured Excursion: Boppard village stroll

Choice of Castle Vollrads wine tasting or “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen

This morning, you’ll cruise out of Rüdesheim and into the sublimely beautiful and romantic Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Day 6: Boppard | Koblenz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a visit to the stunningly medieval Marksburg Castle. As you come upon picture-perfect Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Featured Excursion: “Let's Go” bike the castles
Choice of Koblenz walking tour or Marksburg Castle visit

Day 7: Cologne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
History buffs will enjoy an expertly led tour through Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance façade. Wander through the city’s historical center and take in its charming atmosphere, narrow alleyways flanked by old houses and countless breweries. No matter how you choose to explore Old Town, you’ll also have ample free time to explore on your own.

Featured Excursion: Cologne walking tour with Old Town visit

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8: Amsterdam | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, you will disembark the ship, and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Ship/Hotel

River Empress

River Empress Lobby
River Empress main lounge
Captain's lounge and library

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,999
River Empress Classic Cabin
Select a Date
Classic
Magnificently appointed riverview stateroom located on the Moselle Deck (151 sq ft - 14 sq m) . Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hairdryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen, and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes, and slippers.
River Empress Deluxe Cabin
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Deluxe
Sumptuously appointed riverview stateroom located on the Danube and Main Deck (151 sq ft - 14 sq m) . Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hairdryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen, and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes, and slippers.
River Empress French Balcony Cabin
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French Balcony
Luxuriant appointed riverview stateroom located on the Rhine Deck (151 sq ft - 14 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hairdryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen, and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes, and slippers.
River Empress Suite
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Suite
Lavishly appointed riverview suite located on the Rhine Deck (214 sq ft - 20 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hairdryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen, and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Hermès bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers. Additional special amenities and services.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Bilingual English-speaking guide
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • All gratuities, shipboard and shoreside 
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks, and mineral water
  • Guided “Do as the Locals Do” and “Let's Go” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Port Fees
  • Passport or Visa fees

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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