This fabulous vacation begins with a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River that takes you across Germany and touches in Holland, France, and Switzerland; then enjoy an in-depth land tour of everything Germany has to offer!Begin your river cruise in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. Here, you’ll find renowned museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the elegant squares and charming canals. Continue to Cologne, Germany, a 2,000-year-old city, offering its famous twin-spired cathedral and many shops, cafés, and taverns. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. And nearby, in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. An excursion takes you to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle towering magnificently over the city. In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Before the end of the river cruise portion of your vacation, stop in Breisach, Germany. Known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty—and home to Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock.Travel to Munich by first-class train to begin your Germany land tour! Oktoberfest, pretzels, a beautiful Alpine backdrop, excellent beer, and storybook castles…this is Bavaria and on this Germany tour, you’ll experience Bavaria’s highlights. In Munich, visit Marienplatz, with its Old and New Town Halls; and in Regensburg, visit the Thurn & Taxis Palace, enjoy a cruise on the Swarovski crystal boat, and be sure to taste a “medieval hot dog.” In Nuremberg, admire the impressive medieval ramparts as you walk through the pedestrian area of the charming Old Town. In picturesque Bamberg, taste “smoked beer,” a type of beer with a distinctive smoky flavor. Near Oberammergau, you’ll visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale castle of King Ludwig II nestled in the Bavarian Alps, and well-known as the inspiration for Walt Disney.With the historical sights, fascinating towns, unique included experiences, and beautiful scenery as a backdrop, this river cruise and land vacation is an adventure of a lifetime!
Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome receptionDay 2 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 3 Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walkDay 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treatDay 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great VatDay 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstrationDay 7 Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museumDay 8 Basel (Disembarkation)–Zürich–Munich, Germany:transfer to Zurich for travel to Munich by first-class train, welcome dinnerDay 9 Munich–Regensburg: guided walking tour; enjoy a cruise with the Swarovski Crystal Boat; enjoy a “medieval hot dog” at the Historic Sausage KitchenDay 10 Regensburg–Nuremberg: visit the Thurn & Taxis Palace in Regensburg; a walking tour in NuremberDay 11 Nuremberg–Bayreuth–Bamberg: orientation of Wagner’s city of festival fame in Bayreuth; in Bamberg taste “smoked beer”; guided walking tourDay 12 Nuremberg–Rothenburg–Stuttgart–Black Forest: Rothenburg walking tour of the walled town; in Stuttgart visit the Mercedes-Benz MuseumDay 13 Black Forest–Lake Constance–Oberammergau Area: a stop at Lake ConstanceDay 14 Oberammergau Area: orientation; excursion to King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle including a visit to the Museum of the Bavarian Kings and a horse-drawn carriage rideDay 15 Oberammergau Area–Munich: return to Munich, farewell dinnerDay 16 Munich: your vacation ends this morning
Cruise Portion: Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vesselLand Portion:Full buffet breakfast daily; 4 three-course dinners with wine including a welcome and a farewell dinner in Munich.
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be altered or operated by motorcoach.