Five-Star Rhine Cruise
From Switzerland to the Netherlands, this spectacular cruise reveals the majestic allure of the Rhine River, in all of its fairytale glory. We uncover beautiful valley gorges, splendid halftimbered towns and all the remarkable cities along the banks of this grand old river.
Over the course of four different countries, discover some of the finest experiences these nations have to offer including a German heritage rail journey, a French city tour and Dutch steam trains, along with daytime cruising on some of the finest stretches of the Rhine.
Fly from your choice of airport to Basel where you'll be met by a Great Rail Journeys representative who will escort you to the ship. This evening, we enjoy a welcome cocktail before a delicious Swiss themed first meal.
Our vessel sails into the charming German town of Kehl today. Sat across the Rhine from Kehl is the beautiful city of Strasbourg, whose position on the German-French border has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history. Because of this, Strasbourg represents the best of both cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. You have two choices here. Your first option is a city tour of Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. Your second alternative sees you travel along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße into the famous Black Forest of Germany, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas and enjoying free time in the charming spa town of Baden Baden.
We arrive into Speyer this morning, where you have free time to explore. This town is home to one of the largest privately owned collections of vehicles in the world, the Technik Museum Speyer. Featuring an entire jumbo jet, army vehicles, emergency vehicles, a submarine and much more, this museum is a treasure trove of vehicular delights and is well worth a visit. Later in the afternoon, we have an excursion to the delightful academic town of Heidelberg where we are treated to a guided tour. Heidelberg is famous for a magnificent ruined castle, proudly stood high above the town below, gazing down onto the river and the attractive town houses.
We sail into the classic German town of Rüdesheim am Rhein, known for its formidable wine production especially of the dry Riesling variety. Perhaps walk along the river during your free time here this morning, before our ship departs for Koblenz. This afternoon includes one of the highlights of the tour as we pass through the glorious Rhine Gorge, one of the most beautiful sections of the river and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sheer river banks rise up, towering over the river below, covered in deep forests and miles of green vineyards, lending an almost ethereal feel to the waterway. We enjoy a commentary from our knowledgeable Cruise Director during this passage.
Our lunch today sees us tuck into a wonderful themed buffet with a suckling pig as the striking centrepiece, and several smaller dishes from this part of the world making up the rest of the offerings. Weather permitting we'll enjoy our lunch on the sun deck as we take in the majesty of the glorious Rhine Gorge. We sail this evening into the enchanting city of Koblenz, you may wish to visit one of the famous wine taverns here.
We depart from Koblenz this morning and discover the marvellous Upper Rhine, a stretch of river characterised by lush green meadows and postcard villages. Our Cruise Director provides us with the history of this area, and highlights points of interest. In the afternoon, we dock in Koenigswinter, where we embark on a journey on the Drachensfelbahn railway. This rack railway rises into the mountains and high into the forests for wonderful views across the Rhine- Westphalia region of Germany. In the evening, we indulge with a traditional gourmet dinner which features Spargelzeit, a kind of white asparagus which is famous in this area. (Please note, Spargelzeit depends on seasonal availability).
Arriving into Cologne this morning, we venture forth into this vibrant German city on a walking tour. We visit the resplendent cathedral, a centuries-year-old building which survived 14 aerial hits during bombing across the Second World War. We also wander through the many bustling squares, labyrinthine streets and see Romanesque town-houses.
Tonight is an opportunity to dress up in our finest as we enjoy a Gala dinner with the captain and crew.
We arrive into Amsterdam this morning, the Dutch capital, where we have a choice of two excursions, the first of which is a city tour of Amsterdam. One of the most popular of all the European cities, Amsterdam is as modern as it is historic, as young as it is old. From idyllic canals and large parks, to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a city that boasts something for everyone. The second option is an excursion to Hoorn where we board the splendid Medemblik Steam Train and enjoy a nostalgic trip through splendid Dutch scenery.
After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the ship and here your cruise concludes. We transfer you to Amsterdam airport for your flight home.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise arrival and departure times.
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.