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Grand cities blend in perfect harmony with their historic past and their progressive future. Zurichs medieval houses, narrow lanes and town halls from the Renaissance period offer a striking backdrop to its trendy and ultra-modern metropolis. And Amsterdams Golden Age melds seamlessly with its lively cafs, exciting nightlife and glorious museums. Inspirational towns have given way to great stories, poetry and musicHeidelberg, where Mark Twain wrote A Tramp Abroad. Timeless traditions remain intactfrom the making of Klsch, Colognes legendary brew to the making of Rdesheimer Coffee. Take a front-row seat on an enchanting journey that takes you along the Rhine and through its designated-UNESCO World Heritage Site with its 40 castles strung like pearls on its river banks and to magnificent cities and charming villages alike.
Day 1 – Basel
Embark the ship. Tonight, gather on board and meet your fellow passengers.
Day 2 – Breisach
Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburgs Mnster, a Gothic cathedral said to have the most beautiful spire on earth. Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside, or go on a hike to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions.
Day 3 – Strasbourg
Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de lOrangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la Rpublique. Then walk through its iconic UNESCO World Heritage La Petite France district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through these charming streets and past the Cathdrale de Ntre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. For the active adventurer, you can take a guided bike ride through this captivating city and Parc de lOrangerie.
Day 4 – Ludwigshafen & Rudesheim
Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germanys Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century 49,000-gallon wine cask. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germanys oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europea UNESCO World Heritage Siteand the medieval Altprtel, Old Gate. Later in the day, sail to Rdesheim where you can visit Siegfrieds Mechanical Music Museum; or taste one of the towns special delights, Rdesheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy.
Day 5 – Rudesheim, Rhine Gorge & Lahnstein
Your exploration of Rdesheim continues with your choice of three excursions. Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards. If you prefer a more active adventure, you can join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg or hike through the towns beautiful vineyards. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles to Lahnstein where youll enjoy a visit to Lahneck Castle.
Day 6 – Cologne
Home to one of Germanys most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral, this 2,000 year-old city is also a bustling cosmopolitan hotspot. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral, where the remains of the fabled Three Kingsthe Magi are believed to rest. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten; or visit a local tavern to taste Klsch beer and Reibekuchenpotato pancakes served with apple sauce.
Day 7 – Amsterdam
Amsterdam boasts amazing history, art, architecture, and museums, and you have a choice as to how you wish to explore it. The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your city tour beginning with a scenic canal cruise followed by a walk to Begijnhof, known for its Middle Age buildings. For a different view of the city, you can join the Jordaan tour.
Day 8 – Amsterdam
Bid Farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your homeward flight.