Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg where you will be transferred to the ship.
Starting from Medieval Breisach, the gateway to the Black Forest, you will cross the Rhine and head for the Alsatian Wine Road, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Charming villages, pastoral land- scapes, and lush vineyards line this beautiful winding road. You may choose to visit just the historic center of enchanting Colmar or continue on to the wine villages of Kayserberg and Riquewihr, rambling along the narrow lanes past crooked-timbered Medieval houses with conical roofs that are straight out of a fairytale illustration.
ituated halfway between Paris and Prague, the Alsatian town of Strasbourg is known as the “Crossroads of Europe.” The heart of the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is crisscrossed with Medieval canals. You’ll board a canal boat and cruise past ancient covered bridges and their watchtowers, the picturesque Petite France district with its beautiful half-timbered houses and window boxes, and the magnificent Gothic cathedral—and you’ll also see the dynamic modern city that hosts numerous European Union organizations. Then spend your afternoon at leisure in this beautiful city, home to a large and lively student population and the only national theater outside Paris.
Your guided walking tour through Speyer reveals a Medieval town with a grand heritage and a compact historic center dominated by the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its basilica laid out in the form of a Latin cross, including four towers and two domes, this marvel is a symbol of Medieval imperial power; the rulers of three dynasties are interred here. Nearby, a well-preserved mikvah, or ritual bath, bears witness to a Jewish community that dates to roughly the same era; it is the oldest remaining bath of its kind in Europe.
Rüdesheim has been a magnet for romantics since the 19th century. Among its most famous sights is the Drosselgasse, a narrow alleyway lined with wine taverns and shops. Explore Rüdesheim at your leisure. Then be our guest at a princely wine tasting at the prestigious Castle Vollrads, a handsome 14th-century castle perfectly situated in the vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau. Though it is one of the smallest wine-growing regions of Germany, it is world famous for its Rieslings—and Castle Vollrads is one of the world’s top wine estates for the varietal. Later, find a spot on deck for an afternoon of scenic cruising along the romantic Rhine—the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage-designated Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Picturesque castles appear around every bend in the river for a 40-mile stretch, a sight that inspired poets, painters, and composers throughout the 19th century. End your day with a guided stroll around Boppard, a typical wine village on the shores of the Rhine.
Awaken on the romantic Rhine and enjoy a morning cruise along the castle-lined river. German Corner,mwith its famous monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, announces your arrival in Koblenz, where the Moselle and Rhine rivers meet. Choose a walking tour highlighting the appeal of Koblenz—its romantic narrow streets and historic squares,the picturesque alleyways and fountains in the old quarter, and the 12th-century churches of St. Florin and Our Lady. Or ride the aerial tram across the Rhine to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress—inspiration to authors Melville and Byron—which in one form or another has stood high on the hill overlooking the rivers’ confluence since its beginnings as a fortification in 1,000 BC.
Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Town with your guide, passing by tiny squares and small churches as you make your way to Cologne Cathedral, the city’s most famous landmark. It took 632 years for Germany’s largest cathedral to be completed, and it is one of the most important Gothic churches in Europe. Inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the earthly remains of the fabled Three Kings—the Magi—are believed to lie at rest. You’ll learn about the history of the cathedral and its artwork, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. Christian pilgrims have been flocking here for centuries. In
fact, one of the cathedral’s expansions was intended to accommodate the many faithful who travel from far and wide to experience the wonder of this sacred site.
Disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in bustling Amsterdam.