Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and be transferred to the ship.
There’s much more to Switzerland than chocolate, cuckoo clocks and snow-capped mountain peaks (although we’re big fans of all these things). The cosmopolitan city of Basel is also a hotspot for contemporary art, was once the epicenter of the Zionist movement and has a historic and elegant charm that make it a delight to explore.You’ll have a choice of adventures today in Basel, a refined and cosmopolitan Swiss city synonymous with art and culture. Our “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour is a delightful way to experience Basel’s medieval town center. Alternatively, take a guided “Let's Go” bike ride along the Wiese River, making a stop at the renowned Fondation Beyeler Museum. The museum’s ingenious architecture is reason enough for a visit; inside, the art collection is equally awe-inspiring, ranging from Monet to Warhol. A third option is our Jewish Heritage tour of Basel, a city considered the cradle of modern Zionism.
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it by bicycle, on foot with an insightful local expert or opt to delve into the town’s Jewish past, Strasbourg’s cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart.Postcard-perfect Strasbourg is the very definition of picturesque, with its magnificent Gothic cathedral, cobblestone lanes and half-timbered homes adorned with flower-filled window boxes. After docking in town, you’ll have a chance to discover Strasbourg’s many charms with a choice of excursions: A guided “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Petit France district, stopping to try traditional Alsatian treats along the way; a “Go Active” bike tour that covers a bit more ground, including the European district; or an in-depth look at the city’s rich Jewish history, which dates back an astonishing 2,000 years. After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps shopping for handcrafted souvenirs bearing images of white storks—a beloved symbol of the city.
Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. Take it all in during a walk with a local expert, or—for something really unexpected—venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and (surprisingly) delicious! A third option is our Jewish Heritage excursion to an ancient center of learning and religion.Join a local expert for a guided stroll through the historic small town of Speyer, famous for its vast Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also have some free time to wander on your own, perhaps to have a coffee at a sidewalk café on the town’s bustling central plaza. If you prefer, head to the nearby Doktorenhof vinegar estate for a truly immersive and memorable cultural experience. Discover how the grapes cultivated on this family-run estate are transformed into unique wine vinegar aperitifs, then don a monk’s cloak and sample these rare (and surprisingly delicious) elixirs by candlelight in an atmospheric tasting room. Guests who prefer to take an intimate look at local Jewish history can choose an excursion to Worms, an ancient Jewish center of learning and religion.
Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture. Experience the city with your choice of adventures today—visit Germany’s oldest museum, take a guided “Go Active” bike ride or learn about the Rothschild family’s rags-to-riches saga.Today we briefly leave the Rhine and cruise the Main to the dynamic metropolis of Frankfurt, the epicenter of German finance and international business. Step ashore and walk a short distance to the Old Town for our “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour. This part of the city has charming old homes, stately churches and a lively covered market where you can sample all sorts of local delicacies. Later, you can visit Germany’s oldest museum, the Städel, with 700 years of European art housed under a single roof. If you prefer, opt for a guided “Go Active” bike ride that takes you through the Old Town, along the Main River promenade and down the city’s world-famous “Museum Mile”—which boasts no fewer than 13 acclaimed institutions. For something completely different, you can spend your time in Frankfurt delving into the city’s fascinating Jewish legacy.
Bacharach is an ancient village that appears straight out of the pages of a storybook. Enjoy a guided stroll through town and taste some locally grown Rieslings, a specialty of the region. Alternatively, join a “Go Active” hike that will take you past the old town walls and up to a fortified 12th-century castle.
You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Afterwards, you have a choice of three enticing excursions highlighting beer, contemporary art or Jewish history.Our first stop today is Cologne’s massive cathedral, a UNESCO-designated Gothic masterpiece with a shrine to the Three Magi that has drawn religious pilgrims for centuries. From there, beer aficionados can visit an Old Town pub for a taste of Kölsch, a brew made only in Cologne. Art lovers can see Europe’s most significant collection of contemporary art at Museum Ludwig. And guests interested in the city’s Jewish past are welcome to explore the centuries-old mikveh and other notable sites in Cologne’s Jewish quarter, once home to Europe’s first Jewish settlement north of the Alps. No matter which excursion you choose, you’ll also have ample free time to explore the city on your own.
Enjoy the luxury of a full day in the “Venice of the North,” starting with a private “Morning with the Masters” tour of the Amsterdam Hermitage that includes part of a special exhibition of Dutch art collected by Catherine the Great—a show available only through May 2018. Afterwards, visit significant Jewish Heritage sites or explore the city on foot or by bike.At your private “Morning with the Masters” tour of the Amsterdam Hermitage, you’ll have the museum’s extraordinary collection of Dutch Masters all to yourself, as an art historian shows you Portrait Gallery highlights and part of a special exhibition of Dutch art collected by Catherine the Great—a show available only through May 2018. Afterwards, choose from a trio of enticing excursions: Admire the city’s narrow, gabled homes lining the canals on a “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour; explore the hip and trendy Jordaan district on two wheels, the quintessential way to experience this bike-obsessed city; or opt for our Jewish Heritage tour, with stops at the Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for your flight home.