Our newest itinerary on the Rhine River is a tantalizing mix of art, action and authentic encounters, showcasing The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland at their postcard-perfect best and deeply delving into local culture and traditions to reveal the rich complexity that lies within.
Over the course of this nine-day journey, you’ll have special access to the art collections of revered museums in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne and Basel. At the Amsterdam Hermitage, for one, you’ll see a treasure trove of Dutch artwork in the most exclusive manner imaginable—a private “Morning with the Masters” tour of the Portrait Gallery, an extremely rare opportunity to have these centuries-old masterpieces entirely to yourself. With your art historian guide, you’ll also see part of the museum’s blockbuster exhibition of Dutch Masters collected by Catherine the Great, an extraordinary show available only through May 2018.
For something completely different, choose from an array of active adventures onshore—this itinerary features more “Go Active” excursions than any other, including expertly guided bike rides through Frankfurt’s Old Town and Strasbourg’s picturesque Petit France district. Equally immersive are our seven “Do as the Locals Do” excursions, each offering an in-depth look at daily life from an unforgettably authentic perspective. Along the way, indulge in Central Europe’s delicious cuisine—Dutch cheese and fries, Alsatian choux-croute, Swiss-style sausages, Kölsch beer, unique wine vinegar aperitifs and Germany’s famous white wines.
Oh, and did we mention the scenery? Standing on the top deck of your ship, watching the ever-changing landscape turn increasingly dramatic, you’ll understand why people have been raving about the Rhine River Valley for centuries—and there’s definitely no cause to stop.
You will visit the following 7 places:
The Convent Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. Amsterdam derives its name from the city’s origin as “Dam” of river “Amstel”. In the past, the name was "Amstelredamme" which later changed as “Amsterdam”. The city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million international travellers annually. The city is colloquially known as ''Venice of the North'' because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here; whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city!
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in north-eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2006, the city proper had 272,975 inhabitants and its urban community 467,375 inhabitants. With 638,670 inhabitants in 2006, Strasbourg's metropolitan area ("aire urbaine") (only the part of the metropolitan area on French territory) is the ninth largest in France. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau has a population of 884,988 inhabitants.
Cologne is the largest city in the German federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth-largest city in Germany. In medieval times it was the largest city of the Holy Roman Empire. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots. Cologne is known to be one of the most liberal cities in Germany. Cologne is a traditionally Ripuarian-speaking city, though this has mostly been replaced by German, which is now the main language of the city. English-speaking guides and information are available for many of the landmarks of the city. Cologne's citizens are also very friendly and jovial people, welcoming tourists of all types and with all interests.
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main, commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2009 population of 672,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,295,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area. In English, this city's name translates to Frankfurt on the Main (pronounced like English mine or German mein). The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is "Furt". A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. Thus the city's name reveals its legacy as being the "ford of the Franks".
Basel is one of the important cities of Switzerland. One of Switzerland's underrated tourist destinations, Basel has a beautiful medieval old town centre, a vibrant Carnival, and several world class art museums built by architects like Renzo Piano, Mario Botta and Herzog & De Meuron. Basel is also rich in architecture old and new, with a Romanesque Münster (cathedral), a Renaissance Rathaus (town hall), and various examples of high quality contemporary architecture, including more buildings by Herzog & De Meuron, Richard Meier, Diener & Diener, and various others. Located in the Dreiländereck (three countries' corner), Basel is a gateway to the Swiss Jura mountains and nearby cities of Zürich and Lucerne, as well as the neighbouring French region of Alsace and the German Black Forest.