Rhine River cruise (From Cologne to Amsterdam and Basel). Our Rhine river cruise takes you through enchanting landscapes to to historical cities along one of the most romantic German streams beginning and ending in Cologne, Germany. In addition to the Romanesque "Imperial Cathedral" of Worms and the breathtaking Cologne Cathedral, we will also visit the metropolis of Amsterdam in the Netherlands with its new Rijksmuseum and the old Dutch Hanseatic town of Nijmegen, followed by Koblenz, Germany and the “Deutsches Eck”, Heidelberg and the Alsatian capital of Strasbourg in France before arriving in Basel, Switzerland for an all-day excursion.
Upon arrival at Düsseldorf airport you will be met by our tour guide and transferred by coach to the city of Cologne where you will board your luxurious river cruise ship, the MS VistaPrima. At 4:00pm, the adventure begins as you sail downstream for an early-morning arrival in Amsterdam.
Today is dedicated to Amsterdam. This morning, you will explore the city on an orientation sightseeing tour which will include a visit of the Rijksmuseum, housing one of the most important collections of the Dutch masters (“The Night Watch” by Rembrandt van Rijn for example). In the afternoon you will visit the famous Van Gogh Museum which houses more than 200 paintings and 600 drawings of this magnificent painter. The rest of the day is at leisure to stroll through the city or visit the Anne Frank House (plan for long lines) on your own. After dinner on board, you may enjoy a relaxing canal cruise passing by splendid 16th and 17th century buildings. In the late evening, the MS VistaPrima leaves Amsterdam and heads upstream.
This morning you will arrive in the hanseatic city of Nijmegen where you will visit the open-air museum Orientalis, presenting the three world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which influenced and shaped Europe over the centuries. In the afternoon, you will continue your cruise and sail back upstream to Cologne.
Today you will tour Cologne and visit the Cathedral with its treasury chamber and stroll through the Old City. After lunch you will have some free time to explore the city on your own or do some souvenir shopping before your ship departs upstream along the Siebengebirge (Seven Hills).
After breakfast on board, you will tour the city of Koblenz and visit the Deutsches Eck ("German Corner") the headland and confluence of the Mosel and the Rhine rivers. This afternoon, your cruise will take you through one of the most picturesque stretches of this majestic waterway. You will sail past magnificent castles and the famous Loreley rock formation. The MS VistaPrima will arrive in Worms around midnight.
Worms is thought to be one of the oldest towns in Germany. It was here in 1521, that Martin Luther was summoned to appear before an Imperial Diet to justify his conduct. You will visit the world’s largest Memorial to the Reformation and the Church of the Holy Trinity, Europe’s oldest Jewish cemetery, the Holy Sands and the former Jewish quarter with its synagogue. The Worms Cathedral is one of the most exquisite examples of Romanesque architecture in the world. Your cruise will then continue upstream to Strasbourg, France.
Following breakfast, you will visit Strasbourg, the capital of the European Union, on a sightseeing tour highlighting Place Gutenberg, Place Kléber, Place Broglie, the Town Hall, the Opera, the Synagogue and the Quarter of the European institutions. You will also visit the Cathedral and stroll through the picturesque quarter of “La Petite France”. After lunch, you will board a coach and drive to Alsace’s “holy mountain” - Mont Ste. Odile. Every year, this pilgrimage site attracts many visitors and is well known for its extraordinary views of the Rhine Valley.
Upon arrival in Basel and following breakfast, you will board a coach for a lovely excursion to nearby Stein am Rhein. A unique gem situated along the lower end of Lake Constance, where the Rhine River flows out of the lake. On a guided tour, you will witness the magnificent facades of the Rathausplatz before visiting the former Benedictine monastery of St. George, one of the best preserved convents of Switzerland. Dating back to the early 11th century, you will be treated to a lively insight into the history of the Abbey with its significant Gothic architecture and spectacular frescoes. Afterwards you will enjoy a relaxing lunch while cruising through a narrow stretch of the Rhine River to Schaffhausen. Here you will visit the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), Europe's largest waterfall before returning to Basel for embarkation and departure downstream.
Around noon, the MS VistaPrima will arrive in Speyer. A short drive will take you to the gorgeous city of Heidelberg, world renowned for its romanticism both past and present. Your walking tour will include the Old Town, the famous Stone Bridge over the Neckar River, the Heidelberg Castle (where the Heidelberg Confession was written in 1653), the Castle Church, German Apothecary Museum, and the Church of the Holy Ghost. After time at leisure in Heidelberg, you will return to Speyer in the late afternoon to resume your cruise.
This morning you will have farewell on the MS VistaPrima and transfer to Dusseldorf airport for your flight home.
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