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Enchanting Rhine

Rhine Gorge, Cologne, and Strasbourg aboard a Premier River Vessel

Additional dates available

Additional dates available on the reverse itinerary Captivating Rhine


This riverside odyssey brings you along the ancient Rhine to picture-postcard towns, imperial cathedral cities, and famed wine country. You’ll begin in Basel, then visit Strasbourg in Alsace. You'll have your choice of a hike or tour in the historic university town of Heidelberg, or a visit to Speyer to see the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe. Sail the stunning Rhine River Gorge, lined with ruins of medieval castles and fortresses and experience Cologne and its majestic Gothic cathedral. Conclude your cruise in the grand capital of Amsterdam, with its enchanting canals and culture. Reverse departures are also offered. Optional pre- and post-cruise Land Programs to Lucerne and Zurich are available at an additional charge.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Day 1
Basel, Switzerland / Embarkation

Switzerland’s second largest city is ideally located at the crossroads of Switzerland, France, and Germany. Long an important university, banking, and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval Town Hall and exquisite 18th century patrician homes. Tonight, gather on board for a Welcome Dinner...D

Day 2
Breisach, Germany

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 Freiburg’s Münster, 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...BLD

Day 3
Strasbourg, France

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 l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République. 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 Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. For the active adventurer, you can take a guided bike ride through this captivating city and Parc de l’Orangerie...BLD

Day 4
Ludwigsharen, Germany / Rüdesheim

Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s 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 Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate. Later in the day, sail to Rüdesheim where you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy...BLD

Day 5
Rüdesheim / Rhine Gorge

Your exploration of Rüdesheim 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 town’s beautiful vineyards. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles to Lahnstein where you’ll enjoy a visit to Lahneck Castle...BLD

Day 6

Home to one of Germany’s 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 Kings—the Magi—are believed to rest. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten; or visit a local tavern to taste Kölsch beer and Reibekuchen—potato pancakes served with apple sauce...BLD

Day 7
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Eclectic 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 Jewish Heritage tour begins with a visit to the 17th-century Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum chronicling the history of the Jews in Amsterdam...BLD

*Opt for a rare experience with a journey into the Netherland's Floriade Expo in Almere - very close to Amsterdam - which will feature stunning gardens, innovative sustainable gardening exhibits, live entertainment, souvenirs and food stalls. Please note: The Floriade 2022 Expo opens from April 14 to October 9, 2022

Day 8
Disembark / Depart Amsterdam

Bid farewell to Amsterdam and transfer on your own to the airport for your homeward flight...B


Additional 2 nights Zurich, 2-nights Lucerne pre-cruise, from $1680 (2023 & 2024)

Day 1
Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland

Arrive in Zurich and transfer on your own to your hotel. Spend your day exploring this beautiful town...B

Day 2

Set alongside a glistening lake and framed by the Alps, Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future—all of which will be on full display during your city tour. One of the top experiences in Zurich is a visit to Old Town where you will find yourself amongst medieval houses, churches and the modern Bahnhofstrasse, a mile-long street featuring exclusive fashion boutiques, stores and street cafés...B
Day 3

Zurich / Lucerne

Check out of your hotel and head off on a scenic drive past Alpine lakes before reaching Vitznau. Upon arrival, enjoy a cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne. Lucerne’s beauty and charm is unrivaled. You’ll discover this beauty on a walking tour. Afterwards, you’ll check into your hotel...B

Day 4

The iconic Lion Monument, which you’ll visit was sculpted in memory for the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. It has captured the hearts and minds of visitors for centuries, including Mark Twain who praised it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” You’ll also visit the spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. Located around the Musegg Wall area, the towers rise high over the city, giving great panoramic views of Lucerne, the Reuss River and the surrounding mountain scenery. There are a total of nine towers, including one featuring the oldest clock in the city...B

Day 5
Basel / Embark

Visit the iconic Lion Monument before transferring to Basel where you will have free time for lunch before embarking on your ship...B,D

The Cruise-Only Program begins with embarkation on Day 5 in Basel.

Please call for details on the post-cruise Land Program for the Reverse itinerary



Amsterdam’s tranquil canals, Cologne’s majestic cathedral
The Rhine Gorge, with its castles and legends
Medieval Strasbourg, the winemaking town of Rudesheim
Optional guided bike tours


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $2999  
Arrive: Basel, Switzerland
Depart: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a premier river vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, River Cruising
Trip Level:

8-day cruise, cultural exploration and walking tours

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