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Switzerland, the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle featuring Oberammergau extension - 2020

14-night Rhine and Moselle River Cruise with Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Cologne, Cochem, Schweich, Bernkastel, Trier, Koblenz, Mainz, Speyer, Strasbourg, Alsatian Wine Route, Basel
  • EXPERIENCE OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY ON OUR OPTIONAL EXTENSION
  • SWITZERLAND, THE HEART OF THE RHINE & MOSELLE
  • FULL-DAY TOUR OF THE ALSATIAN WINE ROUTE
  • EXPLORE ON TWO WHEELS USING OUR COMPLIMENTARY BICYCLES
  • WALKING TOUR OF STRASBOURG, FEATURING A CANAL BOAT RIDE
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Amsterdam to Basel

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This evening, you’ll fly overnight to Amsterdam.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Amsterdam

Arrive in the Dutch capital. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your European river cruise ship. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink and Briefing in the lounge.

Vantage Onboard Enrichment:

  • Morning yoga and stretching, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Optional early risers’ breakfast in the Captain’s Club, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Chess, shuffleboard, track, spa, and other amenities

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

A cruise along Amsterdam’s canal ring and a visit to the esteemed Rijksmuseum

Today, embark on a lovely cruise along Amsterdam’s 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then visit the recently renovated Rijksmuseum, home of Amsterdam’s premier art collection, including works by such Dutch masters as Rembrandt and Vermeer. Later, gather with your fellow travelers for the Captain’s Welcome Dinner and Reception.

Included Feature:

  • Canal cruise and visit to the Rijksmuseum
Cultural Connection:
  • Live classical music performance on board

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Jewish Cultural Walk

Jewish Cultural Walk

  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • When: Afternoon Tour

During centuries of persecution in Europe, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews fled to Amsterdam in order to live and worship in peace. That changed during World War II, when the Nazis invaded Holland and turned a theater in the Jodenbuurt Quarter into a deportation center and this once-prosperous area into the infamous Jewish Ghetto. On this tour, you’ll visit this theater as well as the rest of the Jewish Cultural Quarter, which includes the Portuguese Synagogue and other monuments in this historic section of the city. Join us on this tour that highlights the powerful story of this unique part of Amsterdam.

Please note: On Saturdays, the synagogue is not available for visits and will be replaced by the Jewish Historical Museum.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg will temporarily close its doors for renovation from June 2020 and is expected to re-open in September 2022. During this period, groups will visit the Jewish Historical Museum.


DAY 4:

Embark on a walking tour of Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands

Today, embark on a walking tour of Nijmegen. This is the oldest city in the Netherlands, and the entire region is teeming with stories from World War II, when it was occupied by Nazi forces and eventually liberated by Allied troops (though not before Allies mistakenly dropped bombs here). Learn more about this history on an optional tour to the Freedom Museum in nearby Groesbeek, or, enjoy time at leisure in Nijmegen. In the afternoon, you’ll learn a bit about the local language during a German lesson while also enjoying scenic sailing.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Nijmegen, Holland's oldest town
Cultural Connection:
  • Take a German language lesson
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: Käsespätzle or similar

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: War & Freedom Without Borders

War & Freedom Without Borders

  • Approximate Cost: $65 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Groesbeek, the Netherlands
  • When: Afternoon tour
Spend an afternoon diving into World War II history on an optional tour to the Freedom Museum in Groesbeek, the Netherlands. You’ll transfer to Groesbeek via a scenic route, passing by the landing fields used during the region’s key battles. Perusing the Freedom Museum, you’ll get a multifaceted understanding of WWII through the context of 20th century history and current events. You’ll also watch a short film on Operation Market Garden, one of the most important operations on the western front. Your tour includes free time to explore the museum on your own and a visit to the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.

Please note: This tour is not available on the May 3rd departure due to scheduling issues at the museum.

DAY 5:

Explore Cologne on a walking tour and taste some distinctive Kölsch beer

This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour of Cologne, getting a chance to learn about this city’s rich history. You'll also enjoy a special tasting of Kölsch beer, a distinctive style that the New York Times once stated was like "drinking an entire culture."  After the tour, you'll also have free time to explore on your own. Some evening entertainment on board the ship offers the perfect coda to your day.

Included Feature:

  • Have a taste of Kölsch beer
  • Walking tour of Cologne featuring views of the city's famous cathedral
Cultural Connection:
  • Enjoy traditional evening entertainment onboard
Biking Opportunity:
  • Enjoy some of the most scenic cycle paths of the iconic Rhine River through Cologne-Deutz during a 5-mile route. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Meet the “count” of Reichsburg Castle, sip some wine, soak up the scenery

Spend the morning taking in the scenery in Cochem. Later, enjoy a guided visit to fairy-tale Reichsburg Castle, perched atop a steep hill in the quaint town of Cochem on the Moselle River. Meet the “count” in the castle and enjoy a glass of the fine Riesling produced in the area. Enjoy scenic cruising with commentary in the afternoon. This evening, Movie Night features Patton, which will be of particular interest if you've selected to join the optional tour of Luxembourg tomorrow, which includes the American Cemetery where the famous general is buried.

Included Feature:

  • Guided tour of Reichsburg Castle
  • Enjoy a glass of wine and music with the count of Reichsburg
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: Beef Roulade

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Discover Schweich on your own, or opt to visit Luxembourg

You’ll have the entire day at leisure to explore Schweich on your own or just relax. Alternatively, make an optional full-day excursion to Luxembourg, where you’ll pay your respects at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, the solemn resting place for more than 5,000 U.S. soldiers. You’ll also take a panoramic tour of Luxembourg City.

Culinary Features:

  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: Beer-braised pork ribs
  • Local wine pairings with dinner
Biking Opportunity:
  • Join your Concierge for an easy 9-mile cycle through the German countryside along the Moselle River. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Luxembourg Excursion

Luxembourg Excursion

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  • When: Full-day tour

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Luxembourg, where you’ll pay your respects at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, solemn resting place for more than 5,000 US soldiers. You’ll also take a panoramic tour of Luxemburg City. After your tour, you may explore the small yet picturesque city on your own.


DAY 8:

Enjoy a walking exploration of Bernkastel and sample some local wines

Today, enjoy a walking tour of Bernkastel, known as the “International Town of Vines and Wine,” which produces high-quality Rieslings. The surrounding landscape boasts massive fortresses and fairy-tale castles, and the town’s half-timbered houses lining the banks of the Moselle will enchant you. Learn about Germany’s light and fruity vintages during a wine tasting. Zum Wohl!

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Bernkastel
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: Dumplings & wine tasting
  • Sample some of the Moselle Valley’s famed vintages at a tasting onboard
Biking Opportunity:
  • Enjoy scenic vistas as you follow this path along the beautiful Moselle River during a 19-mile route. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

The oldest city in Germany is yours to explore, including the UNESCO-listed Roman ruins

Today, you'll enjoy an insightful lecture on Roman history in Trier before you discover the city itself. This is the oldest city in Germany, and your included tour here brings you to the amphitheater and includes a viewing of the Porta Nigra (a massive stone gate), the Roman Bridge, and Barbara Baths. Spend this afternoon at leisure, relaxing or exploring on your own. Enjoy lunch ashore at Weingut Georg Fritz von Nell.

Included Feature:

  • Walking and city tour of Trier including the Roman Amphitheater and Church of Our Lady
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard Lecture: Ancient Roman presence in Germany
Culinary Features:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: German Sausage

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Discover Koblenz and the UNESCO-listed Upper Middle Rhine Valley

This morning, embark on a walking tour of Koblenz, which is renowned as the place where two rivers — the Rhine and the Moselle — meet. You'll have time on your own to explore. In the afternoon you'll enjoy scenic cruising through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with commentary from the ship's bridge on the legend of Lorelei. Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Koblenz
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: Swabian Meat Pockets

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

See the Gutenberg Bible in Mainz and learn how to paint

Located at the confluence of the Main and Rhine Rivers, Mainz was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Here, you’ll visit the Johannes Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to the inventor of moveable type and home to one of the original Gutenberg Bibles. This evening, enjoy some delightful entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Visit the Gutenburg Museum to see one of the original Gutenberg Bibles
Cultural Connections:
  • Take a painting lesson from a local
  • Pub crawl through Mainz
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain's Club: German sour cabbage

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Marvel at the Speyer Cathedral and savor the warmth of a home-hosted dinner

Your morning is at leisure, or you can choose to join our wonderful Heidelberg optional tour. In the afternoon, you’ll set off on a tour of Speyer and its eponymous 11th-century cathedral. Once one of the largest cathedrals in the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site remains the final resting place for many former emperors and heads of state. Later, you will enjoy a coffee, cake, and conversation during an insightful home-hosted event. This evening, enjoy entertainment on board.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Enjoy coffee, cake, and stories with a local family in Speyer
Included Feature:
  • Walking tour of Speyer including Speyer Cathedral
Cultural Connection:
  • Celebrate German traditions with a festive on board party
Biking Opportunity:

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Heidelberg Optional Tour

Heidelberg Optional Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $59 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4.5 hours
  • Location: Heidelberg, Germany
  • When: Morning tour

Join an optional tour to Heidelberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to Germany’s oldest college, Heidelberg University. Enjoy panoramic views from the plaza of imposing Heidelberg Castle, a Gothic-Renaissance ruin of red stone looming above the downtown and see the castles famed Heidelberg Tun, an immense wine barrel, now empty, with a capacity of some 58,000 gallons.



DAY 13:

Embark on a walking and canal tour in Strasbourg

Today in Strasbourg, an included walking and canal boat tour take you to the UNESCO-listed Grande-Île, including elegant Palais Rohan, Cathedral Notre Dame, the ultra-modern European Union Parliament, the quaint shops and parks of “La Petite France," and the Tanners’ Quarter. You can also join an optional Black Forest tour with a cake-making demonstration and tasting.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Tour Strasbourg by foot and canal boat, including a visit to the UNESCO-listed Grand Île
Culinary Feature:
  • French Alsatian Dinner on board

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Black Forest Excursion

Black Forest Excursion

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Strasbourg, France
  • When: Afternoon tour

You’ll ride along the scenic Bundesstrasse 500, an impressive auto route that’s commonly referred to as the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, or “Black Forest High Street.” Zoom along a road that rises dramatically from 200 to 3,000 feet above sea level in a mere 10-15 mile stretch. You’ll arrive at the historic Berghotel Mummelsee, a popular tourist destination for the past 120 years. You’ll head to the hotel restaurant for a Black Forest cake-making demonstration and tasting. Afterwards, you may stroll around the lake and shop for traditional Black Forest products like cuckoo clocks, cherry liqueur, and more. 


DAY 14:

Immerse yourself in the Alsatian Wine Route on a full-day tour

Today you’ll enjoy a full-day Alsatian Wine Route tour, with a visit to Colmar and the famous Unterlinden Museum. In Riquewihr, known for its Riesling wines, enjoy a walking tour and money to enjoy lunch during your free time exploring the city. You may also partake in wine tastings at different wine cellars using a coupon provided by Vantage. Later, enjoy an informative lecture on the European Union.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion along the Alsatian Wine Route including visits to Colmar and Riquewihr
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard Lecture: The European Union
Biking Opportunity:

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Set off on a half-day tour of Basel

Located on the Rhine River, Basel traces its history as far back as the early Celts and Roman Empire. You’ll take a half-day city tour, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. We will have shuttles to the city center available for those who are interested.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day walking tour of Basel

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16:

Depart Basel for Oberammergau or your flight home

Depart for home today or embark on an optional, once-in-a-lifetime extension to see the Oberammergau Passion Play.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.

Please Note: Port times & itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels may affect itinerary.

Contact Vantage

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Switzerland, the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle featuring Oberammergau extension - 2020

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