4 DAYS FROM $899
4 DAYS FROM $1,949
Basel to Amsterdam: Harvest Wine Celebration
On this scenic sail through the Rhine and Moselle River Valleys, you’ll not only take in the breathtaking scenery of ones of Europe’s most picturesque regions – you’ll delve into its remarkable wine culture as well!
This 15-day cruise allows you to soak in the culture of charming towns like Mainz — home to the Gutenberg Museum — and Baden-Baden, the “Gateway to the Black Forest” that has drawn celebrities for generations. You’ll also discover Strasbourg in France, Amsterdam in Holland, and even have the option of venturing to Luxembourg.
What’s more, you’ll enjoy a range of wine features, including:
Plus, this remarkable Rhine and Moselle river cruise is made even more unforgettable with a once-in-a-lifetime addition: the Oberammergau Passion Play. This epic depiction of the life of Christ, which takes place only once every decade, has been staged for nearly 400 years. There is simply nothing like it, which is one of the reasons why 500,000 people will come to see it during its run. This experience (on select 2020 departures only) can’t be replicated anywhere else and is available to you on deluxe small-group tours with Vantage when you add on exclusive extension to Oberammergau. Plus, with Vantage you can be assured of the best seats and accommodations among American cruise lines today. That’s two unforgettable experiences — a wine harvest river cruise and a once-in-a-decade event — in one. Don’t miss out!
Dates: August 29 and September 26, 2020
Depart home for Basel, Switzerland
Today, you’ll board your flight to Basel.
Arrive in Basel
Arrive in Basel today. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you and arrange transfer to the pier in Basel, where you will board your Deluxe river ship and officially begin your European river cruise. If you were already in Europe for our unforgettable Oberammergau pre-trip extension, you’ll transfer to Basel with some time for lunch and exploring in Lake Constance.
Set off on a half-day tour of Basel
Located on the Rhine, Basel traces its history as far back as the early Celts and Roman Empire. You’ll take a walking tour, and then enjoy an afternoon at leisure. We'll have shuttles available to take travelers to the city center. Celebrate this evening at the Captain's Welcome Party and Dinner.
Biking Opportunity: Explore the nearby Roman excavation site of Augusta Raurica during this 17-mile route. Click here for details.
Immerse yourself in the Alsatian Wine Route on a full-day tour
Listen to an informative lecture on the European Union this morning, before 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. Later, gather for a wine tasting of distinctive Riesling and Ice Wine with a sommelier on board the ship — this is a chance to pick the brain of a true wine expert while enjoying exquisite vintages.
Embark on a walking and canal tour in Strasbourg
Unforgettable Moment: Bonjour and welcome to picturesque Strasbourg! Following a morning drive from Kehl over the border into France, take part in an included walking and canal boat tour that takes you to the 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. There will be afternoon shuttle buses to the city center. You can also join an optional Black Forest tour, with a cake demonstration and tasting. Tonight, enjoy evening entertainment aboard the ship.
Biking Opportunity: Explore the heart of Strasbourg’s center city during an easy 4-mile route. Click here for details.
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.
Marvel at the Speyer Cathedral and savor the warmth of a home-hosted dinner
You'll have the morning free to enjoy Strasbourg, with a shuttle provided to the town center, or choose to join an optional tour to charming Heidelberg. Later, you’ll depart for 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. Unforgettable Moment: You'll enjoy some delightful coffee and cake in the home of a local, giving you the opportunity to chat and learn more about this city and its culture.
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.
See the Gutenberg Bible in Mainz and learn how to paint
Awaken in Mainz, once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, where you'll enjoy breakfast on the ship. Then you’ll visit the Johannes Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to the inventor of moveable type and home to one of the original Gutenberg Bibles. You'll have time this afternoon to explore Mainz on your own, and later, enjoy a cooking demonstration where our expert chef will share some tips and tricks on how to make local delicacies.
Two UNESCO Sites: Boppard and the Upper Middle Rhine Valley
You'll take in the passing scenery in the morning as we cruise the Upper Middle Rhine Valley with commentary from the ship’s bridge on the legend of Lorelei. Later, arrive in picturesque Boppard, where your Cruise Director will give an informational talk on the city and you'll have free time to explore. This valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its fine Riesling wines along with its ties to the Roman Empire. Tonight's movie night features the film Patton.
The oldest city in Germany is yours to explore, including the UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
Discover the city of Trier today. 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. You’ll also enjoy a singular treat: An exclusive grape picking and pressing at renowned Weingut Fritz Georg von Nell vineyard. This is your opportunity to be immersed in the harvest way of life — getting hands-on experience in this timeless tradition. You’ll also savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a walking exploration of Bernkastel and sample some local wines
Today, you'll enjoy an insightful lecture on Roman history before embarking on a walking tour of Bernkastel, known as the “International Town of Vines and Wine.” 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. You’ll have some time on your own, or choose to enjoy a delightful wine tasting (including the famed Eiswein).
Biking Opportunity: Enjoy scenic vistas as you follow this path along the beautiful Moselle River during a 19-mile route. Click here for details.
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 aboard ship. 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 US soldiers. You’ll also take a panoramic tour of Luxembourg City. This evening, enjoy The Marriage of Maria Braun during another Movie Night aboard the ship.
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.
Meet the “count” of Reichsburg Castle, sip some wine, soak up the scenery
Enjoy a morning guided visit to fairy-tale Reichsburg Castle, perched atop a steep hill in the quaint town of Cochem along the Moselle River. Meet the “count” in the castle and enjoy a glass of the fine Riesling produced in the area. Later, enjoy scenic cruising with some commentary from your crew.
Explore Cologne on a walking tour and taste some distinctive Kölsch beer
Enjoy a morning walking tour of the wonderful city of Cologne. 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." Afterward, relax on the cruise and enjoy the scenic views as you cruise towards the Dutch border.
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. In the afternoon, you’ll learn a bit about the local language during a Dutch lesson while also enjoying scenic sailing.
A cruise along Amsterdam’s canal ring and a visit to the esteemed Rijksmuseum
This morning, visit Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum for a guided tour. Afterwards, you'll get the perfect view of Amsterdam’s historic center on a narrated canal cruise along the city’s 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, bring your tour to a close with the Captain's Farewell Reception and Dinner.
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.
Transfer to the Amsterdam airport for your flight home or join your optional extension
Depart for home today after an unforgettable journey.
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.