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One of the best-preserved Old World cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bruges is one of Europe’s most charming destinations. Experience its ancient cobbles and fairy-tale turrets for yourself, and learn about the city’s fascinating history as a capital for textiles and lace as you admire the view of centuries-old guild houses reflected off the shimmering waters of Bruges' meandering canals.
Depart home for Amsterdam, the Netherlands
This evening, you’ll fly overnight to Amsterdam.
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:
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. You can enjoy an afternoon at leisure — there’s even shuttle service available to the city if you’d like — or join us on the optional Jewish Cultural Quarter Tour. Later, gather with your fellow travelers for the Captain’s Welcome Dinner and Reception.
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.
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.
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. The city of Cologne has been a pilgrimage site for centuries, especially for Catholics for whom the eponymous cathedral held the largest reliquary in the Western World, which is said to hold the remains of the Three Kings of the bible. For many who visited, the cathedral was the most impressive structure they'd ever seen — in fact, at one time it was the tallest building in the world. At a traditional local restaurant, you'll 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.
Meet the “count” of Reichsburg Castle, sip some wine, soak up the scenery
Spend the morning taking in the scenery as you sail to Cochem, arriving after lunch. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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. Enjoy lunch at Weingut Georg Fritz von Nell, an esteemed winery in the region.
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.
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. The afternoon features a painting lesson on board, during which you can learn to paint scenery not unlike what you've been seeing on your trip! Enjoy a cooking demonstration on board, before enjoying some delightful entertainment this evening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. You'll be given some money to enjoy lunch during your free time exploring this city. You'll then travel to Riquewihr, known for its Riesling wines, where you'll enjoy a walking tour. Later, enjoy an informative lecture on the European Union, as well as the Captain's Farewell Reception and Dinner, including entertainment.
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.
Depart Basel for Montreux or your flight home
Depart for home today or embark on an exciting optional extension to Montreux, Switzerland.
The 19th-century luminaries who once visited Montreux — such as Tolstoy, Nabokov, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky — were no doubt drawn by the pleasant climate, idyllic surroundings, and shimmering waters of Lake Geneva. This resort town remains an elegant escape, and you’ll experience its many charms on this extension. Enjoy a full-day tour of the Château de Chillon and Gruyère region — which includes some time at the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as the opportunity to watch witness the art of cheese-making with a local family and visit a chocolatier. You’ll also have time on your own to explore Montreaux and nearby Gruyeres, and generally revel in the beauty of this lakeside gem. This vibrant city also happens to be an unofficial capital of jazz, as it is the home to the esteemed Montreux Jazz Festival.
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.