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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.
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.
Vantage Onboard Enrichment:
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 Swiss-themed Captain's Welcome Party and Dinner.
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. There will also be entertainment this evening.
Embark on a walking and canal tour in Strasbourg
Bonjour and welcome to picturesque Strasbourg! Take part in an included walking and canal boat tour that takes you to the UNESCO-listed Grande-Île, 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.
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 at leisure, or you can 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. 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. Some fun entertainment awaits you on board this evening.
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. You'll also get a chance to take a painting lesson, learning tricks of the trade as you paint scenery similar to what you've seen on your trip so far! Enjoy some local entertainment on board this evening.
Discover Koblenz and sail the UNESCO-listed 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 Koblenz, which you'll discover on a walking tour. This town is renowned for being at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, and you'll learn its distinctive history on your tour.
The oldest city in Germany is yours to explore, including the UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
Listen to a lecture on the Romance influence in Trier. Then, discover the oldest city in Germany for yourself, on a guided tour as you visit the amphitheater and view the Porta Nigra (a massive stone gate), the Roman Bridge, and Barbara Baths. You'll also enjoy lunch ashore at Weingut Georg Fritz von Nell, an esteemed vineyard that is renowned for its wines as well as its hospitality.
Enjoy a walking exploration of Bernkastel and sample some local wines
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Bernkastel, known as the “International Town of Vines and Wine,” for its 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 river will enchant you. We'll set sail later in the afternoon for a sunset cruise to Schweich. Learn about Germany’s light and fruity vintages during a wine tasting on board. Zum Wohl! Tonight features a lecture on the Romans.
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.
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." You'll enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
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. 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 Dutch lesson while also enjoying scenic sailing.
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 Farewell 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.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.
Transfer to the Amsterdam airport for your flight home or join your optional extension
Depart for home today after an unforgettable journey.
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.
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.