3 DAYS FROM $399
You can’t help but be drawn to the twin towers of the great Cologne cathedral when you visit this ancient Rhine river city. But they're just a starting point for the many discoveries awaiting those who take the time to look a little closer. From intricate Roman mosaics discovered under busy squares to world-class museums to lively beer halls to shops selling everything from the latest European fashions to melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, Cologne (Köln) provides endless rewards. And when you add this special extension to your river cruise, not only will transfers and a sightseeing tour all be arranged, you’ll be getting extra value for your international airfare!
Depart home for Frankfurt, Germany
Grab your bags — it’s time to go! This evening, you’ll fly overnight to Frankfurt.
Embark ship in Mainz
If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to the pier in Mainz, where you board your ship and officially begin your Germany cruise. Start things off right at the Captain's Welcome Reception, followed by dinner and some evening entertainment.
At the confluence of Koblenz
Enjoy relaxing and scenic cruising down the Rhine and through the Lorelei Valley as you make your way to Koblenz, an ancient city strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. From the wedge-shaped headland where the waters meet, a giant equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I overlooks the united rivers. Enjoy a walking tour this afternoon. This evening, gather with your fellow passengers for the Captain's Welcome Dinner and more evening entertainment.
Unforgettable castle views in Heidelberg
After arriving in Frankfurt, you’ll set off for a tour of Heidelberg, a red-roofed town on the Neckar River that is home to Germany's oldest university. Unforgettable Moment: 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. Then, savor fantastic city views during a funicular ride back to the city's downtown area; active travelers can return on foot. After enjoying lunch in a local restaurant together, you'll enjoy some leisure time. Be sure to stroll along the pedestrian-only main street in the town’s center or explore its various squares — stop by the idyllic ice rink at Karlsplatz for the perfect winter activity.
Discover Würzburg, with an option to tour the Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Arriving in Würzburg, you'll have a choice: Set out on a half-day tour of the Würzburg Residenz, a baroque European castle that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by leisure time in the town. Or, you may join an optional tour of medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Cultural Connection: You'll also learn about the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal during a lecture. Back on board this evening, attend a fabulous Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Biking Opportunity: Grab a bike and explore this scenic 17-mile route along the Main River. Click here for details.
Picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber features winding cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered houses, as well as massive towers and intact city walls around the Old Town where one can take in views over both the city and the Tauber valley. Known for its “eternal Christmas” atmosphere, the town’s various shops sell beautiful, handcrafted Christmas gifts and souvenirs all year round. Come December, the area comes to life with the famous Christmas Market, one of the most romantic markets in Germany. You’ll take a walking tour and pay a visit to the Christmas Museum; plus, you’ll enjoy some free time to explore the shops and take in the stunning views.
Wander the streets of romantic Bamberg
Spend the morning discovering Bamberg on a city tour. With its medieval marvels and ubiquitous breweries, this UNESCO-listed city is a true German masterpiece. Cultural Connection: We’ll sip some warm Glühwein, a traditional mulled wine and a regional favorite during the winter months. After the tour, enjoy some free time to explore this romantic city on your own. Cultural Connection: Back on the ship, a lecture on Germany in the 21st Century will enhance your discoveries in this country.
Navigating medieval Nuremberg
This morning you'll have your choice of two city tours in Nuremberg. Choose “Nuremberg and World War II” to explore the city’s World War II history and visit the Documentation Center, or take the “Medieval Nuremberg” tour that includes such landmarks as the lovely Schöner Brunnen fountain and the city’s incredible medieval castle. Cultural Connection: This evening, attend a lecture on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal prior to dinner and another festive round of evening entertainment.
Discover the historic gems of Regensburg
Cultural Connection & Unforgettable Moment: Experience a slice of Bavaria on a walking tour of UNESCO-named Regensburg, complete with a delectable culinary treat. Once part of the Roman Empire, today Regensburg offers spire-topped medieval architecture, a lively cultural scene, and energetic pubs. After lunch on the ship, enjoy extra time to explore Regensburg on your own. Cultural Connection: Back on board this afternoon, pick up some helpful phrases during a German lesson.
Biking Opportunity: Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including Walhalla memorial hall, during a medium 14-mile route. Click here for details.
Auf Wiedersehen! Transfer to the airport for your flight home
After breakfast, you’ll disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, continue to your post-trip extension in enchanting Prague.
Make the most of your included airfare to Europe by spending a few days in magnificent Prague, an elegant, Old World capital boasting many grand castles. You'll discover the unique Jewish Quarter of Prague and explore its historic city center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well enjoying the luxury of time to peruse the Christmas Markets here.
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.