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In the crisp cool of early winter, Europe is paradise for travelers in the know. Come along with Vantage and sail into the Heart of Germany in spellbinding, off-season fashion. You’ll follow the scenic Upper Middle Rhine Valley, winding past imposing medieval castles, sweeping vineyards, and bucolic villages where time has (almost) stood still, all with the added benefit of fewer crowds and more room for exploring. Revel in the architecture and romantic scenery in Würzburg and Regensburg, explore the medieval half-timbered towns of Nuremberg and Heidelberg, and experience four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and six immersive Cultural Connections that highlight German history, tradition, and seasonal charms.
Traveling solo? Vantage is the only company with river ships that offer specially built cabins for solo travelers, so you can experience these treasured destinations without paying a Single Supplement. Keep in mind — because it’s a seasonal cruise, departures are limited! Maximize your journey with pre- and post-trip extensions to Prague and Brussels for the ultimate in off-season delights.
Board a flight to Munich, Germany
Grab your bags — it’s time to go! This evening, you’ll fly overnight to Munich.
Embark ship in Regensburg
If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to the pier in Regensburg, where you’ll board ship and begin your cruise. Tonight, you’ll convene with fellow travelers at the Captain’s Welcome Reception.
Discover the historic gems of Regensburg
Cultural Connection: Begin the day with an enlightening talk on the history of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Cultural Connection & Unforgettable Moment: Experience a slice of Bavaria on a walking tour of UNESCO-named Regensburg, featuring a charming acting scene. Once part of the Roman Empire, today Regensburg offers spire-topped medieval architecture, a lively cultural scene, and energetic pubs. Cultural Connection: Back on board this afternoon, pick up some helpful phrases during a German lesson. Tonight, savor good food and good conversation during the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Navigating medieval Nuremberg
Choose between two tours in Nuremberg today: “Nuremberg and World War II” to explore the city’s World War II history and visit the Documentation Center, or “Medieval Nuremberg,” featuring the Schöner Brunnen fountain, the city’s medieval castle, and more landmarks.
Wander the streets of romantic Bamberg
Cultural Connection: Enjoy a morning lecture on Germany in the 21st Century, then 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.
Discover Würzburg, with an option to tour 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 full-day tour of medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where lunch will be on your own.
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 home to Germany’s oldest university.Unforgettable Moment: Enjoy panoramic views from Heidelberg Castle’s plaza before heading underground into the castle’s cellars. Here we’ll find the quirky Heidelberg Tun, an immense wine barrel, now empty, with a capacity of some 58,000 gallons. Then, revel in more fantastic city views during a funicular ride downtown; active travelers can return on foot. Enjoy some leisure time after we lunch together in a local restaurant. Be sure to stroll Heidelberg’s pedestrian-only main street or explore its various squares — or, stop by the ice rink at Karlsplatz for the ideal winter activity. This evening, grab your boogie shoes for night of dancing on board following dinner.
At the confluence: Koblenz
Scenic Sailing: This morning begins with some scenic sailing down the Rhine featuring onboard commentary from our Cruise Director. Some highlights include Lorelei, a steep slate rock that sits at the center of local lore and has enamored singers, poets, and viewers for centuries. We’ll also pass a series of castles along the Rhine Gorge, and your Cruise Director will identify them and offer some history!
You’ll then arrive in 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 and dinner on board.
Auf Wiedersehen! Time to fly home
After breakfast, you’ll disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, continue to your post-trip extension in Brussels.
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.