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Home » Destinations » Europe » Netherlands » Tauck The Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Basel
Along the river Rhine… where mountains rise abruptly from the water’s edge, ancient castles perch aloft, keeping watch over comings and goings, gentle valleys and ancient winelands lure, spas give respite, cathedrals speak to powerful times, plains and woods catch the eye, and a river travels, connecting centuries of history, cities of the arts and crossroads of thought.
Discover the heritage and beauty of the River Rhine on Tauck’s 7-night Basel – Amsterdam river cruise aboard one of Tauck’s intimate riverboats. Visit the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, exploring regional delights in the historic cities, towns and countryside linked by the Rhine. Set your own pace with choices along the way: castle visits, bicycling, mountain heights, a spa resort and more.
Private family-style farm-to-table dinner in the country at the Ecolut-Center, dedicated to forest sustainability.
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Amsterdam. A transfer is included from Schiphol International Airport or Amsterdam Centraal Station to your riverboat; check-in time aboard ship is 4:00 PM for all guests. After a discovery briefing where you’ll hear about your river travels ahead, please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner aboard your riverboat to celebrate the start of a fantastic journey. Stay Seven Nights: Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat.
In a city indelibly linked to water, it’s fitting that your day begins with a cruise on its 17th-century grachten (canals) which fan out in crescent-shaped rings from the northern waterfront. On the drive to board your canal boat, you’ll get an orientation to the city, which at its heart feels more like a village than the compact center of a cosmopolitan city. Landmarks include Centraal Station, built at the end of the 19th century and still a place in constant motion – with people, bicycles, trams and buses; De Waag (Weigh House), once a fortified gate that today houses a popular outdoor café; and the Mint Tower, a gate in the city wall (circa 1400) that marks the intersection of two canals, tram paths, a pedestrian-only shopping street, and the city flower market – an ever busy, ever interesting crossroads.
Overnight your riverboat crosses into Germany; after a full morning of cruising and lunch onboard, you’ll arrive in Köln (Cologne), a city made a capital of a Roman province in 50 AD. Sightseeing begins with a guided tour of the immense twin-towered Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), whose construction took a mere six centuries. Completed in 1880, UNESCO declared this Gothic “Dom” a World Heritage Site in 1995, recognizing its cultural value as “a testament to the longevity of faith.” You’ll explore this intimately scaled city by coach and on a walking tour.
Your riverboat arrives this morning in Koblenz. The city’s roots go back to the Middle Ages, when its location made it a powerful one as the controller of trade along these major waterways. You may choose a morning of guided exploration of Koblenz, or a bicycling excursion* along the Rhine-Lahn cycle path. If you choose to explore Koblenz, your orientation tour includes a walk to Deutsches Eck – the “German Corner,” where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet – and a visit to Aldstadt (Old Town), a mix of delightful town squares, tucked-away corners, medieval churches, baroque residences and cozy wine taverns.
Following a morning spent cruising, arrive in Speyer early in the afternoon. For centuries the Rhine River was a major transport hub and a source of wealth for many – and Speyer was a town that thrived on trade in the 10th and 11th centuries when construction on its double-domed cathedral began. Today, you have a choice of exploring Speyer or Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg. If you choose Speyer, your explorations begin at Speyers’ impressive Technik Museum – home to exhibits dedicated to every form of technology that moves, from vintage cars to a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and a German U9 submarine that you can go inside, and the Russian BURAN space shuttle.
Then walk to Speyer Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you may be surprised by its use of natural glass windows, which pre-dated the use of stained glass, and its roof made entirely of stone – the first ever in Europe. Alternatively, you may spend the afternoon on an excursion to Heidelberg, where narrow lanes, shops and pubs housed in 17th-century structures in the Altstadt are kept lively by the cadence of student life.
You’ll wake docked on the Rhine this morning, surrounded by the hills of southern Alsace, many checkered with vineyards. The day begins in the Alsatian cultural capital of Strasbourg, France. It is home to the charming canals and half-timbered houses of La Petite France, stately city residences, a Gothic cathedral, and plenty of winstubs, traditional Alsatian beer pubs. After a morning of sightseeing in Strasbourg, you may choose to stay in town to explore on your own; go for a bicycle excursion through Strasbourg with a local guide; or travel to the German spa resort town of Baden-Baden, on the edge of the Black Forest – where you can either take a walking tour then enjoy free time in this famed spa town, or choose to visit Caracalla Spa, a day devoted to wellness and relaxation.
Welcome to Switzerland! Mountain scenery, shimmering Lake Lucerne, and forests and meadows straight out of a picture book are in store for you today if you choose to join our excursion to Lucerne. In this “city of lights,” landmarks include the Kappelbrucke, a covered wooden footbridge crossing the Reuss River that dates back to the 1330s, an octagonal Water Tower once used as a prison, narrow lanes and lovely squares, like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz.
In Altstadt Lucerne, narrow cobblestone lanes lead to town squares lined with houses painted with frescoes. From town, you’ll head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus aboard the world’s steepest cogwheel train, climbing from Alpnachstad at the edge of Lake Lucerne to the very top (Oberhaupt) – nearly 7,000 ft. high. Getting to the top is definitely part of the fun, as you travel upward at a 48° angle, while soaking up views of Alpine meadows, and mountain streams, goats and flowers. Alternatively, you may prefer the pleasures of lunch and a wine tasting along the Alsatian wine route. If so, you’ll head to Château Haut-Koenigsbourg, originally built in the 1200s on a rocky promontory high above the French Alsatian plains – an ideal spot for observing comings and going.
Tour ends: Basel. Disembark your riverboat this morning by 9:00 AM. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Basel’s Euroairport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg or Basel SBB Railway Station.
Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Inspire cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Rhine and Moselle rivers as part of the Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue the tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters).
Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, the most popular cabins tend to be the largest… so Tauck have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, they’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability
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