After flying into Frankfurt join us for an adventure on board our second grand lady the MS Johann Strauss. Embark in Mainz before sailing to beautiful, historic Rudesheim brimming with romantic, cobbled lanes and wine taverns. Further downstream is another gem with its own vineyards and Roman remnants, Boppard. After sailing the Rhine Gorge we spend a full day exploring stunning Koblenz at the confluence of the Rhine & Mosel rivers before sailing to the capital of the North Rhine – Westphalia, Dusseldorf! With its thriving art scene, avant-garde architecture, lively shopping quarters and romantic old town which is said to be the ‘longest bar in the world’, Dusseldorf cannot fail to impress and will leave you wanting to return. After sailing the Waal river we visit historical Arnhem which played a vital role during one of the most important allied efforts during Operation Market Garden, WWII. We end our cruise in Amsterdam for disembarkation.
Welcome to Mainz! Your Winter Gems of the Rhine cruise starts today. You can start exploring the splendidly restored Old Town of Mainz with its half-timbered houses and medieval market squares. The state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz is famous for Romanesque cathedrals (such as the Mainz Cathedral with its lavish interiors), the Gutenberg printing press and fine wines. Tour the Gutenberg Museum, housing a replica of the 15th century Gutenberg printing press as well as two original Gutenberg bibles. This charming wine-growing district is officially the “Wine Capital of Germany”. Savor some “Spundekas” (a spicy creamed cheese) with a local wine before heading to the boat. After settling in your cabin, which will be your floating hotel room for the duration of the cruise, please join us to raise a glass to toast our voyage at the Captain’s Welcome Reception.
Delight in the romantic ancient town of Rüdesheim famous for its wine and half-timbered buildings. It sits at the foot of the unexpected grand work of art, the Niederwald Monument, which commemorates the establishment of the German Empire after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Spend the morning sauntering down the renowned Drosselglasse, the narrow cobblestone lane in the heart of the Old Town. This pedestrian street is lined with charming shops, cozy wine taverns and inviting restaurants. Rüdesheim is covered in vineyards, earning its reputation for the best wine growing region on the Rhine, and some experts would argue the best in the world. It is especially well known for its Riesling wines. Visit the eclectic Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet, a museum of automated musical instruments. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and cruising along the picturesque river.
Located in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley that is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage, Boppard is a small, quaint touristic town with charm, culture, and a wealth of legends. What was once a Roman fort, is one of the wine-producing gems of the area and the vineyards of Bopparder Hamm are some of the most famous of the region. Tour the romantic streets filled with color and nature, explore the forests on the Hunsruck Mountain Railway or visit the healing spa waters in Bad Salzig .
Koblenz truly is a feast for the eyes with its backdrop of vineyards, forests, and mountains. Snap a photo as you lean on the giant bronze thumb sculpture at Koblenz’s famous German Corner (Deutsches Eck), where the Rhine meets the Moselle River. After leaning on the “thumb”, lean into history as you wind your way through the Old Town. Explore the French influence and ancient remnants of Roman walls. Stroll along the river promenade and roam the town’s romantic narrow streets, where you might encounter flower-filled parks, sidewalk cafes or possibly a weinstube (wine tavern). Sample a Moselle Riesling while drinking in the amazing atmosphere of the oldest wine region in Germany.
Dusseldorf is an engaging mix of ancient and modern, with medieval history and urban trendiness. As you take in the sites of this one-time small fishing village, you will understand why it is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s top vacation destinations. Begin your exploration on the waterfront street Rheinuferpromenade (“Rhine promenade”), which connects the historic Old Town with the MedianHafen (i.e. the modern harbor). Visit landmarks like the Rathaus (City Hall), Burgplatz, St. Lambertus Basilica and Rheinpark. Stroll the luxurious shops along the renowned Konigsallee, Germany’s most elegant avenue. With its beautifully restored houses, bridges, and fountains; the promenade is more than just a shoppers’ paradise but also an attraction itself. At the end of Konigsallee, you will find yourself in the tranquil Hofgarten, Dusseldorf’s version of New York’s Central Park. The park is home to the spectacular Schloss Jagerhof palace, a stunning reproduction of 18th century Rococo architecture. Complete the day in Old Town, locally nicknamed “the longest bar in the world”, with a glass of the local specialty Altbier.
Today you will have a full day to explore the history-rich city of Arnhem. Admire Arnhem’s famous bridge over the Rhine, immortalized in the film A Bridge Too Far, where British paratroopers held fast for four days against overwhelming odds. In honor of the commander of the paratroopers, the bridge was renamed the John Frost Bridge. Arnhem features numerous museums and cultural attractions. Top of the list would be the incredible Netherlands Open Air Museum – the Netherlands’ first and best open-air folk museum spread across 82 wonderful wooded acres. You’ll relish this huge park of windmills, old farmhouses and other traditional buildings (gathered from throughout the Netherlands then reassembled here), time-honored craft demonstrations, and a pleasant education-by-immersion in Dutch culture. Alternatively, you might opt to step back in time by traveling to nearby (less than 15 minutes by train) Nijmegen, widely regarded as the oldest city in the Netherlands with a settlement as early as the first century B.C. As our Winter Gems of the Rhine Tour winds down, join the crew for good-byes and a final farewell toast at the Captain’s Farewell Reception, then dine like royalty at the Farewell Dinner.
Your cruise comes to an end in the historic city of Amsterdam. Like countless tourist before you, pose by or even climb on the iconic I Amsterdam sign. Explore the 700-year-old city of Amsterdam with its maze of canals and teetering, gable-topped buildings dating back to the city’s 17th century “Golden Age”. The centuries-old Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam is not only iconic of this bustling city but also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. At your leisure, stroll the cobbled streets, soak up some culture at one of the world-class museums (such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum or the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art), visit the Anne Frank House, take a canal cruise, experience a lively outdoor market or shop along the Nine Streets with their charming boutiques.
- 7-Day Cruise visiting 7 Cities & 2 Countries
- Captain’s Welcome & Farewell Receptions with Sparkling wine & hors-d’oeuvres
- Welcome Aboard Dinner & Farewell Dinner
- All Meals Included Daily (onboard your ship)
- Locally inspired cuisine
- Early Riser Breakfast in addition to Buffet Breakfast
- Daily Afternoon Tea
- Daily Midnight Snack
- Complimentary Coffee & Tea
- Drink packages
- Complimentary Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi will not support large photos, videos, streaming movies, etc. It is only good enough for texting and emails of minimal size)
- App City Walking Tour in most ports
- Tech Talks
- Nightly Port Talks- We Give You the Tools to “Explore More for Less”!
- Musician for Live Music Onboard
- Room Steward and Daily Housekeeping Service
- Evening Turndown Service
- Onboard Fitness Center
- Non-Smoking Ship Interior
- Port Taxes & Fees