Join a luxurious eight-day cruise aboard the unique 128-guest River Queen. You begin your journey in Amsterdam and then take in the many beautiful castles, ruins and fortresses as you meander along the Rhine before reaching Basel. The ship is available for departures on selected Mondays in May.
With an exterior reminiscent of a 1930s steam ship the award winning River Queen is superbly comfortable and its elegant blue and white interior in Art Deco style ensures a regal feel. Facilities include beautifully appointed staterooms and suites, an attractive restaurant, a Captain’s lounge and library, a main lounge complete with full-service bar, plus a fitness centre, spa and sun deck for taking in the passing views.
Castles along the Rhine
Discover the beauty along the Rhine on a luxurious boutique river cruise, travelling from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland taking in France and Germany along the route, and enjoying six days of fully hosted excursions and four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
8 days/7 nights
Day 1 – Sunday: Amsterdam (embark)
You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your ship to settle in.
Day 2 – Monday: Cologne
The largest and oldest city of the Rhineland, Cologne boasts hundreds of art galleries and more than 30 museums. Join a local expert to discover the favourite haunts around Cologne’s Old Town and see the UNESCO-listed cathedral with its collection of stunning treasures. In the evening enjoy a Captain’s welcome reception and dinner on board.
Featured excursion: Cologne walking tour with Cologne Cathedral
Day 3 - Tuesday: Koblenz, Boppard
Today enjoy a scenic bike ride along the excellent Rhine Bike Path, or get to know the historic town of Koblenz on a walking tour, or opt for a visit to the stunning Marksburg Castle; a powerful fortress built 700 years ago. Enter through its drawbridge gate and tour the kitchen, the great banquet hall, the armoury and stables and the re-created medieval garden. On arrival in Boppard you will be invited to join the Cruise Manager for a walk through the town taking in the highlights and explore on your own; catch the chairlift to the top of the hill for outstanding views, ride a bike along the promenade, stop by the museum or simply enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the world go by.
Featured excursion: Boppard village stroll
Choice of excursions: Koblenz walking tour, or Let’s Go biking the castles, or Marksburg Castle visit
Day 4 – Wednesday: Boppard, cruising the Romantic Rhine River, Rudesheim
On arrival in charming Rudesheim, there is a choice of a trip to Castle Vollrad for a tasting of estate-grown Rieslings, or opt for a refreshing Let’s Go hike through the vineyards. Castle Vollrad dates back to the 14th century and although its interiors are rarely open to the public you will have the opportunity to see some of the elegant rooms and accompanied by a local wine expert sample three wines in three different locations, with time to wander through the estate at your leisure. On the Let’s Go hike start by a cable car ride above the vineyards to Niederwald Monument where you will, accompanied by a local expert, hike down through the vineyards to the picturesque riverfront village of Assmanshausen where you will rejoin the ship.
Choice of excursions: Castle Vollrad wine tasting, or ‘Let’s Go’ hike from Rudesheim to Assmanshausen
Day 5 – Thursday: Germersheim (Speyer)
The ship will dock in Germersheim and from here you can choose to board a coach to nearby town of Speyer for a guided walking tour, or opt for an exclusive visit to a local vinegar estate. In the estate’s atmospheric tasting room amidst candles and choir music you can sip surprisingly delicious vinegar aperitifs made from premium wines and flavoured with herbs and fruits resulting in complex and elegant flavours.
Choice of excursions: Speyer walking tour, or Private Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Day 6 – Friday: Kehl (Strasbourg)
Today will be spent in the quaint town of Strasbourg with its narrow cobbled lanes, pretty squares, timber-frame houses and stately homes, and the most delightful pastry shops.
You can join a ‘Do as the locals do’ walking tour and experience local places, traditions, cuisine and a visit to the local shops, or opt for a city tour of the highlights ending with a visit to the cathedral. In the afternoon return to the ship or explore the town further on your own. Additionally there is the option, at an additional fee (payable on board) of a Masterpiece Collection excursion to the Black Forest with a visit to the Vogtsbauernhof outdoor museum.
Choice of excursions: ‘Do as the locals do” Strasbourg walking tour, or Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town walk
Day 7 – Saturday: Breisach (Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or Colmar)
Travel through the Alsace region to Breisach, the gateway to the Alsatian wine road. From here you can choose to visit two of the most idyllic wine villages. First stop is a guided walking tour of Kaysersberg with its storybook houses and the remains of a 12th century castle. Then travel by road through the lush foothills, famous vineyards and quaint villages to Riquewihr to explore its village centre and taste the Alsatian speciality Kugelhopf, a delicious yeast-based cake, before returning to Breisach. Or alternatively you can opt for a tour of the beautiful town of Colmar with its 16th century houses, peaceful little canals and cobblestone lanes. Spend the afternoon at your leisure onboard and enjoy a special Captain’s farewell reception and dinner in the evening.
Choice of excursions: Alsatian ‘Village Day,’ or Colmar city tour
Day 8 – Sunday: Basel (disembark)
Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
This cruise departs on Sundays from March through to October and can also be done in the reverse from Amsterdam to Basel.
Itineraries may be subject to change should any operational reason prevail at the time.
Why not stay at one of our featured luxury hotels in Amsterdam for a few days prior to your boutique river cruise, or extend your holiday with a stay at the end in one of our hotels in one of our Swiss destinations.