Day 1 | Highlights:
Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafés. You will be met and transferred from the airport to the dock. A warm welcome awaits you from your Captain and crew as you board your luxury Emerald Waterways river cruise ship. This evening join your fellow travellers for a cocktail reception followed by a welcome dinner. Your Cruise Director will also conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead.
Day 2 | Amsterdam - Cruising Highlights:
This morning take a glass top canal boat and explore Amsterdam’s maze of canals and a guided walk of the city, then free time, before lunch on board and your first day sailing through the Dutch countryside passing windmills and sailing through locks towards the Rhine River. Emerald Active: enjoy a guided walk of the city. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner.
Day 3 | Cologne Highlights:
Cruise along the Rhine River to Cologne, founded by the Romans, the city is one of Germany's oldest and is famous for its magnificent World–Heritage listed Gothic Cathedral. After lunch on board, join your local guide for an included tour of the Old Town, with its beautiful squares and historic monuments, with free time for exploring. Cologne is one of Germany's largest and most modern cities largely due to a rebuilding plan post WWII, and it has many different museums and galleries including a Roman artefact museum.
Day 4 | Koblenz Highlights:
Cruise to the 2000 year old town of Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on the opposite side of the river, part of the Prussian defences against the French in the 19th century, and later used as a headquarters for the American military during WWII. Enjoy free time to wander through the town and take in the views. In the afternoon, sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge, passing countless castles and vineyards as well as the infamous Lorelei statue and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, which was built on an island in the middle of the river as a medieval toll station. Countless vineyards and medieval castles line the shores of this section of the river, with photo opportunities at every bend. Emerald Active: Cycle along the river banks.
Discover More: Cochem Castle (extra expense) guests on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Koblenz
Day 5 | Mannheim - Heidelberg Highlights:
Continue upstream to the town of Mannheim, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. Take an excursion to the medieval town of Heidelberg including a visit to the impressive castle which overlooks the town. Enjoy free time there before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing.
Day 6 | Kehl - Strasbourg Highlights:
Once docked in Kehl you will be transferred across the river to Strasbourg, the capital city of the Alsace Region in France. Your guided walking tour will include the Grande Ile, the historical city center and UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its medieval black and white timber framed buildings, old tanning houses, baroque sandstones buildings, canals and river locks. Your afternoon is free to continuing exploring Strasbourg.
Discover More: Alsace Wine Tasting Tour (extra expense)
Day 7 | Breisach Highlights:
The beautiful Black Forest region of Germany has long been a fairy tale destination. Commence your magical morning with the Vogtsbauernhof Museum, an open air exhibition of sixteenth century life, featuring a number of reconstructed Black Forest farms. Emerald Active: Guided Hike Through a Typical Black Forest Village (active fitness level recommended – actual hike, limited numbers). EmeraldPLUS: A presentation and tasting of Black Forest gateau.
Day 8 | Basel - Depart Zurich Highlights:
Welcome to Switzerland and the Rhine-side town of Basel, disembark your ship and transfer to Zurich or Basel Airport for your onward or homebound flight (please book flights to depart from Basel after 10am and from Zurich after 12pm midday).