Experience France, Luxembourg, Germany, and Holland on this fantastic river cruise vacation. Your adventure starts with two overnights and guided sightseeing in Paris, the incomparable “City of Light.” Take the high-speed train from Paris to Metz, then travel to Remich, Luxembourg, to board your river vessel. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Trier, the oldest city in Germany, and Cologne, the capital of the Rhineland. Cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of river—and pass the legendary Lorelei rock. Visit a local wine cellar in Bernkastel, Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, and Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in the pretty wine village of Rüdesheim. Conclude your vacation with a canal cruise in Amsterdam and time to explore on your own.
Day #1 Arrive in Paris, France. Welcome to Paris, France’s capital on the River Seine and the “City of Light,” where romance fills the air!
Day #2 Paris. Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabarets. (B)
Day #3 Paris–Metz–Remich, Luxembourg (Embarkation). This morning, board a HIGH-SPEED TRAIN for a swift and comfortable journey to Metz. From here we drive to Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day #4 Trier, Germany. This venerable Episcopal city on the Moselle River is the oldest in Germany and, some claim, even older than Rome! The famous Porta Nigra is the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement and it still gives access to the town center. The Moselle is some 312-miles long, rising in the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France and entering Germany at Trier. The entire Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Bernkastel. In the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its well-preserved half-timbered houses surrounding the beautiful MARKETPLACE. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. Before dinner, visit a local WINE CELLAR and taste several of this region’s varietals. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Zell–Cochem. Enjoy a few hours of free time in the charming town of Zell before continuing to Cochem. Visit REICHSBURG CASTLE, which sits atop a conical hill covered in vines. From here, the views of the little town nestled down below and of the river valley are splendid. Cruising the wide, peaceful curves of the river, it quickly becomes obvious that the Moselle is an important wine-growing region. Most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (B,L,D)
Day #7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge. Rüdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. Downstream from Rüdesheim, the dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Cologne. Cologne is the capital of the Rhineland and one of Germany’s largest cities. The soaring twin steeples of the magnificent gothic cathedral dominate the river skyline. The Germano-Roman Museum, next to the cathedral, is a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with taverns, cafés, and shops. Try a Kölsch, the favorite local beer, and shop for a bottle of “4711,” the original eau de cologne. (B,L,D)
Day #9 Volendam–Amsterdam, Holland. This morning dock in Volendam on the Ijsselmeer, a picturesque fishing town with a unique open harbor and a small, timbered church dating back to 1658. Visit a nearby WINDMILL before sailing to Amsterdam. Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. There is no better way to see the city than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There is plenty of free time to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions of how to make the most of your stay. (B,L,D)
Day #10 Amsterdam (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)