From the breathtaking natual landscapes of Lake Lucerne to the bustling streets of Zurich, Switzerland’s stunning cities are not to be missed. Explore Lake Lucerne during our Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps or Swiss Alps & Rhine Castles itinerary or reserve an optional land package to Lake Lucerne and Zurich on select sailings along the Rhine River.
Lovely Lake Lucerne
Set against a backdrop of soaring Alps, the breathtaking city of Lake Lucerne blossoms from the convergence of its lake and the Reuss River. Small cobblestone streets, squares with fountains and frescoed buildings typify Lake Lucerne. Easily the symbol of the city, the medieval covered Chapel Bridge is one of the oldest in Europe. Built in 1333, it features a plethora of 17th-century paintings and a former prison, while the nearby Spreuer Bridge displays strictly macabre artwork.
Ascend the “Queen of the Mountains”
After your scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne, you will have the opportunity to explore one of the mountains that stand above the serene lake and beautiful town. Aboard a cable car, you will rise to the top of Mount Rigi, also known as the “Queen of the Mountains.” During the included excursion at this unique destination, you can take in the picturesque view of the surrounding Alps and the breathtaking scenery below – with additional free time to explore the quaint life on this mountain at your own leisure.
Spires in the Sky
Directly across the from the Chapel Bridge stands the Jesuit Church of Lucerne. The turquoise bulbs of this baroque masterpiece reach towards the clouds. Competing for dominance over the skyline, the towering twin steeples of the Church of St. Leodegar are some of the only original parts of the church – most of which perished in a fire in the 17th century.
Lions and Dragons, Oh My!
Steeped in legends of dragons, Lake Lucerne’s epic Pilatus Mountain overlooks the city, offering sweeping panoramic views of Alpine peaks—up to 73 on a clear day. In the Middle Ages, people believed that an enormous dragon flew to Pilatus and crashed to the ground. A nearby farmer fainted upon the dragon’s landing and when he came to, he found the Dragon Stone, which was legally declared to have healing powers in 1509.
In the city below is the iconic Lion Monument, a figure of a dying lion carved beautifully into rock in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. Upon seeing it, Mark Twain described the monument as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
The Gems of Zurich
Take advantage of your free time in Zurich to discover the city’s many gems. Zurich has long been a creative hub. Most significantly, it was the birthplace of Dadaism, the avant-garde art movement of the 20th century. Art connoisseurs and culture enthusiasts have a choice of visiting over 50 museums, including Kunsthaus, Switzerland’s most important art gallery. For shoppers, Zurich city is a paradise – from the haute-couture shopping along Bahnhofstrasse to Zurich West with the Viadukt, a stretch of shops, restaurants and bars housed inside the arches of the old railway viaduct.
Zurich seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future. During your included tour of the Niederdorf, or Old Town, immerse yourself in medieval houses and cobbled streets. With engaging cafés, restaurants and a wealth of nightlife, the charming Old Town has something for everyone. Visit St. Peter’s Church, the oldest church in Zurich, boasting the largest clock face in Europe. Nearby, Fraumünster church stuns with its treasured stained-glass windows. In the north transept, find works by Augusto Giacometti and in the south, the windows of Marc Chagall.
Preserving Medieval Towns
On your included excursion to Zurich, escape the city with a visit to the charming town of Stein am Rhein. The small historic town received the very first Swiss Wakker Prize in 1972, a prestigious award by the Swiss Heritage Society for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. It is considered one of the best-preserved medieval small towns in the German-speaking world. The medieval part of the town has been pedestrianized and many of the buildings are painted with beautiful frescoes, which you can explore during your free time.
Embrace the historic beauty of Lake Lucerne on our 7-night Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps or Swiss Alps & Rhine Castles itinerary.
Would you like to spend more time in Switzerland? You can reserve a land package that includes both Lake Lucerne and Zurich before or after alternate Rhine River sailings, including our 7-night Captivating Rhine and Enchanting Rhine itineraries. Talk to your travel advisor for details!
What's included in the land package:
- Transfer from the ship in Basel to Lake Lucerne with Basel city tour en route
- 2 nights hotel in Lake Lucerne at the Hotel Schweizerhof (or similar), including daily breakfast
- A variety of excursions such as a walking tour, Lion Monument, Mount Rigi “Queen of the Mountains” cable car tour and Lake Lucerne scenic cruise
- 2 nights hotel in Zurich at the Hotel Marriott Zurich (or similar), including daily breakfast
- Services of a professionally trained Cruise Manager throughout your cruise and land stay
- Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways