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Detailed Itinerary Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps (Christmas)
CRUISE YEAR
Day 1
AMSTERDAM – EMBARKATION
Board the ship for your Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps cruise. (D)

Day 2
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam. (B,L,D)

Amsterdam
Day 3
COLOGNE, GERMANY
Enjoy cruising to Cologne. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, the Overstolzenhaus, and the Festival Hall. During your free time, browse through the city’s most impressive Christmas markets, offering 160 attractively designed wooden pavilions. For a different view, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and reibekuchen mit apfelmus, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten. (B,L,D)

Cologne
Day 4
RHINE GORGE - RÜDESHEIM
Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. In the afternoon, join a wine tasting to discover the flavors of the town’s iconic vineyards. Aftewrwards, enjoy free time in the town, perhaps to explore the Drosselgasse, the town’s cultural heart, and the Christmas markets. Or drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal and with free time visiting the Christmas markets. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. (B,L,D)

Rhine Gorge
Day 5
LUDWIGSHAFEN
Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of four excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century, 49,000-gallon wine cask. Here you can also enjoy visiting some of the festive Christmas Markets. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Old Gate, Altpörtel. In your free time, you might choose to visit the Christmas Markets or Technik Museum featuring exhibits of vintage cars, military aircraft and even a submarine! (B,L,D)

Ludwigshafen
Day 6
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through charming streets past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. During the tour you will receive free time to visit the Christmas markets. Alternatively, take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie. (B,L,D)

Strasbourg
Day 7
BASEL, SWITZERLAND
Enjoy getting to know Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Long an important university, banking and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval town hall, richly decorated market square and exquisite 18th-century patrician homes. Tour the city by foot or on a guided bike tour that takes you through three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. Later in the day, visit Lucerne, known for its Lion Monument – the figure of a dying lion carved into a hillside in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792 – which Mark Twain described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” You’ll also see Lucerne’s spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. (B,L,D)

Basel
Day 8
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – DISEMBARKATION
Bid farewell to Basel and prepare for your flight home. (B)

Day 1
EMBARKATION – BASEL, SWITZERLAND
Embark your ship in Basel for your Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps cruise. (B,D)

Day 2
BASEL – LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Enjoy getting to know Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Long an important university, banking and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval town hall, richly decorated market square and exquisite 18th-century patrician homes. Tour the city by foot or on a guided bike tour that takes you through three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. Both tours offer free time to visit Basel’s Christmas Markets. Alternatively, go on a full-day excursion to Lucerne or spend your afternoon there. Lucerne is known for its Lion Monument – the figure of a dying lion carved into a hillside in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792 – which Mark Twain described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” Whether you choose the full-day excursion or half-day tour to Lucerne, you’ll also see Lucerne’s spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century, plus enjoy free time to explore the Christmas Markets. (B,L,D)

Basel
Day 3
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through charming streets past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. During the tour you will receive free time to visit the Christmas markets. Alternatively, take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie. In the afternoon, visit the picturesque town Gengenbach stroll through the town’s narrow streets full of half-timbered houses. Enjoy the Gengenbach Christmas Market, packed with holiday treats and centers around the 18th century town hall. (B,L,D)

Strasbourg
Day 4
LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY – RÜDESHEIM
Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of four excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century, 49,000-gallon wine cask. Here you can also enjoy visiting some of the festive Christmas Markets. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Old Gate, Altpörtel. In your free time, you might choose to visit the Christmas Markets or Technik Museum featuring exhibits of vintage cars, military aircraft and even a submarine! Or pedal along the river Neckar to the picturesque medieval city center of Ladenburg and enjoy some free time to explore the shops. Later in the day, cruise to the charming village of Rüdesheim and join a wine tasting to discover the flavors of the town’s iconic vineyards. Or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. (B,L,D)

Ludwigshafen
Day 5
RÜDESHEIM – RHINE GORGE
Let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments. Or drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal. Afterwards, enjoy free time in the town, perhaps to explore the Drosselgasse, the town’s cultural heart, and the Christmas Markets. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River. Later in the day, cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching Lahnstein, where you will enjoy a unique evening visit at Lahneck Castle. (B,L,D)

Rüdesheim
Day 6
COLOGNE, GERMANY
Enjoy cruising to Cologne. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, and see other local sights. During your free time, browse through the city’s most impressive Christmas Markets, offering 160 attractively designed wooden pavilions. For a different view, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and reibekuchen mit apfelmus, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten. (B,L,D)

Cologne
Day 7
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Alternatively, get a taste of local flavor, passing iconic canals, gabled houses, narrow bridges and house boats while tasting Dutch specialties at one of Amsterdam’s grand cafes. Please note: tour depends upon docking location and may be replaced with Jordaan District Walking Tour. (B,L,D)

*May be replaced with Jordaan District Walking Tour based on docking location

Amsterdam
Day 8
AMSTERDAM – DISEMBARKATION
Bid farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your return flight home.

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