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10 Day Tauck River Cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam 2022
The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam
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River Cruise Description
Follow the romantic river on a seven-night cruise from Switzerland to the Netherlands through France and Germany, plus two nights at an historic hotel in the heart of Bern, gateway to the Alps.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Zurich & journey to BernTour begins: 6:30 PM. A transfer is included from Zurich Airport or the train station (Zürich Hauptbahnhof) to the Bellevue Palace Bern in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, which is surrounded by the Aare River and distant Alpine peaks. Your two-night stay is at an historic luxury hotel favored by celebrities and heads of state, and featured in master spy novelist John LeCarré's spy novels. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
Day 2 Travel to the Jungfraujoch or explore BernYou have a choice of sightseeing adventures today. Head for the snow-capped mountains on a full-day's excursion to Jungfraujoch, known as the "Top of Europe." Drive to the village of Lauterbrunnen for a train ride to Kleine Scheidegg, then board a cogwheel train for the scenic climb to Jungfraujoch, highest railway station in Europe; here you'll find a restaurant, observatory, research station, a gallery of ice sculpture, and breathtaking views of the glacier-clad Bernese Alps. Alternatively, explore the eclectic charms of Bern on a walking tour, followed by time on your own. Sights include open-air markets and cozy underground bars, the Parliament Building, the Gothic cathedral, a bear park (in honor of the town's symbol and mascot), a house where Einstein lived and wrote his "Theory of Relativity," and the Zytglogge, a 16th-century astronomical clock featuring animated figures. Spend the evening as you please; the vibrant nightlife includes trendy clubs and restaurants, and a grand casino.
Day 3 From Lucerne to Basel & embark shipEmbark your riverboat in Basel, Switzerland, a major industrial and cultural center where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet. The scenic mountain backdrop rises in stature and drama as you leave Basel and arrive in Lucerne, nestled beside a breathtaking blue lake in the alpine foothills. Explore Lucerne's medieval old town (picturesque market squares, burghers' houses, spired churches, and restored ramparts) during a walking tour which includes the 14th-century Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, and a lake cruise on shimmering Lake Lucerne. Depart for Bern, the capital of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where an orientation tour discovers its spectacular medieval and Renaissance architecture (limestone buildings, arcades, bridges, fountains, and cathedral), beautifully restored and ringed by the Aare River. Check into the Bellevue Palace, a grand luxury hotel built in 1913, favored by celebrities and heads of state and featured in John le Carré's spy novels. Your evening is free to spend as you please tonight in this city of cosmopolitan tastes and offbeat, intimate restaurants.
Day 4 Colmar in the Alsatian wine countryDock in Breisach, then drive to the village of Colmar, France, in Alsatian wine country. The principal industry in Colmar is food and wine, but its irresistible charm lies in its beautifully preserved medieval architecture that conjures an idyllic place out of time: colorful half-timbered houses and gardens, rambling cobbled streets, arches and alleys, sculpted fountains, and canals that wind through a corner of town called Little Venice. Aside from its winemaking heritage, Colmar is known as the hometown of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty. A walking tour includes a visit to the Unterlinden Museum, housed in a Gothic convent, whose impressive collection includes Mathias Grünewald's famous Isenheim Altarpiece, paintings, engravings and sculpture from medieval to modern (including works by Dürer and Holbein, Picasso and Léger), and a wealth of archaeological artifacts; join us for a private reception in the museum, a Tauck Exclusive! Sample the art of Alsatian cuisine at lunch on your own, then return to the riverboat for a sail through the Upper Rhine Plain. This evening, join us for the captain's welcome reception in the lounge, followed by the chef's Signature Dinner in the Compass Rose.
Day 5 Baden-Baden explorationArrive in Karlsruhe this morning and depart by coach to the spa town of Baden-Baden where curative waters and an air of olde-world luxury have attracted royals, the rich and many celebrities over the years. The Black Forest town boasts grand colonnaded buildings and whimsically turreted art nouveau villas spread across the hillsides framed by forested mountains. You'll enjoy a choice of three excursions in this grand dame of a German spa town that includes a guided walking tour, an opportunity to visit Caracella Spa with indoor and outdoor thermal baths, a rock grotto with hot and cold water, Roman sauna, steam bath and more, or an Ebike excursion where you'll explore the surrounding areas of interest riding past lush woodlands that stretch out along the flat Rhine valley with views of forested mountains in the distance. Return to the ship late afternoon for social hour in the lounge followed by dinner and musical entertainment onboard.
Day 6 Rüdesheim & an evening at Schloss EhreshovenNear the foot of the Neiderwald, surrounded by vineyards, the ruins of Ehrenfels Castle watch over the Rhine Gorge; just around the bend, you'll dock in the winemaking town of Rüdesheim, under the lofty gaze of the famous Neiderwald Monument. The 1000-year-old town charms with its cobblestone streets of storybook houses, cafes and wine taverns; among its must-see attractions is Siegfried's Mechanisches Musikkabinett, a museum dedicated to antique self-playing musical instruments. Siegfried's mesmerizing collection includes orchestrations, musical clocks, player pianos, fairground organs, self-playing violinas, and the world's largest automated doll orchestra. Stop in for refreshments at Rudesheimer Schloss, an historic hotel and restaurant. Then return to the riverboat for a cruise on the romantic Middle Rhine. Sentinel castles, steep sloping vineyards and towering precipices like the Lorelei Rock wind past with commentary by your Tauck Director. Land at Linz am Rhein, then drive to Engelskirchen for a visit to its neighboring castle, Schloss Ehreshoven. Built in the 14th century and later expanded in the style of a grand Baroque manor house, the estate is surrounded by a moat, landscaped gardens, and a castle park. Schloss Ehreshoven is frequently used as a film location but this evening it's the elegant setting for a Tauck Exclusive cocktail reception and dinner with entertainment. Tonight, sail for Bonn, where you'll dock overnight.
Day 7 Explore all that is KölnDepart Bonn this morning for a short cruise to Köln (Cologne). One of Germany's oldest cities (founded in the 1st Century AD), Köln was once a Roman provincial capital, and later a fabulously wealthy medieval trading port; the city was almost totally destroyed during World War II, but many of its architectural treasures have been restored, including the towering Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) – a twin-spired masterpiece of High Gothic architecture – which you'll visit today, along with the nearby Roman Germanic Museum. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, you'll cruise the lowlands of the Rhine (with commentary) en route to Dordrecht in the Netherlands.
Day 8 The Kinderdijk WindmillsYour riverboat arrives this morning in Dordrecht, a wealthy trading port in the Middle Ages, for an excursion that offers insights into windmills and their ubiquitous role in Dutch life... a visit to the village of Kinderdijk (Child's Dyke), where the flat landscape, crisscrossed with canals, presents the largest concentration of historic windmills in The Netherlands – which you can choose to explore on a walking tour and a boat ride, or on a two-hour bicycle excursion. The 19 windmills, most of them built in the 18th century, are national monuments; for centuries, their massive wind-driven mechanisms have been used to pump water out of the polder and into reservoirs and canals, reclaiming land from the river. Such ingenious methods of water management have enabled a country that is almost fifty percent below sea level to exist at all, lending weight to the local saying, "God created the Earth, but the Dutch created Holland." Return to the riverboat for lunch, with time to relax and enjoy onboard activities as you sail towards Amsterdam. Dine aboard ship this evening.
Day 9 Amsterdam... art, canals & moreArrive in Amsterdam this morning and embark on a city orientation tour that includes a visit to the world-famous Rijksmuseum, home to many art masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, including Rembrandt's The Night Watch. Amsterdam is often called the "Venice of the North" for its elaborate network of canals that wind through a romantic historic center of cobbled streets and stunningly well-preserved Dutch Renaissance architecture. Following your Rijksmuseum visit, board a canal boat for a cruise of the city from the inside, along 17th-century waterways lined with trees, gabled merchant houses and vibrant urban life (a great way to see it – including a slice of Dutch apple pie). Later, you'll have time to explore the city on your own; Amsterdam's compact urban landscape is made for exploring, brimming with art museums, coffeehouses, and eclectic architecture. Aboard ship this evening, enjoy a delightful choral performance before joining the crew for a farewell reception and dinner.
Day 10 Journey homeTour ends: Amsterdam. Fly home anytime; a transfer from your riverboat to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport or Central Train Station is included. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport. For additional nights in Amsterdam, ask at booking.
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