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Suggested flights (not included) British Airways BA 752 departing London Heathrow at 08.25 hrs.
On arrival, transfer to the Kunstmuseum Basel for lunch in the museum restaurant followed by a tour of the museum. The museum houses the largest and most significant public art collection in Switzerland and is listed as a heritage site of national significance. Continue to the dock in Basel to board the luxury MS Amadeus Silver III and embark on a seven-night cruise on the Rhine. Captain’s drinks followed by a welcome dinner on board.
This morning the vessel arrives in the town of Strasbourg, located on the French-German border. Morning city tour with a walk through the old town and a visit to the famous Strasburger Munster, a fine example of Gothic architecture. This is followed by a boat cruise on the river during which we will enjoy the views of ‘Petit France’, the former mill and tanner district which still maintains its medieval charm, as well as the beautiful half-timbered houses, the Ponts Couverts, the Palais de Rohan and the Council of Europe.
Lunch on board. This afternoon we will drive through the picturesque Alsace landscape and romantic wine villages where we will stop at a winery to taste some of the local wines. Continue to the beautiful village of Obernai and stroll through the town steeped in rich history. The town was annexed by Germany in 1871 with the rest of Alsace then was returned to France after World War I in 1918. Dinner on board.
Enjoy a walking tour of Speyer, founded by the Romans, including a visit to the Romanesque Imperial Cathedral, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Old Gate and Jewish Ritual Bath.
Lunch on board. This afternoon explore Heidelberg, the world famous university city on the Neckar River. Visit the magnificent ruins of Heidelberg Castle before strolling through the enchanting old town, to the Karl-Theodor Bridge, the late-gothic Church of the Holy Spirit and the town hall. Dinner on board.
This morning we arrive in Rudesheim. where we explore the Music Museum, Siegfried Mechanical Music Cabinet, containing historical self-playing musical instruments. Embark on a guided tour through the picturesque old town – the Drosselgasse – with its wine and garden taverns. Also visit the Eagle Tower, a part of the city wall and the fortifications which date from the 15th century. Return to the boat and depart for 2,000-year-old Koblenz which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, and is the cultural and business centre of the Middle Rhine region.
Lunch on board. Afternoon arrival in Koblenz where we will embark on a guided tour of the town’s old quarter, which was badly damaged during the Second World War and has since been rebuilt. Walk along the romantic streets between the St. Castor Basilica and the Church of our Beloved Lady, as well as visiting the Emperor Wilhelm Memorial at the famous German Corner and the town’s best-known landmark, the Schaengel Fountain at the town hall. Return to the boat. Dinner on board.
This morning the vessel will be docked in Koblenz.
Lunch on board followed by transfer from Koblenz by coach to Cochem. On arrival we will explore Cochem including a visit to the magnificent Reichsburg Castle, located on a precipitous rock high above the city, which dominates the cityscape. Enjoy the views of the Moselle Valley with its beautiful meadows and vineyards. Enjoy a wine tasting of some local Mosel wines before returning to the boat. Dinner on board.
This morning we arrive in Cologne, one of Germany’s largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent Gothic cathedral. This masterpiece of early Gothic architecture is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe – the impressive ceiling covers an area of 20,000 square feet and is supported by 56 columns. The Three Kings Shrine, a masterpiece of local goldsmiths’ craft, is located high above the altar. Embark on a city tour on foot, including a visit to the magnificent cathedral, and also see the town hall and old town with its large Romanesque church of St. Martin. Return to the boat.
Lunch on board. This afternoon we cruise on towards Hoorn. Dinner on board.
This morning we continue to cruise to Hoorn.
Lunch on board. On arrival in Hoorn we will drive through the Dutch Polder landscape to the old fishing village of Volendam, built on the shore of the former Zuiderzee. Take a stroll through the old village and see people still dressed in traditional costumes. Continue into the countryside to visit a local cheese farm. Here, we will learn how Dutch cheese is made and sample the local products. Afterwards, we continue to Amsterdam, where we will enjoy a city tour on a canal cruise through the Dutch metropolis and see the Royal Palace, house boats, numerous canals and the Museum Quarter. Return to the boat. Captain’s Gala Dinner.
This morning disembark from the boat and transfer to Amsterdam airport. Suggested flights (not included) British Airways BA 431 departing Amsterdam 11.40 hrs arriving London Heathrow at 12.00 hrs.
It was a great experience and now I have dipped my toes in the Ultimate waters I shall be back for more.- JE, October