24 January 2017
You will find inspiration in the romantic, soul-stirring beauty of the fabled Rhine on this wonderful eight day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. Flowers tumble from baskets lining streets of half-timbered houses, the spires of medieval churches and castles appear around each bend in the river, and vineyards climb the verdant hillsides. As you cruise along aboard the SS Antoinette - Germany on one side, France on the other - you can marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses, visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg, stroll through fairytale towns and taste delightful wines in the villages where the grapes are grown.
After arriving at Basel airport you will be met by one of our tour representatives and driven to the berth where the SS Antionette awaits. Settle in to your comfortable suite and find out about all the on board activities on offer, hear about all that you will be seeing and doing over the next eight days, then prepare for your first dinner. Beethoven and Lord Byron were enchanted by the splendour of the Rhine, now you are ready to find out how it inspires you.
Today you stop to venture ashore to the postcard-perfect wine villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, or you can take a tour of Colmar’s historic centre. Whichever you choose, be sure to taste the regional specialty flammekueche, a delectable flatbread topped with bacon and onions. In the evening, there's a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner where you can mingle with fellow guests and enjoy great food and wine from the region.
The Alsatian town of Strasbourg has a UNESCO-designated city centre with a magnificent Gothic cathedral and charming half-timbered houses which you can see today on an organised tour. Take a canal cruise through the quaint Petite France district, or choose an Old Town walking tour that stops for pastries and coffee. Then the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure returning to the ship later ready for another memorable dinner.
Another day, another romantic Rhine adventure, when the SS Antoinette arrives at the medieval town of Speyer, which has a compact historic centre boasting the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe, as well as the Continent’s oldest mikvah - Jewish ritual bath. Alternatively, you can learn about unique wine vinegar aperitifs on an excursion to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate. Then it's back on board and an evening sailing during which you are served dinner.
Today you can explore Rüdesheim and its famously narrow Drosselgasse before enjoying a wine tasting at a 14th-century castle. Then return to the ship for a cruise along the spectacular, UNESCO-protected Upper Middle Rhine - a picturesque 40-mile-long stretch of the river that is lined with fairytale castles. You end the day with a guided stroll around the wine village of Boppard where you can taste some of the local vintages before returning to the ship for dinner.
Another memorable day today. After a morning of scenic cruising, head ashore for a tour of Koblenz or if you are taking a cruise after the beginning of April you can choose to take an aerial tram ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, from where you have dazzling views of both the Moselle and Rhine rivers. All the views from the SS Antionette as you sail along are wonderful, but it is worth taking at least some of the tours to gain a different perspective of the countryside.
Another treat in store today when you arrive at the big city of Cologne. Weave through the narrow Old Town streets of Cologne en route to the city’s imposing Gothic cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and if you feel energetic climb to the top of the towers. Inside this centuries-old pilgrimage site is a shrine believed to hold relics of the Magi - the Bible’s fabled Three Kings. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner on board.
After an overnight sailing today your Rhine cruise comes to an end when the SS Antionette arrives at Amsterdam. After saying farewell to the crew and new found friends, you can extend your holiday in this fascinating Dutch city seeing lots of the iconic sights or do some sightseeing then head for Schiphol Airport for your flight home. This romantic Rhine cruise is a lovely relaxing way to see some of Europe's most stunning scenery.
Category 5 fr £1910pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated