The Rhine Valley is Germany at its fairytale-like finest. As an AmaWaterways guest on the seven-night “Captivating Rhine” river cruise, you’ll stand in awe of the medieval castles perched atop cliffs, Gothic steeples towering over half-timbered villages, and manicured vineyards clinging to verdant hillsides.
During the day, you can get up close and personal with the rich culture and history of this enchanting slice of Europe on active hiking and biking excursions. In the evening, enjoy the highest-quality locally sourced food and wine and service from a crew that goes above and beyond by remembering your name and individual preferences. Then retire to your spacious accommodations with plush bedding and view-enhancing twin balconies.
This itinerary also makes the most of the journey by adding three more countries, beginning in Amsterdam, stopping in France, and then heading southbound to Switzerland. It’s also easily combinable with other voyages on the Rhine and its tributaries like “Rhine & Moselle Delights” or “Treasures of the Main & Rhine,” and you can save 10 percent when adding a second sailing. Read on for more details about what makes this Rhine River journey so exhilarating for mind—and body.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Days 1-2: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Upon landing, you’ll be transported to the elegantly appointed ship and settle into your stylish stateroom. AmaWaterways always offers plenty of personal space by accommodating on average fewer guests than traditional river cruise ships. In addition, each vessel has a choice of dining venues, a heated pool, complimentary Wi-Fi, and more.
Today you’re free to explore atmospheric Amsterdam at your leisure. Consider a stroll along the city’s canals and then wander the vibrant Jordaan neighborhood’s specialty shops and art galleries. Or maybe you’d prefer to visit one of the city’s world-famous art museums like the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum and then pop into a typical Dutch pub, or “brown cafe,” for a Heineken or the traditional local gin called jenever. You could even rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels, like a local.
On your second day in Amsterdam, you’ll get a closer look at the city’s maze-like network of canals during an included canal cruise that will take you through the city’s Golden Age core.
Day 3Cologne, Germany
You’ll pedal a bike through the historic Old Town and along the riverbanks. Or you could visit the Old Town on a walking tour and then conclude with a stop at the cathedral. The immense Gothic structure, dating to the 13th century, can hold more than 20,000 people and features a colorful kaleidoscope of stained-glass windows.
Alternatively, you could clink glasses of Kölsch beer in a historic brewhouse pub. This pale-colored, top-fermented beer is exclusive to Cologne and always served in a tall and narrow glass.
Day 4Rhine Gorge, Germany
Other excursions include a wine tasting to savor the flavors of the local vineyards. (Rieslings are particularly popular here.) Or drink in the view of the vineyards below after a gondola ride to the Niederwald monument. It was built following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and commemorated the unification of Germany.
Another choice includes admission to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to admire the impressive collection of self-playing instruments. Or taste one of the town’s specialties, Rüdesheimer coffee, made with hot coffee mixed with three sugar cubes and local Asbach brandy and topped with whipped cream.
Day 5Ludwigshafen, Germany
In addition to a walking tour, you can join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path to gaze upon panoramic views of the city. Or elect the guided bike tour along the Neckar to the quaint medieval town of Ladenburg.
Day 6 Strasbourg, France
You’ll get to see this fascinating city the way many locals do—by bike. This guided bike tour takes you through the city’s half-timbered houses, French cafes, and the flower-filled Parc de l’Orangerie, which dates to the 17th century.
Or you could join the walking tour through the park. It also includes a glimpse of the European Parliament, a thoroughly modern glass building built in 1999, and the world-renowned Cathédrale de Notre Dame with its famous astronomical clock.