Discover one of Switzerland’s most impressive railroads and sail on the mighty Rhine
About the Tour
Watch as the beauty of the Alps and the romance of the Rhine region unfold before your eyes on this 10-day European voyage. The tour commences in London, from which a Eurostar train takes us to Paris, and on to Strasbourg. Upon arrive in Switzerland, we enjoy a memorable introduction to the Swiss Alps. From Chur, we enjoy time in both Zermatt and Basel, as well as rides on two scenic railways, the Glacier Express and Gornergrat Mountain Railroad. In Basel, our mode of transportation changes with the boarding of Amadeus Silver III*. This ship is our home for the next 7 nights and our ticket to the dramatic scenes along the Rhine River, including the Rhine Gorge and the Lower Rhine. Stops in Strasbourg, Speyer, Heidelberg, Rüdesheim, Cologne and Amsterdam offer unique tastes of the local culture through guided tours, optional excursions and free time to explore. From the fantastic regional wines of Rüdesheim to the memorable excursions aboard the DrachensfelbahnRailroad and Medemblik Steam Train, there are so many incredible experiences ahead.
Itinerary is also available from Amsterdam to Chur based on your travel preference.
Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.
- Rail travel aboard the high-speed Eurostar train
- Three scenic rail excursions: Glacier Express,Gornergrat Mountain Railroad and Drachensfelbahn Railroad
- Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
- 7-night cruise on board the Amadeus Silver III*
- 27 meals
- Visits to Heidelberg, Speyer, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Cologne, Strasbourg and Amsterdam
- Sail through the Rhine Gorge, an UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Sightseeing in Heidelberg, Strasbourg
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - London to Strasbourg
We meet in St Pancras International at our dedicated departure office before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. Here we transfer to the high-speed TGV service for Strasbourg where we spend one night. (D)
Day 2 – Chur, Switzerland
After breakfast at our hotel we continue our journey toward Chur, Switzerland's oldest town, changing trains in Basel. Upon arrival at our hotel, there is time to settle in before joining the group for a welcome drink and dinner. (B, D)
Day 3 – The Glacier Express and Zermatt
Today, we board the magnificent Glacier Express for a spectacular journey offering unparalleled views of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges in the world. We spiral up the mountains, crossing enormous viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on our way to Zermatt, under the Matterhorn. (B, D)
Day 4 – Gornergrat Mountain Railroad
We enjoy another mountain railroad journey today, venturing forth on the Gornergrat Mountain Railroad. This cog rail trip covers 1,469m in its ascent of the Gornergrat, arriving at its summit where you can enjoy magical views of the surrounding mountains including the imposing, indomitable Matterhorn. We return later to Zermatt for a guided tour. (B)
Day 5 – Cruise Embarkation
Today, we travel from Zermatt to Basel by rail, where you'll be met by a company representative who will escort you to the ship, the Amadeus Silver III*. This evening, we enjoy a welcome cocktail before a delicious Swiss themed first meal. (B, D)
*Select departures travel on the MS Amadeus Imperial.
Day 6 – Strasbourg
Our vessel sails into the charming French city of Strasbourg today. Strasbourg's position on the German-French border has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history. Because of this, Strasbourg represents the best of both cultures, with colorful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets.
You have two choices here. Your first option is a city tour of Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. Your second choice sees you travel along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße into the famous Black Forest, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Speyer and Heidelberg
We arrive in Speyer this morning, where there's free time to explore. This town is home to one of the largest privately-owned collections of vehicles in the world, the Technik Museum Speyer. Featuring an entire jumbo jet, army vehicles, emergency vehicles, a submarine and much more, this museum is a treasure trove of vehicular delights and is well worth a visit.
Later in the afternoon, we have an excursion to the delightful university town of Heidelberg where we are treated to a guided tour. Heidelberg is famous for a magnificent ruined castle that stands guard over the riverbanks, proudly looking over the town below. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Rüdesheim and the Rhine Gorge
We sail into the classic German town of Rüdesheim am Rhein, known for its formidable wine production, especially of the dry Riesling variety. Perhaps walk along the river during your free time here this morning, before our ship departs for Koblenz.
This afternoon includes one of the highlights of the tour as we pass through the glorious Rhine Gorge, one of the most beautiful sections of the river and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sheer banks rise up, towering over the river below, covered in deep forests and miles of green vineyards, lending an almost ethereal feel to the waterway.
Our lunch today sees us tuck into a wonderful themed buffet with a suckling pig as the striking centerpiece, and several smaller dishes from this part of the world. We sail this evening into the enchanting city of Koblenz; you may wish to visit one of the famous wine taverns here. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – The Lower Rhine and the Drachenfelsbahn
After an evening in Koblenz, we depart and discover the marvelous Lower Rhine, a stretch of river characterized by lush green meadows and postcard villages.
Our Cruise Director provides us with the history of this area and highlights points of interest. In the afternoon, we dock in Koenigswinter, where we embark on a journey on the Drachensfelbahn railroad. This rack railroad rises into the mountains and high into the forests for wonderful views across the Rhine- Westphalia region of Germany. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Cologne
Arriving in Cologne this morning, we venture forth into this vibrant German city on a walking tour. We see the resplendent cathedral, a centuries-old building that survived 14 aerial hits during World War Two. We also wander through the many bustling squares and labyrinthine streets, seeing Romanesque town-houses. Tonight is an opportunity to dress up in our finest as we enjoy a gala dinner with the captain. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train
We arrive in Amsterdam this morning where we have a choice of two excursions; the first is a city tour of Amsterdam. One of the most popular of all the European cities, Amsterdam is as modern as it is historic, as young as it is old. From idyllic canals and large parks to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a city that boasts something for everyone. The second option is an excursion to Hoorn where we board the splendid Medemblik Steam Train and enjoy a nostalgic trip through enchanting Dutch scenery. (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Tour Conclusion
After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the ship and your cruise concludes. Make your way back to the railroad station with your Tour Manager to board your train back to London St Pancras. A transfer to Schiphol Airport is also available, should you wish to conclude in Amsterdam. (B)
Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur
A traditionally Swiss hotel, the stunning Romantik Hotel Stern has stood for 360 years in central Chur and is the perfect blend of rustic heritage and modern convenience. The well-established onsite restaurant specializes in delicious Swiss cuisine and there is also a rooftop terrace that provides wonderful views of the surrounding natural environs. The Romantik Hotel Stern is just a short walk from Chur's regional station.
Hotel National, Zermatt
The 4-Star Hotel National is located in the very center of Zermatt, only five minutes' walk from the railroad station. The hotel has a superb spa including a 360 metre-square indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym, as well as other facilities including a restaurant, bar and garden terrace. All rooms are south facing with balconies and include a mini bar, bath robes and slippers, a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi internet access and tea/coffee making facilities.
MS Amadeus Silver III*
The MS Amadeus Silver III is an enchanting vessel and excellent floating hotel, cruising along the rivers of northern Europe. Charming interiors, impeccable service and 5-star catering make this ship one of the finest ways to experience the natural and human beauty of the European rivers as you relax, sleep and dine against spectacular backdrops and wonderful scenery. Enjoy the serene tranquility that only river cruising can bring on board the MS Amadeus Silver III.
Amenities on board include a restaurant serving international and domestic food, a panoramic bar with specially designed windows, a fitness suite and a hair salon. On top of the ship is the Sun Deck with deck games, loungers, and deck chairs. Each cabin has a television, an en-suite bathroom, a walk-in wardrobe, and a minibar. The suites all have walk-out exterior balconies.
The high-speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which are arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers traveling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
This train winds its way through the Swiss Alps, traveling through 91 tunnels, and crossing 291 bridges. Relax and enjoy the view through the panoramic windows at your seat, or take in a drink at the bar. You'll have views of snow-capped mountains, canyons, narrow valleys, and rushing waters.
Gornergrat Mountain Railroad
The Gornergrat Mountain Railroad runs for just less than six miles from the pretty town of Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat some 10,135ft above sea level. It is the highest railroad in Europe to run and mostly in the open air (the Jungfrau Railroad runs to a higher point but is predominantly in a tunnel).
Travel on the Drachenfels Cog Railway, that starts at the bottom of Königswinger and takes us up 722 feet to the top of Drachenfels Mountain, and past Schloss Drachenburg - a stunningly beautiful villa that is said to have inspired the castle in Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty'. On arrival at the top of the mountain, you will see the ruins of Burg Drachenfels, a castle that was built in the 12th century and destroyed 500 years later. The line started running in 1883, using steam-powered trains, changing to electric traction in 1953 and continues to run today.
Tour Dates & Prices
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For information on departures from Amsterdam to Chur, please speak with a Rail Specialist.
*Select departures travel on the MS Amadeus Imperial.