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Glacier Express and The Romantic Rhine Cruise

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11 days From $4,095 $3,695 per person
4.0 stars(5 reviews)
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On Wheel of Fortune

Discover the iconic Glacier Express, stay in the enchanting landscapes of Zermatt, and enjoy an enchanting cruise on the Romantic Rhine, sailing through stunning scenery and exploring historic cities.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
Save Up to $500

Early Booking Offer Ends August 7th: Save up to $500 per person on 2025 Vacations, offer varies by tour. Prices as marked online. 

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2025 Tour code: EGR25

About the tour

Experience a vacation of a lifetime with an enchanting Rhine River cruise followed by a rail adventure on the renowned Glacier Express. From the streets of Amsterdam, where historic landmarks meet modern allure, to the picturesque Moselle Valley and the legendary Rhine Gorge, every moment is a cultural experience.

Marvel at the architectural splendor of Cologne, explore the traditional towns of Cochem and Rüdesheim, and delve into the rich history of Heidelberg and Speyer. Our adventure ends in the breathtaking beauty of Chur, concluding with a spectacular journey on the iconic Glacier Express.

Unforgettable Experiences

The Glacier Express and the Gornergrat Mountain Railway
The Glacier Express and the Gornergrat Mountain Railway
Journey through stunning mountain scenery on the renowned Glacier Express and enjoy some of the most sensational views of the Matterhorn on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway.
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Sail through this enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site with spellbinding castles, verdant forests, vineyard-clad slopes, and the dramatic Lorelei Rock.
Chur and Zermatt
Chur and Zermatt
Stay in picture-perfect Chur and idyllic Zermatt, waking up to views of the mighty Matterhorn mountain.
Heidelberg
Heidelberg
Explore the beautiful riverside city of Heidelberg on a guided tour, seeing wonderful medieval buildings and its fabulous ruined castle.
Rüdesheim
Rüdesheim
Explore this charming city and the famous Drosselgasse, a quaint narrow alleyway lined with traditional pubs and wine cellars. While here, choose between a fabulous wine tasting or visit the marvelous Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet.
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Reach the summit of the majestic Drachenfels on the exhilarating Drachenfelsbahn cog railway to enjoy splendid views. Explore the canals, parks, and art galleries of Amsterdam on a city tour or ride the Medemblik Steam Train through charming Dutch scenery.
Cologne
Cologne
Discover the city’s cheerful streets and its Gothic cathedral, a timeless masterpiece.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – To Amsterdam, where we board our luxurious ship

Our vacation begins this morning in Amsterdam, where our magnificent ship awaits us. We're greeted onboard by our friendly crew and sip on a welcome cocktail while taking in the waterside views. Later this evening, we enjoy dinner accompanied by a wonderful performance from a traditional Dutch Sea Shanty choir - the perfect start to our cruise.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Fascinating Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train

After breakfast, you have the choice of two exciting excursions. The first is a guided tour of Amsterdam, a cultural city that's as modern as it is historic. On the tour, you'll see some of the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Rijksmuseum and Dam Square. You'll also get to explore the famous Flower Market and enjoy a canal boat cruise, soaking up stunning views of the city's picturesque canals and architecture.

Alternatively, you could journey through the enchanting Hoorn countryside aboard the Medemblik Steam Train. Admire the picturesque landscape of tulip fields, windmills, and charming villages and then get to know Hoorn on a guided tour.

During a delightful lunch on board this afternoon, we begin sailing to Cologne, embarking on our first relaxing cruise of the vacation.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – Cultural Cologne and the wonderful Drachenfelsbahn

As we approach the striking city of Cologne this morning, admire the fantastic cityscape of magnificent bridges that span the river and the imposing Cathedral. After breakfast, a guided tour of the city introduces us to the joyful atmosphere of its streets and squares.

We admire the Romanesque townhouses before visiting the city's impressive Gothic cathedral, which is the largest in Northern Europe. The intricate spires and magnificent stained glass windows of this UNESCO-listed landmark are captivating as we marvel at the grand architecture. Following lunch, we head for Königswinter to experience the Drachenfels railway.

This fabulous cog railway rises high into the forests, passing the fairytale Drachenfels castle - whose name translates to 'Dragon's Rock', inspiring many dragon-related legends still heard today. We experience wonderful views across the Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany as we climb higher. After dinner, we depart Königswinter and head for the serene waters of the Moselle river.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – Lovely Cochem – the heart of the Moselle wine trade

After an early morning of relaxed cruising through delightful river scenery, our ship pulls into the port of Cochem, where the stunning Moselle Valley surrounds us with rolling hills, half-timbered houses, and the majestic castle (the Reichsburg) perched on top of a hill. The town itself is a maze of slender alleys adorned with pastel-colored buildings, quaint boutiques, and wine cellars.

On our guided tour this morning, we admire the Reichsburg dramatically located overlooking the Old Town. In the old quarter of Cochem, you'll find well-preserved sections of the ancient town walls and a fascinating arts center in a former monastery.

Following our tour, there's time to explore the picturesque streets at leisure. The town's central square is a hub of activity, surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops. It's a great place to soak up the local atmosphere and taste some renowned Moselle wines. Later this evening, we continue our cruise downstream towards Koblenz, where we leave the Moselle behind and rejoin the Rhine.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 – Picturesque Koblenz, the enchanting Rhine Gorge, and charming Rüdesheim

There's time at leisure this morning to explore Koblenz, once a Roman stronghold. We recommend strolling to Deutsches Eck at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas, including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. We then begin sailing again and after lunch, enjoy a highlight of our cruising experience - drifting through the romantic Rhine gorge.

This section of the Rhine is renowned for its spectacular views, and the best place to witness them is from the top deck of our ship. The riverbanks plunge deeper here, and we wind around bends surrounded by endless miles of lush green vineyards, ancient castles, and picturesque riverside towns. It's also one of the narrowest points of the river with one of the strongest currents.

As we sail, we hear the fascinating story of the legendary Lorelei Rock, which soars almost 500 feet out of the water. This monument has been the inspiration for countless myths and legends, and we hear of them as we sail by.

We then dock in captivating Rüdesheim, where we travel through steeped vineyards aboard a land train, arriving in the center of the renowned wine town. Here, there's a choice of excursions, each promising a delightful insight into the town. You could experience for yourself why the town is famous with a fantastic wine tasting, savoring the finest local varieties.

Alternatively, you could visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet and discover Europe's largest collection of finely tuned mechanical instruments, from antique music boxes to miniature pianos. After dinner this evening, there's time to explore the town's cobbled streets at your own pace and see the charming half-timbered houses, quaint shops, and enticing wine bars in the Drosselgasse alley.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – Traditional Heidelberg and lovely Speyer

During breakfast, we arrive in the city of Mannheim, and from here, we journey by coach to charming Heidelberg for a guided tour. The picturesque university town is known for its lovely Old Town and stunning riverfront, which is perfect for a relaxing stroll. Our tour includes a visit to the magnificent ruined, red sandstone castle that towers over the city, providing amazing views of the surrounding forests, river, and cityscape.

Back onboard, we begin sailing to Speyer after lunch. Arriving later this afternoon, you can discover the city at your own pace. There's a beautiful Old Town, and among the highlights is the city's cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Returning to our ship, we enjoy dinner and a restful overnight sailing upstream.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – The enchanting Black Forest or striking Strasbourg

Sailing into the enchanting city of Strasbourg after breakfast, there's a choice of two wonderful excursions. The first is a magical trip into the Black Forest, to witness stunning fairytale panoramas. Experience the beauty of Germany's largest nature park filled with rolling hills, picturesque villages, dense forests, and meadows dotted with wildflowers. As you explore this fairytale setting, you'll learn about the enchanting history and folklore of the region.

Alternatively, you could enjoy a city tour of Strasbourg, where you'll discover its fascinating history, admire its grand architecture, and experience its unique character. The city sits on the French-German border and blends the best of the two cultures, with colorful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. On our tour, we visit the cathedral and the quaint La Petite France district.

Following your excursion this afternoon, we return to our ship for lunch and begin our final cruise towards Switzerland, enjoying the wonderful vistas en route.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – To wonderful Zermatt

We enjoy our last breakfast onboard this morning before we disembark in Basel. From here, we journey on the scenic rail route to Zermatt. Here, we check into our wonderful hotel for two nights in this stunning, car-free mountain village. Sitting at the heart of the Swiss Alps, it has wonderful views of the surrounding alpine peaks, including the mighty Matterhorn mountain.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - The beautiful Gornergrat Mountain Railway

A journey on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway awaits us today. This celebrated cog railway trip ascends the Gornergrat with constant and magnificent views of the Matterhorn, to its summit - the second-highest railway in Europe. As we reach the top, stunning views of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and valleys below are revealed. From here, we enjoy magical views of the surrounding mountains, including the imposing Matterhorn.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – The iconic Glacier Express and charming Chur

Today, we board the magnificent Glacier Express. Our panoramic journey takes us through undeniably Swiss scenes of green meadows, dense evergreen forests, and snow-capped mountains, ambling along the beautiful Rhine Valley aboard 'The Slowest Express Train in the World'. We spiral up the mountains, crossing vast viaducts, burrowing through tunnels, and rising above the clouds on our way to Chur.

As we arrive and check into our hotel, you can explore the rich history, culture, and sights of Switzerland's oldest village, before dinner this evening. Wander the Altstadt - the Old Town - to discover the authentic restaurants and relaxed bars that add to the town's lovely atmosphere.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – Homeward bound

After breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to lovely Chur and say goodbye to new friends and fellow travelers. Your open railway ticket allows you to travel to Zürich at leisure, from which you can continue your journey on your own or transfer to the international airport to return home.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Info - Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid. (Look for S - Standard Class and F - First Class)

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Trains

Eurostar
The Glacier Express
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
TGV

Ships

MS Amadeus Imperial
MS Amadeus Star

Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 5 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (1)
  2. 4 stars
    (3)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mary Camp

4 stars

Submitted 14 Jul 2024

Liked the excursion selections. Service personal were exceptional .

Collected by Trustpilot

Donald Morris

3 stars

Submitted 14 Jul 2024

Cruise was great. Baggage on train and tour manager sucked!!

Collected by Trustpilot

Steven Thorp

4 stars

Submitted 01 Jul 2024

As wonderful as the itinerary was for our recent Glacier Express cruise/train tour, I must say that there were some concerns regarding the failure of communication of essential pieces of information by the Vacations By Rail office (to include the proper cruise port dock departure location). The brightest spot of our experience was the adept handling of the train portion of the trip by our skilled tour director, Rebecca W.

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Sylvia Friedberg

4 stars

Submitted 30 Jun 2024

Excursions poor)y managed

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Ralph Schiring

5 stars

Submitted 18 Jun 2024

Well thought out schedule, attentive staff. Really 4.5 stars. Lacked localized meal selections (you can’t get German food everywhere).

Collected by Trustpilot