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Glacier Express and The Majestic Rhine Cruise

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11 days From $3,995 $3,695 per person
5.0 stars(2 reviews)
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On Wheel of Fortune

Discover the iconic Glacier Express train journey and enjoy a luxury Rhine cruise, from the enchanting streets of Chur and the iconic peaks of Zermatt to the romantic Rhine Gorge.

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

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: GER25

About the tour

Enjoy a luxury alpine experience aboard the legendary Glacier Express - one of the world's finest rail journeys, before descending the valley for a sensational Rhine river cruise. Explore Europe in style aboard the Amadeus Star, where you can enjoy luxurious amenities and superb service.

Sail into the picturesque Rhine Gorge, visiting medieval cities, charming riverside towns, and much more. Wander through traditional towns like Rüdesheim and Cochem, each with its own unique charm. Delve into the rich history of Heidelberg and Cologne before our unforgettable vacation ends in the culture-packed streets of Amsterdam.

Unforgettable Experiences

The Glacier Express and the Gornergrat Mountain Railway
The Glacier Express and the Gornergrat Mountain Railway
Admire stunning mountain scenery on the renowned Glacier Express rail journey 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 to views of the mighty Matterhorn mountain.
Heidelberg guided tour
Heidelberg guided tour
Visit the ‘Jewel of Germany’ on a guided tour, delving into the highlights of this picturesque riverside city.
Cochem
Cochem
Discover the well-preserved, historic charms of Cochem’s Old Town surrounded by the beautiful Moselle Valley.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Charming Chur

As you arrive at Zurich airport today, transfer by rail to Chur, Switzerland's oldest village. After checking into our hotel, you can start your explorations of the rich history, culture, and sights before dinner this evening. Wander the Altstadt - the Old Town - and discover the arty boutiques, authentic restaurants, and relaxed bars that add to the town's lovely atmosphere.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – The iconic Glacier Express and wonderful Zermatt

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 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 3 – The scenic Gornergrat Mountain Railway

Another mountain journey awaits us today, the Gornergrat Mountain Railway. This cog railway trip ascends the Gornergrat, 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.

After lunch surrounded by the views of Gornergrat, we return to Zermatt and discover more of this wonderful resort on a guided tour. Strolling through the traditional streets surrounded by wooden chalets and shops selling traditional Swiss products, our guide shares the history of Zermatt, giving us a deeper understanding of the beautiful resort. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the scenery and tranquility.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – To Basel, where we board our luxurious ship

Waking up in our beautiful alpine surroundings, we enjoy breakfast before arriving to Basel. Here, we're escorted to our luxury cruise ship, and as we settle into our home on the river, we're greeted with a welcome cocktail before dinner and set sail on an overnight cruise.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – 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.

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

Waking to views of charming Speyer, you can choose to enjoy a guided tour of Heidelberg today. The picturesque university town is known for its lovely Old Town and stunning riverfront, 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. If you'd prefer to stay in Speyer, 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 for lunch, we enjoy a scenic afternoon cruise. Sailing downstream, we pass the famous Roman city of Mainz and spa town of Wiesbaden and arrive in Rüdesheim early this evening. After dinner, you could enjoy the sounds and sights of the captivating town, famous for its delicious white wine, especially the dry Riesling variety.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Charming Rüdesheim, the magical Rhine Gorge, and picturesque Koblenz

This morning, we travel through Rüdesheim's steeped vineyards aboard a land train, arriving in the centre of the renowned wine town. Here, there's a choice of excursions, each promising a delightful insight into the town. You could experience first-hand Rüdesheim's most famous produce - wine, with a fantastic 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. Afterwards, there's some time to explore the town at leisure before we return to our ship. This afternoon we begin sailing and enjoy a highlight of our cruising experience - the romantic Rhine Gorge. This section of the Rhine is renowned for its spectacular views. 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.

Our journey through the Rhine Gorge comes to an end, and we arrive later this afternoon in the town of Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. You have time to explore, and we recommend strolling to Deutsches Eck where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas, including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Later, we make our way back to the ship, where dinner is served onboard.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Lovely Cochem – the heart of the Moselle wine trade

We set sail early, navigating the tranquil waters of the Moselle river. After a 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.

After lunch onboard, we embark on our guided afternoon tour where 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 centre 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. Later this evening, we continue our cruise back downstream towards Koblenz, where we leave the Moselle behind and rejoin the Rhine.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – The wonderful Drachenfelsbahn and cultural Cologne

This morning we dock in Königswinter, and after breakfast, the Drachenfelsbahn railway awaits. This fabulous cog railway rises high into the forests, passing the fairytale Drachenfels castle - whose name translates as 'Dragon's Rock', inspiring many of the dragon-related legends still heard today. We experience wonderful views across the Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany as we climb higher.

Back onboard this afternoon, we continue our cruise through beautiful scenery toward Cologne. As we approach the striking city, admire the fantastic cityscape of magnificent bridges that span the river and the imposing Cathedral. On arrival, 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. We then head back to our ship and begin an overnight cruise towards The Netherlands.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 – Fascinating Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train

We spend the early morning sailing through the Lower Rhine, with a change in scenery further downstream as we approach The Netherlands. Arriving in Amsterdam early this afternoon, you have the choice of two exciting excursions. The first is a city 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.

We return to our ship for a final dinner accompanied by the delightful songs of the Dutch Sea Shanty Choir - the perfect end to our magnificent cruise.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, it's time to disembark and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. Make your way to Amsterdam's airport where you begin your journey home.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Additional information

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

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

Reviews

5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Robert B

5 stars

Submitted 10 Jun 2024

A well planned adventure. We visited places that would have been difficult to manage on our own. Our guide from Vacations By Rail was experienced and kept our group on track (no pun) for our connections, I noticed that he was always counting heads to make sure no one missed a connection.

Collected by Trustpilot

Kathleen Schnepf

5 stars

Submitted 06 Jun 2024

The vacation was very enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot

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