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Lucerne and the Majestic Rhine

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You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
20252026
10 days From $3,695 per person
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Rhine river majesty and Lucerne's serene beauty await on this brand-new itinerary which combines a Rhine cruise with two nights in picturesque Lucerne

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2025 Tour code: LHR25

About the tour

Sail along the breathtaking beauty of the romantic Rhine River, from the waters of the North Sea to the Swiss Alps. Aboard the comfortable Amadeus Star, glide through the Netherlands, Germany, and France enroute to Switzerland, immersing yourself in the luxury of cruising.

Prepare to be enchanted by the ever-changing scenery of picturesque, forested valleys, quaint half-timbered towns, and vibrant cities lining the riverbanks. Each stop offers a unique glimpse into Europe's rich culture and history as we bask in the timeless elegance of Heidelberg, discover delightful Cochem, and explore the enchanting streets of Rüdesheim.

Experience the breathtaking scenery of the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with magnificent castles, verdant forests, and sprawling vineyards. Our vacation has the perfect ending in the picturesque setting of Lucerne where we enjoy sensational Swiss countryside on railway journeys up the Rigi and Pilatus mountains.

Unforgettable Experiences

The majestic Rigi Railway
The majestic Rigi Railway
Experience the Rigi Railway, often hailed as the ‘Queen of the Mountains,’ on a journey where Switzerland’s emerald meadows embrace towering peaks, offering breathtaking vistas of Lake Lucerne and the Alps.
Idyllic Swiss scenery aboard the Pilatus railway
Idyllic Swiss scenery aboard the Pilatus railway
Journey through the heart of Switzerland’s alpine landscape aboard the magnificent Pilatus railway, renowned as the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, we navigate through tunnels, up sheer slopes, and over viaducts.
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Reach the summit of the majestic Drachenfels on the exhilarating Drachenfelsbahn cog railway winding gracefully up the rolling slopes as the majestic panorama of the Rhine Valley gradually unfolds.
Enchanting Lucerne
Enchanting Lucerne
Spend two nights nestled against the pristine shores of Lake Lucerne in this Swiss city full of timeless charm and Alpine grandeur. Lucerne's medieval old town enchants with its cobblestone streets and historic landmarks.
Delightful Cochem
Delightful Cochem
Discover the well-preserved, historic charms of Cochem, surrounded by the sweeping curves of the Moselle River and verdant hills. Crowned by the Reichsburg Castle, its skyline reflects a timeless elegance.
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Sail through this enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site where spellbinding castles emerge, verdant forests stretch as far as the eye can see, and vineyard-clad slopes cascade down to the water's edge.
Fairytale Rüdesheim
Fairytale Rüdesheim
Explore this charming town 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.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Amsterdam where we board our luxurious ship

Our vacation begins this morning as you catch your flight from the US to Amsterdam, where our magnificent ship awaits. 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.

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

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 of the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 enroute.

Day 8 - To lovely Lucerne and the scenic Mount Rigi cog railway

After breakfast, we dock in Basel where it's time to disembark and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. We make our way to the railway station and head by rail to Lucerne, a city surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and beside the crystal-clear Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne). After checking into our hotel, the Mount Rigi cog railway awaits us.

Prepare for an enchanting journey through the Swiss Alps as we take our seats on Europe's first mountain railway. As we ascend, gaze out of the window as breathtaking vistas of the lake landscape unfold. Along the way, admire grazing cows, quaint traditional farms, and vibrant wildflower meadows. At the summit, embrace stunning panoramic views over Switzerland's majestic landscape of serene lakes, lush green valleys, and towering peaks.

Following the scenic descent down the mountain, there is time for you to discover our new surroundings before dinner this evening. Stroll along the cobblestone streets that wind through enchanting medieval architecture in this lovely city.

Day 9 - Cruising Lake Lucerne and the wonderful Mount Pilatus cog railway

This morning, we experience our second fantastic mountain railway to the top of Mount Pilatus. Starting with a picturesque boat journey across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, sit back and relax with a drink as we glide across the pristine lake passing verdant shores, framed by majestic peaks. From here, we board the steepest cogwheel railway in the world and begin our ascent. As we snake through lush meadows, dense forests, and rugged terrain, watch the landscape unveil panoramic views of Lucerne's serene lakes and towering peaks.

From the summit, stand in awe as we witness the jagged peaks of the Swiss Alps stretch to the horizon, decorated with glistening glaciers and verdant valleys below. The azure waters of Lake Lucerne shimmer below while, on a clear day, you can see the Bernese Oberland in the distance. We make our descent down the north side of the mountain by cable car. As we float down to the city of Kriens, bask in the tranquility of passing mountain scenery.

Back in Lucerne, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the city. Make sure to wander across the historic Kapellbrücke, a quaint wooden bridge spanning the Reuss River that is lined with fascinating medieval paintings. In Glacier Garden, you will find the city's proud Lion Monument honoring Swiss Guards who fell during the French Revolution. Head to the bright atmosphere of the Old Town for even more history, beauty, and culture with local cafes and shops to enjoy.

Day 10 - Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, we make our way to the railway station and head towards Zurich airport. Here you say goodbye to new friends and fellow travelers before catching your flight back to the US. As you make your way home, look back on the beautiful moments we shared. Along the Rhine, we experienced fairytale scenes along the Rhine Gorge, timeless culture in Rüdesheim, and renowned architecture in Heidelberg, Speyer and Cochem. Our vacation ended in Lucerne with picturesque mountain views aboard delightful railways.

Additional information

Trains

Drachenfels Railway
Eurostar
Medemblik Steam Train
Mount Pilatus Railway
Mount Rigi Mountain Railway

Ship

MS Amadeus Star