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Lucerne & Treasures of the Rhine

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You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
20252026
10 days From $3,995 per person
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Experience luxurious relaxation and captivating exploration, sailing through picturesque towns along the Rhine before heading into the Swiss Alps for mountain railways

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

2025 Tour code: LTR25

About the tour

Every bend of the river and every ascent into the mountains unveils new treasures waiting to be discovered on this nine-day vacation. Enjoy a blend of luxurious relaxation and captivating exploration, from the historic streets of Cologne to the serene shores of Lake Lucerne.

Step aboard the opulent Amadeus Imperial, our floating hotel on the majestic Rhine. From the moment we raise anchor, enchanting destinations are waiting to be explored. Setting sail towards picturesque towns like Königswinter and Boppard, vineyards cascade down rolling hillsides. Along the way, we experience the UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge, discover the historic city of Heidelberg, and uncover the unique blend of French and German cultures in Strasbourg, with its timber-framed houses and iconic cathedral.

Leaving the river behind, the Swiss Alps then welcome us. Aboard the Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus cog railways, we reach breathtaking heights with panoramic views of serene lake landscapes. Experience the beauty of Europe's timeless landscapes on this scenic cruise with us.

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.
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.
Explore Cologne
Explore Cologne
Immerse yourself in the city’s cheerful streets, where history blends with modern life. Wander through cobblestone pathways to the famous Gothic cathedral, a timeless masterpiece with intricate details, soaring arches, and stunningly designed windows.
Historic Heidelberg
Historic Heidelberg
Visit the ‘Jewel of Germany’ on a guided tour, delving into the highlights of this picturesque riverside city as we stroll through the historic Altstadt and visit the imposing Heidelberg Castle, perched majestically atop the verdant hills overlooking the city.
Discover Rüdesheim
Discover 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 Cologne where we board our luxurious ship

Our vacation begins this morning as we meet at London St Pancras before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. From Paris, we journey by rail to the city of Cologne. Here, we board our magnificent ship, the luxurious Amadeus Imperial, and settle into our home on the river. Our friendly crew warmly greet us with a welcome cocktail as we get ready to immerse ourselves in the wonders of the Rhine. We then gather for our first dinner onboard, savoring the beginning of our cruise experience.

Day 2 - Exploring Cologne

After breakfast, we enjoy a leisurely tour of Cologne and wander through its cheerful 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.

Later this morning, we set off on our first sail. Drifting upstream past Bonn, we begin to see the first signs of lush green hills as we arrive in the enchanting town of Königswinter. Here, we journey on the Drachenfelsbahn railway.

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. We then head back to our cruise ship for dinner onboard.

Day 3 - Picturesque Koblenz and quaint Boppard

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 after lunch, arriving in the picturesque town of Boppard later this afternoon.

There's time at leisure for exploration before dinner this evening. As you wander the cobblestone streets you'll find the town's Roman legacy echoes through its architecture. Admire the half-timbered houses which lead to delightful vineyards scattering the surrounding hills and discover well-preserved Roman fortifications, including the historic town walls and the Roman tower.

If you're up for a bit of adventure, take the chairlift up to the Vier Seen Blick (Four Lakes Viewpoint). From here, you'll be enveloped with panoramic views of the Rhine Valley and the surrounding countryside.

Day 4 - The enchanting Rhine Gorge and charming Rüdesheim

Our morning is spent leisurely onboard, sailing through delightful river landscapes including a highlight of our cruising experience - 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. As we sail, we hear the fascinating story of the legendary Lorelei Rock which soars almost 500 feet out of the water.

After lunch, we 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 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.

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 5 - Traditional Heidelberg and lovely Speyer

After a morning of relaxed cruising and lunch onboard, we arrive in the city of Mannheim. 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.

Alternatively, you could stay on board and later, take in the sights of the historic German city of Speyer and its famous cathedral at leisure before dinner this evening.

Day 6 - A scenic sail to Strasbourg

Today we enjoy a full day cruise to the French city of Strasbourg. Relax onboard as we pass diverse landscapes and fantastic natural beauty along the Rhine. We arrive in Strasbourg later this afternoon and after dinner, you can experience the city's unique character at leisure. Sitting near the border, Strasbourg perfectly represents the blending of French and German cultures. The enchanting old town is well worth a visit, and here you'll discover timber-framed houses, cobbled streets, and the iconic Cathedral, all creating a fairytale ambience.

Day 7 - The enchanting Black Forest or striking Strasbourg

There's a choice of two wonderful excursions today. 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.

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

After breakfast, 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 can catch a flight 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

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.

Trains

Eurostar
Mount Pilatus Railway
Mount Rigi Mountain Railway

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial