Day 1 UK - AmsterdamFly to Amsterdam, where on arrival we'll transfer you to your ship. Settle into your cabin and meet the ship's crew and your travelling companions over a welcome drink before dinner. Later, you might choose to join an optional cruise of the city's picturesque canals by night. Meals included: D
Day 2 Amsterdam - Volendam - Nijmegen
Amsterdam is known for its picturesque canals, world-renowned museums and many architectural treasures. This morning you can explore the city on an optional excursion.
If you have chosen the Explorer Package, you'll discover the De Rieker Windmill, which has featured in many of Rembrandt's paintings. Afterwards, we'll head to the Diamond District to observe how talented cutters facet raw diamonds into the jewels we buy and explain how a diamond is valued. We'll continue to the Bloemenmarkt, the famous floating flower market. One of the most fragrant places in Amsterdam in any season thanks to its thousands of flowers and multitude of varieties, this unique market will make your head spin! At the end of our visit, we'll return to the ship by coach. If you choose the Discovery Package, you'll explore Amsterdam by bike and learn about all the must-see and out-of-the-way sites in the city. Enjoy some free time at the Flower Market or at the Albert Cuypmarkt.
This afternoon, an optional excursion takes us to Volendam, a charming fishing village, where you'll call at a factory to see how Gouda cheese is made. We then head to the beautiful picturesque village of Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum of model windmills, traditional green wooden houses and fields of colourful flowers. Here, you can discover regional costumes, interactive chocolate making exhibits, and artisan workshops. On our April departure, this excursion will be replaced by a visit the Keukenhof Gardens.
The evening is yours to do as you please. Our ship will cruise to Nijmegen through the night.
Day 3 Nijmegen - Krefeld
En route to Nijmegen, those who have chosen the Explorer Package will visit the Kröller-Müller Museum. Located in Hoge Veluwe National Park, it houses many works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and more. Alternatively, if you have chosen the Discovery Package you will enjoy a bicycle tour of Hoge Veluwe National Park. Discover the varied landscapes of this beautiful area, from wetlands and forests, to drylands and areas of shifting sands. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife including red and roe deer, wild boar, foxes, badgers and pine martens, as well as frogs, lizards, toads and a plethora of insects and birds.
We then head back to the ship and set sail for Krefeld, where we arrive this evening.
Day 4 Cologne - Kœnigswinter
We'll pass famous German towns including Düsseldorf as we sail to Cologne, enjoying lunch on board as we go.
On arrival, why not join our optional tour of this picturesque city, located on both sides of the Rhine. Cologne's famous cathedral is a fantastic sight, as too is its wonderfully historic centre.
This evening the ship sails to Kœnigswinter for an overnight mooring.
Day 5 Kœnigswinter - RüdesheimThis morning, we'll enjoy spectacular scenery of vine-clad slopes and striking castles as we pass Koblenz, and the mighty Lorelei Rock, also known as the 'murmuring rock', which has given rise to a number of folk tales including a story about a mythical creature who once dwelt here.
On arrival in Rüdesheim, why not join an optional shore excursion to discover this historic wine-producing town in the Rheingau wine region. The medieval Brömserburg Castle is home to the Rheingau Wine Museum, which exhibits wine paraphernalia from ancient times to the present day. After a short tour, we'll head to a tavern, where we'll learn more about German wine and, of course, sample some during a tasting.
After dinner on board the ship, you might choose to head back into town and explore with your travelling companions. Highly recommended is a stroll down the Drosselgasse, a lively street filled with traditional taverns. Meals included: B,L,D
Day 6 Rüdesheim - Mannheim
The ship's next port of call is Mannheim, from where you can step ashore to discover the cosmopolitan city of Heidelberg on our optional excursion. Dominated by the ruins of a Renaissance castle, we'll stroll around its gardens to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Neckar River, before heading to the Old Town for a guided tour.
If you want to explore independently or in the company of your travelling companions, there's time to do so before we meet up and head back to the ship.
As we sail to Strasbourg this evening, we'll enjoy a gala dinner hosted by the captain, so if you want to dress up, tonight gives you the perfect opportunity.
Day 7 Basel - UKWe'll disembark the ship today in Strasbourg before we transfer to the airport in Basel for our flight back to the UK. Meals included: B
Please note: This holiday includes walking in areas of rough ground, gradients and steps, often with no hand rails to offer assistance.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
MS Gérard Schmitter or MS Modigliani: Cabin Upgrade
Middle and Upper Deck cabins are available at a supplement for the duration of your stay. Please speak to a Holiday Advisor for details.