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Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door. (Dinner)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return on board for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. We cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Begin your day with a morning tour of Cologne, Germany's fourth largest city. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin's Church and see the Dom, Germany's largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your free time enjoying Cologne's atmospheric waterfront, or perhaps join an optional excursion on which you ascend to the Dom's roof for up-close views of the cathedral's architecture and bird's-eye vistas of Cologne. Afterward, return on board for dinner. Alternately, you may set off on an optional excursion to explore Cologne's spirited beer culture, sampling Kölsch, a light, crisp beer brewed only in Cologne, and enjoying a brauhaus dinner. After, return to your ship for a late-evening departure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Proceed along the Rhine, disembarking for a walking tour of Koblenz. Alternately, choose an optional excursion to tour the 700-year old Marksburg Castle, or enjoy a lively and informative tour of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. After lunch on board, sail the scenic Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where turreted castles and fortresses overlook the river from their hilltop posts. Arrive in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon. Spend free time in the pedestrian-only Drosselgasse and sample a glass of locally produced wine at one of the restaurants or wine bars. Dine on board your ship, or in town if you prefer. You may also choose to experience one of our optional dinners on shore tonight. We depart after midnight. (B, L, D)
Cruise into midmorning as you enjoy the passing scenery. After lunch, enjoy an included tour to visit the historic town of Speyer and take in views of the imposing Speyer Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 11th century on the site of a former basilica, the building's design influenced Romanesque architecture for centuries to come, and is the final resting place of eight German monarchs. Alternatively, after breakfast, you may choose to disembark for a full day tour of Heidelberg, the home of Germany's oldest university, founded in 1386. Visit the beautiful sandstone ruins of imposing Heidelberg Castle and admire the Neckar River Valley. Continue with a walking tour through Old Town to Heidelberg's renowned gates. After lunch, visit the historic town of Speyer on your way back to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We dock this morning in Kehl and disembark for a guided tour of Strasbourg. See the European Parliament and tour the interior of the city's famed cathedral. The afternoon is free to further explore this Alsatian city's blend of French and German cultures, resplendent churches, medieval covered bridges, verdant parks and handsome art nouveau and modernist architecture. Alternately, join our optional excursion into Alsatian wine country for an informative winery tour and tasting. Or, spend your full day exploring culinary Strasbourg on an optional excursion; as you explore the city and take in its sights, savor samples of the renowned Alsatian cuisine, from regional dessert specialties and meats to wine pairings with local foods. On board this evening, enjoy a Taste of Germany dinner event. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Breisach this morning, gateway to the Black Forest. Take a scenic excursion through the area's renowned mountain landscape, rolling meadows and dense forests. Once there, visit a local workshop to see a cuckoo clock-making demonstration, and learn how Black Forest Cake is made. Return to your ship for lunch. This afternoon, perhaps join an optional excursion to the quaint Alsatian town of Colmar to discover the storybook charm of its streets lined with medieval, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and visit a fine arts museum. Alternately, choose an optional excursion that explores Colmar's World War II history. Dine on board this evening and cruise on through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 nights in Lucerne or Basel, or 3 nights in Lake Como. (Breakfast)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
8 Days 6 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 6 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
Our Viking Cruise was nearly flawless. They go out of their way to make sure you have a lovely time. The accommodations are a little plain but most of what you do is off the ship. We loved the comfort of the modern busses and the use of the headsets to hear what the guide was saying made it so easy to catch every word. The guides are the best in the industry. The itineraries were all very interesting. We did not feel that we wasted a minute of our time. The food was excellent and included local recipes along with many other choices. The wine was great and was included with each meal. There was always some kind of entertainment in the evening. The set up on the ship made it possible to easily mingle with other guests.
Hary did a fabulous job putting us with Viking it was the trip of a lifetime
The Viking experience was outstanding. The crew were well trained and friendly. The captain was very visible and friendly. This was our second Viking trip and won't be the last. The only complaint I have was that we we told that we would receive the Choice promo where we would get a $300 shipboard credit, free gratuties or an upgrade to the Silver Spirit package. This did not occur.
Great trip. Excellent support by all members of the Viking Staff.
The Viking staff does an outstanding job!
The Viking Tour was exceptional! We were very pleased with the excursions, food and staff.
Viking did a very good job from start to finish. The ship was very clean and comfortable. The staff was attentive and friendly.
We were very impressed with the complete package offered by Viking River Cruises. Our trip up the Rhine was great, we would recommend it to everyone. The boat was nice and new and the staff was outstanding. The food was very good and the side trip were very interesting and fun.
Viking Cruises were top notch in their service and accommodations. Couldn't have asked for better. There were issues with the water levels which caused them to have to deviate from the original itinerary slightly and I believe they did an excellent job communicating and making sure our tours were still the best available.
The staff on the cruise made my vacation wonderful. They were attentive and helpful. I only hope I meet them again. The only problem I had was in checking in with the Air France airline. Since I had booked my trip with another couple the online check-in would not confirm my check in. Viking phone customer services addressed the issue. In fact Viking gave me a phone number to call them directly if I had any more issues at the airport. When we were leaving Amsterdam we were given a letter that said Viking would confirm our check in with the airline and give us our boarding passes. I was perfectly fine with printing out boarding passes at the hotel but did not. We did not receive our boarding passes and had to wait in lines to do it ourselves.
The ship was beautiful, the crew very accommodating. Food was very nice, lots of choices. We enjoyed the excursions and guides were very knowledgeable.
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