Our River Rhine cruise explores five countries from Switzerland to the Netherlands , including three nights in the historic Italian fashion capital of Milan and a visit to glamorous Lake Como.Highlights include: Milan – three nights at Hotel Principe di Savoia, a historic landmark in the heart of the city; Lake Como – a private boat ride on Lake Como and a visit to Bellagio. Basel or Zurich – your choice of Swiss city walking tours in either Old Town Basel, a cultural mecca, or fashionable lakeside Zurich. Heidelberg – Germany's original university town, including a guided visit to legendary Heidelberg Castle. Wiesbaden – discovering a city that's grown around one of Europe's oldest spa towns. Linz am Rhein – a picturesque town lined with colorful half-timbered houses. Dusseldorf – spend an afternoon exploring this riverside center of art and fashion. Amsterdam – lunch aboard a private canal boat cruise. Tauck Exclusive experiences include a special evening at Schloss Biebrich, a restored Baroque palace on the bank of the Rhine in Wiesbaden.
Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Welcome to Amsterdam! Transfers are included from Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam Centraal Station to your riverboat, where embarkation will begin any time after 4:00 PM. Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception followed by a leisurely dinner as you settle into your floating hotel for a memorable weeklong cruise on the Rhine and a visit to Italy's sparkling Lake Como region and remarkable Milan.
Awaken in Amsterdam and disembark the riverboat to be introduced to this unique city in two distinct ways – on an orientation tour of the city center, and aboard a canal boat cruise. As you float through the city's 17th-century network of canals you'll pass under bridges, check out the distinctive houseboats, see the historic buildings lining the canals, and watch the locals navigate the city on their bicycles. After your canal cruise, enjoy some free time in Amsterdam before getting back onboard your riverboat to sail to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Arrive this morning in Düsseldorf – one of Germany's wealthiest cities, known for its charming Altstadt (Old Town) on the riverfront; its modern avant-garde architecture; Königsallee ("the Kö"), a super high-end shopping street near Altstadt; and a lively promenade by the river. Walk off the riverboat into town for your choice of a "Taste of Dusseldorf" walking tour focused on the city's history, architecture and culinary traditions, along with some tasty local treats; a craft beer tour that visits a number of breweries to offer a sampling of the varieties of dark Altbier the region is known for; or a bicycling excursion along the city's Rhine River waterfront. Back aboard ship this afternoon, your riverboat continues on towards the Middle Rhine. As you cruise, enjoy an onboard lecture by your Tauck Director.
Today, enjoy a full day of cruising through the Middle Rhine Valley. It's a great day to enjoy your riverboat's amenities, and your Tauck Director provides commentary as you glide past sloping vineyards and rocky bluffs, sharing the stories of the Lorelei Rock and the castles standing watch onshore. Arrive this evening in the city of Wiesbaden. With a name that translates to "meadow baths", Wiesbaden is one of Europe's oldest spa towns, famous around the world for its hot springs, which have been in use since Roman times, and blossomed during the Middle Ages. Join for tonight's Tauck Exclusive evening featuring dinner and entertainment at Schloss Biebrich, an 18th-century Baroque palace on the bank of the Rhine in Wiesbaden.
Drive to Heidelberg today for a guided visit to the splendid ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a sprawling red sandstone compound high above the city, and a reminder of 600 years of history, followed by a walking tour of town. Check out the Heidelberg Tun, the biggest wine barrel in the world (and walk on top of it). Learn about centuries of movers and shakers, and the romantic story of the Elisabeth Gate, built in 1615 as a present from Elector Frederic V to his wife Elisabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James I of England. He had the triumphal arch secretly crafted in sections and put up as a whole the night before her birthday to surprise her the next morning. The views of the Neckar River Valley from the castle are unforgettable. While strolling in Old Town Heidelberg below, be sure to try a Heidelberg Student Kiss – a special treat invented in the 19th century by a sympathetic chocolatier to give young men a way to express their affections for young women they were not allowed to talk to! Lunch today is at a local beerhouse, then meet your riverboat in Germersheim and spend the afternoon cruising south. You'll have time to enjoy the gym, get a massage… or curl up in a chair on the Sun Deck with a snack and your favorite drink. Have dinner onboard tonight followed by some evening entertainment.
This morning, your riverboat arrives in historic Strasbourg, France – capital of the Alsace and known as the "Crossroads of Europe," home to the European Union's headquarters. You have two choices for exploring today. Drive along the bucolic Alsatian wine route, through countryside where some of the world's best Rieslings are made; following lunch, enjoy a tasting at one of the local wine cellars before returning to the ship in Strasbourg. Alternatively, bicycling is a a great way to explore the Black Forest's scenic mountain and lakeside trails. Today's guided cycling excursion takes you to the Black Forest resort village of Hinterzarten, renowned for its hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. You'll also visit Lake Titisee, one of the region's prettiest lake regions. Pedal along lakeside trails and through the woods on your ebike, and enjoy lunch and a Black Forest cake demonstration, returning to Strasbourg to continue cruising to Basel, Switzerland.
Today you have two great Swiss cities to decide between. One possibility is to drive to Zurich, a world capital of banking (not to mention chocolate), for a walking tour with a local guide. Visit Bahnhoffstrasse, the city's exclusive shopping boulevard, connecting lovely Lake Zurich with the main railway station. Head into Zurich's Old Town to wander through Niederdorf, a pedestrian area of winding streets, lined with shops, artisan studios, and restaurants. You'll pass by two important places of worship, the Romanesque Protestant church Grossmünster and Fraumünster, once an abbey home for aristocratic ladies, graced with stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. Enjoy a traditional Swiss lunch in a historic Guild House. Your other possibility for the day is to stay in Basel and embark on a walking tour of its Old Town with a local guide before setting off to explore on your own. There's much to discover; the city is known for its many contemporary buildings by noted international architects, and it has the highest density of museums in the country, including the world-class Basel Art Museum. Have dinner back aboard your riverboat, docked in Basel for the night.
After breakfast onboard, bid your crew farewell and disembark your riverboat in Basel for a high-speed train journey to Lugano. Have you ever ridden through a mountain? "Great things are done when men and mountain meet," wrote the poet William Blake, and he could have been talking about the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which you'll go through today, zipping through the base of the Alps. At 35 miles long, it's the longest railway tunnel in the world, a major feat of engineering that took 17 years to complete. Enjoy some free time in Lugano to explore; later in the afternoon, drive across the border into Italy for arrival in Milan, a city that reigns as a world capital of fashion and design. Check into the Hotel Principe di Savoia, a splendid 1920s landmark decorated in classic Italian and Art Deco style that is centrally located on the Piazza della Repubblica. Home to the national stock exchange, Milan has been Italy's financial engine since the Industrial Revolution, and is known for its upscale culinary scene and shops, which you'll discover as you explore the city on your own this evening.
Immerse yourself in magnificent Milan on an orientation and walking tour that includes an outside visit to the incredible Gothic Cathedral of Milan, il Duomo, the third largest Catholic church in the world. It took 500 years to finish this forest of spires and pinnacles topped by the iconic statue of the golden madonnina. Steps from il Duomo, stroll through the city's premier gathering place, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a.k.a. "the living room of Milan." This massive yet elegant shopping arcade, topped by an airy glass octagonal dome, was built as a symbol of Italian unity in the late 19th century and named after the first king of Italy. The afternoon is free. You might want to take in La Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, where Maria Callas sang her heart out… Pinacoteca di Brera, a great art collection including works by Raphael, Bellini, Piero della Francesca, and Caravaggio… the fashion district between pedestrianized Via della Spiga, via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, and Corso Venezia… or the mildly bohemian Navigli neighborhood of canal-side bars, restaurants, and shops. As you go, be sure to taste the traditional flavors of Milan – sipping a Campari bitter aperitif and sampling dishes like yellow risotto, cassoeula, and ossobuco. But tonight, you have reservations for a Tauck Exclusive – a private viewing of Milan's pièce de resistance, Leonardo da Vinci's mural, The Last Supper, which adorns the dining room at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent and has a way of drawing the viewer in. You might just feel as if you could walk into the picture, sit down at the table, and strike up a conversation with the apostles (subject to availability; the day of visit may vary).
You're off for a day's tooling around Lake Como, one of Italy's most beautiful lakes, in the shadow of the snowcapped Alps – a mecca for the well-heeled on holiday since ancient Roman times. Drive to tiny Tremezzina, where you'll board a boat for bellissima Bellagio. Your Tauck Director leads an orientation walk in this resort village, known as "the Pearl of the Lake," and you'll have a bit of free time. Take in the lake views and explore the centuries-old buildings, stone lanes, and cobbled stairways lined with shops. A boat cruise shows you more of Lake Como, which the poet William Wordsworth described as "a treasure whom the earth keeps to herself." The forested shoreline is punctuated by small towns with ancient stone bell towers and opulent villas. Disembark the boat in the town of Cernobbio and head back to Milan, where you'll join us this evening to cap a memorable journey with a farewell reception and dinner at the hotel.
Tour ends: Milan. Fly home anytime; a transfer from Hotel Principe di Savoia to Milan Malpensa or Linate Airports OR Milan's Central Train Station is included. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport. For additional hotel nights in Milan, ask at booking.
Our River Rhine cruise explores five countries from Switzerland to the Netherlands, including three nights in the historic Italian fashion capital of Milan and a visit to glamorous Lake Como.Highlights include: Milan – three nights at Hotel Principe di Savoia, a historic landmark in the heart of the city; Lake Como – a private boat ride on Lake Como and a visit to Bellagio. Basel or Zurich – your choice of Swiss city walking tours in either Old Town Basel, a cultural mecca, or fashionable lakeside Zurich. Heidelberg – Germany's original university town, including a guided visit to legendary Heidelberg Castle. Wiesbaden – discovering a city that's grown around one of Europe's oldest spa towns. Linz am Rhein – a picturesque town lined with colorful half-timbered houses. Dusseldorf – spend an afternoon exploring this riverside center of art and fashion. Amsterdam – lunch aboard a private canal boat cruise. Tauck Exclusive experiences include a special evening at Schloss Biebrich, a restored Baroque palace on the bank of the Rhine in Wiesbaden.
Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.
Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.
Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.
At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.
The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.
As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.
OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.
Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.
Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.
Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.
We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.
We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.
And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:
Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:
Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:
Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.
In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:
TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.
Tauck is absolutely top notch! They treated us like absolute Royalty on the ship. I would without a doubt highly recommend Tauck for your next vacation.
We love Tauck, they are so professional and handle all the "little" details.
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