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Rhine Connoisseur: Montreux to Brussels - Southbound 2024

From Brussels, Belgium to Montreux, Switzerland
Length: 11 Days - Departs: Sun, Oct 13, 2024
Operator
Ship
Departure
Oct 13, 2024
Arrival
Oct 23, 2024

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River Cruise Itinerary

Epicurean delights take center stage on this Rhine River cruise, with a feast of culinary experiences that showcase wine, cheese, chocolate and more in Strasbourg, Belgium and Switzerland...You'll sip wine in the Lavaux vineyards at a local wine-making cooperative. Taste craft beer and culinary specialties in Düsseldorf, French fare in Strasbourg and local beer in Antwerp. Enjoy a chocolate demo in Brussels. Dine like royalty at Slot Loevestein, set on a private island exclusive to Tauck guests. And spend three nights at a luxurious Fairmont Montreux resort amidst spectacular scenery.

  1. Day 1
    Brussels, Belgium
    Sun, Oct 13, 2024

    Tour begins: 4:00 PM. A transfer is included from Brussels Airport to Tauck's riverboat, docked on the River Rhine. Join us for a discovery briefing, followed by a cocktail reception and dinner aboard ship.


    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Mon, Oct 14, 2024

    Start your morning with guided sightseeing; have lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Antwerp. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, the port city of Antwerp was one of Europe's most important cities in the mid-16th century. Home to the artist, Peter Paul Rubens, it welcomes with cobblestone charms, a riverside fortress, guildhalls and a Gothic cathedral that took almost two centuries to build. Join a local guide for historical walking tour of the Old Town or choose a beer tasting tour. Re-board your ship in Antwerp and enjoy dinner onboard at your leisure. 


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Gorinchem Netherlands
    Tue, Oct 15, 2024

    Voted "the most beautiful fortified town in the Netherlands," Gorinchem was founded in 1,000 AD, fortified in the 13th and 14th centuries, and today boasts the largest fully intact fort in the Netherlands. Join our local guide for a walking tour of its historic heart, viewing its charming canals, the well-preserved Renaissance-style and medieval architecture, and pretty parks and gardens. Explore as you wish this afternoon, before joining us for a Tauck Exclusive reception and dinner at Slot Loevestein. Set in a nature reserve on a private island, the 14th-century castle has served as a prison, residence and toll taker, reigning unrivaled over its strategic location where the Maas and Waal rivers come together. Tonight it will be yours to enjoy as the island and castle are open for Tauck guests only.


    Meals: Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Düsseldorf, Germany
    Wed, Oct 16, 2024

    Spend a leisurely day sailing the Rhine, enjoying the ship's amenities and various onboard activities with your Tauck Directors. Arrive in the late afternoon in Düsseldorf, one of Germany's wealthiest cities, known for its charming Altstadt (Old Town) and avant-garde architecture. Walk off the riverboat into town for your choice of a walking tour focused on the city's history, architecture and culinary traditions, along with some tasty local treats; a bicycling excursion along the city's Rhine River waterfront; or 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. Dinner is at leisure onboard the riverboat this evening.


    Meals: Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Boppard, Germany
    Thu, Oct 17, 2024

    Spend a leisurely morning cruising through the Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage region renowned for iconic landscapes crowned by castles and fortresses, along with terraced vineyards established more than 1,000 years on the steep slopes of the valley. The strategic location of this dramatic stretch of the Rhine between Bingen, Rüdesheim and Koblenz reflects its importance as a transportation route; the sixty small towns, terraced vineyards and the castles ruins found here reflect how prosperous this trade route once was since prehistoric times. Your Tauck Director provides commentary as you glide past vine-covered, terraced slopes, and rocky bluffs, sharing the stories of the Lorelei Rock and ancient castles standing watch onshore. Arrive in Boppard this afternoon for a guided e-bike ride* or an orientation walk and a gondola ride. Enjoy dinner and musical entertainment onboard ship.


    Meals: Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Mannheim Germany
    Fri, Oct 18, 2024

    Disembark ship in the "chessboard city" of Mannheim, laid out in a grid formation in the 17th century, for a choice of included excursions. Join a local guide for a walking tour of modern-day Mannheim, rebuilt after WWII. See some of the city's internationally renowned wall mural art; visit Little Istanbul to learn about the importance of Turkish immigrants in German culture, and taste local specialties along the way. Or, visit 18th-century Mannheim Palace, one of the largest baroque palaces in Europe, reconstructed and restored after it was partly destroyed in World War II, on a guided tour. Join us for the Chef's Signature dinner on board tonight as the ship sails toward Strasbourg.


    Meals: Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Strasbourg, France
    Sat, Oct 19, 2024

    Spend the morning in Strasbourg, disembarking for a choice of excursions after breakfast. Blending Franco-Germanic culture, architecture, and ambiance, this Alsatian city is nestled on the Rhine across the border from Germany and boasts a compelling and complex history. Join a local guide for an epicurean-inspired walking tour of its city center, along with tastings of wine, cheese and other Alsatian specialties. See its Gothic-inspired Notre Dame Cathedral and half-timbered houses and explore its Petite France quarter, criss-crossed by canals and a swing bridge reminiscent of days gone by. Or do as the locals do and explore the sights by bicycle as your local guide leads the way. Have lunch onboard your riverboat as it sails for Basel.


    Meals: Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Montreux, Switzerland
    Sun, Oct 20, 2024

    Arrive in Basel this morning and disembark ship. Your destination today is Montreux Switzerland, where you will stay in an elegant lakeside resort for the next three nights. Visit Chillon Castle en route to your resort, set in one of the most spectacular settings in Switzerland and renowned as among the best-preserved medieval European castles. On a locally guided tour, view some its 40 rooms, including the Castellan's Dining Hall, with walls depicting painted family crests. Enjoy dinner at leisure tonight in Montreux.  


    Meals: Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Montreux, Switzerland
    Mon, Oct 21, 2024

    Internationally famous as a terraced wine-growing region on the shores of Lake Geneva, the Lavaux region is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 12th century when Cisterian monks built miles of terraces and walls on sloping glacial terrain for the purpose of cultivating wine. Explore the vineyards on a choice of excursions that includes a mini-train tour of the vineyards, a visit to one of the area's quaint villages and a wine tasting at a local cooperative wine cellar; or a gentle walk on unpaved paths through the vineyards, ending with a wine-tasting at a local winery. Enjoy free time for lunch on your own along the shores of Lake Geneva, and enjoy a beer tasting after lunch showcasing famed Belgian ales. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Montreux; your hotel is located in the city center, with landmark sites and dining venues a short walk away.


    Meals: Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Montreux Switzerland
    Tue, Oct 22, 2024

    Montreux has been a favorite lakeside resort destination since the 19th century when artists and writers sought inspiration in its peaceful surroundings and scenic Alpine beauty. Ever since, it has been a magnet for the rich and famous, musicians included, who head here for its mild climate, hilltop Old town, and premier jazz festival. Take a virtual walk with a local guide who shares insights on Queen, Freddie Mercury and the time the band spent here, using a tablet to view a collection of videos and photos that were not available to the general public, and listen to the music they made here. Or, venture to Glacier 3000 for an Alpine adventure that truly makes your spirit soar. Ride a cable car to the summit for time to enjoy the attractions at the top. Walk across the PeakWalk by Tissot, the only suspension bridge connecting two peaks in the world, amidst head-turning scenery of the Matterhorn, Mont-Blanc and Jungfrau, and experience a wonderland of glacier fun as you wish. Join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight at your elegant hotel.


    Meals: Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Montreux, Switzerland
    Wed, Oct 23, 2024

    Tour ends: Montreux. Fly home anytime; a transfer from your hotel, Fairmont Montreux Palace, is included to Geneva Airport, or Geneva or Montreux train station. Allow three hours for flight check-in.


    Meals: Breakfast

Countries Visited

Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland

Rivers Visited

Rhine

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Inclusions

Epicurean delights take center stage on this Rhine River cruise, with a feast of culinary experiences that showcase wine, cheese, chocolate and more in Strasbourg, Belgium and Switzerland...You'll sip wine in the Lavaux vineyards at a local wine-making cooperative. Taste craft beer and culinary specialties in Düsseldorf, French fare in Strasbourg and local beer in Antwerp. Enjoy a chocolate demo in Brussels. Dine like royalty at Slot Loevestein, set on a private island exclusive to Tauck guests. And spend three nights at a luxurious Fairmont Montreux resort amidst spectacular scenery.

  • Explore the charms of Montreux with a music-themed look at Freddie Mercury or journey into the Alps visit to Glacier 3000, where you can walk peak- to-peak across a breathtaking suspension bridge
  • All private Tauck shore excursions -  $4,228 Value!

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck

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 97-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 97 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:

Tauck Staff
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.

Guest Responsibility
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:

Hotels
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:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

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:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

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 listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
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:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
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:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

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.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-342-0019

Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.3
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
3.8
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.6
Value for Money
4.2

Ratings based off 5 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

This trip was wonderful. Tauck experience is over the top and enjoyed every minute.

Tauck is everything they promise and more. The room was wonderful, the food was outstanding, the guides were knowledgeable and fun to be with.

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AffordableTours.com is a travel agent for Tauck. Brochure Price is based on the itinerary's highest brochure price. Our price reflects our base price for the same departure as Brochure Price. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time. All prices are USD per person and based on double occupancy. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. All prices change frequently and our website prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been received by us. The prices on our website are intended to serve as a guide only and may not accurately reflect current prices. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in these prices until a booking has been confirmed by one of our agents. Please call us toll free at 1-800-342-0019 to confirm current prices and availability. Prices listed are per person, cruise only, and based on double occupancy.

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