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The Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Basel - Southbound 2023

Operator
Tauck
Days
8
From
USD $4,990

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Along the river Rhine… where mountains rise abruptly from the water's edge, ancient castles perch aloft, keeping watch over comings and goings, gentle valleys and ancient winelands lure, spas give respite, cathedrals speak to powerful times, plains and woods catch the eye, and a river travels, connecting centuries of history, cities of the arts and crossroads of thought.Discover the heritage and beauty of the River Rhine on our 7-night Basel – Amsterdam river cruise aboard ms Grace . Visit the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, exploring regional delights in the historic cities, towns and countryside linked by the Rhine. Set your own pace with choices along the way: castle visits, bicycling, mountain heights, a spa resort and more.

Countries Visited

France , Germany , Netherlands , Switzerland

Cities Visited

Amsterdam , Basel

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Amsterdam and embark your riverboat
    Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Amsterdam. A transfer is included from Schiphol International Airport or Amsterdam Centraal Station to your riverboat; check-in time aboard ship is 4:00 PM for all guests. After a discovery briefing where you'll hear about your river travels ahead, please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner aboard your riverboat to celebrate the start of a fantastic journey.
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Canals, museums and more in Amsterdam
    In a city indelibly linked to water, it's fitting that your day begins with a cruise on its 17th-century grachten (canals) which fan out in crescent-shaped rings from the northern waterfront. On the drive to board your canal boat, you'll get an orientation to the city, which at its heart feels more like a village than the compact center of a cosmopolitan city. Landmarks include Centraal Station, built at the end of the 19th century and still a place in constant motion – with people, bicycles, trams and buses; De Waag (Weigh House), once a fortified gate that today houses a popular outdoor café; and the Mint Tower, a gate in the city wall (circa 1400) that marks the intersection of two canals, tram paths, a pedestrian-only shopping street, and the city flower market – an ever busy, ever interesting crossroads. Aboard the canal boat, you'll glide beneath curved bridges carrying walkers and cyclists – sometimes trams and cars – and by narrow merchant homes, whose goods were once pragmatically stored on the upper floors. After a guided visit to the famed Rijksmuseum – home to many works by Rembrandt and other old Dutch Masters – a drive to the old university town of Utrecht brings you back to your riverboat, and cruising through the idyllic Dutch countryside begins!
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    A day in Köln & exclusive evening

    Overnight your riverboat crosses into Germany; after a full morning of cruising and lunch onboard, you'll arrive in Köln (Cologne), a city made a capital of a Roman province in 50 AD. Sightseeing begins with a guided tour of the immense twin-towered Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), whose construction took a mere six centuries. Completed in 1880, UNESCO declared this Gothic "Dom" a World Heritage Site in 1995, recognizing its cultural value as "a testament to the longevity of faith." You'll explore this intimately scaled city by coach and on a walking tour. Following a bit of free time, travel to a Tauck Exclusive private evening featuring a cocktail reception, dinner and entertainment at Schloss Ehreshoven, a German castle dating back to the 15th century. Built in the 14th century and later expanded in the style of a grand Baroque manor house, the estate is surrounded by a moat, landscaped gardens, and a castle park. Schloss Ehreshoven is frequently used as a film location, but this evening it's the elegant setting for a Tauck guests. Rejoin the riverboat tonight in Köln to continue your cruise.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Koblenz or bicycling on the Rhine
    Your riverboat arrives this morning in Koblenz. The city's roots go back to the Middle Ages, when its location made it a powerful one as the controller of trade along these major waterways. You may choose a morning of guided exploration of Koblenz, or a bicycling excursion* along the Rhine-Lahn cycle path. If you choose to explore Koblenz, your orientation tour includes a walk to Deutsches Eck – the "German Corner," where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet – and a visit to Aldstadt (Old Town), a mix of delightful town squares, tucked-away corners, medieval churches, baroque residences and cozy wine taverns. Should you choose to go bicycling (a countrywide passion in Germany), you'll follow easy riverside trails through forest, meadows and Riesling winelands, taking in views of the passing pleasure boats and freighters. After lunch aboard the riverboat, the entire afternoon is spent cruising through the quiet Rhine River Valley, past small cities, churches, ancient walls and castles; enjoy dinner and other activities aboard the ship tonight.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Explore Speyer or Heidelberg and its famous castle

    Following a morning's cruise, arrive in Speyer early in the afternoon – a town that thrived on river trade in the 10th and 11th centuries, when construction on its double-domed cathedral began. Today, you have a choice of exploring Speyer or Germany's oldest university town, Heidelberg. If you choose Speyer, begin at the impressive Technik Museum – dedicated to every form of technology that moves, from vintage cars to the Russian BURAN space shuttle. Then walk to Speyer Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its natural glass windows and roof made entirely of stone. Or choose an excursion to Heidelberg, where narrow lanes, shops and pubs housed in 17th-century structures in the Altstadt are kept lively by the cadence of student life. Visit the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, of which Mark Twain wrote in A Tramp Abroad; the schloss is an imposing ensemble of buildings from different architectural periods; from its terrace and gardens, the sweeping views impress along with the feel of 600 years of history. Return to the ship for a cocktail reception followed by the Chef's Signature Dinner onboard.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Sightseeing in Strasbourg and Baden-Baden
    You'll wake docked on the Rhine this morning, surrounded by the hills of southern Alsace, many checkered with vineyards. The day begins in the Alsatian cultural capital of Strasbourg, France. It is home to the charming canals and half-timbered houses of La Petite France, stately city residences, a Gothic cathedral, and plenty of winstubs, traditional Alsatian beer pubs. After a morning of sightseeing in Strasbourg, you may choose to stay in town to explore on your own or travel to the German spa resort town of Baden-Baden, on the edge of the Black Forest – where you can either take a walking tour then enjoy free time in this famed spa town, or visit Caracalla Spa, a day devoted to wellness and relaxation. The spa resembles a glass temple, with facilities that include whirlpools, waterfalls, counter-current pools, massage jets and turquoise pools of warm water sourced from natural springs. Add in a sauna complex with both hot and cold rooms (some wellness treatments at additional cost) and you'll feel re-energized at the end of your visit. Return to the ship for dinner and an evening of cruising.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Mt. Pilatus or wine tasting along the Alsatian wine route

    A choice of excursions await you today upon your arrival in Switzerland, commonly referred to as "the Playground of Europe." On one, you'll head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus aboard a gondola, climbing from Kriens to the very top (Oberhaupt) – nearly 7,000 ft. high; return via Alpnachstad, at the edge of Lake Lucerne, aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train and enjoy an orientation tour of Lucerne, Switzerland's "City of Lights." Alternatively, you may prefer the pleasures of lunch and a wine tasting along the Alsatian wine route. If so, you'll head to Château Haut-Koenigsbourg, originally built in the 1200s. Burned, abandoned and restored to its former glory in 1899, the castle presents a picture of a mountain fortress of the Middle Ages; after your visit, head to the French Alsatian town of Riquewihr for lunch and a wine tasting. Regardless of your choice, your day ends in Basel – a major crossroads of travel and thought since the 15th century. An orientation tour reveals parks, museums, galleries, and restaurants; the Rhine Promenade; 14th-century Münster Cathedral; and modern buildings by architects like Frank Gehry and Yoshio Taniguchi. Join us this evening for the captain's farewell reception followed by dinner aboard ship.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Journey home
    Tour ends: Basel. Fly home anytime. Upon disembarking the riverboat (no later than 9:00 AM), transfers are included to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg or Basel's SBB train station; guests can also transfer to Zürich Airport or Zurich Hauptbahnhof (train station). Please allow 3 hours for flight check-in.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Along the river Rhine… where mountains rise abruptly from the water's edge, ancient castles perch aloft, keeping watch over comings and goings, gentle valleys and ancient winelands lure, spas give respite, cathedrals speak to powerful times, plains and woods catch the eye, and a river travels, connecting centuries of history, cities of the arts and crossroads of thought.Discover the heritage and beauty of the River Rhine on our 7-night Basel – Amsterdam river cruise aboard ms Grace. Visit the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, exploring regional delights in the historic cities, towns and countryside linked by the Rhine. Set your own pace with choices along the way: castle visits, bicycling, mountain heights, a spa resort and more.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Dinner and entertainment at Schloss Ehreshoven, a German castle dating back to the 15th century
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions - $1,722 Value
  • ValueChoices of bicycle excursions in Strasbourg & Koblenz
  • Scenic sailing through the historic castles & winelands of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck Tours

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.

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Accommodations


ms Grace

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Tauck Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.7
Repeat with Operator
4.4
Value for Money
4.2

Ratings based off 871 reviews about Tauck Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Can't go wrong with Tauck...outstanding!

We were very impressed with Tauck Tours and would book with them through you again!

We spent more money on this Tauck tour than a Luxury Gold trip to Spain and Portugal (top of the line) which required international travel and was for a longer duration. Also, I've said this before about Tauck. Although a good company, there is too much food offered and too much time spent sitting down to a meal when we could be sightseeing.

Our goals were met and exceeded by Affordable Tours.

Wonderful Tauck Tours..we will travel with them again..thank you for the suggestion..

This is our 7th Tauck tour/river cruise and they have never disappointed.

Our trip was amazing and we had to he most amazing guide Leah she went above and beyond

Ms Lawren Farias was our agent. She went out of her way to make sure that everything went smoothly and it did I would defiitely use her again. She was outstanding.

Maya was absolutely wonderful! I only want to book with her for any future travel.

The Tauck tour exceeded our expectations.Our tour director was exceedingly well informed and organized.She was the best.

The tour was one of our best. Tauck's attention to detail and covering nearly 100% of our costs or fees and booking 5* hotels is why we liked the trip.

Fantastic vacation! Exceeded all our expectations! Trip of a Lifetime!!!

Tauck delivered as promised and more. The tour director was very helpful and knowledgeable. We wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

Tauck provides great tours. This is our 4th with Tauck. They provided transport for us even when our itinerary was different than usual. The Tauck tour director was wonderful.

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