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Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure - Northbound

Operator
Tauck
Days
8
From
USD $4,890

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From
Wednesday,
Jun 21, 2023
To
Wednesday,
Jun 28, 2023
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From
Wednesday,
Jul 05, 2023
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Wednesday,
Jul 12, 2023
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From
Wednesday,
Jul 19, 2023
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Wednesday,
Jul 26, 2023
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Itinerary

Book With Flexibility

  • Peace of Mind
    Cancel within 60 days of departure and any penalties will be applied toward your next Tauck purchase.
  • No Change Fees
    Any Tauck, any time. If your 2021 plans do change any time up until the day of departure, your full deposit can be applied to a future Tauck journey of your choice.
  • Change Dates
    In the event Tauck is unable to operate your journey’s departure date. You have flexible options to travel on another 2021 or 2022 date – or, if you wish, on a different journey.
  • Great Service
    Award-winning service, low prices, client satisfaction

Tour Itinerary

Create cherished family memories on our unforgettable Basel to Amsterdam riverboat cruise along the Rhine River, exploring Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands for an adventure unlike any other.Family travel experiences include a bicycle ride through forests and vineyards along the Rhine riverside; Swiss folklore and more in lakeside Lucerne; a ride aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train to the top of Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps; exploring the fascinating ruins of hilltop Heidelberg Castle in the medieval university town of Heidelberg; learning about the Lorelei and other Rhine River legends while keeping an eye out for fairy tale castles; discovering the art treasures and historic canals of Amsterdam; an exclusive gala dinner for Tauck guests only at Burg Satzvey, a medieval moated castle in Germany; becoming "French for a Day" with French language lessons, songs, and a chocolate tasting; an onboard "Carnival night" and much more!

Countries Visited

France , Germany , Netherlands , Switzerland

  1. Day 1
    Welcome to Basel and embark your riverboat

    Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Basel. Transfers are included from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg or Basel's SBB train station to the riverboat where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM; guests can also transfer from Zürich Airport or Zurich Hauptbahnhof (train station) to the riverboat in Basel. Meet your riverboat crew for a welcome briefing, then kick off your fun family river cruise by joining your shipmates for a welcome reception and dinner aboard the riverboat this evening.


    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    By rail to Mt. Pilatus and explore Lucerne

    Depart your riverboat this morning for an excursion to Switzerland's Lake Lucerne area and Mt. Pilatus – where mountain peaks, forests and meadows straight out of a picture book await your family. Travel to Kriens where you'll board a cable car for your ascent to the summit of Mt. Pilatus. Mt. Pilatus, by the way, was so named because (a) ancient Roman governor Pontius Pilate was rumored to have been buried there, or (b) it resembles the belly of a large man (perhaps Pilate) lying on his back  – depending on which local legend you believe! Descending aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train from the very top (Oberhaupt), nearly 7,000 feet high, is most definitely part of the fun as you travel downward at a really steep 48° angle, while taking in the views of Alpine meadows and mountain streams. Spend some time as you please in lovely Lucerne to explore on your own; sights in this "city of lights" include Altstadt (the Old City), whose narrow cobblestone lanes lead to centuries-old buildings painted with frescoes; the Kappelbrücke (Chapel Bridge), a covered wooden footbridge dating back to the 1330s, with an octagonal water tower that was once used as a prison; picturesque squares like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz; and the iconic Lion Monument, honoring the Swiss mercenaries who lost their lives during the French Revolution. Return to your riverboat for the overnight sailing to Strasbourg, France.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    French for a day in Strasbourg

    Wake up this morning aboard your riverboat, docked on the Rhine outside the historic city of Strasbourg, France, surrounded by the hills of southern Alsace. Renowned for its fairy-tale charm – and as the "Crossroads of Europe" for its role as home to the European Union – Strasbourg is the cultural capital of the French region of Alsace. Have some Franco-styled fun as your family becomes "French for a Day" in Strasbourg during a morning filled with learning French phrases, a sing-along featuring French songs, and a chocolate tasting! You can return to the riverboat for lunch, or stay in Strasbourg and spend the afternoon exploring as you please. Among the treasures you'll see here are the medieval canals, watchtowers and half-timbered houses of La Petite France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; stately city residences; the modern buildings of the European Parliament' and the 11th-century Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. Back aboard the riverboat tonight, you'll continue your Basel – Amsterdam riverboat cruise along the Rhine to Speyer and Heidelberg, Germany.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Castles on the Rhine
    As a major transport link across the heart of central Europe for centuries, the mighty Rhine River was a source of great riches for those who controlled the trade that plied its waters... and today, the cities, towns and castles along its banks remind us of that wealth and the power it created. You'll have a choice of excursion today. Visit the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, perched high above the city of Heidelberg; you'll be awed by the castle's imposing ensemble of buildings from different centuries and architectural periods, radiating out from a central courtyard. Within its walls, you can feel the sweep of hundreds of years of history that was made here – and enjoy the sweeping views of the riverscapes from its terrace and gardens. Alternatively, visit the Technik Museum Speyer, introducing technological innovation from the underwater world to space. Return to the riverboat in Mannheim for lunch onboard and more Rhine cruising this afternoon; dock in Bingen tonight.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Koblenz or cycling and an evening at a castle
    During a morning spent cruising the Rhine aboard the riverboat, keep your eyes peeled for riverside castles as you play our "I Spy a Castle" game, and hear legends and lore of the Lorelei – the mythical siren that was said to rise from the rocky bank of the river and bewitch passing sailors – from your Tauck Directors. Arrive in Koblenz, a beautiful city set at Deutsches Eck – the "German Corner" – where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. The city's roots go back to the Middle Ages, when its prime location made it a powerful controller of trade along these important waterways. This afternoon, you can choose to join your local guide on a walking tour of Koblenz's Altstadt (Old Town), a delightful mix of medieval town squares, tucked-away corners, medieval churches, baroque residences and wine taverns. Or set off on a bicycling tour* through fields, forests and vineyards along the Rhine-Moselle (Rheinradweg) bicycle route. Bicycling is a countrywide passion in Germany, and the route's easy riverside trails take you through woods, meadows and Riesling winelands, offering views of passing pleasure boats and freighters on the river. Board the riverboat mid-afternoon and cruise to Köningswinter; disembark, and head to Burg Satzvey, a moated castle in Germany's Rhineland region dating back to the 12th century, for a grand dinner and evening in the castle's banquet hall that transports your family back to the Middle Ages for some medieval fun! Rejoin the riverboat in Köln (Cologne) tonight.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Historic Köln & Carnival traditions onboard
    Germany's fourth-largest city, historic Köln (also known as Cologne) was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD; nearly destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, modern Köln's unique mix of rebuilt, restored and new structures sprawls across both sides of the Rhine. Start your exploration with a walking tour of the city, dominated by the immense, twin-spired Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), whose construction only took six hundred years! Completed in 1880, this Gothic "Dom" was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The riverboat departs Köln midday; during an afternoon and evening spent cruising the Rhine, learn about the colorful history and traditions of "Carnival"; it grew out of celebrations leading up to the Christian observance of Lent, and has been an important part of the cultural scene in Germany (and in Köln in particular) for centuries. Have fun preparing costumes for and participating in an onboard "Carnival Night" celebration after dinner. Chart a course for Amsterdam on your riverboat cruise tonight.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    A windmill, canal cruise and more upon arrival in Amsterdam
    Amsterdam, the remarkable capital of The Netherlands, is all about water; like Venice in Italy, it's dominated by a series of canals that link its many tiny islands. Known to the Dutch as grachten, the city's 17th-century canals fan out in crescent-shaped rings from the northern waterfront. Upon arrival, travel to Zaanse Schans, a traditional Dutch windmill village, for a visit to a working windmill, a tasting of local cheeses, and a clog-making workshop. Return to Amsterdam for a unique view of the city on a canal boat cruise through the historic waterways with a local guide; the city's heart feels more like a village than the compact center of a cosmopolitan city. Aboard the canal boat, you'll glide beneath curved bridges carrying walkers and cyclists – as well as trams and cars – and past the narrow former homes of merchants who stored their goods on the upper floors. Along the way, see a host of 17th- and 18th-century structures, the 19th-century Centraal Station, the city flower market and more. Back onboard this evening, please join us tonight for our farewell dinner – a great way to wrap up your family's unforgettable Basel to Amsterdam riverboat cruise!
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Journey home
    Tour ends: Amsterdam. Disembark your riverboat this morning by 9:00 AM. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Amsterdam's Schipol Airport or Central Station. Fly home anytime. Allow 3 hours for flight check-in. For guests wishing to spend more time in Amsterdam, ask at booking about extending your stay with an additional hotel night at Tauck's hotel.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Create cherished family memories on our unforgettable Basel to Amsterdam riverboat cruise along the Rhine River, exploring Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands for an adventure unlike any other.Family travel experiences include a bicycle ride through forests and vineyards along the Rhine riverside; Swiss folklore and more in lakeside Lucerne; a ride aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train to the top of Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps; exploring the fascinating ruins of hilltop Heidelberg Castle in the medieval university town of Heidelberg; learning about the Lorelei and other Rhine River legends while keeping an eye out for fairy tale castles; discovering the art treasures and historic canals of Amsterdam; an exclusive gala dinner for Tauck guests only at Burg Satzvey, a medieval moated castle in Germany; becoming "French for a Day" with French language lessons, songs, and a chocolate tasting; an onboard "Carnival night" and much more!

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private medieval evening including tour and dinner at a historic moated castle, Burg Satzvey
  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $1,699
  • All gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides and drivers
  • Descending Mt. Pilatus aboard the world's highest cogwheel train with sweeping views of the Swiss Alps
  • Tarte flambée, chocolate and French lessons - become "French for a Day"
  • Bicycling through forests and vineyards beside the Rhine
  • Visit to the legendary ruins of Heidelberg Castle

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 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:

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 Inspire

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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
4.5
Value for Money
4.3

Ratings based off 837 reviews about Tauck Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

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.

The Tour director (Mark) is excellent, the accommodation were first class and convenient and most included meals were very good. We also were blessed with a wonderful group of fellow travelers which I believe is due to Tauck's reputation.

Tauck does a wonderful job in providing a variety of great travel experiences in a worry free environment where every small detail is taken care of.

Both AffordableTours.com and Tauck are very professional organizations who ensure your traveling experiences are exceptional. Highly recommend both and we keep coming back to book with both.

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