Highlights
  • Holland: Take a private cruise along Amsterdam’s legendary canals, a World Heritage site.
  • Germany and the Rhine River: Visit the World Heritage site of Cologne’s Old Town, cruise through the scenic Rhine River Valley, enjoy a private wine tasting, and explore Heidelberg.
  • France: Arrive in Alsace, a region whose ownership has moved between Germany and France for generations, and discover Strasbourg's Old City, a World Heritage site.
  • The Swiss Alps and Legendary Railways: Explore the World Heritage site of Berne, travel through the Bernese Oberland to the snowcapped mountain peaks of the Alps, and stop in Interlaken to admire the Jungfrau. Dramatically set beneath the iconic Matterhorn, enjoy Lucerne and Zermatt aboard three legendary railways.

Take a grand tour of Europe on this popular journey, featuring rides on legendary trains in Alpine settings and a five-night cruise along the Rhine River, as well as visits to Cologne's magnificent Gothic cathedral and Heidelberg's 13th-century castle.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Rivers & Seas
  • Rhine River
Ship Name
  • Amadeus Silver II

2
Smithsonian Journeys Travel Reviews & Ratings
50% Recommend

3.0 out of 5
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Value
3.0 Guide
3.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
3.0 Meals
4.0
Great European Journey

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Smithsonian Journeys.

SoAaNZ

Does Not Recommend

The trip was awful due to flight cancellations and failure of the contractor to adequately compensate for missed activities and days. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 4.0
My wife and I were on the Smithsonian Journeys Splendors of Australia and New Zealand between April 13 and May 2, 2018. Smithsonian is rated by this site as Luxury travel. However, Smithsonian "farms out" the logistics for their trip to Odysseys Unlimited. Odysseys booked within country air travel with the lowest cost air carriers. Flights were cancelled from Ayers Rock to Sydney and from Queenstown New Zealand to Rotorua. Another flight was significantly delayed so that we did not arrive at our Christchurch destination until 2:00 am, making for a really tired next day. Odysseys Unlimited compensated us $400 per person for missing a day in Sydney and paid for an excursion in Auckland for missing Rotorua. This was wholly inadequate, given that these were highlights of the trip. In addition, our tour guide was rude to several people on the trip. If Smithsonian Journeys is truly a luxury travel outfit, as we had believed, then they would not be farming out travel logistics to such a chinch company as Odysseys Unlimited. We will think twice about traveling with Smithsonian again, and so should others.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys

C-Sdir

Recommends

Get to Cuba before it changes because it has to. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Cuba has been open to limited group travel for four years and is being opened to individual travel (still with restrictions) now. With thousands of Americans descending on our nearest island neighbor, Cuba has to increase its tourist infrastructure - and lose some of its charm.

Smithsonian Journeys is a great way to see Cuba before it changes. Yes, Smithsonian tours are more expensive than some other tour companies but the phrase, "you get what you pay for", certainly holds true. Everything about the tour was top notch - the American tour coordinator, the local Cuban guide, the itinerary - the best. And everything is included - everything - tipping, all activities, tours. Cuba is a fascinating destination and deserves a quality tour company.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys

Itinerary

Days 1-2: U.S., Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Meals: Lunch, Welcome Reception and Dinner

Depart the U.S. for Amsterdam. Following your morning arrival, enjoy a private cruise along Amsterdam’s delightful canals lined with 16th- and 17th-century gabled row houses, which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Embark the ship and join fellow participants this evening for the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Day 3: Cologne, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Enjoy the morning while cruising along the picturesque Rhine River. One of Germany’s most ancient cities, Cologne was founded as a Roman military outpost in 38 B.C. From the time of Charlemagne to present day, it has flourished as the Rhineland’s foremost mercantile and religious center and is the birthplace of the original world-famous Eau De Cologne perfume. Explore the Altstadt (Old Town) and visit the historic Kölner Dom (cathedral), a UNESCO World Heritage site and the finest example of High Gothic architecture in Germany; construction began on the cathedral in 1248 and lasted for six centuries. Among its artistic treasures are the Milan Madonna and the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings.

Day 4: Koblenz, Rüdesheim

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Go ashore this morning in Koblenz, where Germany’s Roman past dates to 9 B.C., during the reign of Augustus Caesar, when it was strategically established at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. From the famous Deutsches Eck (German Corner), enjoy a view of the impressive 19th-century fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, once the residence of the powerful Archbishop-Electors of Trier. The twin-towered Basilica of St. Castor, built between the 9th and 13th centuries, features the Rhineland’s distinctive Romanesque architecture.

Cruise through the spectacular Rhine River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, legendary for its scenery and riverside architectural treasures. Be on deck for a front row view of the steep terraced vineyards rising on the slopes of the riverbanks. With each bend in the river, a medieval castle crowns the crags and a tranquil village nestles along its banks. See the famous Lorelei Rock—legend holds that a beautiful siren lured sailors here with her enchanting song.

Dock in the medieval town of Rüdesheim, the heart of Germany’s wine country. Enjoy a tour aboard the unique Winzerexpress mini-train, traveling through bucolic countryside vineyards and passing historic castles, followed by a private tasting of German wines.

Reboard the ship and cruise through the Rheingau, Germany’s most famous wine-growing region, known particularly for its Riesling.

Day 5: Mannheim for Heidelberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, from Mannheim, transfer to Heidelberg, where luminaries such as Goethe and Schumann came to experience the intellectual atmosphere of Heidelberg University, Germany’s oldest, founded in 1386. To many on the “Grand Tour” of Europe, fashionable in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Heidelberg epitomized Germany, nestled in the densely wooded valley of the Neckar River and alive with the spirit of German Romanticism. Heidelberg has preserved its authentic Renaissance-Baroque character, including the eight remaining arches of the famous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) that span the Neckar River. Visit imposing Heidelberg Castle, a magnificent, 13th-century edifice perched above the river. The stately ruins preserve Heidelberg’s links to its medieval past.

Day 6: Strasbourg, France

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The lively Alsatian city of Strasbourg fuses the Old and New Europe. The Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a treasure trove of medieval houses, and the charming Ponts-Couverts, covered bridges flanked by watchtowers at each end, span the picturesque canals. It was in Strasbourg that John Calvin first established a reformed parish. See remnants of the Reformation in the beautiful Protestant and Catholic Church of St-Pierre-le-Vieux; and see the graceful sandstone Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame, a Romanesque-Gothic masterpiece that, according to the poet Goethe, rises “like a most sublime, wide-arching tree of God.” In the Petite-France district, the historic millers’, tanners’ and fishermen’s quarter along the Ill River, the fairy-tale look of a past era lives on, while nearby, 28 nations engage in the daily discourse of the European Union Parliament.

Enjoy lunch aboard ship. The afternoon is free for independent pursuits. This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Day 7: Basel, Switzerland, Berne, Interlaken, Lucerne

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Disembark in Basel and enjoy a scenic transfer across the rolling Swiss countryside to Berne, Switzerland’s historic capital. Visit the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and beautifully preserved medieval gem noted for its arcaded sidewalks. Have lunch in a traditional Bernese restaurant.

Continue on through one of the most beautiful areas of Switzerland, the spectacular Bernese Oberland, traveling from subtropical lowlands to the snow-crowned heights of the Alps. Admire its impressive natural treasures, including soaring jagged peaks, rolling green hills, crystal-clear glacial lakes, and densely wooded forests.

Stop in the charming resort town of Interlaken, located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Here, you will find the perfect vantage point for admiring the towering Jungfrau, an imposing summit in the Bernese Alps known as the “Top of Europe.”

Then, enjoy a scenic motorcoach transfer to Lucerne, where you will check into the lakeside, deluxe Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 8: Lucerne

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

A long-favored destination of travelers, Lucerne is set against the backdrop of its deep blue lake and the rugged grandeur of Mounts Pilatus and Rigi. Begin your morning walking tour in the Weinmarkt (wine market), surrounded by historic burghers’ houses. See the Hofkirche (Court Church), one of the finest examples of German Renaissance architecture, and the Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who gave their lives defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Walk across Lucerne’s most famous landmark, the delightful, 14th-century wooden Chapel Bridge, which spans the Reuss River and is adorned with 17th-century paintings.

Ascend Mount Pilatus by panoramic gondola to its 7000-foot summit for a magnificent 360-degree panorama of central Switzerland’s mountains, peaks, forests and lakes. Enjoy lunch in a summit restaurant followed by free time. Board the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, then descend more than 5,300 feet in less than three miles on return to the shores of Lake Lucerne, where you will enjoy a scenic lake cruise.

Day 9: Lucerne, Andermatt, Zermatt

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Relax during a scenic transfer from Lucerne to Andermatt. Lunch is included in Andermatt before you board the fabled Glacier Express, “the world’s slowest fast train,” and travel through the heart of the Alps, where the natural beauty of the mountains rivals the skill and ingenuity of the engineers who created this rail route across Europe’s most challenging terrain—requiring the construction of 291 bridges and 91 tunnels.

Arrive in the Alpine resort of Zermatt, dramatically located beneath the pinnacle of the iconic Matterhorn. Check into the chalet-style Hotel Alex and enjoy dinner in the hotel.

Day 10: Zermatt

Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Reception and Dinner

Today, travel aboard the famous Gornergrat Bahn, the highest cog railway in Europe. Ascend through forests of pine and larch and cross meadows ablaze with wildflowers to the 10,000‑foot‑high Gornergrat. From the observatory atop the Gornergrat, look out over sweeping vistas of Europe’s most breathtaking Alpine scenery—the serrated profiles of the Matterhorn, the Liskamm and Dufourspitze mountains and vast Gorner Glacier. Return to Zermatt at your leisure, with the option to stop en route at Riffelberg for the panoramic view of Monte Rosa and the majestic Matterhorn. The Farewell Reception and dinner will be in the hotel tonight.

Day 11: Zermatt, Geneva, U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Following breakfast, transfer to Geneva for your return flight to the U.S.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 5,495

Price Per Day:

$ 500 per day
 
  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000

Taxes are $240 per person and subject to change.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Amadeus Silver II

Ship Description

The new, state-of-the-art Amadeus Silver II enjoys its debut season in 2015 as the flagship of the innovative Lüftner fleet of elegant river ships. This gracious ship with 84 cabins and suites offers the utmost in service, safety and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambiance akin to an elegant European hotel. Relax in the panoramic lounge, indulge yourself with a soothing massage, browse in the boutique or connect with friends and family back home on the internet.

At the end of each day, return to the comfort of your bright, modern cabin featuring views of the passing scenery, satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower. As an added value feature all of your meals are included and local table wines are served with each dinner during the cruise portion of your journey. Savor international cuisine at the restaurant’s delicious breakfast and luncheon buffets, and enjoy regional specialties at dinner each evening.

 

Deck & Cabin Plans

Trip Includes
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Travel Director(s), and local guides throughout the tour.
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • Complimentary house wine, beer, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner while aboard ship.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted.
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only).
Trip Excludes
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à la carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Gratuities to ship and hotel staff.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airfare and air and departure taxes.
  • A program of optional excursions available at additional cost.
  • Taxes.
Optional Activities

Amsterdam, the Netherlands Pre-Program Option — 3 Days, 2 Nights

The historic heart of Amsterdam, laced with tree-shaded canals and stately 16th- and 17th-century merchant houses, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the perfect prelude to your Great Journey. Visit the world-class Rijksmuseum and enjoy a full-day excursion to the quaint port towns of Edam, world-famous for its cheese, and Hoorn, where the historic and modern coexist happily. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. The Pre-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Hotel Alex

Zermatt, Switzerland

A family-owned Swiss chalet nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Hotel Alex offers guests spectacular vistas of snowcapped peaks and views of charming Zermatt. Guestrooms and public areas are luxuriously decorated, while the staff's hospitality is reflected in the hotel's warm ambiance.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

Built in 1845, this deluxe, Victorian-style hotel has been owned and operated by the same family for five generations. It enjoys a central location along a promenade overlooking Lake Lucerne.

Number of nights: 2

Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ideally located in the historic city center of Amsterdam, this contemporary hotel offers a warm and welcoming new lobby and recently renovated guest rooms. Guest rooms feature air conditioning, direct dial telephone, cable television, radio, minibar, hair dryer, safe, bathrobe and wireless Internet access. Hotel facilities and guest services include a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine, lounge, laundry and dry cleaning, elevator, business center, computer facilities, wireless Internet access, fax service, hotel safe, concierge service, 24-hour room service and fitness center.

Number of nights: 2

Start City
Amsterdam
End City
Geneva
Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.

Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $1,000 retained; $200 pre/post cruise optional extension retained (entire deposit).

Final payment due: 95 days before departure.

Cancellation made less than 95 days before departure: no refund.

Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.

No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Trip ID#: GreEuSmi

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