Trip Type : River Cruise
The Romantic Rhine: Basel to Amsterdam - Northbound 2019 tour

The Romantic Rhine: Basel to Amsterdam - Northbound 2019

Tauck Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
By Tauck
4.7 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 4,690 $ 586 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Private family-style farm-to-table dinner at the Ecolut-Center
  • choices of bicycle excursions in Strasbourg & Koblenz
  • cogwheel train up Mt. Pilatus
  • wine tasting in the Alsatian hills
  • choice of walking tour or spa visit in Baden-Baden
  • visits to historic cities along the Rhine

Short Description

Discover the heritage and beauty of The Rhine, on a 7-night cruise between Amsterdam and Basel aboard one of Tauck's intimate riverboats. 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.

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Basel, Switzerland
End City Amsterdam, Netherlands

Trip Includes

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions - $2,113 Value
  • Choices of bicycle excursions in Strasbourg & Koblenz
  • Scenic sailing through the historic castles & winelands of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Private family-style farm-to-table dinner in the country at the Ecolut-Center, dedicated to forest sustainability
  • Sightseeing in Koblenz or bicycling along the Rhine River through forest and winelands
  • Visit to the Alsatian cultural capital of Strasbourg
  • In the Black Forest spa town of Baden-Baden, a walking tour or a world-class spa visit
  • Climbing to Mt. Pilatus on the world's steepest cogwheel train or a wine tasting in the Alsatian hills
  • Visits to Speyer's Cathedral & Technik Museum or Heidelberg's famed hillside castle
  • Explorations in Köln (Cologne) & Basel - contemporary cities rich with Rhine history & art
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport transfers arrival and departure as noted
  • 20 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Basel and embark your riverboat

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Basel. A transfer is included from Euroairport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg or Basel SBB Railway Station to your riverboat for the start of your cruise; check-in for all guests aboard the riverboat is 4:00 PM. After a discovery briefing where you'll hear about your river travels ahead, please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner onboard this evening to celebrate the start of a fantastic journey.

MEALS : D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Basel, Switzerland

Day 2 Lucerne & Mt. Pilatus or wine tasting

Welcome to Switzerland! Mountain scenery, shimmering Lake Lucerne, and forests and meadows straight out of a picture book are in store for you today if you choose to join our excursion to Lucerne. In this "city of lights," landmarks include the Kappelbrucke, a covered wooden footbridge crossing the Reuss River that dates back to the 1330s, an octagonal Water Tower once used as a prison, narrow lanes and lovely squares, like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz. In Altstadt Lucerne, narrow cobblestone lanes lead to town squares lined with houses painted with frescoes. From town, you'll head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train, climbing from Alpnachstad at the edge of Lake Lucerne to the very top (Oberhaupt) - nearly 7,000 ft. high. Getting to the top is definitely part of the fun, as you travel upward at a 48° angle, while soaking up views of Alpine meadows, and mountain streams, goats and flowers. 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 on a rocky promontory high above the French Alsatian plains - an ideal spot for observing comings and going. Burned, abandoned and restored to its former glory in 1899, the castle presents a picture of a mountain fortress of the Middle Ages, brimming with beautiful details; 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, which lies at the center of the "Three Corners," where France, Germany and Switzerland meet at the Rhine. On an orientation tour of this affluent and cultured city, you'll find green areas, parks, dozens of museums and art galleries, and chic restaurants. Along the Rhine Promenade, broad steps feature inviting cafés with views of the city skyline, dominated by the 14th-century Münster Cathedral. From the 16th-century town hall, painted in red and gold, to state-of-the-art works of architecture along the Rhine by internationally acclaimed architects like American Frank Gehry and Japan's Yoshio Taniguchi, you'll find a small city that has served as a major crossroads of travel and thought since the 15th century.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Lucerne/Mt. Pilatus/Alsace Wine Route

Day 3 Sightseeing in Strasbourg & Baden-Baden

You'll wake docked on the Rhine this morning in southern Alsace, much of its landscapes 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, cozy Alsatian wine restaurants. After a morning of sightseeing in Strasbourg, you may choose to stay in town to explore on your own; go for a bicycle excursion through Strasbourg with a local guide; 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 choose to 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 : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Strasbourg/Baden-Baden

Day 4 Speyer or Heidelberg & its Castle

For centuries the Rhine River was a major transport hub and a source of wealth for many; today you'll have a choice of visiting Speyer, a town that thrived on trade in the 10th and 11th centuries when construction on its double-domed cathedral began, or Heidelberg. At Speyers' impressive Technik Museum, you'll find exhibits dedicated to every form of technology that moves, from vintage cars to a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and a German U9 submarine that you can go inside, and the Russian BURAN space shuttle. On a visit to Speyer Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you may be surprised by its use of natural glass windows, which pre-dated the use of stained glass, and its roof made entirely of stone - the first ever in Europe. Alternatively, you may spend the morning on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university town. Narrow lanes, shops and pubs housed in 17th-century structures in the Altstadt are kept lively by the cadence of student life. On the hillside above the city, you'll visit the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss), an imposing ensemble of buildings, from different architectural periods, surrounding a central courtyard; from its terrace and gardens, the sweeping views impress along with the feel of 600 years of history. Return to the riverboat for an afternoon of cruising and dinner onboard this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Speyer/Heidelberg

Day 5 Koblenz or riverside cycling, then dinner in the country

Your riverboat arrives today 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 an afternoon of guided exploration of Koblenz, or a cycling excursion * along the Rheinradweg bicycle route. 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 Altstadt, (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, taking in views of the passing pleasure boats and freighters. The late afternoon is spent back onboard your riverboat, cruising through the quiet Rhine River Valley, past small cities, churches, ancient walls and castles. Early this evening, disembark for a Tauck Exclusive private reception and family-style farm-to-table dinner at the Ehreshoven Foundation's Ecolut-Center, a modern venue in the countryside dedicated to forest sustainability. Rejoin the riverboat tonight in Köln.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Koblenz, Germany

Day 6 A day in historic Köln

Sightseeing in Köln (Cologne) 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 lunch aboard the riverboat, depart Köln in the early afternoon as your river cruise sails toward its final days in the amazing Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Koln, Germany

Day 7 A day in Amsterdam - canals, museums and more

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 - and lunch onboard, spend a free afternoon as you please in Amsterdam. Return to your riverboat for tonight's farewell reception followed by dinner, then live music in the lounge - a fitting finale to an fantastic week on the River Rhine!

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 8 Journey home

Tour ends: Amsterdam. Disembark your riverboat this morning no later than 9:00 AM, then fly home anytime. A transfer is included from ms Inspire to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam Centraal Station. Please allow at least 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 : B

PORTOFCALL : Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Price Per Day: $ 586 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

20 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 3
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.7

The Romantic Rhine: Basel to Amsterdam - Northbound 2019

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Company Reviews

Good Introduction to China

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The tour director was well-organized and managed the local guides really well. My only disappointment was that only 1.5 hours was allocated for the Great Wall of China, even though I could have spent all day hiking it. The dinners provided thorough samples of Chinese cuisine but were sometimes very long and tiring, exceeding 2 hours.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Hutong ride in Beijing and the balmy sunny weather during the transfer to my international flight home made me contemplate the charms of possibly living in Asia.
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Loved Japan

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Totally enjoyed our tour. Had an amazing guide and co-guide which makes all the difference in a good experience. Definitely will be back.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Tauck Director's suggestion of the "sushi" conveyor belt restaurant in Kyoto... and of course the cherry blossoms.
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We did so many memorable things

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
What a fantastic trip! Tauck definitely knows how to treat a traveler. From the tour director to the food, hotels, chartered flights, boat harbor cruises, jet boat and helicopter rides, private parties and movie viewings---I could go on and on. Both countries are beautiful, but New Zealand is breath taking!

Most Memorable Moment:
This is a tough question. We did so many memorable things, but my number 1 was the balloon ride followed closely by the jet boat and helicopter rides. I met so many wonderful people and hope to meet up with a few of them in the future! Our tour director made this entire trip one of a kind!
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Spotlight on India

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was an excellent tour which my wife and I truly enjoyed. This is a great country to visit on a Tauck tour because we were able to see so much but on a comfortable, safe journey due to the excellent organization, experienced and knowledgable guides and director, and choice of the best hotels. Good balance of tour and free time.

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi with the evening boat ride and the early morning walk through the streets for another viewing of the River Ganges by boat. The Amber fort and the Taj Mahal were spectacular to see along with everything else on the tour. The Tuck tuck rides and walks through the streets and food markets were excellent as well.
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This trip offered a fabulous learning experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip offered a fabulous learning experience. This is a complex country with a complex culture emanating from a complex and diverse history - from the Mughals to the English to their ultimate independence. If you are a tourist, their focus is to to make you feel like you are the most important person anywhere. They did that. India is a must see

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi ceremonies.
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Absolutely LOVED this trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Absolutely LOVED this trip!! Tauck really outdid themselves on the hotels!! The most amazing accommodations possible. The tour guide did an wonderful job and took great care of all of us. India is like nowhere else and the Taj Mahal was INCREDIBLE!! Even with all the poverty, everyone was very friendly and wanted pictures taken with us!

Most Memorable Moment:
The palatial hotel accommodations and of course seeing the BEAUTIFUL Taj Mahal was worth the trip!
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Details

Ship Name

MS INSPIRE

Ship Description

MS INSPIRE

Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Inspire cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Rhine and Moselle rivers as part of our Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue our tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters). Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, our most popular cabins tend to be our largest... so we have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, we’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open

Deck & Cabin Plans

MS INSPIRE

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

tauck-RIX2019

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