Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure - Southbound

0 nights from £0

Start: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Finish: Basel, Switzerland
Duration:0 Nights
Suitable for: 0-99

Overview

Create cherished family memories on our unforgettable Basel to Amsterdam riverboat cruise along the Rhine River between aboard ms Grace or ms Inspire, visiting 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; a taste of fondue, 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” aboard the riverboat with French language lessons, songs, a cooking demonstration and a chocolate tasting; an onboard "Carnival night" and much more! .......read more
Highlights
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private medieval evening including tour and dinner at a historic moated castle
  • All gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides and drivers
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at £1,190!
  • Riding the world’s highest cogwheel train with sweeping views of the Swiss Alps
  • Fondue, chocolate, and French lessons, becoming “French for a Day”
  • Bicycling through forests and vineyards beside the Rhine - Moselle Rivers
  • Visit to the legendary ruins of Heidelberg Castle or the medieval town of Speyer

Itinerary

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Amsterdam. A transfer is included from Amsterdam's Schipol Airport or Central Station to ms Inspire for the start of your riverboat cruise along the Rhine. 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.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Dinner

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

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. Start your day with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum, displaying the world’s largest collection of works by Dutch Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. After, enjoy an orientation tour of Amsterdam, followed by a unique view of the city on a canal boat cruise through these historic waterways, hopping on and off to explore the city’s heart, which feels more like a village than the compact center of a cosmopolitan city, with your local guide. 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. This afternoon, rejoin the riverboat in Utrecht and enjoy lunch onboard as she sets off along the Rhine, bound for Köln (Cologne), Germany.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Köln, Germany

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. After a full morning of cruising, arrive in Köln and begin your exploration with a guided 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. This evening, head to Burg Satzvey, a moated castle in Germany's Rhineland region dating back to the 12th-century, for a grand dinner in the castle's banquet hall that transports your family back to the Middle Ages for some medieval fun! Later, return to the ship and continue your cruise to Koblenz.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Koblenz, Germany

Awaken this morning in Koblenz, a beautiful city set at Deutsches Eck – the “German Corner” – where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. The city’s roots go way back to the Middle Ages, when its prime location made it a powerful controller of trade along these important waterways. Today 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. Rejoin the riverboat for lunch and continue cruising past many castles overlooking the river, including Marksburg Castle. During the afternoon and evening's cruise, 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.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Heidelberg, Germany

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. Arrive late morning in Mannheim before traveling to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town, where the narrow lanes of the Altstadt are lined with shops and cafés set within well-preserved 17th-century buildings for a funicular ride up a hillside to visit the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Perched high above the city, your family will 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 from its terrace and gardens. Back aboard the riverboat, a discovery briefing precedes dinner.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Strasbourg, France

Today your riverboat calls on 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. Dinner tonight will be back aboard your riverboat. Tonight, you'll set sail for Basel.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Lucerne, Switzerland

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 Alpnachstad at the edge of shimmering Lake Lucerne, where you’ll board the world’s steepest cogwheel train for your ascent to the summit of Mt. Pilatus. Climbing to the very top (Oberhaupt), nearly 7,000 feet high, is most definitely part of the fun, as you travel upward at a really steep 48° angle, while drinking in the views of Alpine meadows and mountain streams. 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! Head back down the mountain at your leisure to lovely Lucerne for some time 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. This afternoon, join us in Lucerne for fun with fondue and a Swiss folklore show, prior to catching up with the riverboat in the historic city of Basel. Lying at the center of the “Three Corners,” where France, Germany and Switzerland meet at the Rhine, Basel's city skyline is dominated by the 14th-century Münster Cathedral. Join us for a farewell reception followed by dinner, as your riverboat overnights in Basel.

Accommodation Name: ms Grace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Basel, Switzerland

Tour ends: Basel. Disembark your riverboat this morning by 9:00 AM. A transfer is included from the riverboat to Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg or Basel SBB Bahnhof. Fly home anytime. Allow 3 hours for flight check-in. For guests wishing to spend more time in Basel, ask at booking about extending your stay with an additional hotel night at Tauck’s hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private medieval evening including tour and dinner at a historic moated castle
  • All gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides and drivers
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at £1,190!
  • Riding the world’s highest cogwheel train with sweeping views of the Swiss Alps
  • Fondue, chocolate, and French lessons, becoming “French for a Day”
  • Bicycling through forests and vineyards beside the Rhine - Moselle Rivers
  • Visit to the legendary ruins of Heidelberg Castle or the medieval town of Speyer

Reviews

5* First Tauck river cruise but not my last. Been on others but this was better.
I am a recent widow. My husband and I had been traveling since 1981. I wanted to get confidence in traveling again so my 18 year old grandson who never had been on a “real” trip was my traveling buddy for the Rhine Bridges river cruise. He and I had a WONDERFUL time. With the exception of the Castle experience, every day was memorable
Added By:
Date: 17-Jul-2018

5* Impressive, Customer-Friendly Management
The "Castles on the Rhine" bridges trip was enjoyed by our three generations. Accommodations were fine. Food belied hackneyed "cruise food" jokes by being truly interesting and beautifully presented. Tour leaders were personable and articulate. I especially applaud the superb management that made everything happen seamlessly and stress-free. Twice -- once at the sundeck barbeque and again at the farewell party--I watched virtually everyone rising to participate on the dance floor -- once, in a conga line and the other time in cheerful shuffling to the beat where no partners and no dancing skills were necessary. It transcended generations. All of the entertainment was contagiously fun
Added By:
Date: 05-Jul-2017

5* Great grandparent/granddaughter bonding!
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience with our teen granddaughters. The accommodations were excellent. Planned activities geared to various age groups worked well and the staff were delightful. The food beyond expectation. We enjoyed the BBQ and castle commentary plus leaving the ship to enjoy a beer garden at the girls' request. The girls' favorites were: Amsterdam houses, the castles, the BBQ, the bike ride, the rail car on Mt Pilatus and the Food????????. Our memories included getting to know other passengers and families as well as knowing our granddaughters better. All in all a fabulous trip with Tauck!
Added By:
Date: 10-Jul-2017

5* A Family Pleasure
Grandma wanted a quality vacation with children and grandchildren to experience quality time together, enjoy a riverboat and see historic sites. I wanted a trip that everyone would remember for years to come. It exceeded my expectations. The staff, the trips, the food, everything was great. Two of the Tauck Directors in particular were most helpful. First, the look on my family’s faces when they got on board. So many moments, dinner at the castle, the trip up the Alps, etc.
Added By:
Date: 16-Jul-2018

4* A Great Rhine Trip
This was a very rewarding trip for us and our family. The ship was superb, and the culinary staff and food were great. Our only suggestions would be to limit the organized children's activities after 10:30 PM, and allow families to mix at dinner time. The very best aspect of this trip was the quality of the ship, and the excellence of the chef and his staff.
Added By:
Date: 09-Jul-2017

Dates

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Touring with Tauck

Tauck has been a family run business since its first tour through New England in 1925. Spanning three generations and currently run by six family members, their 90 years of experience is clearly seen in more than 140 unique travel experiences.

Tauck makes dreams come true with inspiring journeys of discovery all over the planet. Wherever you travel with Tauck, their aim is to help you explore the world’s treasures, discover people and cultures you may not have known existed and experience extraordinary, life-changing moments. From North America’s magnificent West to the land of the Incas in South America’s Andes; from Alaska’s glaciers to New Zealand’s fjords; from Europe’s cultural capitals to the wildlife-rich plains of Africa; from Melbourne to Moscow and Bangkok to Bucharest. Choose from land journeys, river cruises, family adventures, small group tours or small ship cruises for your hassle-free adventure with Tauck.

Tauck have built their company on the personal referrals and recommendations of their guests as they can think of no higher testament to their trips and commitment to customer satisfaction. Guests speak of how powerful travel can be and how much they enjoy exploring the world with Tauck, explaining that their special access lets them become part of the culture they are discovering. They appreciate that the trips are seamless and inclusive, with all the details taken care of, so they can relax and enjoy. Travelling well includes getting the best value for your money and Tauck guests feel that it’s not about spending as little as you can, but about what you get for what you spend. A Tauck trip is worth every penny; they say the exclusive experiences provided, the great hotels they stay in, and the exemplary service they receive often far exceeds their expectations.

{{shortLabel}}

tour details

This tour is operated by Tauck

0 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
compare Compare tour Add this tour to the comparison list. compare Compare tour This tour has been added to the comparison list. Cick here to view.
Enquire Book between now and the 31st December for travel in 2020 & receive an additional hotel night free pre or post tour!
Start: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Finish: Basel, Switzerland
Duration:0 Nights
Suitable for: 0-99
tourhound promise
tourhound promise
TourHound Promise
  • I compare from the largest selection of touring companies available.
  • It doesn’t cost you a penny to use me, or to book a tour through TourHound.
  • I never favour one operator over another and provide a totally neutral comparison.
tour hound
Why TourHound?