The Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Basel featuring Oberammergau - Southbound

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Tauck

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. It happens once, every ten years… when, as they have for nearly four centuries, the citizens of a little village in the Bavarian Alps come together to create a unique and moving performance event that travelers all over the world come to see… On this cruise, you become part of the experience when you witness the power and pageantry of the Oberammergau Passion Play. The Rhine Valley is nirvana for authors, artists and travelers of every interest. Here, mountains rise abruptly from the water’s edge, ancient castles perch aloft, gentle valleys calm, age-old winelands lure, spas give respite, cathedrals inspire, plains and woods catch the eye, and a great river runs through it – connecting centuries of history and culture. Experience it your way in riverside villages, country retreats and centuries-old cities during a choice of included shore excursions. Discover the heritage and beauty of the River Rhine on our 7-night Basel – Amsterdam river cruise 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.

Highlights
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • Preferred seating at a performance of the Passion Play in Oberammergau
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions – £2,287 Value
  • Private family-style farm-to-table dinner in the country at the Ecolut-Center, dedicated to forest sustainability
  • Scenic sailing through the historic castles & winelands of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Value Choices of bicycle excursions in Strasbourg & Koblenz
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions – £2,370 Value
  • SPECIAL NOTE Due to these unprecedented times, the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play has been moved to 2022. We will be operating The Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Basel featuring Oberammergau in 2022; however, 2022 itinerary details are not yet complete, and are subject to change from 2020 itinerary details. Please call your travel advisor or Tauck to reserve your preferred spot as space is becoming limited.
Destinations
  • Heidelberg, Germany, Speyer, Germany
  • Strasbourg, France, Baden-Baden, Germany
  • Amsterdam
  • Netherlands
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tour Types
  • Luxury

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

<strong>Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Amsterdam.</strong>&nbsp;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&rsquo;ll hear about your river travels ahead, please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner aboard your riverboat&nbsp;to celebrate the start of a fantastic journey.

Meals: Dinner

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

In a city indelibly linked to water, it&rsquo;s fitting that your day begins with a cruise on its 17th-century&nbsp;<em>grachten</em>&nbsp;(canals) which fan out in crescent-shaped rings from the northern waterfront. On the drive to board your canal boat, you&rsquo;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 &ndash; with people, bicycles, trams and buses; De Waag (Weigh House), once a fortified gate that today houses a popular outdoor caf&eacute;; 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 &ndash; an ever busy, ever interesting crossroads. Aboard the canal boat, you&rsquo;ll glide beneath curved bridges carrying walkers and cyclists &ndash; sometimes trams and cars &ndash; and by narrow merchant homes, whose goods were once pragmatically stored on the upper floors. After a guided visit to the famed Rijksmuseum &ndash; home to many works by Rembrandt and other old Dutch Masters &ndash; 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

Location: Köln, Germany

Overnight your riverboat crosses into Germany; after a full morning of cruising and lunch onboard, you'll arrive in K&ouml;ln (Cologne), a city made a capital of a Roman province in 50 AD. Sightseeing begins with a guided tour of the immense twin-towered K&ouml;lner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), whose construction took a mere six centuries. Completed in 1880, UNESCO declared this Gothic &ldquo;Dom&rdquo; a World Heritage Site in 1995, recognizing its cultural value as &ldquo;a testament to the longevity of faith.&rdquo; You&rsquo;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 reception and family-style local 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 K&ouml;ln to continue your cruise.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Koblenz, Germany

Your riverboat arrives this morning in Koblenz. The city&rsquo;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&nbsp;<em>Deutsches Eck</em>&nbsp;&ndash; the &ldquo;German Corner,&rdquo; where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet &ndash; and a visit to&nbsp;<em>Aldstadt</em>&nbsp;(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&rsquo;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

Location: Heidelberg, Germany, Speyer, Germany

Following a morning's cruise, arrive in Speyer early in the afternoon &ndash; 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 &ndash; 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&nbsp;<em>Altstadt&nbsp;</em>are kept lively by the cadence of student life. Visit the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle, of which Mark Twain wrote in&nbsp;<em>A Tramp Abroad</em>; the&nbsp;<em>schloss</em>&nbsp;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

Location: Strasbourg, France, Baden-Baden, Germany

You&rsquo;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&nbsp;<em>winstubs</em>, traditional Alsatian beer pubs. 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 &ndash; 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&rsquo;ll feel re-energized at the end of your visit. Return to the ship for dinner and an evening of cruising, as your river cruise winds its way to Switzerland.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Lucerne, Switzerland

If you choose to join our excursion to Lucerne, the lakeside &ldquo;city of lights,&rdquo; landmarks include the Kappelbrucke, a covered wooden footbridge crossing the Reuss River that dates back to the 1330s, an octagonal Water Tower, narrow lanes and lovely squares. In&nbsp;<em>Altstadt</em>&nbsp;Lucerne, narrow cobblestone lanes lead to town squares lined with houses painted with frescoes. From town, you&rsquo;ll head out for the heights of Mt. Pilatus aboard the world&rsquo;s steepest cogwheel train, climbing from Alpnachstad at the edge of Lake Lucerne to the very top (Oberhaupt) &ndash; nearly 7,000 ft. high. Alternatively, you may prefer the pleasures of lunch and a wine tasting along the Alsatian wine route. If so, you&rsquo;ll head to Ch&acirc;teau 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 &ndash; 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 M&uuml;nster 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

Location: Basel, Switzerland

Disembark your riverboat this morning by 9:00 AM. Today you'll journey through Switzerland to Germany and the Bavarian Oberammergau region, in anticipation of tomorrow's spectacle of the Passion Play. Arrive mid-afternoon for a two-night stay. &nbsp;

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to the Bavarian village of Oberammergau this morning; first up is a walking tour with a local guide, followed by some free time to explore as you please. Early afternoon marks the beginning of one of Europe's most beloved and venerable traditions, the 2020 performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play (or Passionsspiele) depicting the story of the Passion of Christ. In the 1630's, as the plague raged throughout Europe, the people of Oberammergau vowed to perform a play about the life of Jesus Christ every ten years if they were spared from the epidemic... and they have kept their promise. Enjoy Tauck's premier seating &ndash; in the best category available &ndash; for the performance, beginning early afternoon; following a dinner break, the play continues into the evening. An English libretto is provided to enhance your enjoyment of this&nbsp; once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Accommodation Name: Hotel Blaue Gams

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Munich, Germany

Following breakfast, depart for Munich &ndash; the capital of Bavaria.&nbsp;Join a local guide for a one-hour sightseeing tour of Munich this afternoon that introduces you to the city's iconic sights. This afternoon you'll have some free time to explore as you please, perhaps viewing the Marienplatz, Old Town, the Altes Rathaus, the rebuilt Frauenkirche and St. Mary's Column. Join us this evening for a farewell dinner.

Accommodation Name: The Westin Grand Munich

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Munich, Germany

<strong>Tour ends: The Westin Grand Munich.</strong> A transfer is included from The Westin Grand Munich to Munich Airport or Munich Hauptbahnhof (the Main Munich Train Station); you should allow 3 hours for flight check-in.

Meals: Breakfast

  • SPECIAL NOTE Due to these unprecedented times, the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play has been moved to 2022. We will be operating The Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Basel featuring Oberammergau in 2022; however, 2022 itinerary details are not yet complete, and are subject to change from 2020 itinerary details. Please call your travel advisor or Tauck to reserve your preferred spot as space is becoming limited.
  • Private family-style farm-to-table dinner in the country at the Ecolut-Center, dedicated to forest sustainability
  • Preferred seating at a performance of the Passion Play in Oberammergau
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions and distinctive inclusions – £2,287 Value
  • 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

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

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18-May-2022
10 Nights
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29-Jun-2022
10 Nights
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13-Jul-2022
10 Nights
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27-Jul-2022
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31-Aug-2022
10 Nights
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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.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Tauck

10 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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View live deal View live deal 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: Munich, Germany
Suitable for: 0-99
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