AMA WATERWAYS SAMPLE ITINERARY
17 NIGHTS ∙ TRAVEL TO AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS AND RETURN FROM ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

 

2 NIGHTS AMSTERDAM,
11-NIGHT CRUISE FROM AMSTERDAM TO BASEL,
2 NIGHTS LUCERNE AND 2 NIGHTS IN ZURICH

 

Pages from fairy tales come to life as you find inspiration along the fabled, castle-laden Rhine and its breathtaking tributary, the Moselle, with fascinating scenery of Europe’s steepest vineyards lining its shores. Encounter some of the prettiest towns of the Alsace—Strasbourg and Riquewihr—that blend their German and French heritage into one enchanting masterpiece. Cochem and Bernkastel, towns that grew up below a castle, give you a sense of what it was like to live during the Middle Ages. Visit Trier, once known as the second Rome as no other city in Germany has so many monuments from Roman times; and Koblenz, where history meets at two rivers. Bygone grandeur of a different kind can be found at Mannheim’s glorious Baroque Palace and at Schwetzingen Palace Gardens with more than 100 sculptures and whimsical buildings, including the most spectacular, the Türkischer Garten. Colorful canals and glistening lakes, hilltop towns and majestic alps, mighty fortresses and storied castles, and hearty beer and delicate wines can all be experienced on this fairytale journey through time.

 

DAY  DESTINATION                               ACTIVITIES

1 Amsterdam                                           Hotel check-in

2 Amsterdam                                           Walking tour

3 Amsterdam                                           Zaanse Schans visit

                                                                EMBARKATION

4 Amsterdam                                           Canal cruise

                                                                Scenic cruising out of Amsterdam

5 Cologne                                                “Holy City” walking tour and cathedral visit

                                                                OR Kölsch beer tasting

                                                                OR Cologne bike tour

6 Lahnstein                                              Unique Lahneck Castle visit

                                                                OR Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and cable car ride to Koblenz

                                                                OR Lahneck Castle hike OR “Two Rivers” bike tour

7 Moselle                                                 Scenic cruising

                                                                Cochem Reichsburg Castle and walking tour

                                                                OR Cochem Mustard Mill

                                                                OR Cochem hike

                                                                OR Cochem bike tour

8 Moselle                                                 Scenic cruising

   Trier                                                      “Rome of the North” tour

                                                                OR “Ancient tales of the Porta Nigra” tour

                                                                OR Petrisberg hike

                                                                OR Trier bike tour

9 Bernkastel                                             Walking tour and wine tasting

                                                                OR Landshut Castle hike

                                                                OR Moselle bike tour

10 Rhine Gorge                                       Castles along the Rhine scenic cruising

     Rüdesheim                                          Gondola ride and wine tasting

                                                                OR Vineyard hike

                                                                OR Schloss Johannisberg bike tour

                                                                Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum

                                                                OR Rüdesheimer coffee

11 Ludwigshafen                                     “Romantic Heidelberg” excursion

                                                                OR Mannheim Baroque Palace

                                                                OR Schwetzingen Gardens

                                                                OR Heidelberg Philosopher’s Path hike

                                                                OR Ladenburg bike tour

12 Strasbourg                                          “The Gem of the Alsace” tour

                                                                OR Strasbourg bike tour

13 Breisach                                              Riquewihr walking tour OR Freiburg excursion

                                                                 OR Black Forest hike

                                                                 OR Breisach wine country bike tour

14 Basel                                                   DISEMBARKATION

                                                                 Basel highlights tour

                                                                 Transfer to Lucerne

     Lucerne                                               Lucerne Walking Tour

                                                                 Hotel check-in

15 Lucerne                                               Lucerne City Tour and medieval city walls

16 Lucerne                                               Lucerne Lake Cruise and Transfer to Zurich

                                                                 Hotel check-in

17 Zurich                                                  “Little Big City” tour

18 Zurich                                                  Return flight home

 

Day 1, ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS. Arrive in Amsterdam and check into your hotel.

 

Day 2, AMSTERDAM. Follow your guide through the charming capital of the Netherlands, with its iconic meandering canals, bridges and distinctive architecture. (B)

 

Day 3, AMSTERDAM – EMBARKATION. Check out of your hotel and, before transferring to your ship, visit Zaanse Schans, observing life as it used to be in the Netherlands. Authentic windmills, houses and ships were relocated to this picturesque area, creating a typical 17th- to 18th-century village. (B,D)

 

Day 4, AMSTERDAM. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam. (B,L,D)

 

Day 5, COLOGNE, GERMANY. Enjoy cruising to Cologne, home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO- designated cathedral. You’ll also pass by the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, and other local sights. For a different view of the city, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and reibekuchen, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine. (B,L,D)

 

Day 6, LAHNSTEIN. You have a choice to visit Burg Lahneck, a medieval 13th-century castle, located in the city of Lahnstein; or you can go to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress to take the aerial cable car over the Rhine to Koblenz, which boasts a rich history spanning more than 2,000 years. For those seeking a more active adventure, explore the area on the “Two Rivers Bike Tour,” which takes you along both the Rhine and Moselle rivers; or go on a hike around Lahnstein to Lahneck Castle. (B,L,D)

 

Day 7, COCHEM. Spend the morning taking in the beauty of the Moselle on this scenic stretch of the river before reaching Cochem with its half-timbered houses and Reichsburg Castle. Join a guided tour through the castle and then walk through its Old Town. For those wishing to have a more active exploration of the area, you can go on a guided hike to the castle or a bike tour through Cochem. Or for a different adventure, follow your palate to one of Europe’s oldest mustard mills in Cochem for a taste of its finest mustard recipe. (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 8, TRIER. Set sail for Trier, Germany’s oldest city, where you can discover on a city tour why it has been called the “Rome of the North” as it has impressive Roman relics and nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Alternatively, go in search of the secrets of the Porta Nigra Gate on a tour that takes you back to a time when Rome ruled the world from the Emperor’s seat in Trier. You also have the choice of a bike tour through the historic city center and along the Moselle River; or hike high above Trier to Petrisberg. (B,L,D)

 

Day 9, BERNKASTEL. Enjoy a scenic cruise to Bernkastel that will enchant you. Walk through its colorful Old Town center and past many medieval and Renaissance buildings on a guided tour that also includes a winery visit and tasting. Cycling enthusiasts can choose to join a bike tour and hikers can opt to trek up to the ruins of Landshut Castle, which dates all the way back to the 9th century. (B,L,D)

 

Day 10, RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM. Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river, before reaching Rüdesheim. Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, and afterwards, be treated to a wine tasting. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. (B,L,D)

 

Day 11, LUDWIGSHAFEN. You have a choice of several excursions, depending on your interest. Visit Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Alternatively, relive a bygone era on an excursion to the glorious Schwetzingen Baroque Palace. Tour this splendid palace furnished with over 800 exhibits. Or, you may decide to visit Schwetzingen Palace Gardens with more than 100 sculptures and admire an assortment of whimsical buildings. The Apollotempel houses a statue of the ancient Greek god of light and the arts, playing the lyre; and the most spectacular, the Türkischer Garten with a mosque, are a few of the many highlights you will see. You can also hike the historic Philosopher’s Path along the Neckar River or bike to the charming town of Ladenburg and glide past its half-timbered architecture. (B,L,D)

 

Day 12, STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through these charming streets and past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. Alternatively, the active adventurer can take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie. (B,L,D)

 

Day 13, BREISACH, GERMANY. Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside, or go on a hike in the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions. (B,L,D)

 

Day 14, BASEL, SWITZERLAND – DISEMBARKATION – LUCERNE. Disembark the ship and, before transferring to Lucerne, go on a highlights tour of Basel. Once in Lucerne, discover the unrivaled beauty and charm of this pristine city on a walking tour. Check into your hotel and enjoy a leisurely evening. (B)

 

Day 15, LUCERNE. Today, stop at the iconic Lion Monument, sculpted in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution. You’ll also visit the spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. (B)

 

 

Day 16, LUCERNE – ZURICH. Check out of your hotel and before your transfer via motorcoach to Zurich, enjoy a scenic lake cruise. Later, check into your Zurich hotel. (B)

 

Day 17, ZURICH. Zurich seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future—all of which will be on full display during your city tour. One of the top experiences in Zurich is a visit to Old Town where you will find yourself amongst medieval houses, churches and the modern Bahnhofstrasse. (B)

 

Day 18, DEPART ZURICH. After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home. (B)

Lucerne after a river cruise down the Rhine and Moselle rivers.  Castle  cruise, wine cruise

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