11 Day Rhine River Cruise with Lucerne 2020 (Monarch Countess)
11 days with Gate 1 Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for the Netherlands Depart for the Netherlands.
DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Amsterdam Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland's sophisticated and modern capital. After arrival formalities, rest and relax on board, or begin your discovery of the many cultural sites this city has to offer. This evening, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Dinner)
DAY 3, Monday - Amsterdam City Tour & Afternoon Cruising Today's panoramic tour of 700-year-old Amsterdam introduces you to both the old and the new sections of this city. View the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, the Queen's official home-away-from-home. On to the Dutch National Monument dedicated by Queen Juliana as a memorial to the victims of WWII and to the unusual Skinny Bridge, once so narrow that pedestrians could not pass each other. Then, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals for an up-close view of the stately historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and charming churches with striking bell towers. This afternoon get acquainted with your fellow passengers as you cruise south for Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4, Tuesday - Cologne City Tour Sail on the legendary Rhine to Cologne, one of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, as you enjoy lunch on board. Upon arrival, begin your walking tour of the city that is highlighted by the soaring twin-steeple Gothic cathedral that is the geographical and spiritual heart of the city. Known for its vibrant art scene, Cologne abounds with cafes, galleries, shops and taverns. After dinner on board, time to explore Cologne's vibrant nightlife before setting sail. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5, Wednesday - Morning in Koblenz & Afternoon Cruising The ship docks this morning in Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Join an orientation walk this morning and free time to explore the Romanesque architecture and imposing defensive towers of this 2000-year old city. Or, join the optional tour to the dramatic Marksburg Castle, the only hill castle on the Rhine that's never been destroyed and has been continuously occupied for over 700 years. At noon, set sail and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on board, taking in the spectacular vistas as the ship sails past castles perched on lofty cliffs, terraced vineyards and tiny villages. Pass the mighty Lorelei Rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine rising vertically from the waters, named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. This evening, arrive in Rüdesheim, a lively village in the heart of the Rhine. After dinner, perhaps stroll along the lanes filled with quaint wine taverns. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Marksburg Castle (AM)
DAY 6, Thursday - Morning in Mannheim & Afternoon in Speyer Today discover Mannheim, meeting point of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers, once the gathering place for classical composers. View the imposing red sandstone Schloss, Germany's largest baroque palace and the Luisenpark, one of the loveliest parks in Europe. Alternatively, join the optional tour to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany and inspiration for some of the world's greatest writers and artists; tour the city and view the ruins of 12th century Heidelberg Castle before returning to the ship as it sails to Speyer. Here, stroll the lanes of this picturesque city founded by the Romans, with its prized red sandstone cathedral named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, the ship sails for Strasbourg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Heidelberg City Tour (AM)
DAY 7, Friday - Strasbourg City Tour A lovely day awaits you in the Alsace capital of Strasbourg, situated on the border of France and Germany, blending the cultures of both countries. Discover Strasbourg on the tour highlighting the city's center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Of special note is the stunning Gothic Cathedral, an exquisite example of late Gothic architecture that houses one of the finest astronomical clocks in existence. See the magical La Petite France district, home to quaint shops and charming bistros, Place Kleber, a large historic square in the center of the city and Place Gutenberg, dedicated to the inventor of the printing press. This evening, return to the ship as you sail toward Breisach in the Rhine Valley. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Saturday - Breisach Walking Tour Arrive this morning in the small city of Breisach that dates back over 4,000 years. On your walking tour along the cobbled streets lined with pastel-painted houses, it's hard to believe this town was mostly destroyed in WWII and then totally restored to its original beauty. View the towering Romanesque and Gothic St. Stephansmunster Cathedral, a highlight of the city. Spend free time in town, or, join the optional tour to Colmar in France, known as Alsace's most beautiful city with its dramatic steep pitched roofs, pastel stucco and distinctive French shutters accented by window boxes filled with colorful geraniums. At the end of your tour, stop by a local wine maker to sample a few of the region's varietals. Tonight, at the Farewell Dinner, share wonderful memories of your Rhine journey with your new-found friends. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Colmar City Tour (PM)
DAY 9, Sunday - Mount Pilatus & Lucerne City Tour This morning, bid farewell to your Cruise Director and meet your local host as you disembark in Basel and drive to Lucerne with its pristine lakeside setting and gorgeous mountainous panorama, where you spend two nights in the center of the Swiss Alps. Upon arrival, ascend Mount Pilatus to take in the gorgeous panorama from nearly 7000 feet. Continue to the city center to view the Lion Monument, erected in memory of the heroic death of Swiss guards, one of the best-known monuments in Switzerland. Continue to the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge, one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, forming the centerpiece of Lucerne's townscape. (Breakfast)
DAY 10, Monday - Full Day in Lucerne A full day to explore this lovely city at the heart of central Switzerland nestled on Lake Lucerne. See the historic houses lining the lovely town squares in the well-preserved medieval Old City, walk along the waterfront promenade or perhaps discover the lake on a paddlewheel steamer cruise. On your last night in Switzerland, treat yourself to a superb meal at one of the many world-class restaurants that string the lake. (Breakfast)
DAY 11, Tuesday - Depart Switzerland Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
In Amsterdam, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals
Sail on the legendary Rhine to Cologne, capital of the Rhineland
Discover 2000-year-old Koblenz, with its superb Romanesque architecture
View the mighty Lorelei Rock named for the siren "Lorelei" rising vertically from the waters
Stroll the lanes filled with quaint wine taverns in the lively village of Rüdesheim
Visit the Alsace capital of Strasbourg, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site
Walk the cobbled streets of tiny Breisach, a city that dates back over 4,000 years
Explore Lucerne with its pristine lakeside setting and gorgeous mountainous panorama
All This Included
9 nights First Class accommodations
River port charges of $190 per person
Cruise & hotel porterage
22 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Local host in Lucerne
Services of local guides in all major cities
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring during excursions
River Cruise Features & Amenities
Gala Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
Wine and beer with dinners
Locally inspired recipes
Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
Late night snack
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Monarch Countess
Lucerne: Ameron Hotel Flora
Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Embarkation will begin at 2:00 pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in.
Passengers departing from Zurich on Day 11 should select flights leaving no earlier than 9:00 am. The Zurich airport is approximately a 1 hour drive from Lucerne
Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. There are no elevators or chair lifts on board.
While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
Know Before You Book - High & Low Water European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations. Some hotels in Lucerne are built in the traditional local style and have no air-conditioning. During heat waves, these hotels can become uncomfortable, even at higher elevations. This is a Classic program.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.
Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, CST