DAY 1: Basel (Embark)
Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: Breisach (Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or Colmar)
Look up “charming and “picturesque” in the dictionary and it could very well show images of today’s choice of destinations—two of Alsace’s best-known wine villages or a town some have hailed as the prettiest in the world. Is it really? See for yourself from our uniquely Uniworld perspective. A charming town dominated by a 17th-century hilltop cathedral, Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road. This is your launching point for one of two excursions along the celebrated route des vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, or take a tour of the larger town of Colmar, considered one of the most beautiful destinations along the wine road and the capital of Alsatian wines. If you’re interested in doing something a bit more physically challenging, you could stay in Breisach and walk or bike through the surrounding vineyards.
Choice of Alsatian “Village Day” or Colmar city tour
Spend the afternoon onboard, simply enjoying the views from the ship’s lounges or decks and sampling some of the ship’s amenities. Sip a cocktail on the Sun Deck or relax with a massage. A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3: Kehl (Strasbourg)
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it via a canal boat or on foot with an insightful local expert, this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital, which is known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. You may choose to see Strasbourg via its historic canals (the way Strasbourg has been seen by its visitors through the centuries), which would give you an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city. Or you may experience the historic core as the locals do, with an exclusive walking tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.
Choice of Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town visit or “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour
You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own. Note: Shuttle service will be provided to and from the center of Strasbourg in the afternoon.
DAY 4: Mannheim (Speyer)
Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious, and something you’ll experience with no other river cruise line. The ship docks in Mannheim, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach to the nearby town of Speyer for a guided walking tour or taking in an exclusive tasting at a local vinegar estate.
Choice of Speyer walking discovery tour or Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
A shuttle is available to take you to and from Speyer if you wish to explore it on your own. Romans founded the city, and the Historical Museum of the Palatinate has an interesting collection of Roman antiquities (as well as Celtic and early German objects) you might enjoy investigating.
DAY 5: Rüdesheim, Boppard
Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in one of two ways—an exclusive tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollards or an invigorating vineyard hike. Later, join your Cruise Manager for a village stroll highlighting stately riverfront homes and the lingering traces of Boppard’s fascinating Roman past. Your floating hotel arrives in Rüdesheim, one of the most charming ports of call in the Rhine Valley. This city has a long history going back to Roman times and is famous for the Drosselgasse, a narrow, bustling lane of shops and wine bars, as well as its impressive Niederwald Monument, built to celebrate the re-establishment of the German empire in the late 19th century. You may opt to visit a renowned vineyard or, for a more active jaunt, take the long way shoreward from Niederwald with a vineyard hike that includes a stop at a unique museum.
Choice of Castle Vollrads wine tasting or “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen
Cruising out of Rüdesheim you’ll enter the sublimely beautiful Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Byron described it as “a work divine, a blending of all beauties.” Turner painted it. Wagner used it as inspiration for his opera Götterdämmerung. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this scenic 40-mile (65-kilometer) stretch of the Rhine features a stunning, castle-dotted landscape that many 19th-century composers, painters and poets considered the embodiment of an ideal romantic spirit. Each bend and twist of the river affords new delights: Steep riverbanks are graced with sloping vineyards and picturesque towns, and hilltops are crowned by fairytale castles. Each one of those castles tells a tale: of great families raising fortresses against each other, of warfare and ruin and rebuilding through the centuries. Some castles have been entirely reconstructed; others tower above the water in majestic ruin, still an inspiration for romantics. You won’t want to miss the scenery as you sail into Boppard.
DAY 6: Cruising the Romantic Rhine River, Koblenz
No other river valley on earth boasts more castles than the Rhine, and today you’ll have an opportunity to experience real-life “Game of Thrones” ambiance deep within the medieval walls of Marksburg Castle. Not into dungeons and dragons? Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a scenic bike ride. As you come upon Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. You have wonderful tours from which to choose today.
Choice of Koblenz walking discovery tour or Marksburg Castle visit
DAY 7: Cologne
You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Cologne is the largest and oldest city of the Rhineland and a cultural mecca, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries. A congenial atmosphere and a mix of ancient, modern and reconstructed buildings characterize the heart of the city.
Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral
DAY 8: Amsterdam (Disembark)
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home. Alternatively, you may continue your adventure with our optional post-cruise Amsterdam extension.
Find inspiration in the romantic, soul-stirring beauty of the fabled Rhine
Flowers tumble from baskets lining streets of half-timbered houses, and lights glint off quiet canals. A mighty river carries ships and cargo through a landscape shaped by time and history. The spires of medieval churches and castles appear around each bend in the river, and vineyards climb the verdant hillsides.
Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an insider’s look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg; stroll through the fairytale towns of Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Rüdesheim; and taste delightful white wines in the villages where the grapes are grown. Beethoven and Byron loved the romantic landscapes of the Rhine River, and the beauty that inspired them is still yours to experience.
Who will enjoy this cruise:
Romantics who love the picturesque and the historic will find medieval castles, splendid cathedrals and scenes that have inspired great poets, painters and composers alike.
Generations Family Program:
Uniworld's Generations Program features exclusive activities for kids from 4 to 17 years old and includes dedicated Family Hosts. Enjoy the same industry-leading service and accommodations that you always expect from Uniworld, with additional programs, events and excursions for your travelers in training.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
6 days of excursions, including "Choice Is Yours" options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Let's Go," "Do as the Locals Do," "Village Day" and "Gentle Walking" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audioheadset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette or the elegant River Empress
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
4 countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland
3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Rhine River: Shaping European History from the Romans to the European Union”
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Exclusive Generations Family Program on select summer departures
Cruising: Cabin on board S.S. Antoinette, River Queen or River Empress
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.