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Daily Overview

 

Day Destination Activities
1 Zurich Hotel transfer and check-in

Afternoon at your leisure to explore

2 Zurich City tour featuring Grossmünster Abbey

Explore Zurich’s indoor Christmas market

3 Lucerne Scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne
4 Lucerne Guided walking tour of medieval city

Tour Christmas market OR mountain cable car ride

5 Basel EMBARKATION (Beginning for cruise-only guests)
6 Breisach Tour Riquewihr OR Breisach and Freiburg
7 Strasbourg Walking tour, including Orangery and cathedral

Free time to explore the Christmas market

8 Speyer Tour of Speyer’s Altpörtel and cathedrals

Optional half-day excursion to Heidelberg

9 Rüdesheim

Koblenz

Wine tasting, museum visit, and Christmas market

Scenic cruise through Rhine Gorge

10 Cologne Guided old city walking tour and cathedral visit

Visit the Cologne Christmas market

11 Amsterdam Canal cruise and city tour
12 Amsterdam DISEMBARKATION

Note: This program is also available in the opposite direction.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 / ZURICH* 

Arrive in Zurich, check into your hotel, and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

 

DAY 2 / ZURICH 

Your morning tour of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, includes Grossmünster Abbey, which offers exceptional 360-degree views, and St. Peter, a church which boasts the world’s largest clock face. See the Old Town, Town Hall, and Fraumünster Abbey, home to five world-famous Chagall windows. The afternoon and evening are free to explore the town on your own, or visit Europe’s largest indoor Christmas market. Alternatively, you might choose to embark on an optional excursion to Rhine Falls.

 

DAY 3 / ZURICH / LUCERNE 

After a morning at your leisure in Zurich, check out of your hotel and set off on a scenic drive through the countryside before reaching the picture-perfect lakeside city of Lucerne. Upon arrival, enjoy a leisurely cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne, admiring the spectacular snow-capped mountains. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Lucerne.

 

DAY 4 / LUCERNE 

After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of this former medieval metropolis. Stroll along the city’s lovely cobblestone streets and see monuments, fountains, public squares, covered bridges, and colorful frescoes. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to shop for world-renowned Swiss-made watches and jewelry, or sample the cheese and mouth-watering chocolates. You might also decide to stroll through the town’s Christmas market, or take an optional tour and cable car ride to the top of Mount Pilatus, overlooking the city. Travel down the mountain on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, a marvel of modern engineering.

 

DAY 5 / LUCERNE / BASEL / EMBARKATION 

Setting off from Lucerne in the morning, visit the Lion Monument, a dramatic sculpture that honors the Swiss Guards who once protected the French kings. Your luxurious river cruise ship awaits in cosmopolitan Basel, where you’ll enjoy a tour of the city before embarkation**. A long-time center for banking, commerce and trade, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval Town Hall and exquisite, 18th-century patrician homes. Tonight, gather on board for a welcome dinner. Mooring overnight in Basel.

 

DAY 6 / BREISACH 

Today, choose from two exciting excursion options. The first is a visit to Riquewihr, a picturesque town renowned for its architecture and Riesling wines. Your second option is an excursion to the beautiful towns of Breisach and Freiburg, seeing Breisach’s historic city centre and Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone. Rejoin the ship in Breisach, mooring overnight.

 

DAY 7 / STRASBOURG 

Situated on the Rhine at the German border, Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region and widely known for its pretty, black-and-white timber-framed houses, covered bridges, and medieval watchtowers. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour that will take you past the Orangery, the town’s oldest park, the European Parliament and the Place de la Republique, and the lovely “La Petite France” neighborhood, including the Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the town or tour the city’s Christmas market. Mooring overnight in Strasbourg.

 

DAY 8 / SPEYER / HEIDELBERG 

Arrive in Speyer in the early afternoon. One of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer is known for its cathedral, numerous churches, and the medieval Altpörtel (Old Gate). Tour Speyer’s medieval highlights, or embark on a half-day excursion to the historic university town of Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled castle with its Great Heidelberg Tun, a 221,726-litre wine vat, and enjoy beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and the city below. This afternoon, spend a few free hours wandering the “Hauptstrasse,” which is believed to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany, or simply relax in a café. Mooring overnight in Speyer.

 

DAY 9 / RÜDESHEIM / RHINE GORGE / KOBLENZ 

This morning, arrive in the wine-making town of Rüdesheim and visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum, home to a remarkable collection of 18th- to 20th-century robotic and self-playing musical instruments. Explore the Drosselgasse, a narrow passage lined with shops and taverns and the town’s most famous street before heading to a wine tasting with a local vintner. You’ll also have time to explore the town’s vast Christmas market, with more than 120 stands, featuring German delicacies and one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted gifts.

This afternoon, your ship departs for Koblenz, passing through the awe-inspiring Rhine Gorge. Arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine, vineyards, castles, fortresses, and picturesque hamlets line its banks. At the narrowest part of the river, look for the Lorelei Rock, a source of inspiration for many German legends. Upon arrival in Koblenz, enjoy the fresh air on an evening stroll through the town. Mooring overnight.

 

DAY 10 / COLOGNE 

After cruising to Cologne in the morning, see the Old Town, Cathedral Square, and the city’s majestic Gothic-style cathedral on a guided walking tour. Afterwards, you’ll have free time to visit some of the local shops, have a coffee at a charming café, or explore Cologne’s impressive Christmas market. Depart for Amsterdam in the evening.

 

DAY 11 / AMSTERDAM 

Arriving mid-day, discover Amsterdam’s legendary canals. Starting with a scenic canal cruise, see the tall, narrow homes lining the water, the Skinny Bridge, and the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding during WWII. Next, enjoy a panoramic city tour—see the Royal Palace and Westerkerk, and even pose for a photo next to a Dutch windmill before enjoying some free time to explore the city on your own. Mooring overnight in Amsterdam.

 

DAY 12 / AMSTERDAM / DISEMBARKATION 

This morning, bid farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your onward journey.

 

*Note: This program is also available in the opposite direction.

** For cruise-only guests, the itinerary begins/ends upon embarkation/disembarkation in Basel. The city tour is not included.

Dates & Prices

Itinerary Code (Name of Itinerary)  Itinerary Start Date Embark Date  Ship name  Route (Start/Embark/End Locations) # of Nights (Cruise, Cruise + Land) Category – Cruise & Land Pricing PP
E D C BB BA AB AA AA+ Suite
RREU-22
(Christmas Markets on the Rhine)
19/11/2017 23/11/2017 MS AmaPrima Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,810 $6,190 $6,940 $7,560 $7,810 $8,060 $8,310 $9,060 $9,810
21/11/2017 25/11/2017 MS AmaSonata Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
30/11/2017 30/11/2017 MS AmaPrima Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
02/12/2017 02/12/2017 MS AmaSonata Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
03/12/2017 07/12/2017 MS AmaPrima Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
05/12/2017 09/12/2017 MS AmaSonata Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
14/12/2017 14/12/2017 MS AmaPrima Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
16/12/2017 16/12/2017 MS AmaSonata Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
17/12/2017 21/12/2017 MS AmaPrima Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940
19/12/2017 23/12/2017 MS AmaSonata Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,190 $9,940

 

Itinerary Code (Name of Itinerary)  Itinerary Start Date Embark Date  Ship name  Route (Start/Embark/End Locations) # of Nights (Cruise, Cruise + Land) Category – Cruise & Land Pricing PP
E D CB CA BB BA AB AA Suite
RREU-22
(Christmas Markets on the Rhine)
25/11/2017 25/11/2017 MS AmaKristina Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $6,690 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,940
28/11/2017 02/12/2017 MS AmaKristina Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $6,690 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,940
09/12/2017 09/12/2017 MS AmaKristina Amsterdam/Amsterdam/Zurich 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $6,690 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,940
12/12/2017 16/12/2017 MS AmaKristina Zurich/Basel/Amsterdam 7, 11 $5,940 $6,310 $6,690 $7,060 $7,690 $7,940 $8,190 $8,440 $9,940

RREU-22 Single Supplement:

Cruise Portion: 50% of twin price; Suites are 100% of twin price

Land Portion: $800 PP

 

Inclusions

  • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom – most staterooms offer revolutionary twin balconies
  • Shore excursions in every port with personal headset included
  • Limited Edition Tours
  • Entertainment on demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library and English language TV stations
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
  • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
  • Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
  • Unlimited red and white wines from Europe’s great wine regions, beer and soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
  • Transfer from ship in Basel to hotel in Lucerne
  • 2 Nights Hotel Accommodation in Lucerne at the Radisson Blu including daily Buffet Breakfast
  • 2 Nights Hotel Accommodation in Zürich Hotel Continental including daily Buffet Breakfast
  • Bicycles to explore on your own and guided bicycle tours
  • Services of professional Cruise Manager
  • All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
  • Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways
  • All local taxes

Ship Details

MS AmaSonata

BuiltLengthDecksCabinsPassengersCabin Size
2014135m48216419.5 - 28m²More Details

MS AmaPrima

BuiltLengthDecksCabinsPassengersCabin Size
2013135m48216419.5 - 28m²More Details

MS AmaKristina

BuiltLengthDecksCabinsPassengersCabin Size
Debut in 2017135m47915819.5 - 32.5m²More Details

Travel Tips

The Rhine

Travel Documents / Visas

1. Passport

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the last date of travel in Europe.

Citizens of other countries should consult with their travel agent or our office.

2. Visa

No visa is required for citizens of Canada travelling in the EU for leisure stays of up to 90 days.

 

Packing List

A handy checklist of what to bring on your trip can be downloaded here.

 

Insurance

We very strongly recommend the purchase of appropriate travel insurance for any trip outside of Canada. Information on travel insurance options can be found here.

           

Smoking

Not permitted anywhere indoors. There are designated areas on the outside decks.

 

Weather

March-April: Cool with occasional rain. Weather is typically in the mid to high 10s

May-June: Warm days and dryer. Low to mid 20s. Night time in the high 10s.

July-August: Daytime usually in the mid to high 20s, sometimes warmer.

September-October: Typically in the mid 20s during the day. Often cooler into the mid to high 10s at night

November – December: Cool with occasional precipitation. Mid 10s during the day and in the single digits at night.

 

Arrival / Departure

Upon booking, we will provide detail instructions on how to meet your ship on embarkation day. If you have not made any pre or post tour arrangements with us, you will have to arrange your own transportation to and from the port of embarkation. We are happy to provide advice or to assist in arranging transfers.

The ship will not be ready for check-in before mid-afternoon. If you have luggage that you need to deposit so you can enjoy some free time in port, the purser may be able to accommodate you provided we know in advance.

The cruise will finish in the morning (usually around 8-9am) on the final day. It is necessary to have settled your onboard account and to have disembarked by this time as instructed by the cruise director on the day before.

 

Money

The currency is the Euro except in Switzerland where it is the Swiss Franc.

Credit cards are acceptable for larger purchases in retail shops, but often not in restaurants or cafés.

ATM’s accepting most international debit and credit cards can be found in abundance.

Gratuities (Tipping)

Gratuities suggested by the cruise line are:

EUR 3.00 per guest per day for the cruise director

EUR 12.00 per guest per day to be divided amongst the entire crew.

Laundry

Laundry service is available for a small fee. Regrettably, dry cleaning is not available.

Excursions

Most of our programs include a full complement of excursions. Some additional excursions may be available on board at an extra cost. Please check with us or consult the purser onboard for additional information.

Excursions will usually involve a lot of walking, often on cobblestone streets. If you have difficulty walking any distance, please let us know in advance and we will advise how best we can accommodate you.

Regrettably, most of our excursions are not suitable for guests in a wheelchair.

 

Activity Level / Strenuousness

Light – At most, participation in the shore excursions requires the ability to walk reasonable distances and some stairs.

Food

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in your cruise fare so you shouldn’t be too hungry. It is worthwhile to sample the local cuisine though.

Switzerland is known for its cheese. If you have the opportunity, try the real cheese fondue or raclette.

Germany has of course fantastic sausages. Try a bratwurst or a ‘Augsburger’ which are mini sausages that are very delicious. Of course while passing through the Black Forest, the cake named after this region is not to miss.

When in the Netherlands, you must try the cheese for which they are so famous. You could give the local ‘Pannenkoeken’ a try. Basically they are pancakes filled with either sweet or savoury ingredients like bacon, cheese or apple sauce and vanilla.

Language

Your shipboard staff all speak English of course, but when you are wandering through the shops in small villages, the local folk may have little English so some phrase books will come in handy, specifically German and French. In the Netherlands most people speak very good English.

Medical Facilities

There are no medical personnel onboard the ship. However, the purser can contact onshore medical people for emergency and non-emergency situations and rapid evacuation can easily be facilitated in the most urgent cases.

Phone & Internet

There is a phone in each cabin. As is typical, the charges for overseas calls are relatively high.

Free Wi-Fi is available in the main public areas of the ship but not necessarily in all cabins. As internet is provided through a mobile network, bandwidth (speed) will vary depending on the number of concurrent users, the proximity to a cell tower and other factors.

If you would like to have regular data and phone connection, we suggest either arranging an overseas roaming plan with your mobile operator, or pick up a local SIM card if you have an unlocked phone.

 

Health / Vaccinations

There are no vaccinations required to travel to these European destinations . As always, we recommend being in good health prior to any long distance travel. Consult your physician with any specific concerns in regard to this program.

Safety & Security

Despite recent events in Europe it is considered a safe and secure place to visit. This being said, being constantly aware of your surroundings and not taking unnecessary valuables with you is always recommended. Leave your passport, extra money and any other belongings you do not need during the day in the safe in your cabin.

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/

Suggested Reading

The Rhine: Europe’s River Highway

A Time of Gifts

All Along the Rhine