The Romantic Rhine
Southbound

Presented by Thumbprint Cellars
July 2, 2016 - July 9, 2016
Starting at $2,999.00

A Very Very Cool Trip on the Avalon-Tranquility II
One of Europe's most legendary rivers awaits on this mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam as well as guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, and Strasbourg. Delight in excursions to Germany's Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university town with its imposing castle. Also sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.

 
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Cruise the Rhine

July 2 - 9, 2016

(B,L,D = Breakfast Lunch Dinner)

Day-1   Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland   (Do's and don'ts of Amsterdam)

Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, and canals - not to mention the bike paths throughout the city - make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)
 

Day-5   Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with "civilized" origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany's largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city's annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you - ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You - ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the "World's Largest Wine Barrel." At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (B,L,D)
Day-2   Amsterdam, Holland

There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." There's free time in the city this afternoon - you might like to join an optional biking tour (weather permitting). Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (B,L,D)
Day-6   Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timber houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner tonight, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (B,L,D)

Day-3   Cologne, Germany   (Do's and don'ts of Germany)

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)

Day-7   Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest Walk in the Woods

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B,L,D)
Day-4   Koblenz - Rhine Gorge - Rüdesheim,   Germany

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner. (B,L,D)
Day-8   Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

NOTE:
Departure flights should not leave Zürich Airport before 10:00am.
Visions of Germany

Zurich, Switzerland Old Town Walking Tour

Zurich, Switzerland Guide to the City
Lucerne, Switzerland  "Baby sister of Zurich"

 
Money

In Amsterdam (and in the rest of Netherlands) we use the Euro currency. There are 8 coins; 1, 2 and 5 cent, 10, 20 and 50 cent, 1 and 2 Euro coins. Then there are the bills of 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro, 100, 200 and 500 Euro notes. Not many places will accept the 500 Euro note however. Most of the small shops including supermarkets do not accept 100 and 200 bill as well. Generally, 50 Euro bills remain the most convenient denominations.

What is the currency in Germany?  The  Deutsche Mark, (German mark, abbreviated "DM") was the official currency of West Germany (1948–1990) and unified Germany (1990–2002) until the adoption of the Euro in 2002.  Presently there is $1.13869 USD in one Euro. (EU x 1.4 = cost)

What is the currency in Switzerland?  Currency in Switzerland: Swiss franc (CHF)... Presently there is $1.04208 USD in one Swiss franc.  (CHF x 1.04 = cost)


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