Cruise the Rhine River and listen to folklore with your family as you watch the hillsides for fairy-tale castles, learn about the Middle Ages and explore the university town of Heidelberg.

Starting at: $3,190 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The delightful Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France  The German university town of Heidelberg, along the Neckar River  Strasbourg, along the Rhine River  The Black Forest  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   Amsterdam at night  Traditional canal houses in Amsterdam  The meeting of Leidsegracht and Keizersgracht, two major canals of Amsterdam.

Cruising the Rhine: A Family Journey

From Basel to Amsterdam Aboard the 168-guest Amadeus Silver III

9 days from $3,190

Cruise the Rhine River and listen to folklore with your family as you watch the hillsides for fairy-tale castles, learn about the Middle Ages and explore the university town of Heidelberg.

or Call 855-330-1542


Save $1,000 per child when they share a cabin with an adult. Triple and quadruple occupancy cabins are not available on this voyage.


Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Create family memories on our new Rhine River cruise! With your children or grandchildren, listen to Rhine River legends as you scan the hillsides for fairy-tale castles, learn about the Middle Ages as you explore the university town of Heidelberg, and take on the Dutch way of life with your kids during a bicycle trip outside Amsterdam. Our cruise offers a choice of family or adult excursions, plus two Youth Directors offer onboard programming for young people while adults attend special lectures and more! 

Highlights Include

  • Germany: While cruising in Germany, enjoy family-focused excursions. For example, from Freiburg, travel to the fabled southern Black Forest where a family program features a walk plus a swim in Lake Titisee. In Heidelberg, visit the city center and hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for spectacular views of the castle and the university town. Your family trip to Oberwesel features a walk along the city’s well-preserved fortification walls and towers. (Or adults can choose an excursion to sample the local wine.) Cruise through the Rhine Gorge, then dock in Koblenz and experience dinner together in a medieval castle. And in Cologne, tour the Old Town and visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral.
  • France: In Strasbourg, a city situated on the French and German border, children will learn how cultures can blend. With your children, choose to take a cruise along the canals of the Petite France district, featuring 16th- and 17th-century timber-framed houses that sheltered fishermen, millers, and tanners. Adults may also choose to join a culinary tour showcasing Alsatian cuisine.
  • The Netherlands: Introduce your kids to the wonders of art in Amsterdam’s newly refurbished Rijksmuseum or experience the traditional Dutch way of life during a family bike ride to the historical villages north of the city. Later, take a scenic canal cruise showcasing the city’s architecture and waterways. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.


Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Zurich, Switzerland

Depart the U.S. on evening transatlantic flights to Zurich.

Day 2 — Basel

After an early morning flight arrival at Zurich’s Kloten International Airport, transfer to your ship in Basel, Switzerland. Each traveler will receive a special Welcome Kit including general information about the river cruise route and a Rhine river map. After settling-in, the balance of the day offers “quiet time” and is free of planned activities. This evening meet new friends and families at a Smithsonian Journeys “Festive Fourth” Welcome Aboard Reception and Dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Breisach, Germany

A hearty American-style buffet breakfast will be served each morning during the cruise. The morning begins with an introductory presentation by the Smithsonian Journeys Expert. A youth activity is scheduled in the “Kids Klub.” After lunch, there is a choice of shore excursions:

Choice 1: Riquewihr and Wines of the Alsace – Enjoy a walking tour of Riquewihr, France a lovely town that has not changed much since the 16th century. Stop at a local winery and enjoy a sampling of the local wines. (Ages 18 and up)

Choice 2: Breisach and Freiburg – Join a walking tour of Breisach and Freiburg. Breisach is a charming town that is known for Europe’s largest wine cellars. In Freiburg, visit the historic highlights of the city center and the Augustinerplatz, site of Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral built of local red sandstone. (All ages)

Choice 3: Black Forest Adventure – Drive to the Black Forest for a visit to Lake Titisee and a hike around the lake, visit to the town, or a swim in the lake. (All ages with special youth focus)

This evening get-together with the Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Traveler’s Corner for an informal discussion of the day’s discoveries. Dinner will be served aboard ship (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Strasbourg, France

Today, there is a choice of shore excursions. The historic center of Strasbourg is a designated World Heritage Site.

Choice 1: Strasbourg Panoramic tour - This morning motor coach excursion showcases the principal city of France’s Alsace region, and the capital of the European Union. See Notre Dame Cathedral and the museums of the Palais Rohan and St. Thomas Church. Enjoy an escorted walking tour around Strasbourg’s historic center. (All ages)

Choice 2: Strasbourg Canal Cruise and Petite France - Visit the charming district of Strasbourg’s Grand Ile, a World Heritage Site, Petite France and its canals. The district has maintained its architectural charm with its houses with timber frames and half-timbering from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (All ages with special youth focus)

Choice 3: Culinary Strasbourg - Join a tour that offers insight into the city’s culinary heritage. Strasbourg is renowned for its cuisine across France. In “winstubs,” small wine bars typical of Strasbourg, traditional dishes can be enjoyed, as well as the Alsatian wines. During this guided walking tour, stops will be made to sample local specialties and wine. (All ages)

The remainder of the day is at leisure to follow your own path and explore on your own. A shuttle bus will operate in the afternoon to take you to and from the city center. The ship will remain in Strasbourg overnight. Get together in the Smithsonian Travelers’ Corner for lively conversation.

Join fellow travelers and the Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal presentation. This evening there will be trivia games and other family activities. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Cruising and Speyer, Germany

Start the day with an engaging presentation by the Smithsonian Journeys Expert. There will be special activities for the youngsters. The balance of the morning is at leisure while cruising the Rhine toward Speyer. This afternoon, you’ll have a choice of tours ashore.

Choice 1: Speyer Walking Tour – On a walking tour, see its impressive Cathedral from the time of the Holy Roman Empire and the burial place of German Emperors for nearly three centuries. The Cathedral is a designated World Heritage Site. Continue to the 13th century Altpörtel or Old Gate and see the Old Town center. (All ages)

Choice 2: Heidelberg Castle and Town  Explore historic Heidelberg and visit the red-walled castle with its Great Vat, a 49,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask. See beautiful views of the Neckar River Valley and city below. Afterward, enjoy a walk through the city center. (All ages)

Choice 3: Hike on Heidelberg’s Philosopher’s Way – After a stop in Heidelberg’s city center, walk across the Karl-Theodor bridge over the Neckar River and hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for panoramic views of Heidelberg Castle and the Old Town. Make a stop in the Philosopher’s Garden and while taking in the view, enjoy refreshments. (All ages with special youth focus)

Upon returning to the ship, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Corner for lively conversation. Dinner will be served aboard the ship. This evening, there will be special family oriented activities. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Oberwesel

After arrival in Oberwesel, you’ll have a choice of shore excursions.

Choice 1:  Wines of the Rhine – In the winemaking town of Oberwesel, walk through the town then sample the wine of a local vintner. (Ages 18 and up)

Choice 2: A Walk in Time – Hike along Oberwesel’s ancient fortifications and walls. Walking along the top of the city walls you’ll learn why they were so important to the survival of the town against opposing armies. Marvel at the views of the city of and the Rhine. (All ages with special youth focus)

There is free time to explore on your own in the Old Town center. The ship will depart Oberwesel and lunch will be served on deck as you cruise through the most beautiful portion of the river known as the Rhine Gorge. See hilltop castles and fortresses and the Lorelei Rock subject of fascinating German legend. In late afternoon the ship will dock at Koblenz. This evening leave the ship for an exclusive Smithsonian Journeys Family Dinner in a medieval castle overlooking the Rhine. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Cologne

Begin the day with a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. The morning is at leisure as the ship sails toward Cologne. After lunch, arrive in Cologne where there’s a guided tour of the Old Town and Cathedral Square. Visit the interior of this magnificent 13th century Gothic Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece and a World Heritage Site. Afterward, there’s time to explore on your own. After returning to the ship, youngsters will take part in special activities. This evening, Smithsonian Journeys travelers and their families will enjoy a Farewell Reception and Dinner. An “awards” night or creative talent show including poems and songs or team presentations will be included during the Reception.

Day 8 — Amsterdam, Netherlands

This morning there will be an informal talk focusing on Contemporary Holland. Youth activities will be offered in the Kid’s Klub. After arrival, you’ll have your choice of shore tours.

Choice 1: Amsterdam Sightseeing with Rijksmuseum - Explore Amsterdam, one of the most charming cities in Europe. See remarkable 17th-century architecture and pass historical landmarks such as the Royal Palace, the Mint Tower, the Skinny Bridge and Portuguese Synagogue. Visit the world famous Rijksmuseum that showcases an outstanding collection of masterpieces by famous artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. (All ages)

Choice 2: Waterland Bicycle Ride - Travel to “Waterland” for guided “bike hike” through this rural setting. Half the acreage of Waterland consists of “fen”, a rural and marshy wetland. See historical villages and many officially registered monuments. A “coffee and cake break” is included in Broek. Other villages seen are Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, and Durgerdam. (All ages with special youth focus)

Choice 3: Canal District Walking Tour - Take a fascinating walking tour of the most beautiful canal in Amsterdam; the Herengracht. Discover the history of the Canal District at the Herengracht Museum with its fantastic animations, models, and interactive multimedia exhibition. The museum opened in 2011 after the Amsterdam Canal District was listed as a World Heritage Site. (All ages)

As a special Smithsonian Journeys Family occasion, there’s an early evening scenic cruise through the Canals of Amsterdam, that make the city known as the Venice of the North. Pass under vintage bridges and past the Anne Frank House where Anne Frank and her family were in hiding during the Nazi Occupation of WWII. This evening, dinner will be served on board. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart Amsterdam for the U.S.

Depart the ship for Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport and return trans-Atlantic flights to the U.S. (B)