Enjoy panoramic vistas of the Swiss Alps from the windows of historic trains, then board a deluxe river ship for a five-night cruise through France, Germany, and Holland.

Starting at: $3,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Historic Swiss train with the Matterhorn in the distance  <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> passing Cologne  Bikes along the canal, Amsterdam  Typical canal in Amsterdam  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   The idyllic Rhine River, near Kaub  Hilltop medieval castle overlooking the Rhine River near Oberwesel  The medieval town of Rüdesheim, located along the Rhine  The German university town of Heidelberg, along the Neckar River  The delightful Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France  Strasbourg, along the Rhine River  A view of historic Bern, Switzerland   The charming Swiss town of Lucerne with its famous bridge  Matterhorn peak in the Swiss Alps  View of Lake Lucerne, the town of Lucerne, and Mt. Pilatus in the distance  The <i>Gornergrat Bahn</i>, highest cog railway in Europe, with the Matterhorn  The <i>Glacier Express</i> traveling through a tunnel in the Alps  View of Mt. Pilatus and the <i>Pilatus Railway</i>, the world's steepest cogwheel railway

Great European Journey

A River Cruise and Train Trip from Holland to Switzerland Aboard Amadeus Silver III and Railways

11 days from $3,995

Enjoy panoramic vistas of the Swiss Alps from the windows of historic trains, then board a deluxe river ship for a five-night cruise through France, Germany, and Holland.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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This was our first experience with Smithsonian and our first river cruise. It was amazing, wonderful, and exceptional! You won't be disappointed. 

- Mary and Glen N.

A captivating experience with in-depth knowledge of the areas visited.

- Elizabeth D.

Great scenery, fun transport, lots to see and learn. Nice group of Smithsonian travelers with good chances to connect and make friends apart from the larger group

- Barbara B.


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Save $1,000 per person when you book by December 6, 2019!


Reminiscent of the 19th-century “Grand Tour,” this unique and popular journey features the heart of Western Europe—with both river cruising and train travel. In Amsterdam, board your deluxe river ship for a five-night cruise through Holland, Germany, and France, and then enjoy panoramic vistas of the Swiss Alps from the windows of historic trains.

Highlights Include

  • Holland: Take a private cruise along Amsterdam’s legendary canals, with their 16th- and 17th-century gabled row houses, designated a World Heritage site.
  • Germany and the Rhine River: Visit Cologne’s Old Town and historic cathedral, Germany’s finest example of High Gothic architecture. Cruise through the most scenic section of the Rhine River Valley, a World Heritage site where each bend in the river features a medieval castle and tranquil village. Travel to a vineyard renowned for its Riesling for a private wine tasting. And in Heidelberg, visit the magnificent 13th-century castle perched above the river.
  • France: Arrive in Alsace, a region whose ownership has moved between Germany and France for generations. In lovely Strasbourg visit the Old City, a World Heritage site featuring medieval houses and covered bridges spanning picturesque canals.
  • The Swiss Alps and Legendary Railways: Cross the rolling Swiss countryside to Bern, the historic capital and a World Heritage site. Travel through the spectacular Bernese Oberland to the snowcapped mountain peaks of the Alps. Enjoy two nights each in Lucerne and Zermatt, dramatically set beneath the iconic Matterhorn. Explore these charming towns and experience the soaring majesty of the Swiss Alps from three legendary railways: the Gornergrat Bahn, the Glacier Express, and the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. 
  • Small Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising aboard an upscale small ship that features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. See more information on the Tour Details page. 

This was our first experience with Smithsonian and our first river cruise. It was amazing, wonderful, and exceptional! You won't be disappointed. 

- Mary and Glen N.

A captivating experience with in-depth knowledge of the areas visited.

- Elizabeth D.

Great scenery, fun transport, lots to see and learn. Nice group of Smithsonian travelers with good chances to connect and make friends apart from the larger group

- Barbara B.


Days 1-2 — Depart the U.S./ Arrive in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Depart the U.S. for Amsterdam. On arrival, enjoy a private cruise along Amsterdam’s World Heritage site canals, lined with distinctly Dutch 16th- and 17th-century grachtenpanden (canal houses). Then, embark the deluxe Amadeus Silver III.

This evening, join your travel companions for the Captain’s welcome reception and dinner. (1R,1D)

Day 3 — Cologne, Germany

Enjoy a leisurely morning on board cruising along the picturesque Rhine River to Cologne, one of Germany’s most ancient cities. Founded as a Roman military outpost in 38 B.C., Cologne has flourished as the Rhineland’s foremost mercantile and religious center from the time of Charlemagne to present day and is the birthplace of the original world-famous Eau de Cologne perfume. Explore the Altstadt (Old Town) and visit the historic Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), a World Heritage site and the finest example of High Gothic architecture in Germany. Its construction began in 1248 and lasted for six centuries—among its artistic treasures are the Milan Madonna and the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Koblenz / Rüdesheim

Go ashore in the picturesque city of Koblenz, strategically positioned at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers and where Germany’s Roman past dates to nine B.C., during the reign of Augustus Caesar.

From the famous Deutsches Eck (German Corner), view the impressive 19th-century fortress of Ehrenbreitstein—once the residence of the powerful Archbishop-Electors of Trier—across the Rhine River, and explore this historic city during a walking tour. The twin-towered Basilica of St. Castor, built between the ninth and 13th centuries, features the Rhineland’s distinctive Romanesque architecture.

Cruise through the spectacular World Heritage-designated Rhine River Valley, legendary for its scenery and riverside architectural treasures. Be on deck for a front-row view of the steep, terraced vineyards rising on the slopes of the riverbanks—with nearly each bend in the river, a medieval castle crowns the crags and a tranquil village emerges along its banks. See the famous Lorelei Rock—legend holds that a beautiful siren once lured sailors here with her enchanting song.

Dock in the medieval town of Rüdesheim, the heart of Germany’s wine country. Enjoy a tour aboard the unique Winzerexpress mini-train, traveling through bucolic countryside vineyards en route to a private tasting of German wines.

Reboard the ship and cruise through the pastoral Rheingau, Germany’s most famous wine-growing region, known particularly for its Riesling. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Mannheim for Heidelberg

This morning, transfer from Mannheim to Heidelberg, where luminaries such as Goethe and Schumann once came to experience the intellectual atmosphere of Heidelberg University, the oldest in Germany, founded in 1386. To many on the “Grand Tour” of Europe, fashionable in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, this city epitomized Germany, nestled in the densely wooded valley of the Neckar River and alive with the spirit of German Romanticism. On the walking tour, see how Heidelberg has preserved its authentic Renaissance-Baroque character, including the eight remaining arches of the famous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) that span the Neckar River. Visit the stately ruins of imposing Heidelberg Castle, a magnificent, 13th-century edifice perched above the river that embodies the city's medieval past. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Strasbourg, France

The lively Alsatian city of Strasbourg fuses Old and New Europe. The Old City, a World Heritage site, is a treasure trove of medieval houses, and the charming Ponts-Couverts—covered bridges flanked by watchtowers at each end—span its picturesque canals. It was in Strasbourg that John Calvin first established a reformed parish. See remnants of the Reformation in the beautiful Protestant and Catholic Church of St-Pierre-le-Vieux; and see the graceful sandstone Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame, a Romanesque-Gothic masterpiece that, according to the poet Goethe, rises “like a most sublime, wide-arching tree of God.”

The Petite France district, the historic area where fishermen, millers, and tanners once lived and worked along the Ill River, embodies a fairy-tale appearance of a past era that lives on, while nearby, member nations of the European Union engage in the daily discourse of the European Parliament.

On board the ship this evening, attend the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 7 — Basel, Switzerland / Berne / Lucerne

Early this morning, disembark in Basel and transfer across the rolling Swiss countryside to Berne, Switzerland’s historic capital. Visit the city’s Old Town, a World Heritage site and beautifully preserved medieval gem noted for its arcaded sidewalks. Then, enjoy lunch in a historic, 18th-century High Baroque-style granary converted into a traditional Bernese restaurant.

Continue your journey through one of the most stunning areas of Switzerland, the spectacular Bernese Oberland, traveling from subtropical lowlands to the snow-crowned heights of the Alps. Admire the impressive natural treasures of soaring, snow-capped mountain peaks; green, rolling hills; crystal-clear glacial lakes and densely wooded forests.

Then, arrive in Lucerne and check into your five-star lakeside hotel. (B,L)

Day 8 — Lucerne

A long-favored destination of travelers, Lucerne is set against the backdrop of its deep blue lake and the rugged grandeur of Mounts Pilatus and Rigi. Begin your morning walking tour in the Weinmarkt (wine market), surrounded by historic burghers’ houses. See the Hofkirche (Court Church), one of the finest examples of German Renaissance architecture, and the Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who gave their lives defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Walk across Lucerne’s most famous landmark, the delightful, 14th-century wooden Chapel Bridge, which spans the Reuss River and is adorned with 17th-century paintings.

Ascend Mount Pilatus by panoramic gondola to its 7,000-foot summit for a magnificent 360-degree view of central Switzerland’s mountains, forests, and lakes. Enjoy lunch in a summit restaurant followed by free time. Board the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, and descend more than 5,300 feet in less than three miles on return to the shores of picturesque Lake Lucerne, where you will embark upon a scenic cruise. (B,L)

Day 9 — Lucerne / Andermatt / Zermatt

Relax during a scenic morning transfer from Lucerne to Andermatt. Lunch is included in Andermatt before you board the fabled Glacier Express, “the world’s slowest fast train.” Travel through the heart of the Alps, where the natural beauty of the mountains rivals the skill and ingenuity of the engineers who created this impressive rail route.

Arrive in the Alpine resort of Zermatt, located beneath the dramatic pinnacle of the iconic Matterhorn. Check into your chalet-style hotel. (B,L)

Day 10 — Zermatt

Today, travel aboard the famous Gornergrat Bahn, the highest cog railway in Europe. Ascend through pine and larch forests and cross meadows ablaze with wildflowers to the 10,000-foot-high Gornergrat. From the observatory atop Gornergrat, delight in the sweeping vistas of Europe’s most breathtaking Alpine scenery—the serrated profiles of the Matterhorn, the Liskamm and Dufourspitze mountains, and vast Gorner Glacier. Return to Zermatt at your leisure, with the option to stop en route at Riffelberg for the panoramic view of impressive Monte Rosa and the majestic Matterhorn. The farewell reception is in the hotel this evening. (B,R)

Day 11 —Zermatt / Geneva / Return to the U.S.

Following breakfast, transfer to Geneva for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)