Create family memories on our special Rhine River multi-generational 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 German Heidelberg, French Strasbourg, and take in the Dutch way of life with your kids during a bicycle trip outside Amsterdam. 

Starting at: $4,290 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Taking a bike ride together  Spending time together   Amadeus ship on the Rhine River  Typical scene in Amsterdam  Self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau  Vermeer's <i>The Milkmaid</i> in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Credit: Frans Lemmens/Alamy  View of Cologne along the Rhine River  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   The idyllic Rhine River, near Kaub  Hilltop medieval castle overlooking the Rhine River near Oberwesel  The Rhine River Valley  The medieval town of Rüdesheim, located along the Rhine  The German university town of Heidelberg, along the Neckar River  The French city of Strasbourg  The delightful Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France  Half-timbered houses of Strasbourg

Cruising the Rhine and Moselle: A Family Voyage

From Basel to Amsterdam

9 days from $4,290

Create family memories on our special Rhine River multi-generational 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 German Heidelberg, French Strasbourg, and take in the Dutch way of life with your kids during a bicycle trip outside Amsterdam. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Activity Levels

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: River cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation. Morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Pre-Cruise Extension

Interlaken Pre-Program Option – 3 Days, 2 Nights

Day 1 – U.S. Gateway Cities

Smithsonian Journeys Family Travelers depart the U.S. on a transatlantic flight to Zurich, Switzerland.

Day 2 – Zurich / Interlaken

Upon arrival, transfer by deluxe motor coach to Interlaken where rooms are reserved at the deluxe Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, surrounded by the remarkable peaks of the Bernese Oberland. After getting settled, your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will take you on a short orientation walk to acquaint you with the area around the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Victoria Jungfrau Hotel & Spa

Day 3 – Interlaken

Start the day with breakfast at the hotel. Explore on your own today with an entire day free of planned activities. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to assist with information, directions, sightseeing and dining suggestions. (B)

Victoria Jungfrau Hotel & Spa

Day 4 – Interlaken / Bern and Basel

After breakfast, depart the hotel for the vibrant Swiss capital city of Bern where you’ll enjoy a walking tour around the Old Town Quarter. Then enjoy free time for lunch and individual sightseeing. Afterward, depart for the drive to Basel, situated on the Rhine River, where you’ll embark your ship and begin the cruise. (B)

Victoria Jungfrau Hotel & Spa: Nestled in Interlaken between two magnificent glacial lakes, the Victoria Jungfrau sits within the view of the famed Jungfrau and the mountains of the Bernese Oberland. A grand hotel of European tradition, the hotel is a blend of old world and modern design. Three restaurants offer a fascinating array of local specialties as well as traditional European cuisine. Rooms are welcoming and decorated in soft colors and fine fabrics. Sparkling bathrooms feature luxury amenities, marble vanities, bright lighting, robes, hair dryers, and magnifying mirrors. Room amenities include hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs with cable and satellite channels, minibars, direct-dial phones, ironing boards, bedside controls with individual reading lights. WiFi is available.

Post-Cruise Extension

Amsterdam Post-Program Option  3 Days, 2 Nights

Day 1 — Amsterdam

Disembark the ship and join a walk along the Old Harbor and visit the National Maritime Museum, that serves to pass-on the national maritime history and tradition of Amsterdam with interactive exhibits including the replica of the three-mast ship Amsterdam. Afterwards, check in at the upscale and centrally located Amsterdam Marriott Hotel.  

The remainder of the day is at leisure. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available for suggestions on sightseeing, shopping, and meal reservations.

Doubletree Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station (2021 Program)

Amsterdam Marriott Hotel (2022 Program)

Day 2 — Amsterdam

Breakfast will be served in the hotel. The day is free of planned activities so you can explore on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available for suggestions on sightseeing, shopping, restaurant information, and reservations. (B)

Doubletree Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station (2021 Program)

Amsterdam Marriott Hotel (2022 Program)

Day 3 — Amsterdam

Breakfast will be served in the hotel. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your return flights to the U.S. (B)

Doubletree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal StationLocated in the heart of Amsterdam you’ll find the Doubletree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station. The hotel has a great location and is within easy reach of all the city’s top attractions and landmarks. The train station offers easy access to other places in the Netherlands you may wish to visit on a day-trip. At the end of the day, return to the comfort of your well-appointed guest room and perhaps enjoy a drink in the Sky Lounge Amsterdam, the hotel’s rooftop bar and terrace. WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

Amsterdam Marriott Hotel: Located in the heart of Amsterdam, you’ll find the upscale Amsterdam Marriott Hotel. The hotel has a great location on Amsterdam’s famous Leidseplein and within easy reach of all the city’s top cultural attractions and historic landmarks. At the end of a day of touring, return to the comfort of your well-appointed guest room and perhaps enjoy a drink at Sorel’s Bar and dinner at the Midtown Grill. WiFi is available throughout the hotel. 

Youth Directors

Ani Arzoomanian and Jennifer Witt

Experienced Smithsonian Journeys Youth DirectorsAni Arzoomanian and Jennifer Witt will lead groups of similarly aged children and young adults on educational and recreational activities developed to enhance their appreciation of the sites visited. They look forward to welcoming you and your young traveling companions to the trip!

Ani Arzoomanian is a fourth-grade teacher in Arlington, Virginia. She received her Master's in Education from the University of Rhode Island, from where she also holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and is actively involved in charity work. Recently, she spent time in Uganda supporting schools in rural areas and continues to raise awareness about the importance of education. 

Jennifer Witt is a fourth-grade teacher in Arlington, Virginia. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an M.Ed. from George Mason. As a fourth grade teacher, she loves working with kids and guiding them to discover new things. She has lived in the DC area her whole life and enjoys visiting the Smithsonian museums on the weekends. She also enjoys traveling to new places, previously traveling to Africa to work with schools in rural Uganda. She is looking forward to meeting you and your young travel companions on the Rhine!

River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

Amadeus Queen

Completed in 2018, this gracious ship with 81 luxury cabins and suites offers the utmost in service, safety, and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambiance akin to an elegant European hotel.

Relax in the panoramic lounge, indulge yourself with a soothing massage, browse in the boutique or connect with friends and family back home on the Internet. At the end of each day, return to the comfort of your bright, modern cabin featuring views of the passing scenery, satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower.

On the Amadeus Queen hospitality is a passion. The ship’s crew and staff are trained in the subtle art of attentive and gracious service. The day begins in the bright Panorama Restaurant with a plentiful breakfast. For lunch, one can choose between varied menu specialties. Dinner each evening is a four-course menu featuring regional specialties. As an added value feature all of your meals are included and local beer and table wines are served with each lunch and dinner during the cruise portion of your journey. 

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality and attentive care. The Amadeus Queen meets the highest maritime and technical safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the “Green Certificate” of environmental preservation.

Amadeus Queen

Completed in 2018, this gracious ship with 81 luxury cabins and suites offers the utmost in service, safety, and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambiance akin to an elegant European hotel.

Relax in the panoramic lounge, indulge yourself with a soothing massage, browse in the boutique or connect with friends and family back home on the Internet. At the end of each day, return to the comfort of your bright, modern cabin featuring views of the passing scenery, satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower.

On the Amadeus Queen hospitality is a passion. The ship’s crew and staff are trained in the subtle art of attentive and gracious service. The day begins in the bright Panorama Restaurant with a plentiful breakfast. For lunch, one can choose between varied menu specialties. Dinner each evening is a four-course menu featuring regional specialties. As an added value feature all of your meals are included and local beer and table wines are served with each lunch and dinner during the cruise portion of your journey. 

The English-speaking, international crew provides warm hospitality and attentive care. The Amadeus Queen meets the highest maritime and technical safety standards and is the only fleet of European river ships to have been awarded the “Green Certificate” of environmental preservation.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History
By: Winder, Simon
DK Eyewitness Germany (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
The Rhine: Following Europe's Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps
By: Coates, Ben
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris

Also Recommended

DK Eyewitness Amsterdam: 2020 (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure
By: Donald Kladstrup, Petie Kladstrup
The remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II."To be a Frenchman means to fight for your country and its wine." –Claude Terrail, owner, Restaurant La Tour d’ArgentIn 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown–until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.
All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland
By: Kay Shaw Nelson
Over 130 Rhine recipes include dishes such as Cheeze Fondue, Balzers Split Pea-Sausage Stew, Alpine Sauerkraut Soup', Bratwurst in Beer and Pears in Red Wine. Each chapter covers the culinary history and winemaking tradition of a different Rhine region.
Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine
By: Lewis Spence
Steeped in mystery and romance, guarded by great medieval castles perched high above its broad waters, the Rhine is one of the most storied and evocative rivers in Europe. For this volume, noted mythologist Lewis Spence has combed through the abundant literature written about the Rhine and its legends and chosen a rich selection of the best, most characteristic tales.Arranged to correspond with a journey along the Rhine from sea to source, the tales recount the lives and deeds of a host of mythic figures — Odin the All-father and Brunhild; Lorelei, a siren whose singing lured sailors to death on the rocks; Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail; Siegfried; the Jester of Heidelberg; Sigurd; Venus and Tannhäuser; and many more. Twenty-four atmospheric illustrations capture the enchanted mood of these stories as well as providing views of such famous landmarks as Heidelberg Castle, Oppenheim Abbey, the Castle of Cleves, cathedrals in Cologne, Worms, and Strasbourg, and other sites.In addition, Mr. Spence has supplied an informative introduction dealing with the historical development, folklore, poetry, and art of the Rhine. Readers interested in mythology and folklore in general, and Teutonic mythology in particular, will find here a splendid sampling of time-honored tales.
Only in Cologne: A Guide to Unique Locations, Hidden Corners and Unusual Objects (The Only In Guides)
By: Smith, Duncan J. D.
Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City
By: Geert Mak
A magnet for trade and travelers from all over the world, stylish, cosmopolitan Amsterdam is a city of dreams and nightmares, of grand civic architecture and legendary beauty, but also of civil wars, bloody religious purges, and the tragedy of Anne Frank. In this fascinating examination of the city's soul, part history, part travel guide, Geert Mak imaginatively recreates the lives of the early Amsterdammers, and traces Amsterdam's progress from waterlogged settlement to a major financial center and thriving modern metropolis
On the Water
By: van den Brink, H. M.
The Pâtissier: Recipes and Conversations from Alsace, France
By: Susan Lundquist
The Pâtissier: Recipes and Conversations from Alsace, France was born out of a chance encounter between an American spending a year in France and her neighbor, an Alsatian chef.Author Susan Lundquist and photographer, Frédéric Lacroix were in search of the authentic European life after spending a few years in Silicon Valley- and they ran right into it. Just days after moving into their new apartment in the heart of the aptly named Petite France, the oldest and most beautiful neighborhood in the city of Strasbourg in Alsace, they came face to face with a two week garbage strike in a town full of restaurants, a furnished apartment that included creepy critters,, and a 90 year old land lord who was proud of his WW II plumbing. They were in over their heads until their neighbor Hossine "Ben" Bennara invited the couple over for dinner. He gave them advice on everything including local recipes, thus creating a beautiful friendship centered around French cuisine. After this life-changing meeting, the concept of The Pâtissier: Recipes and Conversations from Alsace, France developed naturally-a collection of stories, humor, and meals reflecting Ben's life and family recipes.Together, Ben and Susan have compiled the ultimate combo in The Pâtissier-good food and good company!
A Walk in Wolf Wood (Hodder Modern Classic)
By: Stewart, Mary
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
By: Robert A. Scott
The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler’s companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent.While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life.Scott’s narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn’t be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.
Look What Came from Germany
By: Kevin Davis
Describes many things that originally came from Germany, including inventions, vehicles, household items, customs, animals, fairy tales, and food
My Travel Journal (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids, Nicola Baxter
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The Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids
Take a world tour through 200 countries with this brand new edition of the bestselling kids' version of Lonely Planet's popular The Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page. Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life. Perfect for keeping explorers aged 8 years and up entertained on the road. Authors: Lonely Planet Kids About Lonely Planet Kids: From the world's leading travel publisher comes Lonely Planet Kids, a children's imprint that brings the world to life for young explorers everywhere. We're kick-starting the travel bug and showing kids just how amazing our planet is. Our mission is to inspire and delight curious kids, showing them the rich diversity of people, places and cultures that surrounds us. We pledge to share our enthusiasm and continual fascination for what it is that makes the world we live in the magnificent place it is. A big adventure awaits! Come explore. Award-winning children's titles from Lonely Planet include The Amazing World Atlas (Independent Publisher Award, Gold for Juvenile Multicultural Non-fiction, 2015), How to Be a Space Explorer (Independent Publisher Award, Silver for Juvenile Non-fiction, 2015), Not For Parents The Travel Book, Not For Parents Paris, Not For Parents London, Not For Parents New York City, and Not For Parents Rome (all Parent Tested Parent Approved winners, 2012). Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Brain Teasers (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids, Sally Morgan
Who's the smarty pants in your family? Packed with number and logic puzzles, riddles, dingbats, codes and much more, this fun and challenging travel-themed activity book is perfect for car journeys, vacations and rainy days-and provides a great test for both kids and adults. Brain teasers include: Scrambled Cities - anagrams of famous places Code breaker - morse code messages to decipher Flagtastic - match the country to its flag World traveler, desert and jungle word searches Say what you see - solve the visual word puzzles Flag finder - crack a series of semaphore messages Riddles of the Sphinx - crafty cryptic questions Arctic explorer crossword and airport sudoku Other Lonely Planet Kids family activity books also available: -Boredom Buster -Round the World Quiz Book -My Vacation Scrapbook -My Vacation Drawing Journal -My Travel Journal -Backyard Explorer -My Family Travel Map -My Family Travel Map: North America -My Family Travel Map: Europe -My Family Travel Map: Australia -My Family Height Chart About Lonely Planet Kids: Come explore! Let's start an adventure. Lonely Planet Kids excites and educates children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humor and eye-catching imagery, we ignite their curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet. Every book draws on our huge team of global experts to help share our continual fascination with what makes the world such a diverse and magnificent place - inspiring children at home and in school.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.