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 and French Strasbourg, and take on the Dutch way of life with your kids during a bicycle trip outside Amsterdam. 

Starting at: $3,990 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 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  Family excursion by bicycle  The Black Forest  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   View of Cologne along the Rhine River  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: A Family Voyage

From Basel to Amsterdam

9 days from $3,990

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 and French Strasbourg, and take on the Dutch way of life with your kids during a bicycle trip outside Amsterdam. 

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by December 2, 2019!

Special savings for children ages 7 -16 when sharing a cabin with an adult and a no single supplement offer for solo travelers! Limited availability, book now! 

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. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Create family memories during our popular 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. Enjoy a choice of family or adult excursions, as well as onboard programming for young people while adults attend special lectures.

Highlights Include

  • France: In Strasbourg, a city situated on the French and German border, 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. You may also choose to join a culinary tour showcasing Alsatian cuisine.
  • Germany: While cruising in Germany, enjoy a choice of family-focused excursions. For example, from Breisach, travel to the fabled Black Forest where a family program features a walk through the town or a swim in Lake Titisee. In Heidelberg, hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for spectacular views of the castle and the Old Town. Your family trip to Oberwesel includes 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, one of the most beautiful selections of the river, with its hillsides dotted with castles, plus the legendary Loreley Rock. And in Cologne, tour the Old Town and visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral.
  • The Netherlands: Introduce your children and grandchildren to the Dutch Masters in Amsterdam’s newly refurbished Rijksmuseum or take a Jordan District walking and food tour. Alternatively, experience the traditional Dutch way of life during a family bike ride. Later, take a scenic canal cruise showcasing the city’s architecture and waterways.
  • Your Elegant Small-Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising with your children and grandchildren aboard an upscale small river ship that features comfortable staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. This cruise features the Amadeus Star. See more information about the ship on the Tour Details page. This voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience.

This trip is designed for adults ages 7 and older.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Zurich, Switzerland

Smithsonian Journeys Travelers depart the U.S. on a transatlantic flight to Zurich. Arrive at Zurich’s Kloten International Airport and transfer to Basel to embark the ship. Upon arrival at the ship, each adult and each child will receive customized Welcome Package containing general information about the river route, as well as a basic map of the Rhine River. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be onboard to answer questions and help with suggestions for independent activities.

This evening gather for a welcome reception and dinner aboard ship. A safety briefing and a youth welcome activity are scheduled. The ship will remain in Basel overnight. (R,D)

Day 3 — Basel and Breisach

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served each morning during the cruise. Upon arrival in Breisach, enjoy your choice of one of the following included 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 cruise on Lake Titisee, the largest natural lake in the Black Forest. Visit the town or take a swim in the lake. (All ages with special youth focus)

The balance of the day will be at leisure in Breisach with a youth activity planned for the late afternoon. This evening, there’s a get-together for the adults in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dinner will be served aboard the ship. Afterward, it’s “movie night” in the Kid’s Klub. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Strasbourg

Today, customize your Strasbourg experience with your choice of included shore excursions.

Choice #1 - Strasbourg Panoramic Tour: This morning’s motor coach excursion showcases the principal city of France’s Alsace region and the capital of the European Union. Stop at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the museums of the Palais Rohan and St. Thomas Church. Enjoy an escorted walking tour of 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 SitePetite France and its canals. The district has maintained its architectural charm with its half-timber buildings from the 16th and 17th 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 throughout France. In winstubs,” small wine bars, typical of Strasbourg, traditional dishes can be enjoyed, as well as fine Alsatian wines. During this guided walking tour, stops will be made to sample local food specialties and wine. (All ages)

The balance of the day is at leisure to follow your own path and explore with the family. A shuttle bus will operate this afternoon to take you to and from the city center. Gather the family in the early evening, then depart the ship for a unique family dining experience at a popular Alsatian restaurant, situated in a historic wine cave under famed Strasbourg Cathedral. The family will enjoy an evening of Alsatian (German-French) food specialties and local entertainment.

The ship will remain in Strasbourg overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Speyer and Heidelberg

After an early morning arrival in Speyer, a choice of shore excursions will be offered:

Choice #1 – Speyer Walking Tour and the Technic Museum:  On a walking tour, see the impressive Cathedral dating 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 on to visit the Technic Museum. Explore inside an original jumbo jet and inspect the inner workings of a submarine and a sea rescue boat. You’ll find the largest space flight exhibition in Europe, showcasing the Russian space shuttle BURAN, an authentic moonstone, space suits, a Soyuz landing capsule, as well as locomotives, vintage cars, fire trucks, motorcycles, and thousands of other exhibits. The youngsters will be fascinated! (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 the city below. Afterward, enjoy a short walk through the city center. (All ages)

Choice #3 – Hike Heidelberg’s Philosopher’s Way:Hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for spectacular views of Heidelberg castle and the old town. Take a rest in Philosopher’s Garden while enjoying the view along with snacks and drinks. (All ages; with special youth focus)

After returning on board for lunch, the ship will sail for Oberwesel. A youth activity featuring fairytales is scheduled. Prior to dinner, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. This evening, the Captain will join the children to talk about the ship’s navigation. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Oberwesel

After arrival in Oberwesel, you’ll have a choice of included 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 and learn why they were so important to the survival of the town against opposing armies. Continue into town and enjoy views of the city, its castle and the Rhine River. Blank postcards and colored pencils will be distributed to sketch pictures of the river, town, or castle scenery. (All ages with special youth focus)

There is free time to explore in the Old Town center. The ship will depart Oberwesel and lunch will be served on deck (weather permitting) as you cruise through the most beautiful section of the river known as the Rhine Gorge. See hilltop castles, fortresses and the Lorelei Rock, subject of a fascinating German legend. In the late afternoon, the ship will dock at Koblenz.  (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Cologne

The morning is at leisure with onboard youth activities as the ship sails toward CologneThe crew invites passengers to the Sun Deck mid-morning for Frühschoppen, the age-old German tradition of drinking a beer before midday along with delicious pretzels, sausage, and mustard!

After lunch, arrive in Cologne where there’s a guided tour of the Old Town and Cathedral Square. Visit the interior of the 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 can take part in specially planned activities. This evening, Smithsonian Journeys travelers and their families will enjoy a farewell reception and dinner. An Awards Night talent show or team prizes will be presented during the reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 8 — Amsterdam

This morning youth activities will be offered on board. After your arrival in Amsterdam, take your choice of one of the following shore tours.

Choice #1 – Rijksmuseum: Enjoy a motor coach ride through Amsterdam, one of the most charming cities in Europe to see some of the city’s historic and cultural highlights. Visit the world-famous Rijksmuseum that showcases a world-famous collection of masterpieces by artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. (All ages)

Choice #2 – Waterland Bicycle Ride: Travel to Waterland for a 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 snack break is included. Other villages seen are Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, and Durgerdam. (All ages; with special youth focus)

Choice #3 – Jordaan District Walking and Food Tour: Take off and discover the Jordaan area of Amsterdam, originally built in the 14th-century by progressive city fathers to accommodate the poor. Since then, it’s become a popular and trendy residential quarter complete with charming shops, art galleries and lively cafes. During a walking tour, you’ll stop and sample typical Dutch herring served with onions and pieces of deep-fried cod known as kibbeling. At a small restaurant, pick-up some poffertjes, small pancakes served with powdered sugar and a bit of butter. The Dutch are renown for a variety of fine cheeses. To complete the tour, you’ll taste samples accompanied by a glass of wine. (Adults and older children)

As a special  family event, there’s an early evening scenic cruise through the Canals of Amsterdam, that make the city “Venice of the North.” Pass under historic bridges and past the Anne Frank House where the Frank family were in hiding during the Nazi Occupation of WWII. This evening, enjoy a festive final dinner on board the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart Amsterdam for the U.S.

After an early breakfast depart the ship and transfer to Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

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