Cruising the Rhine River with your family, watch the hillsides for fairy-tale castles, learn about the Middle Ages, and explore historic sites from Cologne to Heidelberg, Strasbourg, and beyond.

Adult starting at: $3,390
Child starting at: $2,390
Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Spending time together   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  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 River Valley and in the heart of Germany's wine country  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 Journey

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

9 days from $3,390

Cruising the Rhine River with your family, watch the hillsides for fairy-tale castles, learn about the Middle Ages, and explore historic sites from Cologne to Heidelberg, Strasbourg, and beyond.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $1,000 per child when they share a cabin with an adult and no single supplement for adults requiring a solo cabin. Triple and quadruple occupancy not available on this program.

Overview

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 selection of family and adult excursions, plus two Youth Directors offer onboard programming for young people while adults attend special lectures and more! 

Highlights Include

  • The Netherlands: Introduce your kids to the Dutch Masters in Amsterdam’s newly refurbished Rijksmuseum or learn about occupied Holland and the Frank family during World War II at the Anne Frank House. 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.
  • Germany: While cruising in Germany, enjoy a choice of family-focused excursions. For example, from Freiburg, travel to the fabled 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 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. You may also choose to join a culinary tour showcasing Alsatian cuisine.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Amsterdam, Netherlands

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

Day 2 — Amsterdam

After an early morning flight arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport, transfer to the Amadeus Silver III docked in the harbor district of the city. Luggage will be expedited to individual cabins. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on hand to help with questions, information, and suggestions for independent activities. In the early evening, depart the ship for a scenic cruise through the iconic Canals of Amsterdam. The city has been known for centuries as the “Venice of the North.” Pass under historic bridges and see the Anne Frank House where the Frank family were in hiding during the Nazi Occupation of WWII. Dinner will be served aboard the ship. (D)

Day 3 — Amsterdam

A buffet breakfast will be served each morning during the cruise. After breakfast, there is a choice of shore excursions:

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 a remarkable collection of Golden Age paintings by famous 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 historic villages and many officially registered monuments. A “coffee and cake break” is included in Broek. See other villages like Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, and Durgerdam. (All ages; with special youth focus)

Choice #3 – Anne Frank Walking Tour: Take a fascinating tour of Amsterdam to see how it may have looked to young Anne Frank during the dark days of WWII. Discover what life was like during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945 and how this young Jewish girl existed in hiding with her family. A visit will be made to the poignant Anne Frank Museum. (All ages)

After lunch on board, the ship will depart for Cologne. Join fellow travelers for a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Youth activities will take place in the Kids Klub or on the Sun Deck and will include a safety briefing and ship orientation. A local speaker will review current affairs in Europe including a discussion on the subject of the European Union. This evening join the ship's captain for a welcome reception and dinner. A welcome activity for the youngsters is also planned. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Cologne

Arrive in Cologne this morning and enjoy 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. The afternoon is at leisure cruising the Rhine. For the youngsters, there are planned activities in the Kid’s Klub. Join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively conversation and camaraderie. After dinner, the ship's captain will talk to the youngsters about the navigation of the Amadeus Silver III on the river. An overnight in Koblenz offers an opportunity to take an evening stroll and explore. (B,L,D) 

Day 5 — Oberwesel

Be present on deck this morning as the ship cruises through the most beautiful portion of the river known as the Rhine Gorge. See hilltop castles and fortresses and the famous Lorelei Rock, the subject of fascinating German legend. An expert local speaker will offer a talk on the legends and castles of the Rhineland. While cruising, enjoy Frühschoppen, a mid-morning German tradition of drinking beer along with pretzels, sausage, and mustard. Once at Oberwesel, you’ll have a choice of tours ashore.

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. During the tour, you’ll learn why they were so important to the survival of the town against opposing armies. Marvel at the views of Oberwesel and the Rhine. Adults and children will stop in a town park where they’ll receive blank postcards and colored pencils so they can sketch the river, old city walls, and the town castle. Enjoy local music and entertainment. (All ages with focus on the youngsters)

There is free time to explore on your own in the Old Town center. This evening, gather the family and transfer to Marksburg Castle, a remarkably preserved fortress overlooking the Rhine and the town of Braubach. This fun-filled Smithsonian Journeys family evening features a traditional German dinner and medieval entertainment (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Speyer

After breakfast, attend a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. There will be special activities for the youngsters including a reading of fairy tales. The balance of the morning is at leisure while cruising toward Speyer. After lunch on board, you’ll have a choice of tours ashore.

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. (All ages)

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

Choice #3 – Heidelberg Castle and Philosopher’s Way: Enjoy a short visit to Heidelberg’s red-walled castle with its Great Vat and see the views of the old city center and Neckar River. Then, enjoy a 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.

Upon returning to the ship, there’s time to relax before dinner. Spend some time this evening with fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. In the Amadeus Kids Klub, activities are planned for after dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Strasbourg

Begin the day with an early morning arrival in Strasbourg, with its historic city center a designated World Heritage site. Explore the city on one of the following shore tours.

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. 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 the Grand Île, Petite France and its canals—a designated World Heritage site. The district has maintained its architectural charm with half-timbered buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. Since that time, the city has put on a new face with covered bridges and the Vauban dam. (All ages)

Choice #3 – Culinary Strasbourg: Join a tour that offers insight into the city’s culinary heritage. Strasbourg is renowned across France for its cuisine. In winstubs, small wine bars typical of Strasbourg, traditional dishes are enjoyed, accompanied by 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 so you can follow your own path and explore as a family. A shuttle bus will operate in the afternoon to take you to and from the city center. A soccer game or other fun activity will be organized near the ship. The ship will remain in Strasbourg overnight. Gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner this evening for lively conversation. In the Kids Klub, a movie is scheduled. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Breisach

Start the day with an engaging presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. For the children, special activities are planned on deck. 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 where you can enjoy a nearby hike, visit to the town, or a swim in the lake. (All ages with special youth focus)

This evening, there’s a farewell reception and dinner aboard ship. A creative talent show including poems and songs or team presentations will be included during the reception. This evening the ship will depart for Basel, Switzerland. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart Basel for the U.S.

Depart the ship and transfer to Zürich Kloten International Airport for return transatlantic flights to the U.S. (B)

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