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.

Starting at: $3,890 * Price includes special offer 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  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 Basel to Amsterdam Aboard the 168-guest Amadeus Silver III

9 days from $3,890

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


Save $250 per person when you book by January 4, 2019!

Special savings for children ages 6 -17 when sharing a cabin with an adult and a no single supplement offer! 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. 

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

  • France: In Strasbourg, 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 plus a swim in Lake Titisee. In Heidelberg, visit the castle, then hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for spectacular views of the castle and the Old 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.
  • 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.

*During this voyage, we will share the ship with other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience.


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

Depart the U.S. for Zurich via overnight trans-Atlantic air service. After a morning arrival at Zurich’s Kloten International Airport, transfer to Basel and embark the Amadeus Silver III. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be onboard to answer questions and help with suggestions for independent activities.

This evening, a welcome reception and dinner will be held aboard ship. A safety briefing and 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 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 afternoon will be at leisure in Breisach. This evening, there’s a get-together for the adults with the Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Traveler’s Corner for an informal discussion of 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 a choice of 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 Site, Petite 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 with the Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Travelers Corner for lively conversation. A soccer game is planned for the youngsters this afternoon. After dinner, youth-focused activities are planned in the Kid’s Klub.

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

Day 5 — Speyer and Heidelberg

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. After lunch, 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. 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 – Heidelberg Castle and Falconry – 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. Continue and take a funicular to Königstuhl and Tinnunculus for a falconry flight show. (All ages; with special youth focus)

Join fellow travelers and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dinner will be served aboard the ship. This evening, there will be an after-dinner talk for the children by the Captain about the ship’s navigation. (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. Walk 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. Enjoy traditional music and entertainment in the park before returning to the ship. (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 (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. This evening, travelers depart the ship for a family dinner and medieval entertainment at the famed Marksburg Castle situated high above the river*.  (B,L,D)

*This event requires walking uphill over a cobblestone path and climbing stairs. 

Day 7 — Cologne

Begin the day with a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. The morning is at leisure with onboard youth activities 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 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 held during the reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 8 — Amsterdam

This morning there will be youth activities will be offered in the Kid’s Klub. After arrival, 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, dinner will be served on board ship. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart Amsterdam for the U.S.

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

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