Create family memories on our special Rhine River multi-generational cruise that includes a three night stay in the Swiss alpine town of Interlaken. With your children or grandchildren, explore the Alps of the Bernese Oberland, 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 family bicycle excursion outside of Amsterdam. 

Starting at: $5,690 * 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

12 days from $5,690

Create family memories on our special Rhine River multi-generational cruise that includes a three night stay in the Swiss alpine town of Interlaken. With your children or grandchildren, explore the Alps of the Bernese Oberland, 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 family bicycle excursion outside of Amsterdam. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

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!

Itinerary

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

Smithsonian Journeys Travelers depart the U.S. on an evening transatlantic flight to Zurich. Arrive at Zurich’s Kloten International Airport and transfer to Interlaken and the luxurious Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel Resort and Spa. Upon arrival at the hotel, each adult and each child will receive a customized Welcome Package containing general information about Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Directors and Youth staff will be at the hotel to answer questions and help with suggestions for independent activities. After settling in, meet fellow travelers at a festive welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Day 3 — Interlaken

Breakfast will be served at the hotel each morning. Today, enjoy a day discovering the majestic beauty of the Swiss Alps! Personalize you’re alpine experience on your own or by joining one of the following excursions. Please note: excursions suggested below are optional and at your own expense.

  • Murren and Lauterbrunnen – A moderate hike takes you up the Allmendhubel situated above Mürren for panoramic views of the Alps and the valley of Lauterbrunnen.
  • Grindelwald – Grindelwald, an attractive village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, is a popular gateway to the Jungfrau Region and popular with hikers during the summer months. The area features hiking paths with interpretive signage, waterfalls and not-to-be-forgotten vistas of the surrounding Alpen peaks.

The evening is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 4 — Interlaken

Enjoy your day at leisure. Following your own path, you may want to travel up the Jungfraujoch to see the glacier and Ice Palace or take a boat ride to Oberhofen Castle and on to the town of Thun or travel up the Harder Kulm for remarkable panoramic views overlooking Interlaken. Or you might decide to simply relax at the pool and spa of the hotel. (B)

Day 5 — Interlaken / Brienz / Basel

This morning, take a lake steamer from Interlaken across beautiful Lake Brienz. Upon arrival in Brienz enjoy time at leisure to walk through this quaint town known for its woodcarving. Later, depart by motor coach for Basel where your river cruise begins. Once at the dock embark the Amadeus Queen. On board, you will receive a customized Welcome Package containing general information about the river cruise route, as well as a basic map of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. This evening, gather for a welcome aboard reception and dinner onboard. A safety briefing and youth welcome activity will also take place during this time. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Strasbourg

A full breakfast will be served each morning during the cruise. Upon arrival in Strasbourg, enjoy your choice of one of the following 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. See the European Parliament and other EU buildings. After the panoramic tour, enjoy a guided walk through Strasbourg’s historic center, a World Heritage site, and visit Notre Dame Cathedral. (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 on a delightful cruise. 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 local 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. In the early evening, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a lively conversation about the day’s activities. For the youngsters, it’s “movie night” in the Amadeus Club. In the late evening, the ship departs for Speyer. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Speyer / Mannheim / Heidelberg

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

Choice #1 – Speyer Walking Tour:  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. Also, see the 13th century Altpörtel and stroll through the Old Town center. (All ages)

Choice #2 – Technic Museum in Speyer. 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 with youth focus)

The ship will depart for Mannheim at noon. Lunch will be served on aboard and in mid-afternoon, you'll have your choice of shore excursions in Heidelberg.

Choice #1 – 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 #2 – 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 youth focus)

Return to the ship in time for dinner. This evening, the Captain will join the children to talk about the ship’s navigation. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Rudesheim / Rhine Gorge / Koblenz

Upon arrival in Rudesheim, you’ll have a choice of included shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Wines of the Rhine: In the winemaking town of Rudesheim, walk through the town then sample the wine of a local vintner. (Ages 18 and up)

Choice #2 – A Musical Walk in Time: Take a walk along the city’s well-preserved fortification walls from the 15th century and visit the Eagle Tower. Seeing the city walls takes you back to the early days, where fortification walls were a necessity for survival against the enemy. Continue through the city center and walk through the Drosselgasse where you will find numerous wine houses and garden taverns. Conclude with a visit to the Siegfried Mechanical Music Museum for an adventure with historical self-playing instruments. (All ages)

The ship will depart Rudesheim just after noon, and lunch will be served 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. A local onboard speaker will talk on The Castles and Legends of the Rhine. In the late afternoon, the ship will dock at Koblenz for an overnight stay. This afternoon, depart the ship for a tour of the historic and cultural highlights of the town. Established more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans as an outpost to guard the banks of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, the picturesque town of Koblenz boasts a rich history that matches its charm. After dinner, a youth activity is scheduled. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Koblenz / Moselle River / Cochem

Today, the ship cruises through a narrow portion of the Moselle River flanked on each side by bountiful vineyards and quaint villages. The morning is at leisure with onboard youth activities. The 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! In early afternoon, the ship will dock in Cochem. This city of narrow, winding streets and terraced hills covered in a tangle of grapevines is dominated by a picturesque castle steeped in history.

A local guide will escort you through this lovely town and fascinate you with legends and tales that seem to spring up around every corner. The excursion concludes with an inside visit of Reichsburg Castle that’s said to be haunted. An eerie “ghost tour” is planned for the youngsters. Afterward, there’s free time to discover more of Cochem on your own. Before dinner, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Cologne

After an early morning arrival in Cologne, personalize your sightseeing experience with a choice of shore excursions:

Choice #1Cologne Tour: Enjoy a guided tour of Cologne this morning, which includes the Old Town, Cathedral Square, and the city’s iconic 13th-century Dom Cathedral, a World Heritage site. Afterwards, there is free time to have a coffee at a quaint café and discover more of Cologne on your own. (All ages)

Choice #2Cologne Chocolate Museum: Join a guided tour to the Chocolate Museum to learn the process of making chocolate starting with the bitter cocoa bean. See the chocolate factory and the landmark chocolate fountain that contains warm, liquid chocolate. A tour would not be complete without trying a sample of course! (All ages; with youth focus)

Depart Cologne for Amsterdam in the early afternoon. A youth activity will be held on deck. This evening, celebrate your journey at a farewell reception and dinner on board. An Awards Recognition Night or a Talent Show is planned during the reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 11 - 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 #1Rijksmuseum: 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 #2Waterland 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 planned. Other villages seen are Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, and Durgerdam. (All ages; with youth focus)

Choice #3Jordaan 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)

In late afternoon, review the current state of affairs in Europe. Learn about the European Union, and discuss its future with a local expert. As a special family event, there’s an early evening private scenic cruise through the Canals of Amsterdam, that make the city “Venice of the North.” Pass under historic bridges and see the tall narrow historic houses lining the canals. This evening, enjoy a festive final dinner on board the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 12 - Depart Amsterdam for home

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

Program Note: The progression of this itinerary may necessitate change due to local operational considerations.

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

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