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 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

9-12 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

Overview

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.

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 upscale MS Amadeus Queen. Upon arrival on board, each adult and each child will receive a 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 on board to answer questions and help with suggestions for independent activities. In late afternoon, the ship will depart Basel for Strasbourg 

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

Day 3 — 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 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 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 4 — Speyer / Mannheim / 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. Also, see the 13th century Altpörtel and stroll through the Old Town center. 

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)

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 special 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 5 — Rudesheim

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 Koblenz. Established more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans as an outpost to guard the banks of the Rhine and Mosel 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 6 — Koblenz / Moselle River / Cochem

Today, the ship cruises through a narrow portion of the Moselle River flanked on each side by numerous 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. An expert 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 kids. Afterward, time is available to discover more of Cochem on your own. Before dinner, join fellow travelers for an exclusive Smithsonian Journeys reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 7 — Cologne

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

Choice #1 – Cologne 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, 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 #2 – Youth Focused – Cologne 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 special 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. An Awards Recognition Night or a Talent Show is planned 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 planned. 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)

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 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 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)

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)