This fabulous European river cruise along the Rhine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers combines the best of Holland, France, and Germany. Begin in Holland’s vibrant capital of Amsterdam, with a canal cruise through the 700-year-old city. Visit Cologne, Germany, a 2,000-year-old city known for its gothic architecture and famous twin-spired cathedral, and sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge. Strasbourg, France, located on the French-German border, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries, and Breisach, Germany, is the gateway to the unrivaled natural beauty of the Black Forest.Taste Burgundy wines on board your ship, take an excursion to the Chardonnay wine country, and sail to Lyon, the culinary capital of France. Visit the picture-postcard Place des Terreaux fountain, choose to visit the Beaujolais region for a tasting of its famous wines. Also, visit the twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage, and take a guided walk of Tournon, with its Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle, followed by wine and chocolate tasting. Cruise to historical Avignon and see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes. Sample wine in the Châteauneuf du Pape wine region, and cruise on the Rhône River to visit Arles, France—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh. A Master of Wine will join you for the second part of your European river Cruise for wine lectures, tastings, and food and wine pairing. Finally, we’ll whisk you via high-speed train to Nice for your final two nights in France. Here, you’ll walk through the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most famous boulevard. In your free time, perhaps take an excursion to Monaco, St. Tropez, or Cannes—known for its famous film festival. At your service is an expert Monograms Local Host® who is available to you throughout your stay in Aix-en-Provence and Nice.
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Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation): welcome receptionDay 2 Amsterdam: canal cruiseDay 3 Cologne: choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tourDay 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treatDay 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, see the Great VatDay 6 Strasbourg: guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral Day 7 Breisach. Excursion to Black Forest: choice of excursion to Black Forest, or guided tour in ColmarDay 8 Basel (Disembarkation)–Beaune–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre: transfer to Beaune, visit the Hôtel-Dieu, or join a wine tasting in a local cellar; onboard welcome receptionDay 9 Seurre–Mâcon: leisurely cruising; onboard lecture about wine; free time in Mâcon or Chardonnay excursionDay 10 Lyon: onboard wine and cheese tasting; guided sightseeing; picture stop on Fourvière Hill Day 11 Lyon: a free day to explore this fascinating city at leisure, or excursion to Beaujolais; onboard food & wine pairing dinnerDay 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers: guided walk in Tournon with wine and chocolate tasting, or hike in the vineyeards (weather permitting); guided walk in Viviers, visit the Old Town and the cathedralDay 13 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit Palace of the Popes and excursion to Châteauneuf du PapeDay 14 Arles: guided sightseeing in Arles, visit the Roman Amphitheatre; cruise into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)–Aix-en-Provence: transfer to Aix-en-Provence; guided walking tour visit Cathedral of the Holy SaviourDay 16 Aix-en-Provence: day at leisureDay 17 Aix-en-Provence–Nice: travel to Nice by high-speed TGV train (first class); guided walking tour with Promenade des Anglais and the old townDay 18 Nice: day at leisureDay 19 Nice: your vacation ends this morning