Romantic Rhine with the Best of Switzerland 2019

15 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Zürich

2019 Information. Switch to 2018 »

This fabulous vacation begins with a river cruise along the legendary Rhine River, which begins in Holland and stops in France and Germany, then enjoy an in-depth land tour of everything stunning Switzerland has to offer!

Board your vessel in the ever popular, modern city of Amsterdam, Holland. Here, you’ll find renowned museums and an abundance of restaurants amongst the elegant squares and charming canals. Continue to Cologne, Germany, a 2,000-year-old city, offering its famous twin-spired cathedral and many shops, cafés, and taverns. Pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water. And nearby, in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, visit the unique Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum to see the impressive collection of historical self-playing instruments. An excursion takes you to Heidelberg to visit the ruins of its red-walled castle towering magnificently over the city. In Strasbourg, France, you’ll be amazed by the red-sandstone gothic cathedral with ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Also, stroll through the lovely La Petite France district with its quaint shops, delightful bistros, and peaceful waterfront promenade. Before the end of the river cruise portion of your vacation, stop in Breisach, Germany. Known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty—and home to Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. The land portion of your vacation starts in Zürich, Switzerland.

With its stunning mountains, fascinating old towns, and beautiful lakes, Switzerland offers something for everyone. On this tour, experience some of its most interesting cities with overnights in Zürich, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne. And no tour to Switzerland is complete without seeing the stunning scenery, so enjoy a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. In Täsch, board a mountain train to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the famous Matterhorn. If beautiful lakes are what you desire to see, you'll enjoy Lake Como; Lake Maggiore; Lake Geneva; and Lugano, the popular subtropical resort on the shores of Lake Lugano. To bring Switzerland to life, Globus has arranged some unique experiences for you. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm in Berne and a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy heavenly views. Of course, Switzerland is known for its chocolates, so this tour would not be complete without a taste of traditional chocolate pralines.

From stunning scenery and vibrant cities to its special experiences, this river cruise and land tour is sure to delight. So grab your camera and get ready for an amazing vacation!


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation):Welcome reception
Day 2 Amsterdam:Canal cruise
Day 3 Cologne:Choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
Day 4 Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim:Guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat
Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg:Guided walk, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat
Day 6 Strasbourg, France:Guided sightseeing, visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
Day 7 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest:Visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum
Day 8 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)–Zurich:Transfer to Zurich; welcome dinner
Day 9 Zurich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz, Switzerland:Orientation walk of the Old Town; taste Sprüngli chocolate pralines; visit the capital of Liechtenstein
Day 10 St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland:Picture stop in Lake Como
Day 11 Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt:A stop in Stresa at Lake Maggiore; mountain train to Zermatt
Day 12 Zermatt–Lake Geneva:Drive through the Rhône Valley to Lake Geneva
Day 13 Lake Geneva–Berne–Lucerne:Guided walking tour, stop at the Bear Park and enjoy a panoramic view from the Rose Garden; lunch at a working farm
Day 14 Lucerne:Walking tour including the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge; Mount Pilatus excursion including a souvenir cap; farewell dinner
Day 15 Lucerne–Zurich Airport:This morning transfer to Zurich Airport

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(D)

Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)

Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and bike paths throughout the city make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to take an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.

NOTE:
Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2

(B, L, D)

Amsterdam

There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon to explore on your own. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany.

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Cologne, Germany

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years!

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here—and you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it!

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Strasbourg, France

Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timber houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.

Day 8

(B, D)

Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)–Zürich

Your Avalon cruise ends this morning after disembarkation. To join your Globus tour a coach transfer from Basel to Zürich has been arranged. All transfer details will be provided by your Avalon Cruise Director during the cruise. At 6 pm meet your Globus Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 9

(B, D)

Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz, Switzerland

Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s well-preserved OLD TOWN with its medieval guild houses, and taste the traditional CHOCOLATE PRALINES at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country’s four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz.

Day 10

(B)

St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland

A gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy’s Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant.

Day 11

(B)

Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Täsch, Switzerland–Zermatt

From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Continue over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn.

Day 12

(B, D)

Zermatt–Lake Geneva

This morning, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay.

Day 13

(B, L)

Lake Geneva–Berne–Lucerne

In the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the BEAR PARK, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. The highlight of the day is a special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how people live in rural Switzerland. Over Brünig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion is available to a folklore party with yodeling for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking.

Day 14

(B, D)

Lucerne

On your walking tour this morning, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” where you get a special SOUVENIR CAP to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner awaits you at your hotel for a proper auf Wiedersehen.

Day 15

(B)

Lucerne–Zürich Airport

Morning transfer to Zürich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zürich.

Notes

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • In the event that a high-speed train is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the route will be altered or operated by motorcoach.

Ship Details

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Hotels

No hotels exist for XZG1 in 2019

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Amsterdam
Packages
Rudesheim
Strasbourg
Breisach
St. Moritz
Lugano
Zermatt

Amsterdam

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Tour a working windmill, watch wooden clogs being made, and visit a cheese farm on this exciting half-day guided excursion to Zaanse Schans!

Price Range: $

Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot Castle

From Golden Age paintings to 13th-century arms and armor, discover the wonders of Muiderslot Castle, one of Holland's most beautiful medieval castle fortresses, on this captivating half-day guided tour.

Price Range: $$

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Amsterdam Culinary Walk

Discover Amsterdam's charming Jordaan district, and taste the authentic foods the locals know and love on this enjoyable guided foodie walking tour.

Price Range: $$

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$$$

Rudesheim

Traditional German Dinner

Traditional German Dinner

Treat your tastebuds to a hearty 3-course Rheinisch dinner on this delightful dinner outing including German entertainment and drinks.

Price Range: $$

Strasbourg

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Defending France: The Maginot Line of WWII

Explore France's awe-inspiring WWII Maginot Line, one of the greatest networks of defensive fortifications ever built, on this guided visit through the underground barracks, storehouses, and railways.

Price Range: $$

Into the Alsace Countryside with Wine Tasting

Into the Alsace Countryside with Wine Tasting

Travel along the famed Alsace Wine Route on this enchanting half-day excursion that visits a traditional medieval Alsace village and includes a cellar tasting of the local wines.

Price Range: $$

Breisach

Storybook Colmar, the Little Venice of France

Storybook Colmar, the Little Venice of France

Discover the fusion of German and French culture on this wonderful guided tour through storybook Colmar, the 'Little Venice' of France and capital of the Alsace wine region.

Price Range: $$

St. Moritz

Pontresina and the Roseg Valley

Pontresina and the Roseg Valley

Enjoy the world renown Roseg Valley.

Price Range: $$

Lugano

Lake Lugano Cruise with Meal

Lake Lugano Cruise with Meal

Embark your private boat for a relaxing cruise on breathtaking Lake Lugano and learn about the local traditions and dishes in a typical Swiss restaurant.

Price Range: $$

Zermatt

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Enjoy the fantastic view from the highest sightseeing point in Europe, Klein Matterhorn!

Price Range: $$$