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Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland

Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland

11 Days from Amsterdam to Basel

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Amsterdam (Embark)

Arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Amsterdam

Enjoy the luxury of a full day in the “Venice of the North,” starting with a morning visit to the Rijksmuseum. Afterwards, explore the city on foot or via a canal cruise.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

It’s called the “Venice of the North” for a reason: Canals crisscross the heart of the old city, and bridges link some 90 islands. As the principal city in a newly independent Holland, Amsterdam was a boom town in the early 17th century, rapidly outgrowing its medieval walls. The city’s fathers responded by demolishing most of the old city and building an entirely new one, creating Europe’s first planned city. That “new” district is now 400 years old, and as you glide along the main canals, you’ll pass stately merchants’ houses built centuries ago (some of them are now house museums you can visit on your own). But the canals are not merely scenic; they are essential thoroughfares—people take water buses to work and live in houseboats along the banks—so a canal cruise also gives you a look at the busy modern city.

Visit to the Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum

Anyone who has read The Diary of Anne Frank knows what happened to Amsterdam’s Jews under the Nazis. But not everyone knows that the Jewish community began in the city when Sephardic Jews fled Spain and Portugal after 1492, a group of successful merchants and professionals who in turn sponsored Ashkenazi migrants fleeing Central Europe in the 17th century. Visit the Jewish Historical Museum, with its meticulous re-creation of the Great Synagogue, compelling exhibit called “Friday Night” and lively children’s area, and the nearby Portuguese Synagogue, before strolling through the former Jewish Quarter (Rembrandt lived in in this neighborhood, and he often asked his Jewish neighbors to pose for his Old Testament scenes; his house is now a museum and is one of the few original houses still standing in the area). Today’s Jewish community is largely centered in Amstelveen, where some 15,000 Jews live, work and worship in one of the largest and most vibrant communities in Europe.

This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 3: Harlingen

You’ll spend your day exploring the coastal Netherlands city of Harlingen.

Harlingen "Village Day"

Harlingen is an attractive port town on the Wadden Sea—local legend has it that the only reason Harlingen isn’t under the Wadden Sea is because of the actions of a young boy, who plugged up the local dike with one finger and thereby saved the city from sinking. It is, of course, just a fun story, but a statue in his honor can be found near the docks nonetheless.

Today you’ll have the opportunity to dive deeper into the Frisian area with one of two different experiences:

1. Head to a horse farm where the characteristically large and agile black Friesian horse is raised. After learning about the farm’s work and Frisian culture, you’ll be treated to a horse show.

2. Take a short drive to the city of Franeker, where you’ll find the oldest working planetarium in the world hanging from the ceiling of a beautiful canal house. Then move on to visit a historic mill, still active today as a grain mill.

Day 4: Arnhem

Arnhem, almost completely destroyed in WWII, has blossomed into a burgeoning Dutch city, with several museums, shop-lined streets and historic landmarks.

Kröller-Müller Museum Visit

Helene Kröller-Müller bought seven Van Goghs in a single day in 1912, valuing the painter’s then-little-appreciated work for his “great and novel humanity.” She went on to purchase many more of his paintings, and in the process, she almost single-handedly rescued him from obscurity and established his modern-day reputation. The Kröller-Müller Museum, which she founded in the 1930s on a family estate, features some 97 works by the master, including The Bridge at Arles. But Kröller-Müller didn’t stop with Van Gogh; her goal was to found the first museum in the Netherlands devoted to modern art, so the collection also boasts exceptional works by Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Auguste Rodin, among many other late-19th- and 20th-century artists. Join an expert guide for a one-hour tour, then revisit the galleries for a closer look or go out into the extensive sculpture gardens on your own. The museum has commissioned a sculpture a year for decades, so the collection is unusual, contemporary and diverse.

"Let's Go" Arnhem Airborne Cycle Route

Bike through Arnhem and its neighboring towns at the site of Operation Market Garden, a failed World War II attempt by Allied forces to seize several Rhine river bridges in order to push back the Axis occupying soldiers.

We begin our ride at John Frost Bridge, named for the Lt. Col. leading the Allies’ 2nd Battalion of the battle. From there, this 27km route takes you through the major landmarks of the Battle of Arnhem. Following the south banks of the Rhine, you’ll reach the ferry at Driel and cross to Doorwerth Castle, which faced heavy damages in the war and has since been restored. From there, you’ll head to Heelsum, where the first paratroopers landed. You’ll stop in Oosterbeek, where you can visit the Airborne Cemetery and Airborne Museum “Hartenstein,” before following a very similar route to the one John Frost and his men took on your way back to Arnhem.

Visit of Palace "Het Loo'"

Immerse yourself in the history of the Dutch Royal family today as you visit the palace known as “Het Loo.” Built at the behest of William of Orange in the 17th century, it was a summer residence for his family. Now, in the 21st century, the palace serves as a museum, so travelers and locals can marvel at the stunning decorations and gardens that were once reserved for Dutch royalty. The heritage of this building and the House of Orange-Nassau are excellently preserved, all of which you can learn about at your leisure as you admire the beautiful property.

Day 5: Cologne

You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne’s many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll through the Old Town, featuring 12 stunning Romanesque churches. Guests interested in the city’s Jewish past are welcome to explore the centuries-old mikveh and Cologne’s Jewish quarter.

Cologne Walking Tour with Old Town Visit

Meander through the narrow, cobbled lanes of Old Town, lined with traditional houses in every color and a plethora of restaurants and pubs. Along the way, you will be treated to a traditional Krapfen, a jam-filled donut that is popular in the area.

One of the city's 12 Romanesque churches provides a castle-like backdrop to this quaint, riverside quarter of Cologne. Your local expert will take you to the Domplatte, the square where you'll find the Cologne Cathedral. Should you wish, you can head inside this Gothic building on your own to see the Shrine of the Three Kings, which is believed to contain the relics of the Magi, and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Otherwise, try asking your guide for tips on what to explore. Whatever your interests, our local expert knows all the best spots in town!

NOTE: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

Visit Cologne’s Jewish Quarter

The history of the Jewish people in Cologne is nearly as long as the history of Cologne itself. The first documented mention of the Jewish community is a 321 AD edict allowing Jews to become members of the curia, a class of public office in the Roman Empire. The community grew over the centuries, eventually coming to number around 19,500 people before Nazism and World War II.

In the years since, the Jewish community of Cologne has slowly re-established itself, now numbering about 4,500 members. Because of its history, today’s synagogue calls itself “the oldest Jewish congregation north of the Alps.”

Meet our guides and head towards the Jewish Quarter, passing by the Ma'alot sculpture on the way. We’ll pass by the mikveh and arrive at Jawne, where you’ll meet up with some members of the community. Founded in 1919 and closed in 1942, Jawne was once the only Jewish grammar school in the Rhineland. Today, it is the sight of a small, volunteer-run learning and memorial center.

Day 6: Oberwesel

Bacharach is an ancient village that appears straight out of the pages of a storybook. Enjoy a guided stroll through town and taste some locally grown Rieslings, a specialty of the region. Alternatively, join a “Let's Go” hike that will take you past the old town walls and up to a fortified 12th-century castle.

Bacharach Village Stroll with Riesling Tasting

What would a cruise on the Rhine be without a stop at one of the picturesque and historic wine villages that dot the banks? Bacharach, first documented in the 11th century, was once critically important to the wine trade as a port where wine casks were transferred from smaller boats, which could navigate the rocky narrows above the town, to larger ones. Join a local guide to stroll among the timbered houses—the oldest dates to 1368 (it’s now a restaurant called, appropriately, Altes Haus)—pausing for a look at the remains of the old town walls, demolished by the French during the Nine Years’ War, the gothic ruins of the Werner Chapel and the single spired St. Peter’s Church. Vineyards rise in terraces all around the town, producing excellent Rieslings; following your tour, you’ll have a chance to taste some of them and find out for yourself just how good they are.

“Let’s Go” Castle Stahleck Hike

The round tower and sturdy stone walls of Castle Stahleck guard the heights above Bacharach. The counts Palatine used the fortress to defend their territories from other German lords and from numerous French incursions, so it suffered considerable damage over the centuries, but it has been beautifully restored and enjoys a new life as a youth hostel. Join your guide for a hike—it won’t be too strenuous but you will be climbing the hill outside the village—through the vineyards up to the castle. You’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the Rhine and the Lorelei valley as well as the town below.

Day 7: Frankfurt

Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture.

Frankfurt City Tour

Meet your local guide outside the ship and get ready for an active jaunt around Frankfurt. First, you'll head to the Römerberg plaza in Old Town, a medieval square in which several coronation ceremonies for German Emperors. Continue your tour to see other highlights of the Old Town, including the medieval city hall, and Paulskirche. Your walk will come to an end at the Zeil, a popular street in Frankfurt's city center. If you'd like to continue exploring on your own, check in with your guide for a local's recommendations on what to see next!

Frankfurt's Jewish History

Today, you'll set off with your guide to visit the Rothschild Palais. In the 19th century, this palace was purchased and expanded by the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild family. Having miraculously survived the destruction of World War II, the building looks much as it did two centuries ago. Several of its rooms are well maintained to showcase their opulence and history. The palace also houses a museum that dives deeper into Frankfurt's Jewish heritage.

Day 8: Speyer (Mannheim)

Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously coexist with modern-day innovation. Explore the baroque palace of Mannheim, visit a a vinegar estate for a tour and tasting, or join our “Jewish Heritage” excursion to an ancient center of learning and religion in Worms.

Speyer Walking Tour with Local Treats

Start your tour with a walk down Maximilian Street. First laid-out by Roman soldiers, it is now Speyer’s most popular promenade, open only to pedestrian traffic and lined by neatly restored baroque houses. Follow this path to the medieval church, where you’ll discover the remnants of an 11th century Jewish community and its vaulted ritual baths. You’ll also see the former mint and Holy Trinity Church on your tour. And to fuel your walk around town, we’ll be treating you to a couple of delicious local snacks along the way.

Private Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate Visit and Tasting

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. Most importantly, Wiedemann and his family run their farm and vineyards with the utmost care, tending to them with natural materials only.

The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Excursion to Worms

Will you leave a pebble on the headstone of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg? The great medieval scholar was born in Worms and is buried there, in the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Germany. In his day, Worms was one of three important centers of Jewish learning and trade in the Middle Ages, along with Mainz and Speyer, and was known as “little Jerusalem on the Rhine.” Rabbi Meir taught in Rothenburg for 25 years and died a prisoner in Alsace—and his reasons for refusing to allow anyone to ransom him were cited in discussions in 2011 when Israel exchanged 1027 Hamas prisoners for a single Israeli soldier. Today when you visit Worms’ ancient cemetery, with headstones dating to the 11th century, you’ll find a peaceful place that bears testimony to the long history of Jews in the region. Your tour will also include the re-created 12th-century synagogue and mikveh, which were destroyed on Kristallnacht.

Day 9: Strasbourg

See Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Or take an in-depth look at the city’s rich Jewish history, which dates back an astonishing 2,000 years.

Strasbourg Panoramic Tour with Cathedral and Old Town Walk

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You'll see the city's highlights on a panoramic drive before disembarking the coach for a walking tour through the towns famously idyllic streets with your local guide.

Alsace’s Jewish Past

Meet a member of Alsace’s Jewish community for a morning of immersive cultural insights. As you walk around Strasbourg with your guide, they will introduce you to the city through the eyes of its modern Jewish community and share insights into the history of the broader region of Alsace. Amongst your stops for the day: a local Jewish school and a medieval mikveh that is likely the oldest surviving work of Jewish architecture in the region.

This evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 10: Basel

Ramble with your guide through the historic heart of Basel. Every historic square you see will hold a special charm.

Night Out: Feldschlösschen Brewery Visit and Beer Tasting

Discover the tradition of Swiss brewing with a private experience at one of the oldest factories in Europe. Visit Feldschlösschen Brewery, a stunning Swiss landmark with 145 years of history. Appreciate the building’s castle-like exteriors and original copper brewing barrels, sampling some of the country’s most popular brews along the way.

Please note: this excursion is available on the Amsterdam to Basel route of the itinerary only.

Basel Walking Tour with Local Treats

Basel is a moderately sized city with a population of just 170,000 and only a couple small skyscrapers to its name, but don’t let its size fool you—Basel is a thriving trade hub with a markedly international feel. It’s position at the borders of France and Germany makes it a popular place to work for commuters from three countries.

Start your local discovery with a unique ferry trip across the Rhine to Kleinbasel. The ferry works by natural current only. Take a scenic walk along the Rhine promenade for the best views of the Patrician houses and historic facades on the opposite Grossbasel side. Once we pass Mittlere Brücke and stop briefly for Basler Läckerli (a gingerbread cookie), we board the ferry again to cross over to Grossbasel.

We land at the famous Basel Münster and climb the stairs to the Münster terrace, where we’ll find a wonderful panoramic view of the city and its bridges, squeezed between the Black Forest and Jura Mountains.

Afterward, we’ll weave our way through cobbled streets and narrow alleys to see a variety of beloved local spots. Along the way, you’ll taste authentic regional treats.

“Let’s Go” Basel by Bike

Fasten your helmet, mount your bike and pedal with your guide along the Wiese River (a tributary of the Rhine) through the lovely riverside forests hugging the border between Switzerland and Germany. This light, easy bike ride is a very pleasant way to get a closer look at the natural landscapes you sail by.

Awareness Walking Tour

Discover Basel from an unexpected perspective today as you embark on a city tour led by a current or former member of the city’s unhoused population. Your guide will share insights into their everyday lives as they show you places most tourists miss. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll be privy to a uniquely immersive local experience, while also helping to support good work for some of Switzerland’s disenfranchised community.

Day 11: Basel (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg airport for your flight home.

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Basel (Embark)

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Important Note: Uniworld's airport services and transfers to the ship will take place on the Switzerland side of the Basel-Mulhouse Airport. Be sure to enter Customs on the Switzerland side, as guests cannot return to the Switzerland side after they have exited the airport from the France side.
Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Basel

Ramble with your guide through the historic heart of Basel. Every historic square you see will hold a special charm.

Basel Walking Tour with Local Treats

Basel is a moderately sized city with a population of just 170,000 and only a couple small skyscrapers to its name, but don’t let its size fool you—Basel is a thriving trade hub with a markedly international feel. It’s position at the borders of France and Germany makes it a popular place to work for commuters from three countries.

Start your local discovery with a unique ferry trip across the Rhine to Kleinbasel. The ferry works by natural current only. Take a scenic walk along the Rhine promenade for the best views of the Patrician houses and historic facades on the opposite Grossbasel side. Once we pass Mittlere Brücke and stop briefly for Basler Läckerli (a gingerbread cookie), we board the ferry again to cross over to Grossbasel.

We land at the famous Basel Münster and climb the stairs to the Münster terrace, where we’ll find a wonderful panoramic view of the city and its bridges, squeezed between the Black Forest and Jura Mountains.

Afterward, we’ll weave our way through cobbled streets and narrow alleys to see a variety of beloved local spots. Along the way, you’ll taste authentic regional treats.

“Let’s Go” Basel by Bike

Fasten your helmet, mount your bike and pedal with your guide along the Wiese River (a tributary of the Rhine) through the lovely riverside forests hugging the border between Switzerland and Germany. This light, easy bike ride is a very pleasant way to get a closer look at the natural landscapes you sail by.

Awareness Walking Tour

Discover Basel from an unexpected perspective today as you embark on a city tour led by a current or former member of the city’s unhoused population. Your guide will share insights into their everyday lives as they show you places most tourists miss. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll be privy to a uniquely immersive local experience, while also helping to support good work for some of Switzerland’s disenfranchised community.

This evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 3: Strasbourg

See Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Or take an in-depth look at the city’s rich Jewish history, which dates back an astonishing 2,000 years.

Strasbourg Panoramic Tour with Cathedral and Old Town Walk

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You'll see the city's highlights on a panoramic drive before disembarking the coach for a walking tour through the towns famously idyllic streets with your local guide.

Alsace’s Jewish Past

Meet a member of Alsace’s Jewish community for a morning of immersive cultural insights. As you walk around Strasbourg with your guide, they will introduce you to the city through the eyes of its modern Jewish community and share insights into the history of the broader region of Alsace. Amongst your stops for the day: a local Jewish school and a medieval mikveh that is likely the oldest surviving work of Jewish architecture in the region.

Day 4: Speyer (Mannheim)

Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously coexist with modern-day innovation. Explore the baroque palace of Mannheim, visit a a vinegar estate for a tour and tasting, or join our “Jewish Heritage” excursion to an ancient center of learning and religion in Worms.

Night Out: A Wagon Ride Through Wine Country

After dinner, join your fellow travelers for a fun, open-air drive through Bad Dürkheim’s vineyards. As you coast by in the crisp night air, you’ll sample a variety of the region’s wonderful wines. A vintner will be driving your wagon, explaining each glass along the way and sharing their expert knowledge on what makes the Palatinate region’s wines so spectacular.

Please note, this excursion is only available on the Basel to Amsterdam direction of this itinerary.

Speyer Walking Tour with Local Treats

Start your tour with a walk down Maximilian Street. First laid-out by Roman soldiers, it is now Speyer’s most popular promenade, open only to pedestrian traffic and lined by neatly restored baroque houses. Follow this path to the medieval church, where you’ll discover the remnants of an 11th century Jewish community and its vaulted ritual baths. You’ll also see the former mint and Holy Trinity Church on your tour. And to fuel your walk around town, we’ll be treating you to a couple of delicious local snacks along the way.

Private Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate Visit and Tasting

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. Most importantly, Wiedemann and his family run their farm and vineyards with the utmost care, tending to them with natural materials only.

The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Excursion to Worms

Will you leave a pebble on the headstone of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg? The great medieval scholar was born in Worms and is buried there, in the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Germany. In his day, Worms was one of three important centers of Jewish learning and trade in the Middle Ages, along with Mainz and Speyer, and was known as “little Jerusalem on the Rhine.” Rabbi Meir taught in Rothenburg for 25 years and died a prisoner in Alsace—and his reasons for refusing to allow anyone to ransom him were cited in discussions in 2011 when Israel exchanged 1027 Hamas prisoners for a single Israeli soldier. Today when you visit Worms’ ancient cemetery, with headstones dating to the 11th century, you’ll find a peaceful place that bears testimony to the long history of Jews in the region. Your tour will also include the re-created 12th-century synagogue and mikveh, which were destroyed on Kristallnacht.

Day 5: Frankfurt

Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture.

Frankfurt City Tour

Meet your local guide outside the ship and get ready for an active jaunt around Frankfurt. First, you'll head to the Römerberg plaza in Old Town, a medieval square in which several coronation ceremonies for German Emperors. Continue your tour to see other highlights of the Old Town, including the medieval city hall, and Paulskirche. Your walk will come to an end at the Zeil, a popular street in Frankfurt's city center. If you'd like to continue exploring on your own, check in with your guide for a local's recommendations on what to see next!

Frankfurt's Jewish History

Today, you'll set off with your guide to visit the Rothschild Palais. In the 19th century, this palace was purchased and expanded by the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild family. Having miraculously survived the destruction of World War II, the building looks much as it did two centuries ago. Several of its rooms are well maintained to showcase their opulence and history. The palace also houses a museum that dives deeper into Frankfurt's Jewish heritage.

Day 6: Oberwesel

Bacharach is an ancient village that appears straight out of the pages of a storybook. Enjoy a guided stroll through town and taste some locally grown Rieslings, a specialty of the region. Alternatively, join a “Let's Go” hike that will take you past the old town walls and up to a fortified 12th-century castle.

Bacharach Village Stroll with Riesling Tasting

What would a cruise on the Rhine be without a stop at one of the picturesque and historic wine villages that dot the banks? Bacharach, first documented in the 11th century, was once critically important to the wine trade as a port where wine casks were transferred from smaller boats, which could navigate the rocky narrows above the town, to larger ones. Join a local guide to stroll among the timbered houses—the oldest dates to 1368 (it’s now a restaurant called, appropriately, Altes Haus)—pausing for a look at the remains of the old town walls, demolished by the French during the Nine Years’ War, the gothic ruins of the Werner Chapel and the single spired St. Peter’s Church. Vineyards rise in terraces all around the town, producing excellent Rieslings; following your tour, you’ll have a chance to taste some of them and find out for yourself just how good they are.

“Let’s Go” Castle Stahleck Hike

The round tower and sturdy stone walls of Castle Stahleck guard the heights above Bacharach. The counts Palatine used the fortress to defend their territories from other German lords and from numerous French incursions, so it suffered considerable damage over the centuries, but it has been beautifully restored and enjoys a new life as a youth hostel. Join your guide for a hike—it won’t be too strenuous but you will be climbing the hill outside the village—through the vineyards up to the castle. You’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the Rhine and the Lorelei valley as well as the town below.

Day 7: Cologne

You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne’s many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll through the Old Town, featuring 12 stunning Romanesque churches. Guests interested in the city’s Jewish past are welcome to explore the centuries-old mikveh and Cologne’s Jewish quarter.

Cologne Walking Tour with Old Town Visit

Meander through the narrow, cobbled lanes of Old Town, lined with traditional houses in every color and a plethora of restaurants and pubs. Along the way, you will be treated to a traditional Krapfen, a jam-filled donut that is popular in the area.

One of the city's 12 Romanesque churches provides a castle-like backdrop to this quaint, riverside quarter of Cologne. Your local expert will take you to the Domplatte, the square where you'll find the Cologne Cathedral. Should you wish, you can head inside this Gothic building on your own to see the Shrine of the Three Kings, which is believed to contain the relics of the Magi, and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Otherwise, try asking your guide for tips on what to explore. Whatever your interests, our local expert knows all the best spots in town!

NOTE: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

Visit Cologne’s Jewish Quarter

The history of the Jewish people in Cologne is nearly as long as the history of Cologne itself. The first documented mention of the Jewish community is a 321 AD edict allowing Jews to become members of the curia, a class of public office in the Roman Empire. The community grew over the centuries, eventually coming to number around 19,500 people before Nazism and World War II.

In the years since, the Jewish community of Cologne has slowly re-established itself, now numbering about 4,500 members. Because of its history, today’s synagogue calls itself “the oldest Jewish congregation north of the Alps.”

Meet our guides and head towards the Jewish Quarter, passing by the Ma'alot sculpture on the way. We’ll pass by the mikveh and arrive at Jawne, where you’ll meet up with some members of the community. Founded in 1919 and closed in 1942, Jawne was once the only Jewish grammar school in the Rhineland. Today, it is the sight of a small, volunteer-run learning and memorial center.

Day 8: Arnhem

Arnhem, almost completely destroyed in WWII, has blossomed into a burgeoning Dutch city, with several museums, shop-lined streets and historic landmarks.

Visit of Palace "Het Loo'"

Immerse yourself in the history of the Dutch Royal family today as you visit the palace known as “Het Loo.” Built at the behest of William of Orange in the 17th century, it was a summer residence for his family. Now, in the 21st century, the palace serves as a museum, so travelers and locals can marvel at the stunning decorations and gardens that were once reserved for Dutch royalty. The heritage of this building and the House of Orange-Nassau are excellently preserved, all of which you can learn about at your leisure as you admire the beautiful property.

"Let's Go" Arnhem Airborne Cycle Route

Bike through Arnhem and its neighboring towns at the site of Operation Market Garden, a failed World War II attempt by Allied forces to seize several Rhine river bridges in order to push back the Axis occupying soldiers.

We begin our ride at John Frost Bridge, named for the Lt. Col. leading the Allies’ 2nd Battalion of the battle. From there, this 27km route takes you through the major landmarks of the Battle of Arnhem. Following the south banks of the Rhine, you’ll reach the ferry at Driel and cross to Doorwerth Castle, which faced heavy damages in the war and has since been restored. From there, you’ll head to Heelsum, where the first paratroopers landed. You’ll stop in Oosterbeek, where you can visit the Airborne Cemetery and Airborne Museum “Hartenstein,” before following a very similar route to the one John Frost and his men took on your way back to Arnhem.

Kröller-Müller Museum Visit

Helene Kröller-Müller bought seven Van Goghs in a single day in 1912, valuing the painter’s then-little-appreciated work for his “great and novel humanity.” She went on to purchase many more of his paintings, and in the process, she almost single-handedly rescued him from obscurity and established his modern-day reputation. The Kröller-Müller Museum, which she founded in the 1930s on a family estate, features some 97 works by the master, including The Bridge at Arles. But Kröller-Müller didn’t stop with Van Gogh; her goal was to found the first museum in the Netherlands devoted to modern art, so the collection also boasts exceptional works by Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Auguste Rodin, among many other late-19th- and 20th-century artists. Join an expert guide for a one-hour tour, then revisit the galleries for a closer look or go out into the extensive sculpture gardens on your own. The museum has commissioned a sculpture a year for decades, so the collection is unusual, contemporary and diverse.

Day 9: Harlingen

You’ll spend your day exploring the coastal Netherlands city of Harlingen.

Harlingen "Village Day"

Harlingen is an attractive port town on the Wadden Sea—local legend has it that the only reason Harlingen isn’t under the Wadden Sea is because of the actions of a young boy, who plugged up the local dike with one finger and thereby saved the city from sinking. It is, of course, just a fun story, but a statue in his honor can be found near the docks nonetheless.

Today you’ll have the opportunity to dive deeper into the Frisian area with one of two different experiences:

1. Head to a horse farm where the characteristically large and agile black Friesian horse is raised. After learning about the farm’s work and Frisian culture, you’ll be treated to a horse show.

2. Take a short drive to the city of Franeker, where you’ll find the oldest working planetarium in the world hanging from the ceiling of a beautiful canal house. Then move on to visit a historic mill, still active today as a grain mill.

Day 10: Amsterdam

Enjoy the luxury of a full day in the “Venice of the North,” starting with a morning visit to the Rijksmuseum. Afterwards, explore the city on foot or via a canal cruise.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

It’s called the “Venice of the North” for a reason: Canals crisscross the heart of the old city, and bridges link some 90 islands. As the principal city in a newly independent Holland, Amsterdam was a boom town in the early 17th century, rapidly outgrowing its medieval walls. The city’s fathers responded by demolishing most of the old city and building an entirely new one, creating Europe’s first planned city. That “new” district is now 400 years old, and as you glide along the main canals, you’ll pass stately merchants’ houses built centuries ago (some of them are now house museums you can visit on your own). But the canals are not merely scenic; they are essential thoroughfares—people take water buses to work and live in houseboats along the banks—so a canal cruise also gives you a look at the busy modern city.

Visit to the Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum

Anyone who has read The Diary of Anne Frank knows what happened to Amsterdam’s Jews under the Nazis. But not everyone knows that the Jewish community began in the city when Sephardic Jews fled Spain and Portugal after 1492, a group of successful merchants and professionals who in turn sponsored Ashkenazi migrants fleeing Central Europe in the 17th century. Visit the Jewish Historical Museum, with its meticulous re-creation of the Great Synagogue, compelling exhibit called “Friday Night” and lively children’s area, and the nearby Portuguese Synagogue, before strolling through the former Jewish Quarter (Rembrandt lived in in this neighborhood, and he often asked his Jewish neighbors to pose for his Old Testament scenes; his house is now a museum and is one of the few original houses still standing in the area). Today’s Jewish community is largely centered in Amstelveen, where some 15,000 Jews live, work and worship in one of the largest and most vibrant communities in Europe.

This evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 11: Amsterdam (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight home.

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