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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
10 Days | Switzerland to the North Sea
Southbound


AMSTERDAM TO BASEL

Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. Embark. Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship. After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Anne Frank House. (D)

Day 2 | Amsterdam. Get to know Amsterdam in the best way possible: via its vast network of canals. You will board a glass-topped boat this morning and float along some of its major waterways and through its more narrow and intimate canals. Graceful, low-slung arched bridges and quaint gabled houses mark your progress through this charming city.

As you cruise, you can make note of the sites you’d like to explore more closely and venture out after lunch on board. Perhaps you’ll browse the splendid collection at the Rijksmuseum, including Rembrandt’s famed Nightwatch, or the breathtaking works of genius at the Van Gogh Museum. Along the way, you might stop to sample sweet stroopwafels or try the Dutch version of a savory pancake. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Kinderdijk. This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return aboard for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Cologne, Germany. Continue along the Rhine this morning; arrive in Cologne and disembark for a walking tour. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin’s Church, and spend some time inside Cologne’s Dom, a remarkable Gothic cathedral whose construction began in 1248 and was only completed in 1880. Explore the dockside taverns, cafés and shops on your own. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Dinner is served aboard and we remain docked until late evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Koblenz. Rudesheim. Proceed along the Rhine, disembarking to tour the 700-year-old Marksburg Castle and its museum. Enjoy an onboard lunch as you marvel at this scenic passage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where castles overlook the river from their hilltop posts. Arrive in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon. Spend free time in the pedestrian-only Drosselgasse and sample a glass of locally produced wine at one of the restaurants or wine bars. Dine aboard your ship, or in town if you prefer. We depart after midnight. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Heidelberg. Speyer. Cruise through the morning as you enjoy breakfast and the passing scenery. Arrive in Mannheim and disembark for a tour of Heidelberg to see Germany’s oldest university, founded in 1386. Then, visit the beautiful sandstone ruins of imposing Heidelberg Castle and take in the scenery of the Neckar River Valley and the city’s many red rooftops from this hilltop post. Continue with a walking tour through Old Town to Heidelberg’s renowned gates.

Rejoin your ship in Speyer this afternoon and take some time to look around. You dock in full view of the imposing Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 11th century on the site of a former basilica, the building’s design influenced Romanesque architecture for centuries to come, and is the final resting place of eight German monarchs. Its soaring interior features graceful rows of sandstone columns and a large stained-glass window that was installed in the western facade during a later Gothic period. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Strasbourg, France. We dock this morning in Kehl and disembark for a guided tour of Strasbourg. See the European Parliament and tour the interior of the city’s famed cathedral. The afternoon is free to further explore this Alsatian city’s blend of French and German cultures, resplendent churches, medieval covered bridges, verdant parks and handsome Art Nouveau and modernist architecture. Dine aboard and enjoy free time this evening in the amiable little city of Kehl. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Bresiach, Germany. Arrive in Breisach this morning, gateway to the Black Forest. Take a scenic excursion through the area’s renowned mountain landscape, rolling meadows and dense forests. Once there, visit a local workshop and see a cuckoo clock-making demonstration. Return to Breisach or choose an optional excursion to the quaint Alsatian town of Colmar. Dine aboard and cruise on through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Basel, Switzerland. Enjoy a walking tour of Basel, where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. Basel is one of Europe’s most vibrant centers of arts and culture. You’ll begin your exploration in its remarkably preserved Old Town, an entrancing cluster of medieval squares and structures, including the Rathaus, or Town Hall, and the splendid Cathedral, built from red sandstone in Gothic and Romanesque style. After lunch on board, you have a free afternoon to explore on your own. You might peruse the collections in any of Basel’s many fine museums or sample local products and mingle with the Swiss at the daily farmers’ market in the main market square. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Basel. Disembark. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 nights in Lucerne. Enjoy the scenic landscape of the Swiss Alps with a view from your hotel, situated on the banks of beautiful Lake Lucerne. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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SOUTHBOUND
10 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO BASEL
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