Day 1 - UK to Amsterdam
We’ll fly to Amsterdam today, where we’ll board our ship, MS Gérard Schmitter, in the early afternoon. Settle into your cabin and enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon head into the centre of Amsterdam to discover Dam Square with your Tour Manager. Back on board, meet the ship’s crew over a drink with your travelling companions before dinner is served. Later, you might choose to board a boat for an optional tour of the city via its peaceful canals.
Day 2 - Amsterdam
The beautiful city of Amsterdam is home to picturesque canals, world-renowned museums and many architectural treasures. On our optional guided tour this morning discover the De Rieker Windmill, which has featured in many of Rembrandt’s paintings, and head to the Diamond District. The diamond trade was introduced to Amsterdam in the 16th century, and here we can watch as craftsmen cut raw diamonds into exquisite jewels and learn how they are valued. Before heading back to the ship, we also visit the famous floating flower market. After lunch a further optional shore excursion is offered on our April departure, to the glorious gardens of Keukenhof. Stroll in the park at your own pace, discovering a host of attractions amongst almost 80 acres of flowers. As well as beautiful blooms including tulips, narcissi and hyacinths, you’ll see centuries-old trees, and there’s even a ‘selfie’ garden. August & October we visit Volendam & the Zaanse-Schanna. The Zaanse Schans is a stunning part of the Netherlands, with classic wooden windmills, barns, homes and museums, all built with the unique timber architecture. Our walking tour of Volendam will take us through the typical narrow streets lined with the old fishermen's cottages. Volendam has preserved its traditions and culture in costumes, trade and crafts. You will get to learn all about the region in the Volendam Museum. After dinner, an optional stroll around Amsterdam’s Red Light District will introduce you to one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful areas, not to mention it’s most notorious.
Day 3 - Nijmegen - Krefeld
En route to Nijmegen, we’ll stop at the Kröller Müller Museum. Located in Hoge Veluwe National Park, it which houses many works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and more, as well as an incredible collection of modern sculptures. We then set sail for Krefeld, where we arrive late this evening.
Day 4 - Cologne - Kœnigswinter
We’ll pass famous German towns including Düsseldorf as we sail to Cologne, enjoying lunch as we go. On arrival join our optional tour of this picturesque city, located on both sides of the Rhine, which is home to a famous cathedral and a wonderfully historic centre. This evening the ship sails to Kœnigswinter for an overnight mooring.
Day 5 - Kœnigswinter - Rüdesheim
This morning we’ll enjoy spectacular scenery of vine-clad slopes and striking castles as we pass Koblenz and the mighty Lorelei Rock. On arrival in Rüdesheim, why not join a shore excursion to discover this historic, wine-producing town. After a short tour, we’ll head to a tavern, where we’ll learn more about German wine and enjoy a tasting. After dinner on board the ship, you might choose to head back into town and visit the Drosselgasse, a lively street filled with open-air restaurants and traditional taverns where you can sit with a drink and enjoy the music of oompah bands.
Day 6 - Mannheim
Your ship’s next port of call is Mannheim. From here, you can discover the cosmopolitan city of Heidelberg, dominated by the ruins of a Renaissance castle. After a stroll around its gardens to enjoy panoramic views of Heidelberg and the Neckar River, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town. There’s time to explore in the company of your travelling companions before heading back to the ship. A gala dinner will round off our day as the ship cruises overnight to Strasbourg.
Day 7 - Strasbourg
We’ll arrive in Strasbourg today, where we’ll disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK.
Please note - To maximise your enjoyment of this holiday a certain amount of walking is essential.