11 DAYS • 23 MEALS Enjoy a relaxing and inspiring cruise on the romantic Rhine, Europe's longest river. We travel onboard our brand new exclusively chartered ship, visiting iconic ports of call, sampling incredible cuisine, and absorbing the local atmosphere.
Insightful presentation on the history of the Rhine River
Culinary demonstration by the ship's chef
Day One — Depart the USA Today you’ll depart the USA on your overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Day Two — Amsterdam, Holland Transfer to your exclusively chartered river ship, home for the next seven nights. Plan to arrive at the ship by 2:00 p.m. Known as the "Venice of the North” with its winding tree-shaded canals, Amsterdam boasts ornately gabled 16th-century townhouses, hundreds of canals and bridges. Like the diamonds that make it famous, Amsterdam shines with works of the world’s greatest artists. This afternoon, on a narrated canal cruise, you get a view of the city from a different perspective as you pass historic buildings, lovely homes and churches from water level. Dinner and evening snack onboard Day Three — Cruising Today is spent cruising along the river on your way to Cologne, Germany. It’s a great time to become acquainted with all the amenities of your ship. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Four — Cologne, One of Germany’s Oldest Cities When you visit 2,000-year-old Cologne, the largest city in Germany during the Middle-Ages, you’re sure to be enchanted by the blend of Romanesque churches, simple post-war buildings, and classic modern architecture. Enjoy an included walking tour to the town center and Domplatz – home of the magnificent cathedral, the largest in Germany, which serves as the symbol of the city. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Five — Cochem, Cozy Wine Taverns This morning after breakfast you arrive in Cochem where along the beautiful Mosel River, countless vineyards with varying shades of green and squares of grapevines unfold before your eyes. Cochem, rated one of the prettiest villages along the Mosel, is best known for its fortified gates, pastel-colored or half-timbered buildings, Baroque towers and vintages of Mosel Riesling wine. Enjoy an included guided tour of the 19th-century Reichsburg Castle with its many spires and mighty brick walls that provide contrast to the surrounding lush vegetation. With a late afternoon departure, the ship sails on to the charming town of Boppard. Following dinner, enjoy a special performance in the lounge by local German entertainers. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Six — Boppard and Rüdesheim, Picture-Perfect Rhine Towns
Enjoy free time in Boppard, located in the UNESCO World Heritage area of the upper part of the Middle Rhine. Its history dates back to the Romans and the finest preserved Roman fortifications in all of Germany can be seen. In the Middle-Ages it was an important commercial and shipping center reflected in the town’s historic marketplace and fine mansions along the Rhine promenade. This afternoon you won’t want to miss the spectacular scenery as you cruise through the “Splendor of the Rhine” – a UNESCO World Heritage Site along the river, featuring St. Goar and the legendary Lorelei Rock.
In the afternoon you arrive in Rüdesheim, one of the Rhine’s most delightful towns where nature and history have left a rich heritage in the wine-growing Rheingau region whose origins date back to pre-Roman times. Home to three medieval castles, Rüdesheim provides a fascinating look through German history. Your Mayflower Cruise Directors will walk you into town where you’ll have free time to stroll through the alleyways filled with shops or visit the Market Square. Enjoy your evening in Rüdesheim and stop in a beer hall or wine tavern along the lively Drosselgasse. Filled with music and song, it’s the perfect opportunity to sample the best of genuine Rhine hospitality!
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Seven — Optional Excursion to Heidelberg After breakfast a brief port call is made in Mannheim for disembarkation of the optional excursion to Heidelberg. Known as Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg is also famous for its red-walled 16th-century castle. With its picture-postcard houses and maze of roofs, Heidelberg represents the essence of German Romanticism. Your river ship continues to Speyer where you will enjoy free time to explore. The optional excursion will return to Speyer. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Eight — Strasbourg, Capital of the Alsace Region Between France and Germany lies lovely Strasbourg, one of Europe’s most attractive cities. From the docking site in Kehl, enjoy an included city tour of Strasbourg which was culturally influenced by both countries and the seat of the European Parliament. The walking tour of the city center features a stroll through the charming and fascinating Old Quarter, "La Petite France" with its typical Alsatian half-timbered houses. While in the Main Square, dominated by the magnificent gothic cathedral, be sure to notice its carvings as delicate as any piece of hand-made lace. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening snack onboard Day Nine — Lucerne, Switzerland; Optional excursion to Mt. Pilatus After breakfast, disembark your river ship in Basel, Switzerland to begin your Swiss adventure. Depart by motorcoach to Lucerne, once a simple fishermen’s village, it is a picturesque town surrounded by mountains and meadows, whose name means "Alpine Splendor." An included walking tour highlights the city’s landmark, the famous 14th-century Chapel Bridge with its paintings of heroic town events, that crosses the Ruess River. See the 17th-century Renaissance Town Hall and town squares, all set amongst the beautiful backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you wish or choose to join the optional excursion to Mt. Pilatus — a mountain overlooking Lucerne that offers a unique alpine experience! Breakfast Day Ten — Free day in Lucerne Your last day in Switzerland is left free of planned activities for you to enjoy as you wish. This evening, join your traveling companions for an included dinner at the hotel. Breakfast and dinner Day Eleven — Lucerne/USA Bid a fond farewell to Europe and return home with memories of life enriching experiences from your cruise along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Breakfast
Days Two through Eight Aboard the MS Emerald Destiny Days Nine and Ten Hotel Monopol or similar, Lucerne, Switzerland
Ship InformationMS Emerald Destiny
The 180-passenger MS Emerald Destiny is a deluxe river cruise vessel providing a stylish, spacious and unique ship from which to enjoy your river cruise! In addition to providing some of the largest staterooms and suites on river vessels, the ship also offers one-bedroom suites which boast a separate bedroom, spacious lounge area and full balcony. Other unique features onboard are a heated swimming pool (with a retractable roof) that transforms into a cinema in the evening! With the friendly staff and remarkable ship it’s sure to be a relaxing and enjoyable holiday!
Speed: 15.5 mph
Length: 443 feet
Owner’s One Bedroom Suite (315 square feet): Horizon Deck
Features outdoor private balcony with sliding glass door; separate bedroom and lounge area with sofa, chair, coffee table, two dressers and walk-in closet; large bathroom with two basins, shower, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers; Complimentary WiFi; Two twin beds that can be put together; Telephone; Safe; Individual climate control; TV; Mini-fridge
Grand Balcony Suite (210 square feet): Horizon Deck
Features outdoor private balcony with sliding glass door; Bathroom with shower, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers; Complimentary WiFi; Two twin beds that can be put together; Dresser; Closet; Writing desk; Telephone; Safe; Individual climate control; TV; Mini-fridge
Panorama Stateroom (180 square feet): Vista and Horizon Decks
Features an indoor balcony with open-air system; Bathroom with shower, hair dryer; Complimentary WiFi; Two twin beds that can be put together; Dresser; Closet; Writing desk; Telephone; Safe; Individual climate control; TV; Mini-fridge
Stateroom (162 square feet): Riviera Deck
Features small window (doesn’t open); Bathroom with shower and hair dryer; Complimentary WiFi; Two twin beds that can be put together; Dresser; Closet; Writing desk; Telephone; Safe; Individual climate control; TV; Mini-fridge
Each U.S. citizen must have a valid passport. Expiry date of passports should be at least 6 months after the return date of tour. If you don't have a passport, call our office and we'll tell you how to apply for one. Some countries require visas for entry by U.S. citizens. We will send visa applications and instructions if a visa is required for your tour. Holders of non-U.S. passports should contact their nearest consulate and inquire about the necessary passport or visa documentation required for entry into the countries visited. NOTE: Due to airline security measures, your passport name must match your airline ticket name and your tour reservation name or you may be denied aircraft boarding.
Tour Activity Level
LEVEL 3: A blend of longer and shorter days on this program with more walking tours mixed with some periods of standing. Expect more of the touring to be over uneven surfaces or involve stairs.