Explore the Black Forest and visit a local workshop to see a cuckoo clock-making demonstration. Discover the various culinary traditions of Alsace. Overlook the Rhine from Germany’s best preserved medieval castle. Turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and spectacular scenery of the middle Rhine from Basel and Cologne to Amsterdam, this 9-day journey aboard the Viking Herja reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture. Escorted by Vince & Jan Sacilotto.
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 to see a cuckoo clock-making demonstration, and learn how Black Forest Cake is made. Return to your ship for lunch. This afternoon, perhaps join an optional excursion to the quaint Alsatian town of Colmar to discover the storybook charm of its streets lined with medieval, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and visit a fine arts museum. Alternately, choose an optional excursion that explores Colmar’s World War II history. Dine on board this evening and cruise on through the night.
Disembark this morning for your guided tour of Strasbourg. See the European Parliament and tour the interior of the city’s famed cathedral. Free time allows you 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. Alternately, join our optional excursion into Alsatian wine country for an informative winery tour and tasting. Or, spend your full day exploring culinary Strasbourg on an optional excursion; as you explore the city and take in its sights, you will savor samples of the renowned Alsatian cuisine, from regional dessert specialties and meats to wine pairings with local foods. Return to your ship for dinner and departure.
After breakfast, disembark for a tour of Heidelberg, the home of Germany’s oldest university, founded in 1386. 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. Afterward, set on a walking tour through Old Town to Heidelberg’s renowned gates. Return to your ship for lunch and afternoon cruising. Arrive in Rüdesheim in the early evening, then 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 on board your ship or spend more time exploring in town if you prefer. You may also choose to experience one of our optional dinners on shore tonight. We remain docked overnight.
This morning, sail along the most scenic stretch of the Rhine, where turreted castles and fortresses overlook the river from their hilltop posts. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this part of the Middle Rhine Valley is so beautiful. Arrive in Koblenz this afternoon and disembark for a tour of 700-year-old Marksburg Castle. You may also join an optional excursion that offers a lively and informative tour of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress; or, choose to journey into Moselle wine country on an optional excursion, stopping for a tour and tasting at a local winery. Return to your ship for lunch. Later, enjoy some time in this charming town at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine Rivers.
You have a morning tour of Cologne, including a visit to the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your tour, spend the rest of the day and evening exploring Cologne on your own: Roman ruins, interesting neighborhoods and museums like the Fragrance Museum and the Chocolate Museum. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, join an optional excursion on which you will ascend to the Dom’s roof, enjoying up-close views of the cathedral’s architecture and bird’s-eye vistas of Cologne. Lunch and dinner are served on board; we depart at midnight.
We sail along the Rhine during the morning hours. Admire scenic views and enjoy a morning of enjoyable Dutch diversions: sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Disembark for an afternoon 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. Board your ship for departure and dinner. Arrive in Amsterdam around midnight.
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight to Toronto.
One shore excursion included per port as indicated (included); all others available at an extra charge. Depending on your stateroom category, shore excursions may be reserved beginning 90 days before your cruise sails 7-night cruise in cabin type selected on the Viking Herja Daily breakfast, 6 lunches & 7 dinners with beverages while on cruise Fully Escorted Cruise port charges Gratuities on cruise – ship staff, local guides, drivers – approximately 17 Euros per person, per day Transfers to and from cruise ship to the airport Airfare of $495.00 per person from to Toronto to Basel, Amsterdam to Toronto in economy class if booked by 31st December 2017 Please note that the air allowance of $495 is a promotional fare being offered by the Viking cruise line and applies to reservations booked and deposited prior to December 31, 2017. Reservations booked after that date will be subject to the difference in airfare applicable at time of booking (to be determined at the time of booking). The flight details will be provided by Viking closer to departure. Custom air can be requested for an additional fee of $50 plus any difference in airfare. Rates for other cabin types are available upon request.
Meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary Items of a personal nature Travel insurance, rate available on request