Southeast Asia

Tour TypeTrip NameNo. DaysTour DetailsPrices
CruiseGolden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy14ItineraryOn Application
CruiseFascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River 13ItineraryOn Application

  

ITINERARY:        Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy

Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating journey along the Irrawaddy River. Start in Yangon, formerly Rangoon, with a walking tour of the city’s highlights and a visit to stunning Shwedagon Pagoda – considered by many to be the oldest pagoda in the world. Explore some of the most important temples and watch the sunset over the plains of Bagan, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. On the Irrawaddy, encounter a tapestry of exotic flavors and partake in memorable interactions with the locals. North of Mandalay, cruise on the most scenic part of the river past lavish shrines, teak forests, and riverside villages lost in time. Tour bustling Mandalay and stop at nearby U Bein Bridge for an unforgettable sampan ride at sunset. See how villagers make candy from the toddy palm tree and take a walking tour through a pottery-making village to see the process from start to end. Present alms, offerings of food, to the monks at a monastery in Kya Hnyat. In Katha, visit a local market and an elephant camp for a ride through the teak forest. Interact with the local school children and visit a farmer’s home for a glimpse of daily life at the island village of Kyun Daw. Sail through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs as the river narrows before reaching Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the river. All this and more awaits you on this incredible adventure!

Itinerary 
Day 1: Arrive Yangon, MyanmarWelcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country's largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2: YangonThis morning, take a WALKING TOUR of the city's famous and historic landmarks, including the High Court, City Hall, Central Railway Station, and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Stop along the way at a LOCAL TEA SHOP for a cup of tea/coffee with the locals. After lunch, visit CHAUKHTATGYI to see the massive reclining Buddha measuring in at 65 metres (213 feet). Afterward, continue to SHWEDAGON PAGODA, the most important religious site in the country and a national symbol. Here, a truly enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa and locals come to pay their respects. Tonight, your welcome dinner is in one of Yangon's best restaurants. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Yangon-Bagan (Embarkation)Late this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port and board the Avalon Myanmar to begin your CRUISE up the Irrawaddy. Get acquainted with the ship before your welcome reception this evening. After dinner, a TRADITIONAL PUPPET SHOW will be presented in one of the lounges. (B,D)
Day 4: BaganToday, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is estimated that during this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city-an area of about 104 square kilometres (40 square miles). Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. Early risers can visit one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness sunrise. After breakfast, your morning excursion starts with a visit to a LOCAL MARKET selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis-a versatile sheet of cloth worn around the waist by most local men and women. Then, stop at the ornate SHWEZIGON PAGODA, one of the country's most important shrines. You will also visit a LACQUER WORKSHOP to learn more about this ancient craft. After lunch, your sightseeing centres on the BAGAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE. Highlights include ANANDA, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and DHAMMAYANGYI, the best preserved monument left standing. Also stop to see the exquisite and well preserved fresco paintings at SULAMANI. Your day ends with an OX CART RIDE to a temple, where you will ascend to the top as the sun sets. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Shwe Pyi Thar-CruisingThis morning, take a WALKING TOUR through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here you will visit a FARMER'S HOME to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy, a sweet and smoky candy, from the sap of the toddy palm. To harvest the sap a climber scales the toddy palm and hangs an earthen pot under a slit he cuts in the tree. The sap is then cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail north for Mandalay. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Sagaing-AmarapuraRelax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship's lounges or your suite. In the afternoon, visit Sagaing, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see KAUNGHMUDAW PAGODA with its golden egg-shaped dome-unique among more traditional pagodas in Myanmar. Next, on to a SILVERSMITH WORKSHOP to learn how the local artisans turn silver into beautiful works of art. Lastly, explore SOON U PONYA SHIN PAGODA at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Cross the Ava Bridge to Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U BEIN BRIDGE, a 1.2-kilometre-long (three-quarter-mile-long) bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. The bridge is still a cornerstone of the community as locals and monks use it daily to cross Taungthaman Lake while fishermen and farmers go about their daily work below. Take a SAMPAN RIDE on the lake for memorable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge. (B,L,D)
Day 7: MandalayThis morning, visit a TAPESTRY & WOODCARVING WORKSHOP to learn more about these cottage industries and see the skilled artisans at work. Then, stop at a GOLD LEAF WORKSHOP to see how it is made. Lastly, visit MAHAMUNI PAGODA, the most revered shrine in Mandalay, to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials estimate the gold is approximately six inches thick. This afternoon, visit KUTHODAW PAGODA and SHWENANDAW MONASTERY, the only remnant of former King Mindon's "Golden City" to survive the bombing of World War II. Originally the king's living quarters, the building was moved after his death to its current location and converted into a monastery. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure, giving you a sense of how extravagant the original teak palace complex was. This evening, enjoy a TRADITIONAL DANCE PERFORMANCE featuring local song and dance. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Kyauk MyaungToday, take a WALKING TOUR through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung. Here you will learn more about the pot-making process and see how they are formed, fired, and glazed. Most interesting is the eye-catching 227-litre (50-gallon) variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times. These pots could transport large quantities of liquor, fish sauce, peanut oil, and more, and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Kya HnyatThis morning, visit the village of Kya Hnyat with its many Buddhist monasteries. Here you will INTERACT WITH THE MONKS at a local monastery. Each morning they don their distinctive saffron-coloured robes and walk through the streets to collect alms, offerings of food, like cooked rice and curry. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual. (B,L,D)
Day 10: TigyangVisit the small village of Tigyang for a WALKING TOUR through its narrow lanes and to visit the pagoda and reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views. (B,L,D)
Day 11: KathaStart your day with a visit to the LOCAL MARKET, where you will see the locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Next, stop at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell's novel Burmese Days. Here learn a bit more about how life was here during British rule. Lastly, journey a short distance to a local JINGPO VILLAGE. A subset of the Kachin, the Jingpo are one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and their unique method of making rice wine. As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Kyun Daw-Second Defile-BhamoThis morning, visit the fascinating island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Take a WALKING TOUR for memorable encounters with the villagers. Visit a FISHERMAN'S HOME to learn more about daily life here and a SCHOOL to interact with the children. You will also visit a NUNNERY to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food. This afternoon, sail through the DRAMATIC SECOND DEFILE with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Bhamo (Disembarkation)-YangonAfter breakfast, disembark the ship and EXPLORE BHAMO by local trishaw and by foot. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 14: YangonYour holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

ITINERARY:        Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River

Start in Siem Reap, where you will visit the spectacular Angkor temple complex, whose architectural grandeur is arguably unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat and the mesmerizing faces of Bayon. Here you will also enjoy a private Apsara dance performance and will visit a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a fish farm, and a local establishment to see how rice paper and traditional candy are made. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo, with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with the stunning Silver Pagoda. Walking tours through the rural villages of Prek Bang Kong and Angkor Ban and an ox cart ride through the countryside at Kampong Tralach will grant you a memorable inside look at life along the river and interactions with the local people. Finally, in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, your sightseeing includes the Cu Chi Tunnels—a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. You will also partake in a walking tour of the city’s landmarks and a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class.

Itinerary 
Day 1: Arrive Siem Reap, CambodiaWelcome to Siem Reap, your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2: Siem ReapThis morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honouring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Siem RiepToday, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D'ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this charming town. (B)
Day 4: Siem Reap (Embarkation)This morning, transfer to the port and board your river cruise vessel for your CRUISE down the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as you cruise through Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 square miles) and provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which provide food for people living on the lake. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception. (B,L,D) NOTE: During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise on Tonle Sap. In these cases, we will fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.
Day 5: Cruising: Kampong Tralach-Konpong Louang-Phnom PenhToday, visit Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET WITH A LOCAL FARMER and learn more about his daily life. Lastly, visit the SILVERSMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Then sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh. After lunch, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Cruising: Phnom PenhSightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that less than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Cruising: Wat Hanchey-Angkor BanThis morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Cruising: Border Crossing-Long Khong A, Vietnam-Chau DocCross the border this morning into Vietnam. A sampan brings you to the village of LONG KHONG A, where cotton weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a COTTON-WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and a chance to talk with the family. After lunch, join a sampan excursion down the backwaters of the river to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Before returning to the ship, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Cruising: Cu Lao GiengThis morning, enjoy time at leisure on board the ship as we sail to Cu Lao Gieng. In the afternoon, board a sampan and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river. Stop at a LOCAL HOME, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed MOTOR CART to one of Vietnam's oldest churches for a special INTERACTION WITH A CATHOLIC PRIEST. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Cruising: Ben TreThis morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise to Ben Tre. Visit a LOCAL WORKSHOP to see how rice wine and traditional coconut candy is made. Then, continue on to a LOCAL GARDEN where several types of fruit indigenous to the area are grown. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation)Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city's famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous "Five O'Clock Follies" during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. (B,L)
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi TunnelsThis morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 193 kilometres (120 miles) in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, join your travelling companions for a special farewell dinner hosted by your Cruise Director. (B,D)
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh CityYour holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
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Europe

Tour TypeTrip NameNo. DaysTour DetailsPrices
CruiseParis to Normandy8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseTulips of Northern Holland8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseRomantic Rhine8ItineraryOn Application
CruiseChristmastime in Alsace & Germany5ItineraryOn Application

 

ITINERARY:        Paris to Normandy

Combine time in France’s marvelous capital with discoveries of quaint towns along the Seine and in the picturesque Normandy region. Embark in Paris, sailing to Vernon, for a choice of guided visits to either Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys with its Château Gaillard, built by England’s King Richard the Lionheart in 1196, and enjoy guided sightseeing. Then, on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to the poignant Normandy landing beaches or a fascinating “Taste of Normandy.” Visit Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen, and in Conflans, choose between a visit of Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison before heading back to Paris. And since this cruise has a culinary theme, there’s an onboard pastry demo and a Master of Wine will join you on the ship to host a cheese and wine tasting as well as a special food and wine pairing dinner. During your last day on the Seine, a Local Expert will show you some of the famous sights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more!

Itinerary 
Day 1: Arrive In Paris, France (Embarkation). Welcome to Paris, France's capital on the Seine River, the "City of Light," where romance fills the air. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. Before dinner, your ship glides out of Paris. (D) NOTE: Flights into Paris must arrive by 2:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2: Vernon-Les AndelysThis morning in Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Giverny and a visit to Bizy Castle. Claude Monet lived at GIVERNY for almost 43 years (1883-1926), and viewed his flower and water gardens as works of art-just like his paintings. See his collection of Japanese prints, his charming house, and his biggest sources of inspiration. Or, visit BIZY CASTLE, built in 1740 and nicknamed "Normandy's Versailles." It is known for its famous stables-inspired by those at Versailles-and its magnificent courtyard and water garden. This afternoon, arrive in Les Andelys, situated on a bend of the Seine and one of the most beautiful places in France. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK of the town, visiting the PARISH CHURCH OF LE PETIT ANDELY. Imposing Chateau Gaillard, built by England's King Richard the Lionheart as a fortress in 1196, is seen above the town. Constructed in only a year, it is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 3: CaudebecToday, join a guided excursion along the "NORMANDY VILLAGES ROUTE" to see some of Normandy's charming half-timbered houses with their sloping thatched roofs, often sporting blue wooden doors and window shutters, or along the "NORMANDY ABBEYS ROUTE," a short drive from Caudebec. More than 100 abbeys once covered this region, which has a microclimate suited to growing fruit such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join an optional excursion to pretty coastal Honfleur. (B,L,D)
Day 4: CaudebecMake your choice today between an included full-day excursion to the historic NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES-with poignant sites such as Juno Beach, Pegasus Museum, and the Commonwealth Cemeteries - or a "TASTE OF NORMANDY" for an in-depth look at this picturesque, mainly agricultural region. The most important products are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty, as is CALVADOS, a strong apple brandy you'll have the chance to taste at a local distillery. And for a touch of history, visit the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY. (B,L,D)
Day 5: RouenRouen, capital of Upper Normandy, is an important commercial city perhaps best known for its connection to Joan of Arc, who lived, was imprisoned, and burned at the stake in the marketplace of this town in 1431. Enjoy the included GUIDED WALK through the medieval quarter with its halftimbered, glazed-tile houses, and take photos of the intricate Gros Horloge astronomical clock, dating back to the 16th century. Visit the gothic CATHEDRAL, which was once the tallest building in the world and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 6: ConflansAfter breakfast you may either join our included guided excursion to AUVERS-SUR-OISE, the quaint little town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and died, or to Napoleon and Josephine's CHATEAU DE MALMAISON just outside Paris. Requiring extensive renovations, this large country estate was purchased by Josephine Bonaparte in 1799 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. It was her aim to make it "the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation." (B,L,D)
Day 7: ParisKnown as one of the world's most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your included CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you may wish to join a GUIDED WALK through historic Ile St. Louis with its narrow one-way streets and Ile de la Cite, the centre of Paris where the medieval city was founded and home to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL. In your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysees with its lavish cafes, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colourful nightlife, and an optional outing to one of Paris' famous cabaret shows might make the perfect finale to your Seine cruise holiday. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Paris (Disembarkation)Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

ITINERARY:        Tulips to Northern Holland

If you’re looking for a vacation that combines some well-known sights with others that are off the beaten track, this itinerary is for you! Arrive in Amsterdam and transfer to your river cruise vessel in Haarlem. Discover the region of “North Holland,” where tulip fields abound, then sail across the Ijsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuider Zee, to the region known as “Friesland,” famous for its black-and-white cows. Visit the Zuider Zee Museum in Enkhuizen or get a chance to meet some of the locals. Visit the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad, and choose between visits of the Kröller-Müller Museum or and the Airborne Museum Hartenstein near Arnhem. Enjoy a harbor cruise in Rotterdam, choose between a visit to Keukenhof Gardens or the town of Gouda and enjoy a tasting of Dutch cheese, genever, and some local sweet specialties. Your vacation concludes with a cruise along Amsterdam’s canals.

Itinerary  
Day 1: Arrive In Amsterdam, Holland. Transfer To Haarlem (Embarkation)Welcome to Holland! This afternoon, drive to Haarlem, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at an evening welcome reception as your ship sets sail. (D) NOTE: Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2: Hoorn-Tulip Fields Excursion-EnkhuizenTulip fields abound in this part of the country. This morning, an excursion takes you along the growing areas that look from afar like carpets of colour. Take pictures and learn more about these flowers and how they were introduced into Holland from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the 17th century. Rejoin your ship and over lunch, sail to Enkhuizen, situated at the most easterly point of North Holland. Enkhuizen is a quintessential fishing town with cobblestone streets, a quaint town centre, and one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands. It owes its prosperity to the Zuider Zee (now known as the IJsselmeer) during the "Golden Age." This afternoon, visit the ZUIDERZEE MUSEUM, dedicated to the culture and history of this area. The museum focuses on the past and present of the IJsselmeer, and features living history, heritage, and crafts combining works from the past with works from the present. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Enkhuizen-Sneek, FrieslandThis morning you have a choice between an included GUIDED WALK of Enkhuizen or you may wish to join a "DUTCH EXPERIENCE" to meet some locals. Then, cruise across the IJsselmeer to southwest Friesland, a province rich in history and legends. As you sail, enjoy the scenic rural landscape along the river. Dock in Lemmer, from where our Friesland excursion departs. Primarily an agricultural region with a long history, Friesland is best known internationally for its famous black-and-white Friesian cattle and black Friesian horses. Visit the 18th-century ROYAL EISE EISINGA PLANETARIUM, which has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Sneek, where you dock overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Lelystad-KampenToday, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising through this delightful area of Friesland. Spring is in the air, and the lush green landscape is coming alive. After docking in Lelystad, visit the BATAVIA SHIPYARD, where ships that were important to the Netherlands' maritime industry during the "Golden Age" are faithfully reconstructed by hand. Then, board the BATAVIA itself. Originally built in 1628 to sail to and from the East Indies, the Batavia wrecked on its maiden voyage on June 4, 1629 off the coast of Western Australia. It took 10 years-from 1985 to 1995-for a crew to reconstruct the ship using traditional construction materials. Back on board, we'll introduce you to LOCAL CHEESE and GENEVER, traditionally drunk neat from a shot glass, as you sail to Kampen, where you dock overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Gelderse Ijssel-ArnhemAnother relaxing morning on board as you sail along the IJssel River, also known as the Gelderse IJssel, which is a branch of the Rhine River. Learn more about Holland at an ONBOARD LECTURE and taste a sweet LOCAL SPECIALTY. After lunch, visit the AIRBORNE MUSEUM HARTENSTEIN, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of WWII. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the KROLLER-MULLER MUSEUM. Later, rejoin your ship in Arnhem. (B,L,D)
Day 6: RotterdamThis morning, sail through the HARBOUR OF ROTTERDAM, said to be the world's busiest port. Levelled by German bombs in WWII, Rotterdam now has a modern, high-tech look. After an early lunch you may opt to join a guided excursion to GOUDA, famous for its gouda cheese, syrup waffles, clay pipes, and elaborate city hall. It is a typical Dutch city with many old buildings and pretty canals. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the gardens of KEUKENHOF near Lisse, which encompass over 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens, greenhouses, and a windmill to explore. Every year, 7 million flower bulbs are planted, and you have the opportunity to see the spectacular display of colours not only from the tulips, but also from hyacinths, daffodils, and more. If you're a garden enthusiast, you may opt for an extended visit to Keukenhof, with lunch on your own in the gardens. (B,L,D)
Day 7: AmsterdamAfter breakfast, arrive in Amsterdam, where GUIDED SIGHTSEEING is provided by CANAL BOAT. Cruise through the elegant grachten, lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." This afternoon is free or you may choose from a selection of optional excursions to make the most of your last day in Holland. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Amsterdam (Disembarkation)Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

  

ITINERARY:        Romantic Rhine

One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits on this mesmerizing journey along the Rhine. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne, as well as an excursion to the Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river dotted every mile with castles. Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and enjoy a canal cruise in splendid Amsterdam. Be sure to pack your camera so you can capture the romance and splendor of this magical journey.

Itinerary 
Day 1: Arrive In Zurich, Switzerland. Transfer To Basel (Embarkation)Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by motorcoach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D) NOTE: Flights into Zurich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2: Breisach, Germany. Excursion To The Black ForestLocated at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! You may opt to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Vogtsbauernhof Museum to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Strasbourg, FranceSituated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. On your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Explore Place Kleber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Excursion To Heidelberg, Germany-MainzThis morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany's oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You'll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the "World's Largest Wine Barrel." At nearly 7 metres (23 feet) high and 8.5 metres (28 feet) wide, the cask holds over 260,000 litres (58,000 gallons) of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today is Germany's largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz is a tribute to the jesters at the city's annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and during a GUIDED WALK you'll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Rudesheim-Rhine Gorge-KoblenzThis morning, dock in pretty Rudesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Downstream from Rudesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 122 metres (400 feet) above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet-the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of 2,000-year-old Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (B,L,D)
Day 6: CologneOne of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafes, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kolsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)
Day 7: Amsterdam, HollandWelcome to Amsterdam! Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafes, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." There's free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Amsterdam (Disembarkation)Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

ITINERARY:        Christmastime in Alsace & Germany

Celebrate the festive season in Central Europe with a magnificent 4-night cruise from Frankfurt to Basel! Stops include SpeyerMannheim, Germany, for an excursion to Heidelberg, where you visit the red sandstone castle and bask in the holiday atmosphere; Strasbourg, France, for guided sightseeing and time to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe; and Breisach for an included excursion into Germany’s legendary Black Forest. Try some festive Glühwein, smell the aromas of the Christmas markets, shop for local Christmas ornaments, and delight in the holiday cheer. This year, start your holiday season with this joyous and memorable cruise—there is no better way to celebrate the season! Your ship will be decorated and dressed up in Christmas colors.
Itinerary  
Day 1: Arrive In Frankfurt, Germany (Embarkation)Welcome to Germany! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception before sailing out of Frankfurt. (D) NOTE: Flights into Frankfurt must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2: Excursion To Heidelberg-MannheimThis morning an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You'll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the "World's Largest Wine Barrel." At nearly 7 metres high and 8.5 metres wide (23 feet high and 28 feet wide), the cask holds over 219,554-litres (58,000-gallons) of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! At this time of year, an ice rink is set up at the foot of the castle, and stalls offer Gluhwein, Bratwurst, and other tasty treats. The Christmas market itself is scattered over five town squares, and you'll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. Rejoin your ship in Mannheim, and the afternoon is yours to do as you please. There is plenty of free time to shop for Christmas decorations or gifts at the Mannheim Christmas market. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Strasbourg, FranceSituated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is, without a doubt, an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your GUIDED WALKING TOUR you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kleber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional Christmas market is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathedrale and Place Broglie, its centrepiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you'll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits-a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine region is available. This evening, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Breisach, Germany. Excursion To The Black ForestLocated at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents once described them as black. There's no better setting for this time of year than when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses with their long sloping roofs, connoting images of warm and festively decorated interiors. Surely, the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. This afternoon there's free time in Breisach to visit one more Christmas market-or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France's Alsace region. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Basel Switzerland (Disembarkation)Your holiday ends after breakfast today. (B) NOTE: Flights out of Zurich airport should not leave before 10 am.
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