ARRIVE AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
Arrive in Amsterdam, where you are met and transferred to your boutique hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. This evening, join your Resident Tour Director — exclusive to Connections guests — for a welcome dinner.
AMSTERDAM | Canal Cruise & Rijksmuseum
Stop at the Douwes Fine Art gallery, seven generations in the same family, to learn how old paintings are restored for exhibition. Next, visit the famous Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt’s masterpiece, Night Watch, one of many highlights in the extensive collection. After lunch at leisure, take a private canal cruise in Amsterdam, the best way to see this city famously linked by 165 canals, spanning more than 30 miles. End at the Anne Frank House. Finally, enjoy priority boarding onto your riverboat. After settling into your premium cabin or suite, gather for a welcome cocktail and dinner aboard.
AALSMEER | Flower Auction
Rise early and meet your small group for a Connections-exclusive visit to the flower auction at Aalsmeer. More than 20 million flowers change hands here daily, in a building that occupies a greater footprint than any other in the world; the logistics that go into making such a vast operation run smoothly are amazing to witness in person. Later, visit the Wooden Clog Maker in Marken followed by a sampling of traditional Dutch cheeses. This evening, enjoy a private Connections cocktail party.
COLOGNE, GERMANY | Gothic Cathedral
Spend the morning cruising the Rhine en route to Cologne. On arrival, explore the major sites on a walking tour, including the Gothic cathedral, an edifice so massive its construction spanned centuries; it was only officially completed in 1880. Follow your visit with a beer tasting at a 100-year-old brewery, only for Connections guests.
COCHEM | Hilltop Fortress
Arrive in Cochem on the Moselle River, a tributary of the Rhine, this afternoon. Disembark to visit the neo-Gothic castle, including its famous Witches Tower, the only part of the original Gothic structure still standing. Tonight, sit down to a private Chef’s Highlights dinner aboard.
KOBLENZ & RÜDESHEIM | Scenic Gorge
Cruise to Koblenz, where you rejoin the Rhine River. Koblenz’s history dates back to Roman times, when Julius Caesar built the first bridge to span the Rhine near here. Take a guided walking tour of the city this morning. Then, cruise the lovely Rhine Gorge, one of the most scenic stretches in all of Europe. Its magical mix of rocky, winding riverbanks, quaint riverside towns and castles perched high on the cliffside helped to earn it a spot on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Arrive later in Rüdesheim, known throughout the region for its excellent wines. Join your Resident Tour Director for a Connections-exclusive wine tasting and dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
HEIDELBERG | Charming University Town
Set out on a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, seeing the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Abandoned in the 18th century, the crumbling fortress nevertheless remained a source of inspiration for later Romantic painters and poets, who seized on it as a symbol of faded glory. After lunch, proceed to the altstadt (old town) for time at leisure; the Market Square is an excellent place to soak up local life. Tonight, attend a captain’s gala dinner aboard your vessel.
STRASBOURG, FRANCE | Alsatian Capital
The capital of France’s Alsace region, Strasbourg has been a focal point of French-German conflict for centuries, and bears the combined stamp of both nations as a result. Experience this for yourself on a small-group walking tour of the old town, with a Connections-exclusive wine tasting at the Cave des Hospices, the city’s oldest wine cellar. Cruise to Basel.
LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND | Lakeside Panoramas
Disembark and drive to Mount Pilatus, journeying to the top via cog railway for lunch, accompanied by amazing, postcard-worthy mountaintop views. After a cable car descent, take a walking tour of Lucerne. Since the mid-19th century, this beautiful city has been the most visited in Switzerland and today it strikes an ideal balance between timeless historic beauty and modern development. Your walk includes the famous Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church, as well as the Lion Monument. Continue to Zurich for time to explore on your own.
ZURICH | Chocolatier Experience
Switzerland is synonymous with chocolate, and no visit to Zurich is complete without a stop at the Lindt chocolate workshop, where you enjoy some delectable samples. After time at leisure for lunch, gather for a guided walking tour of the city, including a stop at the Watch and Clock Museum, with a collection spanning 1400 BC to the present day. Tonight, attend a farewell dinner to celebrate your journey.
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.
NOTE: High or low water levels may impact sailing and require changes to the itinerary.