Every fall, the vineyards along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers come alive as vintners gather their ripe grapes and prepare them for aging. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this centuries-old tradition. That’s why Vantage offers special harvest departures that give you hands-on insight into what goes into some of Europe’s finest wines . . . with ample opportunities to taste some of the region’s best vintages.
Board your flight to Amsterdam
Board an overnight flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Or begin your trip early with a pre-trip extension in Bruges, Belgium’s incredibly preserved medieval treasure.
Arrive in Amsterdam, embark your ship, and enjoy free time to explore in the city
If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your ship. This afternoon, attend a Welcome Briefing. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink.
Vantage Onboard Enrichment:
Cruise Amsterdam's UNESCO-listed Canal Ring
Today, embark on a lovely cruise along Amsterdam’s 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enjoy an afternoon at leisure — there’s even shuttle service available to the city if you’d like. Later, gather with your fellow travelers for a Dutch-themed Captain’s Welcome Dinner and Reception.
Tonight, enjoy the sweet sounds of classical strings as you get to know your fellow travelers and look forward to your enriching cruise ahead.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Expand your Amsterdam discoveries with a canal cruise and visit the Rijksmuseum, home of Amsterdam’s premier art collection. Learn more
Embark on a lovely cruise along Amsterdam’s 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will then visit the Rijksmuseum, home of Amsterdam’s premier art collection, including works by such Dutch masters as Rembrandt and Vermeer.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Enjoy a walking tour of Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands
This morning, step right off your ship for a walking tour of Nijmegen. This is the oldest city in the Netherlands — more than 2,000 years. You’ll stroll its compact medieval district and hear about the city’s role in World War II. Lunch is back onboard; after, enjoy some relaxing leisure time.
Set sail toward the Rhine River on scenic waterways this afternoon. Later, head to the Captain’s Club for a fun interactive cooking lesson, perhaps seeing what goes into making the perfect Käsespätzle or similar. Solo travelers may mingle during a solo get-together, too. After dinner, it’s Movie Night on board: Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun is our feature, chronicling the life of a woman during and after the war in Germany.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Explore the WWII battlefields of Nijmegen and visit the Freedom Museum. Learn more
The Battle of Nijmegen, also known as the Liberation of Nijmegen, occurred in September 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden, an allied military operation fought in the Netherlands during World War II. On this optional excursion, you’ll tour the site where the 82nd Airborne Division was tasked with securing crossings at two major rivers and a canal, take the city of Nijmegen, and secure the Groesbeek Heights. You’ll also visit the Freedom Museum, an educational museum that expands on this story, in the context of the history of the 20th century and current events.
Explore Cologne and sample its distinctive beer
This morning, join a guided walking tour of Cologne, getting a chance to learn about this city’s rich Roman past and viewing the magnificent cathedral. One of Europe’s most stunning structures, its start-and-stop construction began in 1248 and ended in 1880.
Pause at a traditional restaurant to enjoy a special tasting of Kölsch beer, a distinctive style that the New York Times once stated was like "drinking an entire culture." After, you'll also have free time to explore on your own, perhaps taking out one of the ship’s bicycles for the afternoon or joining a more active walk in the city.
Following lunch on board, we provide shuttles into Cologne for those who would like to spend more time browsing its historic streets.
Some evening entertainment onboard the ship offers the perfect closing to your day.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Explore the UNESCO-listed palaces of Brühl and their neighboring gardens. Learn more
Head out on a memorable tour of the Brühl Palaces Augustusburg and Falkenlust, two of Germany’s most important examples of Baroque and Rococo architecture. The splendor of these palaces is simply breathtaking and the adjacent Schlosspark (Palace Park), designed in the French style but with perceptible elements of traditional English landscaped gardens, is an internationally recognized monument to the art of gardening. Today, both structures, along with their gardens and parks are jointly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Meet the “count” of Reichsburg Castle, sip some wine, soak up the scenery
Spend the morning taking in the scenery as you sail to Cochem, arriving after lunch. While here, marvel at the spectacular setting of the fairy-tale Reichsburg Castle, perched atop a steep hill in the quaint town of Cochem on the Moselle River.
Meet the “count” during a guided tour of the castle; as local musicians regale you, join him in a toast over a glass of the fine Riesling for which the vineyard-laden Moselle Valley is famous.
As your ship gets underway, learn more secrets of German cuisine as your chef shows you how to prepare another regional favorite, perhaps German Braised Beef Roulade. After tonight’s German-themed dinner, enjoy another Movie Night.
Explore Germany’s oldest city, including UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
Today you’ll head to Trier, said to be the oldest city in Germany, it was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century. During a panoramic and walking tour, witness their epic legacy when you view the amphitheater, Porta Nigra stone gate, the Roman Bridge, Barbara Baths, and the Cathedral of St. Peter. Your tour will conclude at Weingut George Fritz Von Nell, where you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and a fun, wine-picking activity.
This evening, see how another German specialty is prepared during a cooking lesson with the chef (perhaps dark beer-braised pork ribs). During dinner, the restaurant maître d'hotel will present you with four different wine pairings.
Enjoy a walking exploration of Bernkastel and sample some local wines
After breakfast on board, start your day with a lecture on the ancient Roman presence in Germany. Then set out on a walking tour of Bernkastel to admire the charming timber-framed houses of this “International Town of Vines and Wine.” The surrounding landscape boasts massive fortresses and fairy-tale castles sure to enchant. During your tour, you’ll head into a local cellar for a wine tasting of Eiswein, a dessert wine made from grapes frozen on the vine. Then have some time on your own to take in all its charms.
Tonight, gather for a cooking lesson to learn how Germany’s beloved potato dumplings and bread dumplings are prepared. Later, enjoy the lovely sounds of some of opera’s great arias during onboard entertainment.
Discover Bernkastel on your own
You’ll have the entire day at leisure to explore Bernkastel on your own. Your Destination Manager can help you with cycling plans if you’d like to set out on two wheels. This evening, see how another German specialty is prepared during a cooking lesson with the chef before enjoying a film.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Embark on an optional full-day tour of Luxembourg that includes a visit to the American Cemetery. Learn more
Head out for a full-day motorcoach and walking tour of Luxembourg. You’ll visit many of the city’s memorable sites, including the American Cemetery. Lunch will be on your own, with lunch money provided. Your local guide can offer suggestions on some of the best cafés and restaurants to try.
Discover Koblenz and sail the UNESCO-listed Upper Middle Rhine Valley
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Koblenz, the scenic baroque gem where the Rhine and Moselle meet. Its dramatic German Corner juts into the rivers’ meeting point like the prow of a proud ship, a giant equestrian statue of William I its figurehead. After seeing the main sights of the Old Town, there’ll be time on your own. In the afternoon you set off for a breathtaking scenic cruise through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its spectacular array of medieval castles and charming wine villages. As you approach the steep, slate Lorelei Rock, learn about its legends during shipboard commentary. Back on board, savor a wine tasting with the sommelier, who provides invaluable guidance on several vintages. This evening’s onboard cooking lesson highlights the pleasures of a Swabian delicacy.
See the Gutenberg Bible in Mainz and learn how to paint
Mainz was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. It was also the city where Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press, changing communication forever. Learn more about his revolutionary creation during a guided visit to the Johannes Gutenberg Museum, home to one of the original Gutenberg Bibles. Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Mainz.
Later, our cooking lesson shows you how to make German sour cabbage, sampling some local Riesling with your creation. Or, join a local artist to gain insight into capturing riverside vistas on canvas during a painting lesson. Afterward, you may join your cruise director for a pub crawl to sample the local brews. Onboard entertainment will serenade you as you depart Mainz tonight.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Visit the Eberbach Monastery, founded in the 12th century, and sample locally produced wines. Learn more
Located near Eltville am Rhein in the Rheingau Valley of Hesse, Germany, you’ll find Eberbach Monastery. Founded in the 12th century as a Cistercian monastery, today it is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Movie lovers may recognize this historic site as the setting of the 1986 Sean Connery film The Name of the Rose. Today, you’ll enjoy a tour of this beautiful abbey and its vineyards, before sampling a few of the wines produced here.
Visit Speyer Cathedral, an 11th century marvel
This morning you arrive in Speyer, a pretty town of church towers and red-roof houses. Set off on a tour and discover its eponymous 11th-century cathedral, a wonder of Romanesque architecture. Once one of the largest cathedrals in the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site remains the final resting place for many emperors and heads of state. After lunch back on board, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure. Enjoy an engaging onboard lecture about the Rhine, followed by onboard entertainment after dinner.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Visit a local household in Speyer to share coffee, cake, and conversation. Learn more
One of the best ways to immerse yourself into the culture of a destination is through meaningful interactions with its locals. You’ll have the opportunity to experience real connection when you pay a visit a local Speyer family in their home to share coffee, cake, and conversation. This optional activity is a true Vantage exclusive.
Discover Strasbourg on a walking and canal tour
Today in Strasbourg, an included walking and canal boat tour takes you to UNESCO-listed Grande-Île, where you will see the elegant Palais Rohan, the quaint shops and parks of “La Petite France,” and the Tanners’ Quarter. You will also step inside the glorious Cathedral Notre Dame and see the ultra-modern European Union Parliament. If you’d like to explore more of Strasbourg on your own, a shuttle bus from our pier makes it easy. On board tonight, savor more of this delightful region of France with a special French Alsatian dinner.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Set out on a Taste of Alsace culinary walking tour and savor traditional Alsatian cuisine. Learn more
On this optional guided walking tour, you’ll discover the culinary delights of Grande Île of Strasbourg, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You’ll taste the most iconic dishes found in Alsatian cuisine, making for a tasty and unforgettable experience.
Immerse yourself in the quaint beauty of Colmar
Today you’ll enjoy a stroll through the charming colorful streets of Colmar, renowned as the capital of Alsatian wine. Nestled among scenic vineyards, Colmar’s colorful buildings, traditional architecture, meandering canals, and famed wine region showcase the town’s conviviality. Later, learn more about the European Union during a fascinating onboard lecture. Enjoy a final evening of music as your spirit soars with selections from operetta to Broadway.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Head out for a full-day tour of the Alsatian Wine Route and visit the Unterlinden Museum. Learn more
Today you’ll enjoy a full-day Alsatian Wine Route tour, stopping first to stroll through the charming colorful streets of Colmar, renowned as the capital of Alsatian wine. Visit its famous Unterlinden Museum, a 13th-century Dominican convent housing the beloved Isenheim Altarpiece, a lush and moving polyptych. We provide some euros so you can find a place for lunch while in town. Continue to another beautiful French town steeped in charm, Riquewihr, renowned for its Riesling wine.
Set off on a half-day tour of Basel
Dock in Basel, Switzerland, near the borders of Germany and France, early this morning. Located on the Rhine River, Basel traces its history as far back as the early Celts and Roman Empire. Today, its Old Town is a delight to browse and its many galleries draw art lovers from all over Europe. You’ll get acquainted during a walking tour, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. We will have shuttles to the city center available for those who are interested in returning for further independent exploration after lunch on board. Join in on an evening dinner onboard featuring traditional Swiss dishes.
Depart Basel for Montreux or your flight home
Depart for home today or experience more of magnificent Switzerland during an optional extension in Montreux, a resort haven on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The 19th-century luminaries who once visited Montreux — Tolstoy, Nabokov, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky — were no doubt drawn by the pleasant climate, idyllic surroundings, and shimmering waters of Lake Geneva. This resort town remains an elegant escape, and you’ll experience its many charms on this extension. Enjoy a full-day tour of the Château de Chillon and Gruyère region — which includes some time at the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness the art of chocolate-making with a local chocolatier. And take time on your own to revel in the beauty of this lakeside gem.
Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.