Included airport transfer from Zurich (ZRH) or Basel (BSL) to your included Brand g hotel in Bern, Switzerland. The transfer from Basel to Bern takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes and from Zurich to Bern takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Hotel check-in officially begins at 3:00pm. If you arrive early, drop your bags with the bell staff and start exploring this beautiful city on your own, or relax in the lobby until your room is ready.
The first official Brand g activity is a welcome reception, which will begin at approximately 5:30pm. (Welcome Reception with canapes)
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy an included full day tour to Lucerne. Explore Lucerne’s old town and surrounding areas by foot and by boat, and see the best of the city in one day. See top attractions including the Chapel Bridge, Jesuit Church and the incredible views from Gutsch Castle. The tour includes lunch at a local restaurant, which will delight with local produce and traditional Swiss cuisine. Following lunch, enjoys some time at leisure before returning to Bern. (B/L)
Following breakfast check out of your Bern hotel and board motor coaches bound for Basel. Upon arrival you will have some free time for lunch on your own. After lunch, discover Basel’s hidden history on a walking tour of the city’s Old Town, led by an expert local guide. Discover plenty of picturesque corners, narrow alleyways and secluded squares, past impressive buildings and lively and vivid cityscapes. Included in this walking tour is entrance to the Minster of Basel. Following the tour the coaches will take you to the Amadeus Silver III for embarkation.
Upon boarding, check in to your cabin, check out the beautiful ship, have welcome cocktails and enjoy a delicious welcome dinner. Following dinner, enjoy the first night of Brand g Signature Entertainment with more LGBT friendly entertainment to come throughout the cruise. Your floating hotel departs for Strasbourg shortly before dinner. (B/D)
During the night, your ship left Switzerland and followed the Rhine into the Alsace region in the south of France. During breakfast, we arrive in Strasbourg – a city known not only for its romantic old town, but also for the numerous important European institutions housed there. Enjoy an included discovery tour, which begins with a short scenic coach trip and continues with a walk through the lovely, historic old part of town. As part of the tour, we’ll visit the famous Straßburger Münster. During a boat cruise on the river, you will discover the famous quarter, “Petite France”. This former mill and tanner district still maintains its medieval charm. Some of the beautiful, half-timbered houses on the banks of the river Ill are up to 500 years old. You will enjoy Strasbourg’s half-timbered houses, the Ponts Couverts, the Palais de Rohan, the Council of Europe and all the other wonders that Strasbourg holds in store for you. Tonight, your ship departs for Germany. (B/L/D)
Before breakfast, arrive in the Rhineland-Palatinate town of Speyer, which played an important role in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages. This venerable emperor’s city on the Rhine, has had a rich and turbulent past. Religious architecture steeped in history, impressive facades of various styles, winding alleys and romantic squares express the character of the city. The included city tour begins with a visit to the Romanesque Imperial Cathedral from the exterior, with its striking twin tower portal, and visits to the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Old Gate (Altpoertel) and the Jewish Ritual Bath.
During lunch, the ship continues towards Mannheim, our next stop along the picturesque Rhine. A comfortable coach will take you on an included tour to Heidelberg, the world famous University City on the Neckar River. The town is one of the few German cities with a widely preserved baroque Old Town. Heidelberg was discovered quite early by romantics to use for diverse literature, songs and paintings. The tour through Heidelberg begins with a visit to the castle. The formerly splendid residence made of red sandstone has been a ruin, maybe the most beautiful ruin in all of Germany. The castle tour leads also into the castle garden. From the Grand Terrace you will have a wonderful view of the city and the Neckar River. The tour continues with a stroll through the enchanting old town, to the Karl-Theodor Bridge, the late-gothic Church of the Holy Spirit and the town hall. Late tonight, your ship continues to Rüdesheim. (B/L/D)
Two charming stops await you today. In the morning, arrive in Rüdesheim, a town well known for its winemakng, especially Reisling wines. On the included tour, depart from the dock of the ship on the unique Winzerexpress train to the city center where a guided tour leads you through the picturesque town. Explore the heart of the old town of Rüdesheim – the Drosselgasse – where wine houses and garden taverns invite you to linger. After, return to the ship for lunch.
During lunch we depart to cruise the most beautiful section of the river – the legendary Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The view from the sun deck, of the dozens of passing castles is sure to be a highlight of your cruise.
Late this afternoon, the vessel arrives in Rüdesheim, a winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge. On our included guided walk through the romantic streets between the St. Castor Basilica and the Liebfrauenkirche (the Church of our Beloved Lady) you will discover the most important sights of Koblenz. Obviously this tour would not be complete without a visit to the Emperor Wilhelm Memorial at the famous German Corner and the town’s landmark, the Schängel Fountain at the town hall. At the end of the walk you will reach the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. (B/L/D)
The vessel departs Koblenz in the early hours, and makes a detour along the Mosel River to the most romantic part of the valley and the little town of Cochem. The harmonious trio of the unique Mosel landscape, thousands of years of wine growing and rich culture makes Cochem especially popular. During the included walking tour you will discover the city with its narrow, winding streets. In the course of this tour you will also visit the Reichsburg Castle. Thanks to its size and location on a precipitous rock high above the city, this magnificent castle dominates the cityscape. Equally impressive is the view you can enjoy from the castle. You will see the Moselle Valley with its dreamy, mixed forests, meadows and vineyards and the old town. At the end of the tour, enjoy a taste of local Mosel wines. Back on board, dinner is served as the journey continues to Cologne. (B/L/D)
The morning is dedicated to the fascinating city of Cologne, which has over a million inhabitants. You can expect a young, vibrant metropolis with a rich cultural history and many world-famous sights. During the included city walk, explore the surroundings of the famous cathedral and the old town. Many attractions are concentrated in just one square kilometre around the cathedral, the town hall and the old town with large Romanesque Church of St. Martin. You can take a look at the Roman Dionysus mosaic. In the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town and in the busy squares, such as the old market or the hay market, you will get a feeling for life in this city, both past and present. Take a tour of the inside of the Cologne Cathedral, either accompanied by your guide or on your own (depending on the opening hours of the cathedral and/or if a mass is celebrated, etc.). Since its completion in 1880, the Cologne Cathedral is, due to its two tall towers with a height of 157 m each, not only the landmark of the town and best known architecture monument but also the most often visited sight in Germany. The afternoon is spent on board and in the evening, the captain invites you to a festive Gala Dinner, full of wonderful regional dishes. (B/L/D)
By lunchtime you will have crossed yet another country border to arrive in the Dutch town of Hoorn. This picturesque village is a jumping off point for the included overland trip to the north of Holland and Amsterdam. Board your coach and drive into the countryside to visit a local cheese farm. Here, you will learn how Dutch cheese is made and also sample the local product. Afterwards, drive through the Dutch Polder landscape to the old fishing village of Volendam. The Volendam houses are built very close together, forming the typical neighborhoods of Volendam. Take a stroll through the old village and see people still dressed in traditional costumes.
Founded as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age as a result of its innovative developments in trade.
The tour continues to Amsterdam, which has one of the largest historic centers in Europe, with about 7,500 registered historic buildings. The street pattern is largely unchanged since the 19th century. The center consists of 90 islands, linked by 400 bridges. As there is no better way to see the city than cruising on the water, the tour will end with a canal cruise boat trip through the heart of the city.
During this morning’s tour, the Amadeus Silver III will continue its journey upstream towards Amsterdam. If you choose to remain on board, enjoy the passing landscapes and narrow canals as the ship glides toward the capital city of the Netherlands, where it will remain docked for the evening. (B/L/D)