Rhine River Walking LITE Cruise

May 19-27, 2023 • 9 Days • $4290

Netherlands , Germany, France

The Rhine River Cruise includes outstanding historic, cultural, and scenic experiences in three countries. Our Walking LITE itinerary offers activities in the Netherlands—delightful, lowland country of windmills, wooden shoes, and winding canals, through the castle-studded, UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge of Germany, and into France for a visit to Strasbourg, heart of the Alsace region of vineyards and culturally-unique cuisine.

Tour Type: Small Ship Cruising, Walking LITE

Over 800 miles long (1320 km), the Rhine flows through four countries from south to north. It is navigable for over 500 miles of its length and has historical served as a vital corridor of commercial, intellectual, artistic, and religious exchange.

Our Rhine River Walking LITE Cruise includes outstanding historic, cultural, and scenic experiences in three of the four countries (excluding only Switzerland).

We start in the Netherlands—delightful, lowland country of windmills, wooden shoes, and winding canals, sail south through the castle-studded, UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge of Germany with stops and visits to Cologne, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Mannheim, and Heidelberg, and into France for a visit to Strasbourg, Old World and Euro Zone capital and heart of the Alsace region of vineyards and culturally-unique cuisine. Unpack your bags for 8 nights and chose your level of Adventure each day.

We embark aboard the M/S Crucevita in historic Amsterdam, our base to enjoy several Dutch delights, then after sailing south through Germany’s Rhine Gorge to Strasbourg in the northeast corner of France, return to Germany to disembark in Mainz.

Our Ship, the M/S Crucevita

This elegant, luxurious, boutique style vessel, the M/S Crucevita was designed in an old world grand yacht style. Superb public areas, accented in oak and leather, include a panorama restaurant, cozy bar and lounge, a fire-place, a gym, sauna, library, and sun deck!

The cabins area spacious 14 sq m (150 sq ft) and are fitted with beds that are stowed away during the day to create extra space to relax. All cabins include air-conditioning/heating that can be regulated individually, a multi-channel satellite TV with remote control, a mini safety deposit box, a telephone and a hair dryer. The luxury bathroom contains a toilet, enclosed shower, and a stylish wash basin.

Cabins on Main deck have panorama windows while cabins on the upper Promenade deck will have new French balconies (renovation scheduled for 2019 winter-season)

The decks are interconnected by a regular elevator suitable to carry up to 4 persons. The Sun Deck is accessible from the Promenade Deck by an outside chair lift. Maximum capacity 110 passengers serviced by a young and vivacious crew of 36. Non-smoking interiors. Currency: Euro

Cabin Upgrades

The Adventure price includes cabins in CATEGORY C. Upgrades are available in CATEGORIES B and A. Space in all categories is limited. See pricing options below:

  • CATEGORY C: Included in tour price (Main Deck aft)
  • CATEGORY B: $225 per person upgrade (Main Deck forward)
  • CATEGORY A: $550 per person upgrade (Promenade Deck with French balconies)

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (subject to change)
  • Accommodations for 1 night with breakfast in a first class hotel in Amsterdam
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in outside-facing cabins aboard our ship, the M/S Crucevita
  • 21 meals: All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners as listed (BLD)
  • House wine, beer, soft drinks for dinner daily and water replenished in cabins daily
  • All on board activities, early riser breakfast, afternoon tea and cakes, late night snacks and free 24 hour self- service coffee station.
  • Fees for walking credit (One IVV sanction requested for each country)
  • Services of professional English speaking Cruise Director
  • Audio units (whisper systems) included on all tours and excursions
  • Two WAI tour leaders throughout
  • Tips for group meals and local guides/coach drivers (tips for on-ship personnel not included)
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. Single cabins aboard ship are expensive and limited – please call our office if interested.

Activities/Visits to:

  • AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND: 1-hour canal cruise & walking tour
  • ARNHEM, HOLLAND: Tour through Dutch history at an expansive living history, open air museum
  • COLOGNE, GERMANY: City center tour including the famous Dom Cathedral
  • KOBLENZ, GERMANY: Walking tour of Old Town includes the Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I & the Schängel Fountain
  • HEIDELBERG, GERMANY: Tour of this university town & its castle ruins
  • STRASBOURG, GERMANY: Boat/bus/walking tour includes Palace de la Republique, Orangerie, and Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Optional Excursion:

  • Multiple walking opportunities offered in addition to ship walking tours. These will be announced closer to the date of departure. When walkable from the ship, no additional fees will be charged. If transport and/or local guides are necessary, additional fees will be necessary.

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

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Important Info

Group Size

20 to 30 travelers

Accommodations

Accommodations aboard our ship the M/S Crucevita as well as 1 night in a first class Amsterdam hotel

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of lunches and dinners. Letters BLD indicate which meals are included.

Airfare

Not included. Travelers on the Rhine River Cruise will likely fly into Amsterdam and out of Frankfurt.

Transportation

Included. The M/V Crucevita is designed in an Old World yacht style and holds a maximum of 110 passengers.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

Guide Scott IsomScott Isom

Scott is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners, and has led tours on all 7 continents! During his childhood, Scott developed a passion for the outdoors while exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River with his family.

Walking Adventures Guide Tim FriesenTim Friesen

Tim has been guiding for Walking Adventures since 2003, most often leading our summertime adventures in Europe. Tim just finished up a long career as a high school music teacher in Molalla, Oregon, and is occasionally known to burst into song on the trail!

Itinerary

Click on each day for more details.

Day 1-May 19: Arrive Amsterdam, The Netherlands

WELCOME TO THE NETHERLANDS!

Schiphol Airport is the airport best serving Amsterdam. Transfer by taxi (not included) to your first class hotel. Due to various arrival times no meals or activities are planned.

However, with a rich cultural life, a wide range of entertainment, and an excellent public transport system, Amsterdam has managed to retain its small-town feel and is easy to explore on your own.

Day 2-May 20: Activities from Amsterdam (BD)

After breakfast, we depart on a morning excursion to see the wonders of the windmills! Our first stop is at the village of Zaanse Schans, a famous open-air museum featuring 6 windmills and more than 30 houses built in 16-17th centuries, all of which invite us to discover the rural life of medieval Holland.

Then, continue to Edam, home of the famous Edam and Gouda cheeses. Here we visit a cheese factory that shows us how the cheese is made and offers free tasting!

Then it is on to the lovely village of Volendam renowned for its colorful timber houses and old fishing boats lining the harbor.

Our final stop is Marken where we visit a clog making factory that produces the famous hand-made Dutch wooden clogs.

Then it’s back to Amsterdam port to embark our floating hotel, the M/S Crucivita. Tonight a welcome cocktail and crew introduction will precede dinner.

Day 3-May 21: Activities in Amsterdam (BLD)

Amsterdam Walking Tour

Morning activities begin with a one hour cruise through Amsterdam’s labyrinthine network of canals.  A walking tour of the city center features Dam Square, Anne Frank’s House (outside), Museum Square, the Flower market and other attractions! The historic, concentric loop of four primary canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is lined with traditional 17th and 18th century homes, churches, and warehouses capped by tall facades and ornate gables.

The balance of the day is free.

WAI guides have ideas for an added walking option.

Day 4-May 22: CRUISING ~ Arnhem, The Netherlands (BLD)

North of the port of Arnhem lies one of The Netherlands most popular attractions, the Open Air Museum of Arnhem.

Here, completely reconstructed historical monuments are manned by costumed volunteers who will immerse you into the life of the past. This experience takes us into a setting of 19th century merchant homes, farmhouses, and mills with samples of life on the farms, fields, factories, wine taverns, and shops. The people, in authentic settings and dressed in authentic costumes, will regale you with stories about their “way of life” and perhaps serve you a cup of coffee or a pint of beer in ‘the good old way’. We look forward to this lively and humorous presentation of old Dutch customs and habits.

WAI guides will be looking to extend walking possibilities on this day.

Day 5-May 23: CRUISING ~ Cologne, Germany (BLD)

Cologne Walking Tour
Optional Cologne IVV Walk

WELCOME TO GERMANY!

We spend the full day in the 2000-year-old Rhine River city of Cologne, Germany. Our walking tour of this major German Rhine city features the Hey Market, Festival Halls, Town Hall, Jewish Baths, Old Market, and famous Dom, the remarkable Gothic cathedral whose construction began in 1248 and was only completed in 1880! Boasting the largest facade of any church in the world, this 13th century house of worship is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After returning to the ship for lunch, the balance of the day is free for optional tours and activities.

Cologne hosts an IVV walk (volkswalk) and WAI guides will lead a walk through parts of the city not covered this morning.

Day 6-May 24: CRUISING ~ Koblenz, Germany & Rüdesheim, Germany (BLD)

Koblenz Walking Tour

Koblenz is a city with ancient beginnings, going back to the Roman period an earlier. A primary reason for this is its enviable location at the confluence of the Mainz and Rhine Rivers. Enjoy a colorful morning walking tour of the Old Town including St. Castor’s Basilica, the Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I and the town’s landmark, the humorous, spitting “Schängel” Fountain.

Leaving Koblenz, make sure to be on deck for as we cruise past the famous Loreley cliff where the rushing Rhine is less than 300 feet wide. Cruising this section of the river offers more medieval castles per glass of Riesling wine than anywhere else on the planet and is recognized as such with a notation on the UNESCO World Heritage List!

After dinner on board, join us this evening for a stroll through Rüdesheim, another old Rhine town, deeply connected to the wine trade with vineyards draping the hills behind.

Day 7-May 25: CRUISING ~ Mannheim with Heidelberg, Germany (BLD)

Heidelberg Walking Tour

Located on the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers, and home to Mercedes Benz and other major corporations, Mannheim is the launching point for today’s excursion to Heidelberg.

Home of Germany’s oldest university, and the German Romanticism movement, Heidelberg is also one of the country’s most endearing small cities, famous for its historical baroque center, spirited student atmosphere, beautiful riverside setting and ancient bridge crossing the Neckar River.

The impressive hilltop castle is home to the largest wine barrel in the world, holding over 220.000 liters of wine!

An additional short, but challenging 3 km walk along the Philosopher’s Way on the opposite side of the Neckar River may be available in Heidelberg today.

Day 8-May 26: CRUISING ~ Strasbourg, France (BLD)

Strasbourg Walking Tour
Optional Strasbourg IVV Walk

WELCOME TO FRANCE!

Situated in the Alsace region of northeastern France, Strasbourg is a blend of French and German influences, a push-pull between cultures and countries that has, in the past, often resulted in conflict.

Our morning boat/bus/walking tour of this UNESCO’s World Heritage city begins with a 1 hour boat cruise along the canals, offering unique views of half-timbered houses and impressive European institutions.

Following the canal cruise, a walking tour features sights such as the Palace de la Republique, Orangerie, EU Parliament, and Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame.

Lunch will be served at a typical French restaurant followed by free time to explore on your own or return to the ship.

WAI guides will offer an after lunch walk through other areas of fascinating Strasbourg, possibly the UNESCO listed historic core of the city perched on the Grande Île, an island of meandering lanes lined with colorful photogenic, medieval houses.

Day 9-May 27: Disembarkation in Mainz, Germany (B)

Our cruise ends this morning after breakfast aboard the Crucivita. We bid your crew goodbye, say farewell to walking friends, old and new, and leave the Rhine River with a suitcase full of memories!

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How Do I Lock in My Place on This Adventure?

To register, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required to hold your spot. A final payment is due 90 days before departure and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us 2 to 3 weeks in advance.

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

Please follow this link to read our full General Tour Conditions.

What is a Walking LITE Tour?

On a Walking LITE cruise, travelers can enjoy the standard ship itinerary, which normally includes several walking tours, knowing that, where possible, WAI will offer more and longer walking opportunities on an optional basis. Further, travelers have the assurance that the ship, our floating hotel, is always a ready refuge where they can relax and transition from participant to observer as they choose.

A Walking LITE itinerary therefore widens the range of travelers who can comfortably enjoy a WAI travel experience. Travelers who prefer a slower pace and less walking than a standard WAI Adventure, but still appreciate a non-sedentary, experiential approach to travel, can join a Walking LITE group knowing that the itinerary will be less demanding physically.

In addition, using itineraries of trusted small ship cruise partners, Walking LITE itineraries allow WAI planners to take advantage of a wider range of destinations. Though we won’t always have specific on-the-ground trail experience, creativity and the wide WAI knowledge base (30 years’ worth) allows WAI guides and planners to amplify and enhance any itinerary by inserting walks of various lengths, some directly from the ship, and some using land transportation to nearby trails with which we are familiar.

Finally, adding Walking LITE small ship cruise experiences captures the value of unpacking only once and enjoying the floating hotel model of river cruising with its slower pace and relaxed tempo.

Our Ship--M/V Crucevita

This elegant, luxurious, boutique style vessel, the M/S Crucevita was designed in an old world grand yacht style. Superb public areas, accented in oak and leather, include a panorama restaurant, cozy bar and lounge, a fire-place, a gym, sauna, library, and sun deck!

The cabins area spacious 14 sq m (150 sq ft) and are fitted with beds that are stowed away during the day to create extra space to relax. All cabins include air-conditioning/heating that can be regulated individually, a multi-channel satellite TV with remote control, a mini safety deposit box, a telephone and a hair dryer. The luxury bathroom contains a toilet, enclosed shower, and a stylish wash basin.

Cabins on Main deck have panorama windows while cabins on the upper Promenade deck will have new French balconies (renovation scheduled for 2019 winter-season)

The decks are interconnected by a regular elevator suitable to carry up to 4 persons. The Sun Deck is accessible from the Promenade Deck by an outside chair lift. Maximum capacity 110 passengers serviced by a young and vivacious crew of 36. Non-smoking interiors. Currency: Euro

Cabin Upgrades

The Adventure price includes cabins in CATEGORY C. Upgrades are available in CATEGORIES B and A. Space in all categories is limited. See pricing options below:

  • CATEGORY C: Included in tour price (Main Deck aft)
  • CATEGORY B: $225 per person upgrade (Main Deck forward)
  • CATEGORY A: $550 per person upgrade (Promenade Deck with French balconies)

How Is Airfare Arranged?

Our official start point is in our hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. which is a 15-20 minute taxi ride from Schiphol Airport (AMS). Our official finish point is the ship dock in Mainz, Germany. Travelers would likely use the Frankfurt Airport (FRA) for departure.

We recommend that you contact Laura Pfahler, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements.

Details about flight arrangements and recommended travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler and Sharon Mitchell of World Travel Inc. are travel agents who provides air travel and insurance services to many WAI travelers.

Laura Pfahler: 503-434-6401 or [email protected]
Sharon Mitchell: 971-261-2091 or [email protected]

Check out Insurance Tips from World Travel for a short introduction to travel insurance. (NOTE: WAI receives no commission or financial remuneration from World Travel Inc.).

As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the SquareMouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

Allianz
Betins
Travel Guard
Travel Insured International

WAI bears no responsibility for travel insurance benefits advertised by various credit card companies. If you are relying on this type of benefit for insurance, we advise you to verify coverage types and limits and that your purchase does in fact qualify you for this insurance.

NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). Travelers interested in purchasing “cancel for any reason” insurance coverage should be careful to check pricing and terms BEFORE they register for a tour. Recent changes in the international travel landscape has caused changes in the policies of some insurance companies, and made the purchase of this particular type of policy even more time-sensitive.

What if WAI Cancels the Tour

Walking Adventures International reserves the right to cancel this tour departure with fewer than 12 participants, in which case registered participants will receive a 100% refund of payments received.

This refund policy contains one exclusion. Many suppliers require non-refundable deposits as a condition of booking services. Though it is rare, unforeseen circumstances can force us to cancel a tour. In cases where supplier’s non-refundable policies are imposed, WAI attempts to retrieve as much of these deposits as possible but cannot guarantee a 100% refund. In cases where full refunds cannot be obtained for a cancelled tour, we will do our best to transfer unrefunded money as traveler credits to be applied to a future tour to that destination.

COVID-19 Policies for This Tour

WAI has relaxed our policies and currently require no mitigation procedures (current WAI Coronavirus Policy). However, Walking Adventures International policy includes endeavoring to comply with any COVID-19 policies in place in the destinations through which we travel.

We are not aware of any COVID-19 policies or restrictions that will impact this tour in Europe along the Rhine River.

WAI will update travelers upon learning of any changes.

Travelers participating in the Rhine River Walking LITE Cruise must agree to abide by policies in place at the time of travel.

What Happens Next?

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

A final payment is due 90 days before departure (February 17, 2023) and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us a week or two in advance. Please see our General Tour Conditions for the full terms and conditions for participation in this Adventure.

Around 2-3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final email packet with details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

We look forward to enjoying this fascinating region of Europe with you as we set sail on the Rhine River Cruise!