Rhine River Cruise

May 24-June 7, 2017 • 15 Days • $5375

The Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium

The Rhine River Cruise includes 7 nights on land and 7 nights aboard ship, and features walks and activities in six countries!

WATCH A BRIEF VIDEO

WAI Guide Dan Friesen presents the Rhine River Cruise 2017 at our most recent Tour Presentation.

To enlarge, click symbol in right corner.

Two Groups on this Adventure!

We have two groups of travelers on this popular new Adventure. To preserve the intimacy of a single, smaller group, the two groups will alternate activities and use different hotels as much as possible so that we are occasionally crossing paths rather than treading the same path at the same time. Separate guide teams will lead each group.

Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension

June 6-11, 2017 • 6 Days • $1375

Travelers joining us for the Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension will continue to Koblenz to participate in the activities of the 15th IVV Olympiad.

View Daily Itinerary

The Rhine River Cruise includes walks and activities in six countries, starting in the Netherlands, where we begin our tour with two nights in the delightful Dutch town of Delft, a walk in Kinderdijk amongst windmills and canals, a visit to a local farm to see how Gouda cheese is made, plus several fun and educational activities in charming Amsterdam. We embark aboard the MS Select Bellejour in Amsterdam, and continue into Germany, France, and Switzerland, stopping at ports along the way for additional historical and cultural activities. What makes this river cruise super special (Dan calls it his “dream cruise”) is that WAI has customized all shore activities with the help of longtime WAI European guide, Hildrun Mathies. WAI guides Hildrun and Günter (see below) will double as our ship guides, WAI is booking our own coaches, and our land program of walks and activities is packed with outstanding value and runs completely independently from the ship. Disembarking at Basel, Switzerland, we journey by land through Germany’s Black Forest into Luxembourg and Belgium, with high quality walks and stops at historic sites from WWII. We finish in Germany, where travelers can fly home from Frankfurt or join us for the Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension.

Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension

Travelers joining us for the Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension will continue to Koblenz to participate in the activities of the 15th IVV Olympiad.

Every other year, the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) sponsors the IVV Olympiad, a walking festival for walkers from all over the planet. Recent Olympiads have been held in Japan, Turkey, and China. In 2017, the Olympiad returns to Europe in the lovely area of Koblenz, at the confluence of the Germany’s Moselle and Rhine Rivers.

In addition to the walking, cycling, swimming, inline skating, geocaching and marathon events offered at the IVV Olympiad, Walking Adventures is offering optional afternoon excursions, led by our national guides, Hildrun and Günter.

Rhine River Cruise

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • Arrival and departure group transfers on first and last day*
  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (subject to change)
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in a superior tourist-class (3 star) or better hotels
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in cabins aboard our ship, the M/S Select Bellejour
  • 33 meals: All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners as listed (BLD)
  • 10 walks as listed, with commentary by national guide. Includes a 3-Country Walk with credit for walking in Switzerland, Germany, and France.
  • Fees for walking credit (IVV sanctions requested for at least one walk in each of 6 countries)
  • Daily music program in the lounge and bar
  • Various local entertainment and performances
  • Lectures by our national guide aboard ship
  • Two WAI tour leaders throughout
  • Customized WAI programs at each port of call
  • Cultural and historical expertise of our national guide for all land-based activities
  • Tips to local guides/coach drivers (tips for on-ship personnel not included)

Cabin Upgrades:

The Adventure price includes cabins in CATEGORY C on the Lower Deck. Upgrades are available in CATEGORIES B (Middle Deck) or A (Upper Deck). Space in all categories is limited. See pricing options below:

  • CATEGORY C: Included in tour price
  • CATEGORY B: $250 per person upgrade
  • CATEGORY A: $480 per person upgrade

View deckplan of the MS Select Bellejour.

Activities/Visits to:

  • Kaasboerderij Hoogerwaard farm tour – Netherlands
  • Gouda Cheese Market – Netherlands
  • Rijksmuseum guided tour – Netherlands
  • Amsterdam canal tour – Netherlands
  • Amsterdam guided city walk – Netherlands
  • Cologne Cathedral guided tour – Germany
  • Cochem Castle guided tour – Germany
  • Rüdesheim gondola ride – Germany
  • Eberbach Monastery strolling wine tasting tour – Germany
  • Visit to Worms Reformation Monument – Germany
  • Heidelberg Castle courtyard guided tour – Germany
  • Strasbourg guided walking tour – France
  • Black Forest activities – Germany
  • Visit to American Military Cemetery – Luxembourg
  • Luxembourg City guided walking tour – Luxembourg
  • Bastogne War Museum (Battle of the Bulge) – Belgium
  • Jacques Benelux Chocolate Factory tour (or similar) – Belgium
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension

Including:

  • Group transfers on last day*
  • Accommodations for 5 nights in superior tourist-class (3 star) or better hotels
  • 5 meals: All breakfasts as listed (B)
  • Olympiad Pass providing access to all events and activities of the 15th IVV Olympiad in Koblenz, Germany
  • Fees for walking credit for all volkssport events
  • Two WAI tour leaders throughout
  • Cultural and historical expertise of our national guide for optional afternoon activities
  • Tips to local guides
  • A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $325

Optional Excursions:

  • Gutenberg & the city of Mainz (Day 2)
  • Winningen Wine Adventure Walk (Day 3)
  • Bonn & Beethoven (Day 4)
  • Remagen Peace Museum (Day 5)

*Details of transfers provided are listed in Adventure Advice memo sent upon receipt of tour registration.

Adventure Pace

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

Important Info

Group Size

This tour will be offered to 2 groups of 25-30 travelers each. See itinerary for more details.

Accommodations

Accommodations aboard MS Select Bellejour for 7 nights and lodgings at strategically located superior tourist-class (3 star) or better hotels for 7 nights

Meals

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

Airfare

Not included. Travelers will be met at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at the start of the tour.

Transportation

Included. We use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 45+ seats.

Traveler Age

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

Group 1 – Your Guides

pat-denise-lemmonPat & Denise Lemmon have been guiding for Walking Adventures for ten years. Having lived and traveled widely around the planet, Pat and Denise are experienced globetrotters. When not leading WAI Adventures, they can often be found in some remote corner of the world exploring on their own. They look forward to sharing this fascinating part of Europe with you!

Local Guide Hildrun Mathies

Hildrun Mathies will accompany our group during the entire tour – aboard ship as well as on land. Hildrun has a wealth of knowledge and experience, with a Master’s Degree in Art History and Religious Science; fluency in English, French, Spanish, and her native German; and over 25 years of experience guiding groups through central Europe. After leading Walking Adventures programs for nearly 10 years, Hildrun has worked closely with WAI owner, Dan, to create and customize this special itinerary for our travelers, and she is excited about sharing the results!

Group 2 – Your Guides

WAI Guide Dan FriesenDan Friesen has been guiding tours for over 25 years. Dan gets excited about exploring new areas of the planet, discovering fascinating historical and cultural connections, and sharing these experiences with travelers in countries all over the globe. He looks forward to sharing this one-of-a-kind tour with our Walking Adventures travelers! Dan will be accompanied on this tour by a WAI Assistant.

gunter-bachhuber

Günter Bachhuber is a long-time friend and guide colleague of Hildrun’s who has already led two prior WAI groups in the Alps region and Bavaria. The only thing deeper than Günter’s love for hiking is his knowledge of Central European history and culture.

Itinerary

Rhine River Cruise

Day 1-May 24: Arrive Amsterdam, Netherlands (D)

Travelers arrive throughout the day into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. As you clear customs, you’ll be met by a local representative of WAI and transported to our hotel in Delft. Our home for the first two nights of the Adventure, this delightful Dutch town is all that you’d expect of traditional Holland – lazy canals interlaced with inviting cobblestone lanes and a friendly, laidback vibe. Our initial group activity is a Welcome Orientation this evening followed by dinner.

Day 2-May 25: Activities from Delft, Netherlands (B)

Kinderdijk Windmill Walk – 6/12 km, rated 1A (unsanctioned)

A Dutch dairy farmer shows us around his farm this morning, and demonstrates the process of making that delicious Holland cheese. Our next stop is the more light-hearted Thursday cheese market in nearby Gouda. Farmers in traditional garb, complete with wooden shoes,recreate traditional negotiations with Gouda cheese traders in front of the old weighing house, entertaining bystanders with their dickering followed by the colorful, deal-sealing hand slap.In the 1740s, 19 windmills were built at Kinderdijk to drain water from the Alblasserwaard polders, plots of future farmland situated below sea level. The mills have been well preserved, and the walk of the day is a memorable stroll through this UNESCO World Heritage site!

Day 3-May 26: Embark aboard MS Select Bellejour (BD)

Delft Birthplace of Holland Walk – 7 km, rated 1B

Delft is famous, among other things, as the 16th century birthplace of the modern state of the Netherlands. Our walk explores the placid cobblestone lanes where William the Silent engineered a rebellion against Spanish overlords, and crosses over venerable canals that predate William by 200 years or more. Further north in Amsterdam, the national museum of the Netherlands is renowned for its collection of the Dutch masters. Dutch independence, and the mastery of the sea that followed, positioned this tiny, young republic in an increasingly dominant place in world trade. From this wealth was birthed the Dutch Golden Age, and a flowering of culture and art. A guided tour helps us appreciate works of the Dutch masters – Rembrandt, Vermeer, and others – who depicted everyday scenes and provided a fascinating window into 17th century Holland. We dine this evening aboard the MS Select Bellejour, our home for the next 7 nights.

Day 4-May 27: Cruising (BLD)

A walking tour of Amsterdam takes us through the charming canal district of Amsterdam. The historic, concentric loop of four primary canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is lined with historic homes, churches, and warehouses capped by tall facades and ornate gables. The traditional way to see this city is by boat through the labyrinthine network of canals. We return to the ship for lunch, then enjoy scenes of the river as we cruise upstream towards the German city of Cologne.

Day 5-May 28: Cruising: Cologne, Germany (BLD)

Cologne Cathedral Walk – 7 km, rated 1A

After a pleasant morning cruise up the Rhine, we spend the afternoon and evening in the 2000-year-old Rhine River city of Cologne, Germany. Following a fun wander through Cologne’s atmospheric, medieval old town, we pause mid-walk for a tour of the famous Cologne Cathedral. 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. Other features of the walk include a relaxing stroll along the riverfront promenade.

Day 6-May 29: Cruising: Cochem, Germany (BLD)

Cochem Castle Walk – 4 km, rated 3B (unsanctioned)

We chart a relaxing morning course up the winding, placid waters of the Moselle River, a primary tributary of the Rhine, to the delightful old river town of Cochem. Our walk here ascends vineyard-draped hillsides to the town’s dramatically-sited fortress, Reichsburg Castle. A fun and informative guided tour here provides a chance to catch our breath before a more relaxing descent yields spellbinding views over the meandering Moselle. A final stretch through charming lanes of old town is enhanced by historical commentary from our guides, Hildrun and Günter. With ship departure set at 10 pm, time is our friend this evening; relax aboard ship after dinner, stroll through the village, or take a riverside walk.

Day 7-May 30: Cruising: Rüdesheim, Germany (BLD)

Watch on the Rhine Walk – 5 km, rated 2B (unsanctioned)

Make sure to be on deck this morning as we pass 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! Upon arrival in Rüdesheim, our guides lead us through this vintage, wine-producing town to the gondola station, which transports us above the vineyards to the “Watch on the Rhine.” This monument commemorates Germany’s 1871 victory in the Franco-Prussian War and offers a window of understanding into Germany’s long and confusing history. Following a walk through the vineyards with “pinch me – I can’t believe I’m here” vistas over the Rhine, a coach ride up the valley takes us to 13th century Eberbach Monastery. Here, an unforgettable wine-tasting stroll winds through the halls, cellars, and courtyards of this evocative monument to the austere Cistercian order and the art of making wine.

Day 8-May 31: Cruising: Mannheim & Speyer, Germany (BLD)

Philosopher’s Way Walk – 3 km, rated 2B

In the year 1521, the religious and cultural earthquake known as the Protestant Reformation received a massive boost at the Diet of Worms, a peculiar linguistic coincidence having nothing to do with food or nightcrawlers. The Diet (imperial assembly) met in the German town of Worms to deal with the issue of Martin Luther and his heretical teachings. Rather than squelching Luther, the Diet resulted in a clear break between Luther and the Catholic Church, and the growth of the new Christian faith. Lunch aboard ship is followed by a visit to the romantic city of Heidelberg. Home of Germany’s oldest university, and the German Romanticism movement, it’s best appreciated from the panoramic Philosopher’s Walk. A tour through the evocative ruins of Heidelberg Castle precedes our return to Speyer for dinner aboard our ship.

Day 9-Jun 1: Cruising: Strasbourg, France (BLD)

Alsace Vineyard & Village Walk – 6 km, rated 2B

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. A guided walking tour explores the UNESCO listed historic core of the city perched on the Grande Île, an island of meandering lanes lined with colorful photogenic, medieval houses. The afternoon walk takes us through the famous vineyards south of Strasbourg. The gingerbread village of Riquewihr is our finish point—a time capsule of half-timbered houses and windows boxes straight from the pages of a Brothers Grimm fairytale.

Day 10-Jun 2: Disembark in Basel, Switzerland (BLD)

3 Country Walk – Switzerland/Germany/France – 10 km, rated 1A

We say farewell to the ship and its friendly crew this morning and begin the land-based part of the program. Our walking friends in this triangle of nations have concocted a unique opportunity to walk (and receive IVV stamps) in three countries on one walk! Following the walk, and lunch in the German sector, we head north for a wander through the pleasant Black Forest gateway city of Freiburg. Our final destination is the small Black Forest town of Schönmünzach.

NOTE: The second group will overnight in Freiburg and explore a slightly different section of the Black Forest.

Day 11-Jun 3: Black Forest–Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (BD)

We explore more of the Black Forest this morning, driving north on scenic route 500. Baden-Baden has a history linked with 3rd century Romans, but its baths attracted renown and celebrity more recently in the 19th century, becoming THE place to see and be seen, and earning the moniker “Europe’s summer capital.” For us it makes a great break for lunch and a stroll along the lovely stream and gardens of Lichtentaler Allee. Heading north, we arrive in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The American Military Cemetery on the outskirts of town is a profound and appropriate place to pay tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the final months of World War II, including General George Patton.

Day 12-Jun 4: Activities from Luxembourg City (BL)

Luxembourg Buschdorf Club Walk – 6 km, rating unknown
Luxembourg Little Switzerland Walk – 3 km, rated 2C

Tiny Luxembourg (smaller than the state of Rhode Island) offers some surprises. We join a local walking club on a stroll this morning to get a taste of Luxembourg volkssport. Since the local club has graciously agreed to provide lunch for our hungry walkers, that taste becomes literal! The afternoon walk courses through a ravine of mesmerizing, moss-covered sandstone formations shrouded by a lovely forest of beech trees – the so-called “Little Switzerland.” Late this afternoon, we return to Luxembourg City where our guides lead us on a walking tour through this eclectic capital of one of Europe’s smallest states.

Day 13-Jun 5: Luxembourg City–Bütgenbach, Belgium (BD)

Pastoral Byways of Bütgenbach, Belgium – 10 km, rated 2B

Crossing the border, we find ourselves at Belgium’s Bastogne War Memorial, an excellent new museum positioned at the heart of World War II’s famous Battle of the Bulge. Hitler’s last major offensive may well have been successful were it not for the courage and faith of these “beleaguered bastards of Bastogne” who became the “bulge” in the Nazi advance which could not be eliminated. Our walk of the day is from the Belgian town of Bütgenbach and offers a bucolic slice of field and farm in a rural area that was also engulfed in Hitler’s Battle of the Bulge offensive. The town even boasts that “General Eisenhower slept here”! Later tonight, we enjoy a farewell gathering and dinner, sharing moments and memories of our journey through this special region of Europe.

Day 14-Jun 6: Bütgenbach – Frankfurt, Germany (B)

A couple different activities are under consideration for this morning, including a visit to a Belgium chocolate factory! We loop back to the Rhine Valley early this afternoon towards Koblenz. Here travelers participating in the Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension will be transported to their hotels. Those participating in the main tour only will continue to Frankfurt and a final night at an airport area hotel.

Day 15-Jun 7: Depart Frankfurt (B)

After a wide-ranging, 6-country odyssey by cruise and motorcoach through the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium, it’s time to return to North America. Thanks for sharing the Adventure!

Koblenz IVV Olympiad Extension

Day 1-Jun 6: Bütgenbach–Koblenz, Germany (B)

We finish our Rhine River Cruise with a drive back into the Rhine Valley to Koblenz. Here we check into our hotels in time to prepare for the “Lineup of Nations” and “Flag Parade” that mark the opening of the 15th IVV Olympiad. Opening ceremonies will follow on the Deutsches Eck, the German Corner, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. We are excited about the four full days of walking and other volkssport activities that follow, as well as continued opportunities to explore this region with our outstanding local guides, Hildrun and Günter!

Day 2-Jun 7: Activities from Koblenz (B)

Olympiad events as listed

Walks can be started as early as 6 am this morning. Available activities include:

  • Walking: 5, 10, 20, 30 km
  • Marathon: 42 km
  • Cycling: 25 km
  • Swimming: 300, 500, 1000 m
  • Inline skating: 15 to 20 km
  • Geocaching

Optional Afternoon Excursion: Gutenberg & the city of Mainz 
Early this afternoon, Hildrun and Günter offer an optional excursion to Mainz by train. Capital of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz is situated at the confluence of the Main and Rhine Rivers and is known, among other things, as the site of the Gutenberg Museum. Here we admire two of Gutenberg’s famous bibles and view a demonstration of his inventions of movable type and the printing press system. Many historians consider this to be the most significant invention of the 2nd millennium, ushering in the modern age at a strategic point in history. We also visit nearby St. Stephan Church with its famous stained-glass windows by Russian Jewish artist Marc Chagall. We plan to leave Koblenz about 2 pm and spend the dinner hour in Mainz before returning to Koblenz on an evening train. Estimated price: €40 EUR per person.

NOTE: The Rhein-Mosel-Halle serves as the Olympic Center for the entire Olympiad and is located right across from the first of two hotels we have booked. The first 30 travelers who register will be offered this hotel. Our second hotel is a 15-20 minute walk away, and free transportation on the bus system is included with your Olympiad Pass.

Day 3-Jun 8: Activities from Koblenz (B)

Olympiad events as listed

Walks can again be started as early as 6 am this morning. Available activities include:

  • Walking: 5, 10, 20, 30 km
  • Marathon: 42 km
  • Cycling: 25 km
  • Swimming: 300, 500, 1000 m
  • Geocaching

Optional Afternoon Excursion: Winningen Wine Adventure Walk
The optional afternoon activity today is provided by the Olympiad and involves a 3pm bus ride to the neighboring Moselle Valley village of Winningen an der Mosel. A sanctioned 8 km walk is offered, along with a celebration in the village square to celebrate favorite local son, August Horch – engineer, automobile pioneer, and founder of the German automobile manufacturer that eventually became the famous Audi. Estimated price: It appears that this excursion is covered by your Olympiad Pass.

Day 4-Jun 9: Activities from Koblenz (B)

Olympiad events as listed

Walks can be started at 6 am, with the exception of the 60 km World Heritage Walk (see below).

Available activities include:

  • Walking: 5, 10, 20, 30 km
  • Cycling: 25 km
  • Swimming: 300, 500, 1000 m
  • Geocaching
  • World Heritage Walk – “In the footsteps of the knights”: This is a 60 km walk that starts with a 5 am bus ride from the Rhein-Mosel-Halle to the Loreley cliff, high above the Rhine. Walkers return to Koblenz on foot!

Optional Afternoon Excursion: Bonn & Beethoven
Between 1949 and 1990, following the WWII devastation of Berlin and the Soviet influence in East Berlin, Bonn was the seat of government and de facto capital of West Germany. Even today, after reunification, Bonn shares status as the seat of government with Berlin with the president, chancellor, and many government ministries maintaining sizable presences in Bonn. Bonn is also the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the home of his birth is the main attraction in the musical city of Bonn. We travel by train again, looking forward to a guided tour of the Beethoven House, now a museum memorializing one of the greatest composers of all time. We plan to leave about 2 pm and return about 7 pm. Estimated price: €45 (EURO) per person

Day 5-Jun 10: Activities from Koblenz (B)

Olympiad events as listed

Walks can again be started as early as 6 am this morning. Available activities include:

  • Walking: 5, 10, 20 km
  • Cycling: 20 km
  • Swimming: 300, 500, 1000 m
  • Geocaching

Optional Afternoon Excursion: Remagen Peace Museum
We go by train again, this time north, to the Remagen Peace Museum. The Ludendorff Bridge was built during World War I at the urging of German generals concerned about the efficient transport of men and materials to the Western Front. At the close of World War II, it was the last bridge over the Rhine to remain intact. General Eisenhower stated that “the bridge is worth its weight in gold” because of the Allies’ need to use the bridge in reverse to invade Germany. On March 7, 1945, an advance unit of the 9th US Armored Division reached the bridge in the midst of multiple attempts by the German High Command to destroy it, even using demolition frogmen teams. Our visit will include the memorial Peace Museum, opened to the public in March 1980. We plan to leave Koblenz around noon and return between 4 and 5 pm. Estimated price: €20 (EURO) person

Later this evening, the closing ceremonies of the 15th IVV Olympiad take place back on the Deutsches Eck.

Day 6-Jun 11: Depart Frankfurt, Germany (B)

A morning coach ride takes us to the Frankfurt Airport. Our Olympiad Odyssey comes to an end and we return home after a sweeping exploration of this fabled Rhine River region of Europe!

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

We are now accepting registrations. Registrations for the group of your choice will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call us to save your spot with a $1000 registration. A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on each group.

General Tour Conditions and Registration Form

To finalize your official registration, a completed and signed copy of the Registration Form is necessary. Please be sure to read all the fun stuff (the fine print) in the General Tour Conditions!

Already Early Birded?

If you are among the travelers who submitted a $50 Early Bird deposit, you have until October 14 to secure your spot with an additional $950 (total of $1000) registration.

Modified Payment Terms

Because of the ship’s payment terms, our standard payment and cancellation terms must be modified. A full deposit of $1000 is due at the time of registration to hold your spot. Of this amount, $500 is non-refundable at time of payment, and the second $500 is non-refundable as of January 31, 2017. Final payment is due February 23, 2017. Cancellation by March 25, 2017 allows a 50% refund of the tour price; after March 25, 2017 no refund is possible. As always, you will be reminded with an invoice a couple of weeks before final payment is due.

Two Groups on the Rhine River Cruise

We expect two groups of travelers for this popular new Adventure. To preserve the intimacy of a single, smaller group, the two groups will alternate activities and use different hotels as much as possible so that we are occasionally crossing paths rather than treading the same path at the same time. If you have walking pals in the other group, there will still be plenty of time to hang out together aboard ship during the cruise portion of the Adventure. Different guide teams will lead each group, but both groups will experience the same itinerary (except for slight differences in the Black Forest) with the same dates and pricing.

At the Olympiad, the Rhein-Mosel-Halle serves as the Olympic Center for the entire Olympiad and is located right across from one of our hotels. Group 1 will be offered this hotel. Our hotel for Group 2 is located a 15-20 minute walk away, and free transportation on the public bus system is included with your Olympiad Pass.

Travelers will be registered for the group of their choice on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Our Ship, the MS Select Bellejour

Our small 180 passenger ship is ideal for cruising the Rhine River. Built in 2004, the MS Select Bellejour contains 3 passenger decks offering cabins of approximately 160 sq ft in size. Standard cabins on the lower deck are fitted with one fixed oval-shaped window, whereas superior cabins on the middle deck and deluxe cabins on the upper deck all have floor to ceiling windows. The Adventure price includes cabins in CATEGORY C on the Lower Deck. Upgrades are available in CATEGORIES B (Middle Deck) or A (Upper Deck). Space in all categories is limited. See pricing options below:

  • CATEGORY C: Included in tour price
  • CATEGORY B: $250 per person upgrade
  • CATEGORY A: $480 per person upgrade

View deckplan of the MS Select Bellejour.

IVV Stamps for Walking in Six Countries

We are excited to present 11 walks on the Rhine River Cruise, with commentary by national guides. For those who maintain IVV stamp books, we will be requesting sanctions for at least one walk in each of the 6 countries we will be traveling through. We are also thrilled to present a special 3-Country Walk, with a trail which takes us through Switzerland, Germany, and France, with IVV stamps offered for each country.

First Time Traveler Savings

In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $400 credit on this international Adventure!

Group Travel Credit

If you are part of a group, remember that your full deposit of $1000 is still required to hold your spot on this Adventure. Your group leader is responsible for submitting your name in writing to us before you make your $1000 registration payment, qualifying you for the Group Travel Credit. A full registration payment is needed to officially reserve your place. Your Group Travel Credit will be reflected on your final statement.

Check out more information on the Group Travel Program.

How Is Airfare Arranged?

The official starting point for the Rhine River Cruise is Amsterdam, Netherlands; the finish point is Frankfurt, Germany. We recommend that you contact the travel agent we work with to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, mailed to you after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the Adventure Advice flyer!

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. Many walks on this trip are oriented towards history and culture, which slows the average pace to allow for guide commentary. Walks with less commentary generally continue at a steadier pace. In most cases, we are not “strolling”; we are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Walks on this Adventure are guided walks. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please contact our office at 1-800-779-0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

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. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507 -OR- email debbi@wtpdx.com). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the Insuremytrip.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Here are some additional options for travel insurance:

  • Allianz
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International
  • Travelex
  • Betins

We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.

What happens next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter, initial invoice, and Adventure Advice flyer with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you receive the Adventure Advice flyer. The final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 2 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the 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!