Posted October 25th, 2014, 12:47 PM
Last edited by Host Jazzbeau; October 25th, 2014 at 12:48 PM
We will be doing this same cruise next June. Any particulars you would tell us not to miss or anything about it we would benefit by knowing ahead? We have never been on a river cruise, but this was highly recommended. We will fly into Zurich a few days early and stay in Amsterdam 2 days after.
Zurich is nice, but we really loved Lucerne
-- old town, the famous Lion monument, Mount Pilatus, and a boat ride on Lake Lucerne were highlights -- definitely worth 2 full days. Zurich
is a larger city and more congested -- it does have really nice Chagall stained-glass windows in the Fraumunster.
Don't remember much about Basel
. We got off the boat, had a short tour of the town hall and a break for lunch on our own (at the market in front of the town hall), and then it was time to get on the bus to Lucerne. I don't know what they'll include for you in Basel, since you're starting your cruise here.
were really cute. AMA also offered a German option -- Breisach and Freiburg -- but those who did that didn't enjoy it as much as we did the French towns.
is very nice. The Cathedral has a complicated Astronomical Clock that performs at 12:30 -- you need tickets (AMA gave them to us) and you must enter the Cathedral well before the performance and kill your feet standing on the cold stone floor -- but it's absolutely worth it. The buses park far away from the old town so don't go back to the boat for lunch -- stay in town and get a tarte flambée at a cafe. I think the canal cruise here would have been very nice, but it was so hot when we took it that all we could do was pray for it to end (or death, whichever came first...).
is a long bus ride from the river, but worth it. Our boat docked in Speyer, and we were able to see all we wanted by walking around after the bus got back.
was one of our favorite stops on the cruise. We visited a vineyard with the owner, and after dinner came back into town for Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum -- we expected this to be cheesy, but we loved it!
The sail through the Rhine Valley
is the scenic highlight of this trip -- it's one castle after another and at some points they come pretty fast. Get up on the top deck so you can swivel 360 degrees while you follow the narration.
has a Roman Archeological Museum that looks very interesting -- unfortunately it was closed when we were there so we didn't get to see it.
The stretch of river between Cologne and Amsterdam is the least scenic on the trip (part of it is a canal), so this is a good time to pack.
-- both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum have recently been redone and are worth as much time as you can spare (if you like art). There's also a branch of the Hermitage museum with exhibits from the St. Petersburg collection that change several times a year. The canal cruise is nice, but will probably be included as an excursion on your river cruise along with a panoramic and/or walking tour. If you want to see the Anne Frank house, it's a good idea to buy tickets online before you go.
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