• Limited Time Offer - Save up to 30% on select departures

    Limited Time Offer - Save up to 30% on select departures
  • AARP Members Save $100 on ANY departure

    AARP Members Save $100 on ANY departure
  • Additional Savings for Past Travelers

    Additional Savings for Past Travelers

Castles Along the Rhine

8 Days from $2,799 per person

Style: Family Friendly | Pace: Leisurely

Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Romantics who love the picturesque and the historic will find medieval castles, splendid cathedrals and scenes that have inspired great poets, painters and composers alike.

Print Itinerary

Overview

Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Romantics who love the picturesque and the historic will find medieval castles, splendid cathedrals and scenes that have inspired great poets, painters and composers alike.

  1. Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

    meal(s):Dinner
  2. Look up “charming" and “picturesque” in the dictionary and it could very well show images of today’s choice of destinations—two of Alsace’s best-known wine villages or a town some have hailed as the prettiest in the world. Is it really? See for yourself from our uniquely Uniworld perspective. A charming town dominated by a 17th-century hilltop cathedral, Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road. This is your launching point for one of two excursions along the celebrated route des vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, or take a tour of the larger town of Colmar, considered one of the most beautiful destinations along the wine road and the capital of Alsatian wines. If you’re interested in doing something a bit more physically challenging, you could stay in Breisach and walk or bike through the surrounding vineyards.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Alsatian “Village Day” or Colmar city tour

    Alsatian “Village Day”
    An old stone well in Kaysersberg bears an inscription that warns against drinking water and urges the reader to “Drink with moderation old and subtil wine...and leave the water to the side.” What better words could guide you as you explore some delightful Alsatian wine villages? Though the remains of a 12th-century castle speak to Kaysersberg’s strategic importance in the Middle Ages, today it is an idyllic village nestled among vineyards. Join a local guide for a one-hour walking tour, passing storybook medieval houses with steeply pitched roofs and a gorgeous Gothic cathedral that was begun by a 12th-century Holy Roman emperor. In modern days, the village is best known as the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer. The road from Kaysersberg to Riquewihr provides quintessential wine road scenery: lush foothills, famous vineyards, castle ruins and quaint villages. Riquewihr itself seems to have changed little since the 16th century: The timber-frame buildings still boast colorful shutters and cheerful flower boxes, and stone arches still lead to cobbled squares with cafés and carved fountains. Your tour of this enchanting village ends with a tasting of an Alsatian specialty, flammekuchen, a delicious flat bread topped with onions and bacon, hot from the oven. There will be time for you to explore the little shops in the village center, where you’ll find local specialties like schnapps, cheeses and artisanal breads, before returning to Breisach.

    Colmar city tour
    Colmar has been called the prettiest town in the world, and it’s hard to argue with that designation. As you ramble through the town, you may find it easy to believe the rumor that Colmar was spared during WWII bombing because pilots knew it was too beautiful to destroy. Rainbow-hued half-timbered houses front peaceful little canals, flowers tumble from baskets and window ledges, and cobblestone lanes lead to extraordinary examples of Gothic architecture (among them are the Dominican Church and St. Martin’s). You’ll see fairytale 16th-century houses, including the House of Heads, so called for the 111 carved heads decorating the façade, and Pfister House, the unmistakable inspiration for a bakery in the animated feature Howl’s Moving Castle. Frédéric Bartholdi, who sculpted the Statue of Liberty, was born here; his sculptures are scattered throughout town—you’ll spot several of them in the center of fountains. You’ll also have some time to explore on your own; you might want to check out the Unterlinden Museum, perhaps best known for the Isenheim Altarpiece. And it’s worth remembering that Colmar is the capital of Alsatian wine-making—consider relaxing over a glass of cool white wine and watching the passing parade.

    Spend the afternoon onboard, simply enjoying the views from the ship’s lounges or decks and sampling some of the ship’s amenities. Sip a cocktail on the Sun Deck or relax with a massage.

    A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner
  3. Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it via a canal boat or on foot with an insightful local expert, this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital, which is known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. You may choose to see Strasbourg via its historic canals (the way Strasbourg has been seen by its visitors through the centuries), which would give you an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city. Or you may experience the historic core as the locals do, with an exclusive walking tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town visit or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour

    Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town visit
    Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You’ll see all the highlights on a city tour before venturing inside the cathedral, one of the city’s most famous sites. The same craftsmen who built Chartres worked on it, and the rose window may be Chartres’s equal. Don’t miss the astronomical clock or the truly remarkable statuary and carvings. Climb the spiral staircase to the belfry for an amazing view of the city or visit the sumptuous apartments in the Palais Rohan to get a sense of how the mighty prince-bishops of the church once lived.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour
    Begin in the German Quarter with a stroll through the spacious green spaces of Republic Square, which is surrounded by stately neoclassical structures—among them is the Palace of the Rhine, built at great expense as a residence for the Kaiser, should he happen to visit Strasbourg—and cross over the water to Broglie Square on Grande Île. Twice a week Broglie Square is the scene of a lively outdoor market, but there’s no shortage of activity on the other days of the week in this area, where impromptu concerts and street performances take place. Wend your way with your guide through the maze of bustling pedestrian streets lined with historic buildings— many of them housing tempting shops—toward the cathedral, whose single spire can be seen throughout the region. Stop for coffee and perhaps a pastry at a patisserie near the cathedral. Your local expert will tell you about the daily lives of the people in the area and introduce you to the delights of Alsatian cuisine before you go off to explore on your own and try out some of Alsace’s famous dishes.

    You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own. Note: Shuttle service will be provided to and from the center of Strasbourg in the afternoon.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  4. Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious, and something you’ll experience with no other river cruise line. The ship docks in Mannheim, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach to the nearby town of Speyer for a guided walking tour or taking in an exclusive tasting at a local vinegar estate.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Speyer walking discovery tour or Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting.

    Speyer walking discovery tour
    Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town just as the medieval bishops dominated the town itself. Though the bishops ruled the town, Speyer also had a special relationship with the Holy Roman emperors: Conrad II ordered the cathedral’s construction around 1030, and eight emperors are interred in its crypts. Your walking tour will take you along the pedestrian-only Maximilian Street—first laid out by Roman soldiers—from the last remaining gate of the medieval wall toward the great church. Near the church you’ll see remnants of a Jewish community established around 1090 under the auspices of the bishop of Speyer. Though the synagogue is long gone, the vaulted ritual baths have been beautifully preserved. (The area is popularly known as the Jewish Courtyard.) Notice the Old Mint and Holy Trinity Church, which were built in the 18th century, following a devastating war, and still stand as masterful examples of late-baroque style. You’ll have some free time after your tour: If you’re interested in automotive history, trains or aeronautical technology, be sure to stop at the Technik Museum. Note: Because the Speyer Cathedral is an active place of worship, no tours of its interior are given.

    Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
    For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and pinot noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

    A shuttle is available to take you to and from Speyer if you wish to explore it on your own. Romans founded the city, and the Historical Museum of the Palatinate has an interesting collection of Roman antiquities (as well as Celtic and early German objects) you might enjoy investigating.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  5. Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in one of two ways—an exclusive tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollards or an invigorating vineyard hike. Later, join your Cruise Manager for a village stroll highlighting stately riverfront homes and the lingering traces of Boppard’s fascinating Roman past. Your floating hotel arrives in Rüdesheim, one of the most charming ports of call in the Rhine Valley. This city has a long history going back to Roman times and is famous for the Drosselgasse, a narrow, bustling lane of shops and wine bars, as well as its impressive Niederwald Monument, built to celebrate the re-establishment of the German empire in the late 19th century. You may opt to visit a renowned vineyard or, for a more active jaunt, take the long way shoreward from Niederwald with a vineyard hike that includes a stop at a unique museum.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Exclusive Castle Vollrads wine tasting or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen or Boppard village stroll

    Exclusive Castle Vollrads wine tasting
    Nestled in the rolling, vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, Castle Vollrads has a square tower that dates back to the 14th century, as does the moat. Just one family owned the castle for 700 years, until 1997, adding on to it and remodeling it over the centuries. While the interior of the castle is rarely open to the public, you will have the opportunity to step inside to see some of the elegantly appointed rooms, including the beautiful gold-embossed Flemish leather wall covering in the 17th-century dining room. Grapes have been grown here for more than a thousand years; records show that Castle Vollrads wines were first sold in 1211. These days the excellence of its Riesling is well known; it’s so well known, in fact, that Schloss Vollrads is one of the few German vineyards whose name stands alone on a wine label—no village name is required. Accompanied by a local wine expert, you will sample three wines in three different locations. There will also be time to wander through the grounds at your leisure.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen
    This fun excursion combines several of the area’s attractions. Start by boarding a delightfully quaint mini train to Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments for a short tour of its rare mechanical instruments. Listen as tiny birds pop out of music boxes and begin to sing; marvel as colorfully costumed mechanical figures play miniature violins. It’s an enchanting and surprising experience. Follow that up by hopping into an aerial cable car and soaring above the vineyards to the Niederwald Monument, which looks out over the entire Rheingau wine region. From the heights above the river, you and your local expert will hike down through vineyards to the picturesque riverfront village of Assmanshausen (which is noted for its red wine), where you’ll rejoin the ship.Note: The gondola to Niederwald Heights is covered but not heated. Cars are open on the sides, and it is recommended that you dress warmly.

    Boppard village stroll
    Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

    Cruising out of Rüdesheim you’ll enter the sublimely beautiful Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Byron described it as “a work divine, a blending of all beauties.” Turner painted it. Wagner used it as inspiration for his opera Götterdämmerung. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this scenic 40-mile stretch of the Rhine features a stunning, castle-dotted landscape that many 19th-century composers, painters and poets considered the embodiment of an ideal romantic spirit. Each bend and twist of the river affords new delights: Steep riverbanks are graced with sloping vineyards and picturesque towns, and hilltops are crowned by fairytale castles. Each one of those castles tells a tale: of great families raising fortresses against each other, of warfare and ruin and rebuilding through the centuries. Some castles have been entirely reconstructed; others tower above the water in majestic ruin, still an inspiration for romantics. You won’t want to miss the scenery as you sail into Boppard.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  6. No other river valley on earth boasts more castles than the Rhine, and today you’ll have an opportunity to experience real-life “Game of Thrones” ambiance deep within the medieval walls of Marksburg Castle. Not into dungeons and dragons? Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a scenic bike ride. As you come upon Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. You have wonderful tours from which to choose today.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Koblenz walking discovery tour or Marksburg Castle visit or Guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride

    Koblenz walking discovery tour
    Watch the waters of the Moselle meld with the Rhine’s as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner: It’s the perfect spot for a symbol of German unity, an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who united the nation in the 19th century. (There’s another symbol of German unity here too: three panels of the Berlin Wall.) Behind it is Koblenz’s oldest church, St. Castor’s Basilica, first erected in the ninth century, and just one of the charming churches and squares you’ll encounter as you wander through Old Town. Like many Rhineland towns, Koblenz suffered at the hands of Louis XIV’s forces—that’s why you’ll see so many baroque features in the buildings you pass, since so many needed to be reconstructed after the French left. That’s also why the Church of Our Lady has twin onion domes. Despite their travails over the ages, though, Koblenz’s citizens kept their sense of humor: One example of it might catch you by surprise as you pass the fountain known as the Spitting Boy, which spits water without warning.

    After the tour, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the Marktplatz (Market Square) and its bounty of shopping and wine bars.

    Marksburg Castle visit
    With its pale walls, slate-gray roof, and unusually slender towers and turrets, Marksburg looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. But don’t be deceived: this is a powerful fortress, built to withstand attack. Marksburg’s defenses were so daunting that enemies generally chose to leave it alone. That’s why this is the only hill castle in Germany that has never been destroyed—a remarkable fact when you consider its 700-year-long history. Enter the fortress through a drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel—just the first of the many defensive features you’ll encounter on your tour. Notice the “murder holes” in the walls; these would have let defenders pour boiling pitch on would-be invaders. Horsemen once thundered up the Riders’ Stairway, which was hewn into the bedrock, but you can take the steps at a more leisurely pace. Guides will show you the cannons of the Great Battery, once aimed at the Rhine River, and the castle kitchen with its enormous fireplace. You’ll tour the bedchamber, the great banquet hall, the armory, the stables and, if you’re feeling brave, the torture chamber. Don’t miss the re-created medieval garden, with 150 plants used in the Middle Ages for curative (or magical) purposes.

    Guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride
    If you’d like to get a closer view of the scenery between Boppard and Koblenz than the river affords, hop on a bicycle and let an experienced guide show you the sights along the excellent Rhine Bike Path. You’ll wheel past Spay and Rhens, which boasts colorfully painted half-timbering on its ancient houses, have a splendid view of magnificent Marksburg Castle, and arrive in Koblenz to meet up with your shipmates. Of course you’ll stop for refreshments along the way.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  7. You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Cologne is the largest and oldest city of the Rhineland and a cultural mecca, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries. A congenial atmosphere and a mix of ancient, modern and reconstructed buildings characterize the heart of the city.

    Featured Excursion:
    Choice of Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral

    Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral
    As you walk through the narrow lanes of the Old Town, you’ll find it hard to believe that more than 70 percent of the city was destroyed by bombs during WWII. The famous 12 Romanesque churches were reconstructed from the rubble, and the cathedral, Cologne’s iconic landmark, rises magnificently in the city center. Three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance facade. But these mementos of the past are practically modern compared to the city’s ancient origins. Next to the cathedral you’ll find an unassuming modern building that houses an amazing archaeological find: the Dionysus Mosaic. Cologne was founded by the Romans, who made it the capital of Lower Germania in the 4th century, and the museum was built around the remains of a Roman villa—the beautifully preserved mosaic, which was the floor of a banqueting hall, has never been moved.Though it was badly damaged by WWII, the great UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral retains many of its original treasures—the relics of the Magi and other sacred figures, which inspired its building in the 12th century, the 14th-century stained-glass windows that were stored safely throughout the war and the beautifully painted choir stalls—though other treasures are displayed separately. Enter the awe-inspiring nave and learn about the history of the cathedral and its art collections, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. NOTE: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner
  8. Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home. Alternatively, you may continue your adventure with our optional post-cruise Amsterdam extension.

    meal(s):Breakfast
Request a Quote
  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

Print Itinerary

Overview

Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Romantics who love the picturesque and the historic will find medieval castles, splendid cathedrals and scenes that have inspired great poets, painters and composers alike.

  1. Arrive at Amsterdam Schipol Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship. The ship will set sail in the afternoon for your first port of call, Cologne.

    meal(s):Dinner
  2. You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Cologne is the largest and oldest city of the Rhineland and a cultural mecca, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries. A congenial atmosphere and a mix of ancient, modern and reconstructed buildings characterize the heart of the city.

    Featured Excursion:
    Choice of Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral

    Cologne walking discovery tour with Cologne Cathedral
    As you walk through the narrow lanes of the Old Town, you’ll find it hard to believe that more than 70 percent of the city was destroyed by bombs during WWII. The famous 12 Romanesque churches were reconstructed from the rubble, and the cathedral, Cologne’s iconic landmark, rises magnificently in the city center. Three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance facade. But these mementos of the past are practically modern compared to the city’s ancient origins. Next to the cathedral you’ll find an unassuming modern building that houses an amazing archaeological find: the Dionysus Mosaic. Cologne was founded by the Romans, who made it the capital of Lower Germania in the 4th century, and the museum was built around the remains of a Roman villa—the beautifully preserved mosaic, which was the floor of a banqueting hall, has never been moved.Though it was badly damaged by WWII, the great UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral retains many of its original treasures—the relics of the Magi and other sacred figures, which inspired its building in the 12th century, the 14th-century stained-glass windows that were stored safely throughout the war and the beautifully painted choir stalls—though other treasures are displayed separately. Enter the awe-inspiring nave and learn about the history of the cathedral and its art collections, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. NOTE: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

    A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain’s Welcome Reception & Dinner
  3. No other river valley on earth boasts more castles than the Rhine, and today you’ll have an opportunity to experience real-life “Game of Thrones” ambiance deep within the medieval walls of Marksburg Castle. Not into dungeons and dragons? Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a walking discovery tour. Today brings you a plethora of Rhine delights. You begin in Koblenz, a 2,000-year-old town at the northern end of the most scenic section of the Rhine, where you’ll decide between two very different experiences, a walking tour of medieval Koblenz or explore one of the most extraordinary castles on the banks of the river—followed by yet another choice: You see a close up view of the beautiful region via bicycle, or once you arrive in Boppard, you can opt to take a leisurely stroll through the fascinating village.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Koblenz walking discovery tour or Marksburg Castle or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride or Boppard village stroll

    Koblenz walking discovery tour
    Watch the waters of the Moselle meld with the Rhine’s as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner: It’s the perfect spot for a symbol of German unity, an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who united the nation in the 19th century. (There’s another symbol of German unity here too: three panels of the Berlin Wall.) Behind it is Koblenz’s oldest church, St. Castor’s Basilica, first erected in the ninth century, and just one of the charming churches and squares you’ll encounter as you wander through Old Town. Like many Rhineland towns, Koblenz suffered at the hands of Louis XIV’s forces—that’s why you’ll see so many baroque features in the buildings you pass, since so many needed to be reconstructed after the French left. That’s also why the Church of Our Lady has twin onion domes. Despite their travails over the ages, though, Koblenz’s citizens kept their sense of humor: One example of it might catch you by surprise as you pass the fountain known as the Spitting Boy, which spits water without warning.

    After the tour, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the Marktplatz (Market Square) and its bounty of shopping and wine bars.

    Marksburg Castle
    With its pale walls, slate-gray roof, and unusually slender towers and turrets, Marksburg looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. But don’t be deceived: this is a powerful fortress, built to withstand attack. Marksburg’s defenses were so daunting that enemies generally chose to leave it alone. That’s why this is the only hill castle in Germany that has never been destroyed—a remarkable fact when you consider its 700-year-long history. Enter the fortress through a drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel—just the first of the many defensive features you’ll encounter on your tour. Notice the “murder holes” in the walls; these would have let defenders pour boiling pitch on would-be invaders. Horsemen once thundered up the Riders’ Stairway, which was hewn into the bedrock, but you can take the steps at a more leisurely pace. Guides will show you the cannons of the Great Battery, once aimed at the Rhine River, and the castle kitchen with its enormous fireplace. You’ll tour the bedchamber, the great banquet hall, the armory, the stables and, if you’re feeling brave, the torture chamber. Don’t miss the re-created medieval garden, with 150 plants used in the Middle Ages for curative (or magical) purposes.

    Exclusive Guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride
    If you’d like to get a closer view of the scenery between Boppard and Koblenz than the river affords, hop on a bicycle and let an experienced guide show you the sights along the excellent Rhine Bike Path. You’ll wheel past Spay and Rhens, which boasts colorfully painted half-timbering on its ancient houses, have a splendid view of magnificent Marksburg Castle, and arrive in Koblenz to meet up with your shipmates. Of course you’ll stop for refreshments along the way.

    Boppard village stroll
    Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  4. Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in one of two ways—an exclusive tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollards or an invigorating vineyard hike. Later, join your Cruise Manager for a village stroll highlighting stately riverfront homes and the lingering traces of Boppard’s fascinating Roman past. Your floating hotel arrives in Rüdesheim, one of the most charming ports of call in the Rhine Valley. This city has a long history going back to Roman times and is famous for the Drosselgasse, a narrow, bustling lane of shops and wine bars, as well as its impressive Niederwald Monument, built to celebrate the re-establishment of the German empire in the late 19th century. You may opt to visit a renowned vineyard or, for a more active jaunt, take the long way shoreward from Niederwald with a vineyard hike that includes a stop at a unique museum.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Exclusive Castle Vollrads wine tasting or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen or Boppard village stroll

    Exclusive Castle Vollrads wine tasting
    Nestled in the rolling, vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, Castle Vollrads has a square tower that dates back to the 14th century, as does the moat. Just one family owned the castle for 700 years, until 1997, adding on to it and remodeling it over the centuries. While the interior of the castle is rarely open to the public, you will have the opportunity to step inside to see some of the elegantly appointed rooms, including the beautiful gold-embossed Flemish leather wall covering in the 17th-century dining room. Grapes have been grown here for more than a thousand years; records show that Castle Vollrads wines were first sold in 1211. These days the excellence of its Riesling is well known; it’s so well known, in fact, that Schloss Vollrads is one of the few German vineyards whose name stands alone on a wine label—no village name is required. Accompanied by a local wine expert, you will sample three wines in three different locations. There will also be time to wander through the grounds at your leisure.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen
    This fun excursion combines several of the area’s attractions. Start by boarding a delightfully quaint mini train to Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments for a short tour of its rare mechanical instruments. Listen as tiny birds pop out of music boxes and begin to sing; marvel as colorfully costumed mechanical figures play miniature violins. It’s an enchanting and surprising experience. Follow that up by hopping into an aerial cable car and soaring above the vineyards to the Niederwald Monument, which looks out over the entire Rheingau wine region. From the heights above the river, you and your local expert will hike down through vineyards to the picturesque riverfront village of Assmanshausen (which is noted for its red wine), where you’ll rejoin the ship.Note: The gondola to Niederwald Heights is covered but not heated. Cars are open on the sides, and it is recommended that you dress warmly.

    Boppard village stroll
    Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

    Cruising out of Rüdesheim you’ll enter the sublimely beautiful Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Byron described it as “a work divine, a blending of all beauties.” Turner painted it. Wagner used it as inspiration for his opera Götterdämmerung. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this scenic 40-mile stretch of the Rhine features a stunning, castle-dotted landscape that many 19th-century composers, painters and poets considered the embodiment of an ideal romantic spirit. Each bend and twist of the river affords new delights: Steep riverbanks are graced with sloping vineyards and picturesque towns, and hilltops are crowned by fairytale castles. Each one of those castles tells a tale: of great families raising fortresses against each other, of warfare and ruin and rebuilding through the centuries. Some castles have been entirely reconstructed; others tower above the water in majestic ruin, still an inspiration for romantics. You won’t want to miss the scenery as you sail into Boppard.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  5. Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious, and something you’ll experience with no other river cruise line. The ship docks in Germersheim, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach to the nearby town of Speyer for a guided walking tour or taking in an exclusive tasting at a local vinegar estate.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Speyer walking discovery tour or Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting.

    Speyer walking discovery tour
    Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town just as the medieval bishops dominated the town itself. Though the bishops ruled the town, Speyer also had a special relationship with the Holy Roman emperors: Conrad II ordered the cathedral’s construction around 1030, and eight emperors are interred in its crypts. Your walking tour will take you along the pedestrian-only Maximilian Street—first laid out by Roman soldiers—from the last remaining gate of the medieval wall toward the great church. Near the church you’ll see remnants of a Jewish community established around 1090 under the auspices of the bishop of Speyer. Though the synagogue is long gone, the vaulted ritual baths have been beautifully preserved. (The area is popularly known as the Jewish Courtyard.) Notice the Old Mint and Holy Trinity Church, which were built in the 18th century, following a devastating war, and still stand as masterful examples of late-baroque style. You’ll have some free time after your tour: If you’re interested in automotive history, trains or aeronautical technology, be sure to stop at the Technik Museum. Note: Because the Speyer Cathedral is an active place of worship, no tours of its interior are given.

    Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
    For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and pinot noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

    A shuttle is available to take you to and from Speyer if you wish to explore it on your own. Romans founded the city, and the Historical Museum of the Palatinate has an interesting collection of Roman antiquities (as well as Celtic and early German objects) you might enjoy investigating.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  6. Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it via a canal boat or on foot with an insightful local expert, this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital, which is known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. You may choose to see Strasbourg via its historic canals (the way Strasbourg has been seen by its visitors through the centuries), which would give you an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city. Or you may experience the historic core as the locals do, with an exclusive walking tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town visit or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour

    Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town visit
    Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You’ll see all the highlights on a city tour before venturing inside the cathedral, one of the city’s most famous sites. The same craftsmen who built Chartres worked on it, and the rose window may be Chartres’s equal. Don’t miss the astronomical clock or the truly remarkable statuary and carvings. Climb the spiral staircase to the belfry for an amazing view of the city or visit the sumptuous apartments in the Palais Rohan to get a sense of how the mighty prince-bishops of the church once lived.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking tour
    Begin in the German Quarter with a stroll through the spacious green spaces of Republic Square, which is surrounded by stately neoclassical structures—among them is the Palace of the Rhine, built at great expense as a residence for the Kaiser, should he happen to visit Strasbourg—and cross over the water to Broglie Square on Grande Île. Twice a week Broglie Square is the scene of a lively outdoor market, but there’s no shortage of activity on the other days of the week in this area, where impromptu concerts and street performances take place. Wend your way with your guide through the maze of bustling pedestrian streets lined with historic buildings— many of them housing tempting shops—toward the cathedral, whose single spire can be seen throughout the region. Stop for coffee and perhaps a pastry at a patisserie near the cathedral. Your local expert will tell you about the daily lives of the people in the area and introduce you to the delights of Alsatian cuisine before you go off to explore on your own and try out some of Alsace’s famous dishes.

    You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own. Note: Shuttle service will be provided to and from the center of Strasbourg in the afternoon.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  7. Look up “charming" and “picturesque” in the dictionary and it could very well show images of today’s choice of destinations—two of Alsace’s best-known wine villages or a town some have hailed as the prettiest in the world. Is it really? See for yourself from our uniquely Uniworld perspective. A charming town dominated by a 17th-century hilltop cathedral, Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road. This is your launching point for one of two excursions along the celebrated route des vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, or take a tour of the larger town of Colmar, considered one of the most beautiful destinations along the wine road and the capital of Alsatian wines. If you’re interested in doing something a bit more physically challenging, you could stay in Breisach and walk or bike through the surrounding vineyards.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Alsatian “Village Day” or Colmar city tour

    Alsatian “Village Day”
    An old stone well in Kaysersberg bears an inscription that warns against drinking water and urges the reader to “Drink with moderation old and subtil wine...and leave the water to the side.” What better words could guide you as you explore some delightful Alsatian wine villages? Though the remains of a 12th-century castle speak to Kaysersberg’s strategic importance in the Middle Ages, today it is an idyllic village nestled among vineyards. Join a local guide for a one-hour walking tour, passing storybook medieval houses with steeply pitched roofs and a gorgeous Gothic cathedral that was begun by a 12th-century Holy Roman emperor. In modern days, the village is best known as the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer. The road from Kaysersberg to Riquewihr provides quintessential wine road scenery: lush foothills, famous vineyards, castle ruins and quaint villages. Riquewihr itself seems to have changed little since the 16th century: The timber-frame buildings still boast colorful shutters and cheerful flower boxes, and stone arches still lead to cobbled squares with cafés and carved fountains. Your tour of this enchanting village ends with a tasting of an Alsatian specialty, flammekuchen, a delicious flat bread topped with onions and bacon, hot from the oven. There will be time for you to explore the little shops in the village center, where you’ll find local specialties like schnapps, cheeses and artisanal breads, before returning to Breisach.

    Colmar city tour
    Colmar has been called the prettiest town in the world, and it’s hard to argue with that designation. As you ramble through the town, you may find it easy to believe the rumor that Colmar was spared during WWII bombing because pilots knew it was too beautiful to destroy. Rainbow-hued half-timbered houses front peaceful little canals, flowers tumble from baskets and window ledges, and cobblestone lanes lead to extraordinary examples of Gothic architecture (among them are the Dominican Church and St. Martin’s). You’ll see fairytale 16th-century houses, including the House of Heads, so called for the 111 carved heads decorating the façade, and Pfister House, the unmistakable inspiration for a bakery in the animated feature Howl’s Moving Castle. Frédéric Bartholdi, who sculpted the Statue of Liberty, was born here; his sculptures are scattered throughout town—you’ll spot several of them in the center of fountains. You’ll also have some time to explore on your own; you might want to check out the Unterlinden Museum, perhaps best known for the Isenheim Altarpiece. And it’s worth remembering that Colmar is the capital of Alsatian wine-making—consider relaxing over a glass of cool white wine and watching the passing parade.

    Spend the afternoon onboard, simply enjoying the views from the ship’s lounges or decks and sampling some of the ship’s amenities. Sip a cocktail on the Sun Deck or relax with a massage.

    A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner
  8. Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home (unless, of course, you’ve decided to extend your trip with the post-cruise extension to lovely Basel and Lake Lucerne).

    meal(s):Breakfast
Request a Quote
  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

Print Itinerary
  • Generations Program
Cruise Start Date Classic Deluxe French Balcony Deluxe Balcony Suite Availability Price
24 Mar 19 $3,999 pp
$2,799 pp
$4,899 pp
$3,429 pp
$5,399 pp
$3,779 pp
$7,699pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
31 Mar 19 $3,399pp $4,299pp $4,799pp $7,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
14 Apr 19 $3,899pp $4,799pp $5,299pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
21 Apr 19 $3,899pp $4,799pp $5,299pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
28 Apr 19 $4,199pp $5,099pp $5,599pp $7,899pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
5 May 19 $3,999pp $4,899pp $5,399pp $7,699pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
19 May 19 $4,399pp $5,299pp $5,699pp $8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
21 May 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Queen
Amsterdam to Basel
26 May 19 $4,399pp $5,299pp $5,699pp $8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
28 May 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Queen
Basel to Amsterdam
2 Jun 19 $4,399pp $5,299pp $5,799pp $8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Queen
Basel to Amsterdam
9 Jun 19 $4,199pp $5,099pp $5,599pp $7,899pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
16 Jun 19 $4,199pp $5,099pp $5,599pp $7,899pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
21 Jun 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,299 pp
$3,709 pp
$5,699 pp
$3,989 pp
$8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
23 Jun 19 $4,699pp $5,599pp $6,099pp $8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
Generations Program
28 Jun 19 $3,999pp $4,599pp $4,999pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Basel to Amsterdam
30 Jun 19 $4,999 pp
$3,999 pp
$5,899 pp
$4,719 pp
$6,399 pp
$5,119 pp
$8,699pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
Generations Program
5 Jul 19 $4,999 pp
$3,499 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$5,999 pp
$4,199 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
7 Jul 19 $4,999 pp
$3,499 pp
$5,899 pp
$4,129 pp
$6,399 pp
$4,479 pp
$8,699pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
Generations Program
12 Jul 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,299 pp
$3,709 pp
$5,699 pp
$3,989 pp
$8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Basel to Amsterdam
14 Jul 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
19 Jul 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
21 Jul 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
26 Jul 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Basel to Amsterdam
28 Jul 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
2 Aug 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
4 Aug 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
9 Aug 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Basel to Amsterdam
11 Aug 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
16 Aug 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
18 Aug 19 $4,699 pp
$3,289 pp
$5,599 pp
$3,919 pp
$6,099 pp
$4,269 pp
$8,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
23 Aug 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Basel to Amsterdam
25 Aug 19 $4,199pp $5,099pp $5,599pp $7,899pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
30 Aug 19 $4,199 pp
$2,939 pp
$4,799 pp
$3,359 pp
$5,199 pp
$3,639 pp
$7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Empress
Amsterdam to Basel
1 Sep 19 $4,199pp $5,099pp $5,599pp $7,899pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
8 Sep 19 $4,599pp $5,499pp $5,999pp $8,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
15 Sep 19 $4,399pp $5,299pp $5,799pp $8,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
22 Sep 19 $4,599pp $5,499pp $5,999pp $8,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
29 Sep 19 $4,599pp $5,499pp $5,999pp $8,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
6 Oct 19 $4,599pp $5,499pp $5,999pp $8,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
13 Oct 19 $4,599pp 5499pp $5,999pp $8,299pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
20 Oct 19 $3,899pp 4799pp 5299pp 7599pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
27 Oct 19 $3,899pp 4799pp 5299pp 7599pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Basel to Amsterdam
3 Nov 19 $3,899pp 4799pp 5299pp 7599pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Antoinette
Amsterdam to Basel
  • Generations Program: This departure includes special programs, events and excursions designed specifically for young travelers.
  • Click here for more information about Uniworld’s unique Generations family program.
  • All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
  • Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
  • Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.
  • Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.
  • Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.
  • The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $170 per person.
  • AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive $100 Member Benefit Discount on all Uniworld River Cruises booked through Grand European Travel plus receive a free travel gift.
  • Past Travelers receive additional savings. Call for details.
  • View River Cruise Terms & Conditions 
Print Itinerary

  • All Meals Included Onboard All Meals Included Onboard
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Cruise Management Professional Cruise Management
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Six-Star Ships Six-Star Ships

Generations Family Program (select sailings)

Share the enchantment of this region with the special young people in your life. These cruises not only feature unique, fun-filled adventures for families to enjoy together, they’re also packed with culturally and historically significant experiences designed to spark creativity and lifelong learning.

Dining

  • All meals included onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette or the elegant S.S. Empress
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Excursions

  • 6 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do,” “Village Day” and “Gentle Walking” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

Experiences

  • 4 countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Rhine River: Shaping European History from the Romans to the European Union”
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
  • Exclusive Generations Family Program on select summer departures
Request a Quote
  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

Print Itinerary
A GORGEOUS STATEMENT OF ORIGINALITY

Her luxurious features begin in the lobby, with a 10-foot Strauss Baccarat chandelier that once hung in Central Park’s Tavern on the Green. The extravagance theme continues throughout with stunning marble, Venetian glass mirrors and several river cruising rarities—the Bar du Leopard, onboard cinema with seating for 22 guests and glass-enclosed mosaic-tiled pool.

Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2011
Travels on: Rhine River
Guests: 152
Staff: 59

Suites: 8 (294 sq ft)
Deluxe Balcony: 20 (196 sq ft)
French Balcony: 33 (196 sq ft)
Classic: 14 (163 sq ft)

Length: 443 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

SUITES

Luxurious riverview suite (294 sq ft - 27.3 sq m) with open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual climate-control thermostat, direct-dial telephone, flat-screen TV with infotainment center

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence and Hermes bath and body products, plush towels, special towel warmers, backlit magnifying mirror, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes and slippers

Additional amenities and services, including: in-suite butler service; packing and unpacking assistance; in-room breakfast; daily fruit and cookie plate, and an elegant evening snack; iPod dock; Nespresso coffee machine and fine teas; fully stocked mini bar; bottle of wine upon arrival; shoe shine; free laundry service; and a special dinner in L'Orangerie Sky Lounge

DELUXE BALCONY

Luxurious riverview stateroom (196 sq ft - 18.2 sq m) with open-air balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

FRENCH BALCONY

Luxurious riverview stateroom (196 sq ft - 18.2 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

CLASSIC

Luxurious riverview stateroom (163 sq ft - 15 sq m)

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

The luxurious décor of the 443-foot, 154-passenger S.S. Antoinette—Uniworld’s first Super Ship—features fine Brazilian marble on the walls and floors, a 19th-century Venetian glass mirror, a stylish Bar du Leopard with full-service bar, and an onboard cinema. The two-story foyer boasts a 10-foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires—a stunning piece that once hung in New York's famous Tavern on the Green—and a collection of original artwork is displayed throughout the ship.

SOVEREIGN SOPHISTICATION MEETS COSMOPOLITAN CHARM

Spring 2019 beckons with the debut of a new Super Ship, S.S. Empress. The River Empress will be stunningly transformed into her upgraded status, boasting a completely redesigned interior with a new design scheme, even more striking décor and updated features.

Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2001
Renovated: 2019
Guests: 130
Staff: 42

Suites: 4 (214 sq ft)
French Balcony: 18 (151 sq ft)
Deluxe: 34 (151 sq ft)
Classic: 9 (151 sq ft)

Length: 361 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

SUITES

Lavishly appointed riverview suite (214 sq ft - 20 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

Additional special amenities and services

FRENCH BALCONY

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft - 14 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

DELUXE

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft - 14 sq m)

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes, and slippers

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

The cosmopolitan style of River Empress, with its rich jewel tones and vibrant atmosphere, is certain to captivate you. Whether you’re dining in the ship’s sleek restaurant—reminiscent of a New York jazz and supper club—or relaxing over a cup of tea on the Sun Deck as you gaze out at the 360-degree view, there is no better or more relaxing way to travel through the scenic heartland of Europe.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Linda Hagge
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We ran into,some bad luck,three days,into the cruise.The water level was so low, that we were forced, to abandon ship, & continue, in buses & stay, in hotels.It was dissappointing,since we did not get, to cruise past the castles,along the river.The staff at Uniworld did a fantastic job,of arranging travel alternatives,with very little time, to do so.We especially enjoyed the guides,that were assigned to us.Muriel in Amsterdam,was exceptional,in every way.She is very knowledgable,& entertaining.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry to hear that the weather did not cooperate for you. We understand how disappointing that must have been. It does sound like you made the best of the situation and came home with some happy memories.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Vacation : We did not get,to cruise the river & see the castles,& that is what we paid for.Global warming,is affecting everything & everyone.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Daniel Waintroob
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Nicely done. Even though there were 145 other passengers we always felt special. The meals and wine were consistently excellent
Vacation : Great value for everything we got
Lori Sheehy
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The actual travel experience was excellent on Uniworld. However the purchase experience was poor in terms of Uniworld since they locked us out of even viewing our info once it was entered but then asked us if everything was correct. The GET agent named Michelle was great and manually helped us but Uniworld needs to fix their booking system. That is why I gave it a 3 star.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We do apologize for the frustration you encountered. We will work closely with Uniworld and come up with a better way to handle guests information. Thank you for letting us know.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Vacation : It is a little pricey but then again everything was included and the tours were great and Rik a great Cruise director.
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Book with them again in a minute! Everything we requested was taken care of by the company. I have never felt so comfortable with any other group. Have traveled a lot over the years, this was the best.
Vacation : So much beauty. Hope to take another trip soon.
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Josh did a great job for us. My only disappointment was that I thought I was buying a category two cabin with french balcony. That was one of my parameters. I think Josh thought he had purchased that tor us but our ship was an older model. We only had a large window. Only category 1 had a french balcony. Our airfare got messed up a bit. We were supposed to go into Nasel a day early but my iteinerary had us going in a day late. Josh again came to the rescue but we decided to forfeit going in early. No a big deal this time.
Vacation : The food was wonderful as was the staff. It is definitely a luxury opetation. My only concern was about the excursions. Generally they provided an active option and a gentle walkers option. Somedays the only gentle walking option was shopping while others went to castles and villages. It was disappointing and just as hard to walk around shops as castles I think.
Patricia Boyd
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Boat well maintained; food good-excellent; service first class at all levels; side tours were handled professionally with good and knowledgeable leaders except the side trip to the Black Forrest where the lunch was very good but the anticipated display of clocks being made did not happen and the hands on village visited was not hands on as most venues were closed. All in all a good trip and, for what it is worth, after years of travelling mostly with GET, this was the first time that most of the travelers were friends and family with only 4 couples that were unattached and that made getting to know people more difficult and we know you can't control that.
Vacation : As previously summarized by this traveler
Rustom Engineer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : NICE AND COMFORTABLE JOURNEY. STAFF WAS GOOD AND COURTEOUS. A BIT EXPENSIVE.
Vacation : LOVED IT. GREAT FOOD AND SERVICE. STAFF VERY COURTEOUS AND HELPFUL.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your honest review.  We hope to see you again very soon
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Vishwas More
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Yes,I will recommend.air line booking through you must include seating,and have priority. The cabins were too small,could be little larger.need elevator for handicap travelers to the deck. Staff and others were very helpful.enjoyed the river Cruz.
Vacation : Good ,enjoyable and small enough to meet other people on the Cruz.
Debra Hewitt
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our rep Keri did great, however she did not catch that we arrived a day early and had to find a hotel to stay in that night. We should have caught it also, but she is the professional.
Vacation : I thought the price was too high for just eight days & seven nights. $4,000 is too much. I paid less that that for previous trips that were 9 and 10 days. I realize that it's all inclusive now, but $500 a day per person is too much. We will be reevaluating whether we use this company again because of this. (this did not include airfare as we used our own). I thought the staff and boat were wonderful. I also thought that visiting the 4th largest city in Germany, Cologne, should have had warranted a longer visit instead of 4 hours and then off to a 14 hour sail to Amsterdam. (This would have been possible with a 9 day tour). Other than these suggestions, we did have a wonderful time.
Sylvia Sharma
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We have travelled repeatedly with Grand European for many reasons: great itineraries, great guides, hotels are decent, good balance of guided and free time, excellent customer service, ease of making reservations.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much. We so appreciate your repeat business and confidence in GET.  We hope to see you again very soon.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Vacation : Uniwolrld was xcellent, I would give it six stars
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : As with our previous tour with GET, I really would like a bit more information on the optional excursions and how to plan better. Otherwise, our agent did a great job with our last minute booking and helping us to get the essential information.
Vacation : This cruise was FABULOUS! Uni World and the crew and staff of the River Empress could not have been better. My only wish is to have a little more time in each of the lovely towns and villages that we visited, especially the Alsation Villages...they were so very lovely but we felt rushed. Thank you for a 5++++ star experience!
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The most fabulous trip I have ever been on.
Vacation : Wonderful, exciting, interesting, well organized...can't say enough
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : GET did not notify UNIWORLD that this trip was our 54th anniversary. I had notified GET that this was a suprise for my wife. GET did not notify Uniworld that this was our third trip with Uniworld. We were therefore denied the upgrade and other trip improvements. This was our first trip with GET and I am very disappointed.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are deeply sorry to hear this. It was the first time you booked with us and while Uniworld is a sister company, we do not share the same past guest data base. We would not have known about your past trips with them unless you specifically told us at the time of booking. It also appears you made several changes and cancels to your booking before deciding on this particular cruise. The information regarding your anniversary could have been missed or deleted and for that we sincerely apologize. Grand European Travel
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Vacation : The Uniworld trip was wonderful. We are sorrry we did not get the upgrades because GET did not notify Uniworld.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Kari worked with us to arrange transportation that most fit our preferences and time constraints. Everything went smoothly from the initial contact through our return.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Kari is truly a gem and the customers who book with her are always well taken care of. We will be sure to pass on your comments to her and thank you so much for taking the tome to write. Grand European Travel
Monday, November 23, 2015
Vacation : Uniworld's crew and staff were exceptional.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The hospitality is superb. They make me feel like family.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We love going beyond expectations and our River Cruises with Uniworld never disappoint! Thank you for sharing your feedback. Grand European Travel
Monday, October 12, 2015
Vacation : It was beyond my expectations.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our agent did a fine job of making arrangement, communicating with us, answering questions and the like.
Vacation : This was a most enjoyable and rewarding cruise. The S.S. Antoinette was a lovely ship. The crew could not have been more professional, pleasant, and attentive. The excursions during the day were well-planned, interesting, and used excellent local guides. The food on board the ship was first rate, as was the service. The wines were mediocre -- not bad, but not as good as I expected for price of the cruise (I heard numerous complaints about the wine from other guests). We had a couple of minor issues with the stateroom that were not fully resolved. Overall, though, a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying experience.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Crew was great. Special kudos to Peter and Nickolette and Ana.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry to hear about the confusion with your extension. We have passed this on to the Uniworld office for further review and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Vacation : We booked the extension to Lucerne, but received no briefing from the ship's tour director (Chad). Asked the evening before & he assured us the pick-up would be at 0930. In the morning we learned it was 1315, so 1/2 day wasted. Will not book an extension again.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The only problem was the A/C one evening. And they didn't inform us about what was wrong. It was corrected by morning. Otherwise, fantastic service!
Vacation : Excellent
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : GET advisor Michele were able to arrange our 3 trips in good connections.
Vacation : The whole ship staff were friendly and service were excellent, food they served were plentiful and delicious. The director of the ship Rik were very good knowledgable about the Rhine and humorous too. Most of guests were American...
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : First Class
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to express that you had a great time on your European river cruise. We look forward to helping you in the future. David - Grand European Travel
Monday, November 24, 2014
Vacation : Had a great time
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : All of the staff-- sailors, housekeepers, cooks, waiters, guides, were professional in the execution of their duties, but at the same time warm and personable.They made every one feel special.
Response from Grand European Travel:
I'm glad to see that you enjoyed your Castles Along the Rhine River European River cruise. You mention one of the best reasons to take a guided vacation - having a well-informed guide means you learn more about the history and culture and bring home stronger memories. In planning your next vacation I hope you call Grand European Travel. Liz, Grand European Travel
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Vacation : Guides were well informed and enthusiastic, the castles were marvelous to see, but became more meaningful with a little history.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Kari Nixon, our GET rep, was excellent. She responded to questions quickly and with helpful information. Everything went very smoothly for us. I would be happy to work with Kari and GET again. This was our second GET trip.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking a moment to share your experience on the Castles Along the Rhine River Cruise. We are so happy that you enjoyed the cruise, the staff, and the Gentle Walking program offered on the SS Antoinette. We appreciate your kind words for your travel specialist, Kari Nixon. We will be sure to share them with her. Hope to see you on another trip soon! Grand European Travel-Guest Relations
Friday, October 24, 2014
Vacation : The staff and crew of the SS Antoinette was outstanding, from the tour manager and the hotel manager to our waiter, Ladislav, and our room steward, Goran. The front desk staff were friendly, personable, helpful, and knew our names from the first day. The day excursions were quite good -- those that we participated in. We were in the "gentle walker" group, both of us having moderate to more severe mobility problems. But we participated without incident, as did some others with much more extreme mobility issues. Overall a very good experience for both of us.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Excellent service
Vacation : Fabulous
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I have traveled with Grand European annually since 2010 and have nothing but the highest praise for all their staff - from the original booking, actual tour and follow-up contact. I appauld the change this year to make trip "All-Inclusive" - that takes the hassle out of trying to remember to have enough Euros for tips, etc.
Vacation : My sister and I enjoyed the entire river cruise, especially the strip through the Lorelei Gorge with beautiful castles on both sides. It was like a tennis game - look to the left - look to the right!! The crew aboard all of the three River Cruises we have been on have been very service oriented but those aboard the River Queen were exceptionally so.
Request a Quote
  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in the Netherlands, France, and Germany is the Euro (€) and the currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

Be the First to Know!

Sign up for our emails and receive exclusive offers, travel information, announcements, and more!
Providing peace of mind and unparalleled service for over 40 years.