Day 1 UK - Amsterdam
Today you'll fly to Amsterdam, where you'll board your ship. After you've settled into your cabin, you're invited to a welcome cocktail reception with your fellow passengers and the captain and crew. Enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on board.Meals included: D
Day 2 Amsterdam
Why not join our guided morning tour of Amsterdam, which is criss-crossed by a picturesque network of canals. It is also home to a host of world-renowned museums, including Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, and the Diamond District. Alternatively you can explore like a local, by bicycle!
This afternoon we include a trip to Haarlem. Known as the 'City of Flowers', the Netherlands' famous tulips have been grown here and exported for centuries. If you prefer you can cycle to the city's sand dunes and beaches, following the Flower Route.
Passengers travelling on our April 3 departure will visit the Keukenhof Gardens instead.
Your cruise begins this evening as we sail overnight to Wesel.
Day 3 Amsterdam - Emmerich-am-Rhein - Düsseldorf
Our ship will arrive at the town of Emmerich-am-Rhein today, from where you can visit the Netherlands Open-air Museum near Arnhem. On a guided tour you'll see ancient houses, farms, mills and factories, which give you a fascinating glimpse of everyday life in the Netherlands throughout history.
You'll rejoin the ship later in Wesel and spend the afternoon cruising to Düsseldorf.
Day 4 Düsseldorf - Cologne - Koblenz
Your ship arrives in Cologne today, so let's head ashore for a walking tour. Founded by the Romans, this is one of Germany's oldest cities, and its historic centre is easily explored on foot. A must-see is its Gothic cathedral, which is UNESCO-listed. Work started on this architectural masterpiece in 1248 and wasn't completed until 1880.
Back on board, your cruise then continues along the River Rhine to Koblenz, where the ship docks overnight. Why not head into town after dinner to see the Deutsches Eck, a headland where the Moselle and Rhine Rivers join.
Day 5 Koblenz - Mainz - Strasbourg
Enjoy the facilities on board your ship as you cruise to Mainz today. The sun deck might be the best place to be as the ship passes by wonderful scenery of castles and vineyards, as well as the legendary Lorelei rock.
The ancient city of Mainz boasts many highlights, including the 10th century St Martin's Cathedral and Gutenberg Museum. This is named after Johanns Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, and we will step inside to explore. If you choose our alternative excursion package, you can take a tour of the Rhineland vineyards instead.
Day 6 Strasbourg - Breisach
On arrival in Strasbourg this afternoon, step ashore for a guided tour which will introduce you to the German and European quarters of this medieval city. The capital of the Alsace region, the city is also widely known as the host of a number of important European institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights. Its Old Town was the first city centre to be classified entirely as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the beautiful Cathedral de Notre-Dame is a must-see.
Our alternative excursion takes you to the top of the cathedral for exceptional views of the city.
Back on board, enjoy the passing scenery as the ship sails through picturesque wine-producing regions en route to Breisach, gateway to the Black Forest. On arrival here, you can explore at your own pace. Its cobbled streets are lined with pastel-shaded houses, and an impressive cathedral looms over the Rhine Valley and the town's centre.
Back on board the ship you are invited to a gala dinner this evening.
Day 7 Breisach - Colmar - Basel
The morning is free, so after breakfast you might choose to head back into Breisach to explore further on our guided tour which includes a tasting of local wine.
This afternoon, we include a guided tour of Colmar, a charming town of canals and half-timbered houses, including a visit to the Unterlinden Museum. Housed in a 13th century Dominican monastery, it is renowned for its outstanding collection of paintings and sculptures dating from the 15th century, including works by Monet and Picasso.
For something a little different, you could join a bicycle tour of the Kaiserstuhl. This range of hills is perfect for amateur cyclists and takes you on a journey along the Rhine through a lovely landscape dotted with medieval villages.
After returning to the ship, we'll set sail for Basel.
Day 8 Basel - Schaffhausen - Basel
You'll wake up in Switzerland this morning, where you can step ashore in medieval Basel to discover its highlights. The city boasts the highest concentration of museums in the country as well as a well-preserved Old Town and an impressive cathedral.
This afternoon join an excursion to the Rhine Falls, a natural spectacle which can be seen up close from viewing platforms that jut out into the river. For an even better view, our alternative excursion includes a hike around the falls and a mini cruise close to the cascading waters.
Enjoy a relaxed evening back on board the ship.
Day 9 Basel - UK
After breakfast you'll disembark the ship and we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Please note: Itinerary may vary due to changes in water levels.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
MS Douce France ||: Cabin Upgrade
Upper Deck cabins with panoramic windows are available at a supplement for the duration of your stay. Please speak to a Holiday Advisor for details.