The Romantic Rhine! One of the most popular routes for river cruising in Europe. I recently had the opportunity to travel this beautiful area of the world with Avalon Waterways. Our flight took us to Zurich in Switzerland to begin our cruise. I had been watching the water levels on the Rhine and knew there may be a delay in boarding the boat because of that. Normally we would have boarded our boat, The Imagery II, in Basel, Switzerland but we boarded just one day later near Strasbourg in France. The locks between Strasbourg and Basel weren’t operating because of the high water. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in Zurich but nothing was altered from our original itinerary other than we spent that one night in the hotel rather than our boat.
Our first adventure was a trip to Lucerne and Mount Pilatus. We traveled up to the top of this beautiful mountain on their new aerial tram – the scenery was spectacular.
We arrived at the top where several luxury hotels were located and had lunch in a very French restaurant. There was still snow all over the ground on the top. The ride down the other side of the mountain was in the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. On the top was a beautiful little church built on the top of the mountain. We could only wonder who could attend!
Once we boarded our boat we saw castles everywhere! Both side of the river one right after the other. Heidelberg Castle was definitely one of the highpoints.
Rudesheim was such a quaint little village. We were able to purchase German made gifts and visited the Siegfried Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. There were automated musical instruments that were in working order – all restored to original condition. I knew about player pianos but a player piano with accompanying violins?
Our cruise ended in Amsterdam which is certainly an interesting city! We traveled to an authentic Dutch village just outside of Amsterdam to see a working windmill and see how their cheeses, Dutch chocolates and wooden shoes were made. The smell of chocolate filled the air. Back in the city, we were treated to a canal tour around the city.
This was just a fabulous trip and I was excited to find out that Avalon was offering FREE flights for all their 2017 itineraries out of select airports. The flights are completely free out of Los Angeles and several east coast airports and there’s only a $250 per person add on to fly out of SLC or Las Vegas which is still an amazing deal.