Day 1: Museums / Embarkation
A visit to the Van Gogh Museum started our day, and it did not disappoint. I have always been fascinated with Van Gogh’s use of color and simple designs, at least on some of his well known works of art. Our next stop was the incredible Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum of arts and history — I definitely needed more time there! We then headed back to the hotel to meet our private transfer to the dock and the graceful AMA Sonata.
We were welcomed aboard by a warm and inviting staff — the check-in process was a snap!
Our stateroom was beautiful and provided an excellent view of the river with its Twin Balconies. We settled in and headed to the lounge where we were introduced to all the staff.
The first evening we had the opportunity to dine in the amazing Chef’s Table Restuarant, followed by socializing in the lounge and the beginning of new friendships — one of the best benefits of travel.
Day 2: Amsterdam / City Tour / Canal Tour:
We started our day with a city tour, which included a canal boat tour winding through the charming city. The tall, quaint houses provided a stately backdrop to our peaceful glide on the canal.
Day 3: Cologne / Koblenz
The rainy day in Cologne did not keep us from exploring this historic city, which was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II. The Cathedral is certainly the highlight of Cologne.
Day 4: Rhine Gorge / Rudesheim
Following a delicious breakfast, we headed to the bow of the ship to view the stunning castles and the tapestries of vineyards that criss-crossed the hillsides along the Rhine Gorge. A brisk walking tour through Rudesheim, followed by a cable ride high above golden and burgundy vineyards, made this stop memorable.
Day 5: Heidelberg, Germany
We visited historic Heidelberg, clothed in its reddish, ocher buildings and ruins. Our guide for the day was a retired historian from a local university, which made for a very enlightening day.
Day 6: Strasbourg
Strasbourg was probably my favorite stop, but mainly because it feeds my love of all things French! However, this city has felt its share of tug-a-war through the years as it has gone back and forth between French and German rule — many citizens have experienced this realignment of government in their lifetime. As a result, Strasbourg has strong elements of both cultures.
Day 7: Riquewihr
Can you say Epcot-ish? Charming Riquewihr was like something out of a fairytale! A stroll through this Alsace beauty will have you sampling macarons, sugared almonds, and other tasty delicacies!
Post Cruise, Zurich:
After disembarkation in Basel, Switzerland, we hopped a train to Zurich for a day of New York-styled shopping! We ended our day by having dinner with our new friends and said our “Good-Byes” or “Until Our Next Adventure!”
Our last day was certainly a “High,” as we took a tour to Lake Lucerne, to Interlaken, and on to the highest point in the Alps and in Europe — the Jungfraujoch Region — what a way to end our European River Cruise Adventure!