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What a great way to start your summer break!  A leisurely cruise through the heart of Europe on the Mosel and Rhine rivers.

With an optional pre-cruise tour in Paris, and an optional post-cruise tour in Prague, and the ability to add any other touring in Europe as you may wish, this is a flexible way to create a marvelous European vacation.

Plenty of included shore excursions (at no extra charge) make this a varied kaleidoscope of European life, enhanced by the lovely long early summer days and warm weather.

 
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Europe's Heartland Cruise June 2009

Day by Day Itinerary
 

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Enjoy long warm sunny days as you luxuriously cruise along the beautiful Mosel and Rhine rivers in Germany.

You'll see castles a plenty, and sightsee in beautiful historic towns and cities along the way.

This is the itinerary for the June 2009 Europe's Heartland Cruise.  Exact schedule details may always vary slightly to fit in with lock times, weather, etc, and so this itinerary may slightly change between now and departure.

Click here for the main details of this cruise and the booking form to confirm your interest.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Sunday June 28 - or sooner - see optional Paris tour details below) :  Leave the US

Fly any way you wish from your hometown to either Paris (for the pretour option) or Trier if directly joining the tour (probably one of its nearby major airports such as Frankfurt or Luxembourg).

You can either make your own arrangements to travel to Trier today (to arrive tomorrow), or perhaps travel elsewhere in Europe, on an earlier day, to enjoy some pre-cruise sightseeing.

Amawaterways offer a pre-cruise Paris package that might be of interest, or you can do your own thing and either join us for the transfer/sightseeing tour from Paris to Trier on embarkation day (tomorrow) or make your own way as it suits you to the ship.

You should leave the US today or earlier, so as to arrive in Trier on Monday (or sooner) in time for the start of the Europe's Heartland River Cruise.

Note - if you've chosen the pre-tour package extension to Paris for three nights, you'll leave the US on Thursday 25 June or sooner - see below.

 

Optional Pre-Tour package tour in Paris - Friday/Saturday/Sunday


Notre Dame cathedral.
 

Enjoy a cruise on the Seine on a 'bateaux mouche'
 

Paris - the 'city of lights' at night.

If you've decided to enjoy the pre-tour time in Paris, you'll leave the US on Thursday 25 June or sooner, so as to arrive into Paris for the start of the pre-tour option on Friday 26 June.

On Saturday 27 June, you'll get to see Paris' famous sights during your morning's guided tour. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral, see the unique Louvre Museum, the commemorative L’Arc de Triomphe, Opra, Madeleine, Les Champs Elyses and much more.

The remainder of the day is yours to explore the many museums, galleries and other attractions that the city has to offer.

On Sunday 28 June you have a full free day to explore the amazing "City of Lights," where romance fills the air.  Stroll along Les Champs Elyses, the boutique-lined boulevards, or visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, built for the World's Fair of 1889.

Perhaps travel outside of Paris a short distance to take in the glorious splendor of the palace and gardens at Versailles.

Included meals - Breakfast every morning

 

Day 2 (Monday 29 June)  :  Possibly enjoy a sightseeing tour transfer from Paris to Trier.  Definitely board our cruise boat, the Amalyra, in Trier, Germany this afternoon.


Luxemburg is a small but wealthy nation
 

A view of downtown Luxemburg.
 

Trier's downtown on market day
 

Our boat is the lovely and luxurious new Amalyra, launched just three months prior to our cruise.

If you chose the optional pre-tour time in Paris, this morning you'll transfer by coach from Paris to Trier to board our ship for the next week, the lovely new Amalyra.

The tour/transfer takes you through the beautiful French countryside, including the region where champagne is made, and via the ancient city of Reims, the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France.

We'll stop for lunch and sightseeing in the tiny country known as The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Astonishingly, although there are only 500,000 residents in Luxembourg, the country has three official languages.

If you've been making your own arrangements prior to today, you can also take this tour/transfer from Paris to Trier.

Otherwise, simply make your own way to Trier and the ship, to arrive any time that afternoon.  The two nearest airports are Frankfurt and Luxembourg.  It is only about 25 miles between Luxembourg airport and Trier (ie take a taxi or shuttle bus transfer) and about 135 miles from Frankfurt (3 hours by train).

Trier is also close to other cities such as Bonn, but probably the easiest city to fly into would be Frankfurt.

The crew will be preparing the cabins for arriving passengers, and you are given access to your cabin as soon as it becomes available, generally by 4pm.

If you arrive early, you can spend your time relaxing in the ship’s lounge or doing some exploring on your own in the historic city of Trier, Germany's oldest city.

Included meals - Breakfast for Paris pre-tour option people, and Dinner for everyone

 

Day 3 (Tuesday 30 June) :  Bernkastel - Zell


Bernkastel, on the banks of the Mosel
 

A typical wine label that tells the story of the black cat on the wine barrel that gave rise to the Zeller Schwarze Katz name for the local wine.

After breakfast, arrive in the charming village of Bernkastel.

 Strategically located in the middle of the Mosel wine-producing region, Bernkastel boasts over 500 years of documented wine history.

Take a guided walking tour through the old town center with its many medieval and Renaissance buildings, before continuing to Zell, famous for its wine "Zeller Schwarze Katz".

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 4 (Wednesday 1 July) :  Cochem - Koblenz - Rdesheim


The small town of Cochem on the banks of the Mosel, as viewed from its castle
 

Koblenz, where we change from the Mosel to the Rhine river
 
One of the castles above the Rhine river

Decide between a guided tour of hilltop Reichsburg Castle, which offers fascinating views of the river valley, then drive to Koblenz.

Or take it easy this morning and stay on board, cruising along the Mosel to Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers.

In Koblenz, there'll be a guided walking tour of the city. Enjoy further scenic cruising during lunch, as you cruise along the most beautiful and famous part of the Rhine, seeing castle after castle and the legendary Lorelei Rock.

Arrive in Rdesheim and visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.  In the evening, explore the Drosselgasse, a narrow alley lined with wine taverns and restaurants. The ship moors overnight in Rdesheim.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5 (Thursday 2 July) :  Mainz - Heidelberg - Frankfurt


Heidelberg and its massive castle
 

Mainz Cathedral
 

Frankfurt's historic town square

Today, you've a choice of two excursions.  The first option is to take a guided walking tour of beautiful Mainz and see the famous Gutenberg Museum, home of the world's first printed bible, then travel to Frankfurt by bus for a tour of the historic “Romer” center.

Or, alternatively, travel by motorcoach to Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university town, where you will visit the red-walled castle, enjoy gorgeous views of the Neckar valley below, and see the Great Vat, a 49,000 gallon,18th-century wine cask.

Later this afternoon, return to Frankfurt, where the remainder of the day is free for you to explore. The ship moors overnight in Frankfurt.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 6 (Friday 3 July) :  Miltenberg - Wertheim
Happy Fourth of July!

 
The Market Square in Miltenberg.
 

Arrive in Miltenberg and disembark for a guided morning walking tour of this old Franconian town, which reveals narrow cobblestone streets and gabled, half-timbered houses.

Shop for souvenirs before continuing to charming Wertheim for an interesting glass-blowing performance. Then, there is free time to browse the market square before rejoining the ship.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7 (Saturday 4 July) :  Wrzburg

The world's largest fresco is in the Residenz at Wurzburg, now a protected World Heritage site.

 


In medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Frankonia, you'll feel like you stepped back into the 16th century. Completely surrounded by its medieval ramparts with countless towers, Rothenburg is famous for its ancient houses, fountains, cobbled lanes and hidden corners and street signs.

Wrzburg, "the Pearl of the Romantic Road," is the capital of Lower Franconia, and a center of wine and trade.

You'll visit the major sights of this city, including the magnificent Residenz Palace.

This afternoon, you can join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg, where a walking tour helps you appreciate its ramparts and towers, cobbled lanes and 16th-century houses.

The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore on your own before returning to the ship in Wrzburg.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8 (Sunday 5 July) :  Bamberg

Bamberg, now a World Heritage site, on the banks of the Rhine.
 

The Bamberg Town Hall is on a bridge.

Enjoy a leisurely morning cruise before you enter the Main-Danube Canal in enchanting Bamberg, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

 Disembark for a guided tour of this medieval gem, with its uniquely intact townscape. Marvel at the breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall that straddles the river, and the city's serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions.

Late tonight, arrive in Nuremberg.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9 (Monday 6 July) :  Cruise ends in Nuremberg, optional tour on to Prague


Nuremberg has retained much of its ancient charm and character.

If you haven't chosen to add the optional extension to Prague, after breakfast this morning, you will disembark and make your way to the airport for your flight home, or extend your vacation any which way you choose.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Note - if you've chosen the tour extension to Prague, your itinerary continues on below

 

Day 9 (Monday 6 July) :  Optional Side Trip to Prague


Prague from the Vltava (Moldau) river, looking up to its castle.

After breakfast, enjoy a guided morning tour of the historic city of Nuremberg with its fabulous Gothic churches and impressively elegant walls.

You will have some free time to explore the town on your own before transferring to Prague by motorcoach.

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 10 (Tuesday 7 July) :  Prague extension day two


Looking down on the Old Town Square in Prague

This morning's included sightseeing reveals why Prague is considered one of Europe's most attractive cities.

You'll visit the 1,000-year-old Hradcany Castle with its wonderful view over the city below, and St. Vitus Church inside the castle grounds, then walk over the Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square.

The evening is free to mix with the locals at Wenceslas Square, shop for souvenirs or enjoy one of the charming cafs or restaurants.

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 11 (Wednesday 8 July) :  End of Prague extension


The Charles Bridge in Prague.

After breakfast this morning, your tour comes to an end, unless you've chosen to extend it further with your own arrangements, either in Prague, or anywhere else in Europe as you choose.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Click here for the main details of this cruise and the booking form to confirm your interest.

Originally published 19 Feb 2009, last update 08 Jul 2017

 
 
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