Great European Journey By River and Rail

Program Overview

Journey through Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, cruising the Moselle and Rhine rivers on this 10-night program, which includes 4 nights in the Swiss Alps—featuring the Matterhorn and Mount Pilatus—and a 6-night river cruise. Ride aboard 3 legendary railways—the Gornegrat Bahn for views of the Matterhorn; the Glacier Express from Andermatt to Zermatt; and the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Also enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne. Enhance your “Grand Tour” with the Amsterdam Post-Program Option.

Program runs in alternative orders on some departures.

Program Details

June 18 to 29, 2024 (Amadeus Queen) June 28 to July 9, 2024 (Amadeus Queen) June 30 to July 11, 2024 (Amadeus Queen) July 10 to July 21, 2024 (Amadeus Queen)
From $4,315 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • 12-day, 10-night “Grand Tour” of Europe featuring an incredible combination of river, rail, lake, and mountain travel from Lucerne to Amsterdam
  • Enjoy 4 nights in the Swiss Alps—featuring the Matterhorn and Mount Pilatus, plus a 6-night river cruise.
  • Retrace the “Grand Tour,” a traditional European holiday taken by aristocratic young ladies and gentlemen of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
  • Reach Mount Pilatus’ 7,000-foot summit by panoramic gondola for a 360-degree vista.
  • Walk through the UNESCO World Heritage-designated La Petite France in Strasbourg.
  • Travel from Mannheim to Heidelberg, a highlight of the historical "Grand Tours."
  • Cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Middle Rhine Valley to see Lorelei Rock.
  • Enjoy a walking tour of charming Cochem with a visit to the Imperial Reichsburg castle.
  • Explore Cologne’s Old Town and see the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Kölner Dom.
  • Amsterdam Optional Extension*

Program runs in alternative orders on some departures.

Day 1 - Depart home city

Day 2 - Geneva, Switzerland/Täsch/Zermatt

Day 3 - Gornergrat/Zermatt

Day 4 - Zermatt/Andermatt/Lucerne

Day 5 - Lucerne/Mount Pilatus

Day 6 - Lucerne/Basel/Embark Amadeus Queen

Day 7 - Strasbourg, France

Day 8 - Mannheim, Germany for Heidelberg

Day 9 - Rüdesheim/Koblenz

Day 10 - Cochem

Day 11 - Cologne

Day 12 - Amsterdam, the Netherlands/Return to home city

Program runs in alternative orders on some departures.

View detailed program itinerary >

Amadeus Queen

Exclusively Chartered, Deluxe River Boat

The elegant and meticulously crafted Amadeus Queen, features all the comforts of a refined and traditional hotel. Its 72 stylish staterooms and suites are among the most spacious of any European river boat (188 to 284 square feet). Suites include a private balcony, and select staterooms feature a unique floor-to-ceiling window that lowers to French-balcony height at the touch of a button.

Learn more about the Amadeus Queen >

Canal and St. Nicolas Church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Golden Age of Amsterdam Optional Extension

Get acquainted with this captivating city graced with leafy canals and gabled houses on a 2-night, post-cruise extension at the deluxe DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station. Enjoy a cruise along its delightful, 17th‑century waterways, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view acclaimed art by the great Dutch Golden Age masters at the Rijksmuseum. Venture to Hoorn, a picturesque, 17th-century harbor town and key Dutch East India Company port, and soak up the inviting ambience and historic architecture of Edam, legendary for its tasty cheese.

Depending on your chosen departure date, the optional extension may be a Pre-Program or Post-Program.

The Optional Extension is available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Admire the awe-inspiring, visionary work and vast scope of Switzerland’s impressive railways as you experience firsthand the sublime majesty of the iconic Alps from incredible perspectives. Journey on 3 of the world’s great Alpine railways—the panoramic Glacier Express, the scenic Gornergrat Bahn, and the dramatic Pilatus Railway—and, while admiring the innovative engineering necessary to create these routes, savor vignettes of the quintessentially Swiss landscape—including 14,000-foot-high mountain peaks, flowing streams, cavernous gorges, and crystalline glaciers.

Learn more about the Glacier Express >

The first-class Hotel Alex is situated in a beautiful, quiet location in the center of Zermatt.

The deluxe Schweizerhof Hotel is located on the banks of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

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Program Itinerary

Days 1 Depart Home City

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada. Arrive the next day in Zurich and transfer to Lucerne to check in to the hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Reception in the hotel.

Day 2 Geneva, Switzerland/Täsch/Zermatt

Arrive in Geneva and enjoy a panoramic drive to Täsch. Then, board a shuttle train that takes you up to Zermatt, a cozy, car-free, mountain resort town nestled near the Matterhorn at 5,276 feet. Check into the first‑class Hotel Alex and gather for a Welcome Reception, followed by dinner on your own.

Day 3 Gornergrat/Zermatt

Today, revel in a ride aboard the Gornergrat Bahn, the world’s highest open-air cog railway. Ascend through pine and larch forests, take in picture-perfect views of the Matterhorn, and then alight at the Gornergrat, an alpine ridge at roughly 10,000 feet. Glorious, expansive vistas of snowcapped peaks await you! Enjoy free time and return to Zermatt at your own pace. 

Day 4 Zermatt/Andermatt/Lucerne

Check out today and embark the celebrated Glacier Express. Settle in for a marvelous journey as you glide amid ever-changing panoramas of lush mountains, tranquil valleys, and sparkling lakes. Arrive in Andermatt and savor a delicious lunch. Head on to Lucerne and check into the deluxe Hotel Schweizerhof. Your evening is at leisure.

Day 5 Lucerne/Mount Pilatus

A compact city on Lake Lucerne and the Reuss River, Lucerne boasts wonderfully painted buildings, stately churches, and two medieval, covered wooden footbridges. On a walking tour, see the imposing Water Tower and the famous Chapel Bridge with an inner roof adorned with 17th-century paintings. Afterward, continue to majestic Mount Pilatus, a massif with numerous summits. Ride by cable car to one summit and then ascend in a gondola up to Pilatus Kulm at 6,795 feet. From this vantage point, gaze in all directions at spectacular vistas of Lake Lucerne, forested countryside, and if the weather is clear, dozens of alpine peaks. Relish free time and lunch at the mountaintop complex. On your descent, appreciate the scenery on the other side of the mountain aboard the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel train. Wrap up with a pleasant cruise across Lake Lucerne. This evening, make your own dinner plans. 

Day 6 Lucerne/Basel/Embark river boat

Check out this morning and admire the scenery on the way to Basel, where you will enjoy a guided tour, lunch, and free time. Embark the Amadeus Queen and join the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner later tonight.

Day 7 Strasbourg, France

Discover the medieval grandeur of Grand-Île, the historic center of Strasbourg and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during a walking tour. See the bridges and towers of the 13th-century Ponts Couverts, and meander past the many half-timbered houses in the canal-lined Petite France district, where tanners, millers, and fishermen once lived during the Middle Ages. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral, an exquisitely ornamented Gothic beauty. 

Day 8 Mannheim, Germany, for Heidelberg

Dock in Mannheim and journey to romantic Heidelberg to visit the Renaissance-era ruins of its grand castle overlooking the picturesque Neckar Valley. Take a walking tour in the lively old town filled with Renaissance and baroque gems, such as the old bridge, Alte Brücke.

Day 9 Rüdesheim/Koblenz

Arrive in the heart of Riesling wine country today. Take in the vineyards near Rüdesheim on a mini-train before sampling fine wines in town. Afterward, cruise through the enchanting Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with some 40 castles, and see the fabled Lorelei Rock. Stop for a walking tour in lovely Koblenz, founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet

Day 10 Cochem

Sail through a splendid, narrow section of the Moselle River lined with colorful towns and tiered vineyards, then dock in charming Cochem. Delight in its half-timbered houses on a walking tour, and visit hilltop Reichsburg Castle, which offers stunning river views. 

Day 11 Cologne

One of Germany’s oldest cities, Cologne is renowned for its magnificent Gothic cathedral, Kölner Dom, built over a period of more than 630 years. Admire the old town’s top sites and the cathedral’s impressive exterior on a walking tour. Enjoy free time afterward and, if you’d like, go inside the cathedral to see the Shrine of the Three Kings, a gilded reliquary. This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Day 12 Amsterdam, Netherlands/Return to Home City

After breakfast, disembark the ship in Amsterdam and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.