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The Great Journey Through Europe

Program Overview

This extraordinary 11-day “Grand Tour” of Europe features an incredible combination of river, rail, lake, and mountain travel including five nights aboard the new, deluxe Amadeus Imperial. Journey through Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, cruising the Rhine River. Spend two nights each in Zermatt and Lucerne. Ride aboard three legendary railways—the Gornergrat Bahn for views of the Matterhorn, the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Andermatt, and the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway—and enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne. This is the trip of a lifetime at an exceptional value. Amsterdam Post-Program Option featuring Floriade.

Program Details

June 19 to 29, 2022 (Amadeus Imperial) June 28 to July 8, 2022 (Amadeus Imperial) June 29 to July 9, 2022 (Amadeus Imperial) July 8 to 18, 2022 (Amadeus Imperial)
From $3,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Extraordinary, specially designed European tour exclusively offered by Gohagan & Company in our tradition of innovative programming and educational travel.
  • Experience three of the world’s greatest railways—the panoramic Glacier Express, the scenic cogwheel Gornergrat Bahn, and the dramatic Pilatus Railway.
  • Eleven-day program, including four nights in the Swiss Alps and a five-night river cruise.
  • A unique combination of river and lake cruising, rail travel, and evenings on land.
  • Specially arranged cruise of Lake Lucerne and wine tasting in Rüdesheim.
  • Incredible value for a comprehensive travel program.
  • Amsterdam Post-Program Option featuring the Floriade World Horticulture Expo, held once every 10 years.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

Day 2 - Geneva, Switzerland / Zermatt

Day 3 - Zermatt for Matterhorn

Day 4 - Zermatt / Glacier Express to Andermatt / Lucerne

Day 5 - Lucerne for Mount Pilatus

Day 6 - Lucerne / Bern / Basel / Embark Amadeus Imperial

Day 7 - Strasbourg, France

Day 8 - Mannheim, Germany, for Heidelberg

Day 9 - Rüdesheim / Koblenz

Day 10 - Cologne

Day 11 - Amsterdam, the Netherlands / Disembark boat / Return to the U.S. or Canada

Itinerary also operates in the reverse direction.

View detailed program itinerary >

Amadeus Imperial

Exclusively Chartered, Deluxe River Boat

The elegant and meticulously crafted Amadeus Imperial, launched in 2020, features all the comforts of a refined and traditional hotel. 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 Imperial >

The Golden Age of Amsterdam Post-Program Option

The historical center of Amsterdam, laced with tree-shaded canals and stately 16th- and 17th-century merchant houses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect conclusion to your Great Journey. Visit the world-class Rijksmuseum and enjoy a full-day excursion to quaint Edam, world famous for its cheese, and historical Hoorn, one of the great seafaring towns of the Golden Age. Enjoy a full-day excursion to Floriade, the largest world horticultural expo and held only once every 10 years. Accommodations are for three nights in a centrally located hotel.

The Post-Program Option is available at 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 three 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 >

Chalet-style Hotel Alex is situated in a beautiful, quiet location in the center of Zermatt.

The five-star Schweizerhof Hotel is located on the banks of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 Geneva, Switzerland / Zermatt

Arrive in Geneva. Transfer through the subtropical Swiss lowlands to the soaring Alps, Switzerland’s stunning archetype of snowcapped peaks, crystal-clear glacial lakes, and densely wooded forests. Check into the chalet-style Hotel Alex and the enjoy the Welcome Reception the evening.

Day 3 Zermatt

Ascend through pine and larch forests, crossing meadows ablaze with wildflowers and past distant peaks blanketed by snow, aboard the highest cog railway in Europe, the Gornergrat Bahn. Sweeping vistas of breathtaking Alpine scenery unfold from atop the 10,100-foot summit, where the serrated profiles of the Matterhorn, the Liskamm, and the Dufourspitze mountains and the vast Gorner Glacier extend beyond your periphery. Return to Zermatt at your leisure with an optional stop at Riffelberg for a panoramic view of Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.

Day 4 Andermatt

Wind through the heart of the Alps to Andermatt aboard the fabled Glacier Express, “the world’s slowest express train,” and delight in the natural beauty along this ingenious rail route.

Enjoy lunch in Andermatt before continuing to the five-star Schweizerhof Hotel in Lucerne.

Day 5 Lucerne

The rugged grandeur of Mounts Pilatus and Rigi reflected in the deep blue waters of Lake Lucerne make this city a long-favored travel destination. Begin your walking tour surrounded by burghers’ houses in the Weinmarkt (wine market); then, see the Hofkirche (Court Church), an exceptional example of German Renaissance architecture, and the Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who gave their lives defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Walk beneath tableaus of Swiss history and mythology painted on the arched roof of the 14th-century wooden Chapel Bridge, Lucerne’s most famous landmark, spanning the Reuss River.

Reach Mount Pilatus’ 7,000-foot summit by panoramic gondola for a 360-degree vista of central Switzerland’s unforgettable topography and lunch in a summit restaurant. Board the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, to descend nearly 5,400 feet in less than three miles. Return to Lake Lucerne for a cruise along its placid waters.

Day 6 Bern

Early today, journey from the foothills of the Alps through the Bernese Oberland to admire the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Jungfrau (weather permitting), an imposing summit known as the “Top of Europe.” In Switzerland’s capital, Bern, enjoy lunch in an 18th-century High Baroque-style granary, now a traditional Bernese restaurant. Tour its beautifully preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site framed by the Aare River and its signature 15th-century arcades.

Continue across the bucolic Swiss countryside to Basel and embark the deluxe Amadeus Imperial. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening.

Day 7 Strasbourg, France

The lively Alsatian city of Strasbourg fuses Old and New Europe with French and German influence. Enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old City where medieval houses line cobblestone lanes and 13th-century Ponts Couverts—bridges flanked by watchtowers—span idyllic canals.

It was here that John Calvin first established a reformed parish; view remnants of the Reformation in St-Pierre-le-Vieux, a simultaneum used by Protestant and Catholic parishioners. See the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame, with a graceful sandstone exterior, that according to the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, rises “like a most sublime, wide-arching tree of God.” Strasbourg’s fairy-tale Petite-France—the historical miller, tanner, and fishermen’s quarter—comprises half-timbered houses that front the Ill River.

Day 8 Heidelberg, Germany

This morning, transfer from Mannheim to Heidelberg, where luminaries such as Goethe and Robert Schumann once came to experience the intellectual atmosphere of Heidelberg University—the oldest in Germany, founded in 1386. To many on the historical “Grand Tours” of Europe, this city nestled in the densely wooded valley of the Neckar River, alive with the spirit of Romanticism, epitomized Germany.

On the walking tour, see the preservation of Heidelberg’s authentic Renaissance-Baroque character, manifested in sites such as the eight remaining arches of the famous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge). Visit the stately ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a 13th-century embodiment of the city’s medieval past perched above the river. Later, cruise through pastoral Rheingau, Germany’s most famous wine-growing region, renowned for its Riesling.

Day 9, Morning Rüdesheim

Dock in Rüdesheim, the medieval heart of Germany’s wine country. Enjoy a tour aboard the whimsical Winzerexpress mini-train, while traveling through bucolic vineyards en route to a private wine tasting highlighting local Rieslings, including the crisp Klosterberg.

Day 9, Afternoon Koblenz

Cruise through the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage-designated Middle Rhine Valley where terraced vineyards rise on steep slopes, medieval castles crown remote crags, and tranquil villages emerge along peaceful banks. See the famous Lorelei Rock—where legend holds that a beautiful siren once lured sailors here with her enchanting song.

Stop in historical Koblenz, strategically positioned at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, for a walking tour. Here, Germany’s Roman heritage dates to 9 B.C., during Augustus Caesar’s reign. From the landmark Deutsches Eck (German Corner), view the 19th-century fortress of Ehrenbreitstein and the Basilica of St. Castor, which showcases the Rhineland’s distinctive Romanesque architecture.

Day 10 Cologne

One of Germany’s most ancient cities, Cologne was founded as a Roman military outpost in 38 B.C. Since Charlemagne, Cologne has flourished as the Rhineland’s foremost mercantile and religious center, and it is the birthplace of the world-famous original Eau de Cologne perfume.

Explore the Altstadt (Old Town) and see the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), the nation’s finest example of High Gothic architecture.

Spend a leisurely afternoon cruising along the scenic Rhine River and later, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Day 11 Amsterdam, the Netherlands / U.S.

Following breakfast, disembark the boat and continue on the Golden Age of Amsterdam Post-Program Option or depart for the U.S.