Amawaterways offers two different itineraries for cruises on the Rhine River between Amsterdam and Basel. The Enchanting Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam and the Captivating Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel are both 7-night cruises. They just travel in opposite directions.
In addition to these two itineraries, Amawaterways also offers 10- to 14-night cruise packages that combine the Rhine River with travel on the Moselle, Main and Danube rivers.
Now, let’s take a look at a couple of the Rhine River cruise packages that Amawaterways offers.
This 7-night itinerary begins in Basel and ends in Amsterdam on day eight. While most companies list itineraries by the number of days, Amawaterways lists them by the number of nights. It’s worth mentioning since many other companies list river cruises by the number of days rather than the number of nights. For the Amawaterways’ itinerary, you’ll see day eight listed as the day you disembark at the end of your cruise.
There are five different ships that travel on the Rhine River between Basel and Amsterdam. The AmaDante is the smallest vessel. It carries up to 144 passengers and has stateroom sizes that range from 17o square feet to 255 square feet.
And the two largest ships in terms of passenger capacity are the AmaPrima and the AmaSonata. Both carry up to 164 passengers and have staterooms that range in size from 160 square feet to 300 square feet.
On day one, your cruise begins in Basel. Dinner will be served onboard, and you’ll have a chance to acquaint yourself with the accommodations and your fellow passengers.
You’ll depart Basel on day two and travel to Breisach, which is located near the Black Forest. This German city is about 37 miles north of Basel. There will be three different excursions available. You can choose to take a walking tour of Riquewihr – a French city located about nine miles north of Colmar. Amawaterways is one of the few companies that offers a visit to Riquewihr.
You may decide instead to take a bike tour in Breisach. Or another option you’ll have is to take a walking tour of Freiburg, which is located about 19 miles east of Breisach.
On the third day of your trip you’ll travel to Strasbourg, France. This area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It’s listed as Strasbourg, Grande Île and Neustadt. You’ll be able to choose between a guided tour of Grande Île – an island located in the historic center of Strasbourg. Or the other option is to take a guided bike excursion through Parc de l’Orangerie.
You’ll travel to Ludwigshafen, Germany on day four. This city is located on the west side of Rhine, while Mannheim is located directly across the river on the east side. You’ll travel to Speyer where you can enjoy a guided city tour. Or you can choose to travel to Heidelberg, which is located on the Neckar River and is about 20 miles northeast of Speyer. There are two excursions available in Heidelberg – a walking tour of the city or the Philosopher’s Walk excursion.
Day five of your trip features a cruise through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which has been a UNESCO Site since 2002. It’s commonly referred to as the Rhine Gorge. You’ll visit the city of Rüdesheim where you’ll have the opportunity to visit either the Seigfried’s Mechanical Music Museum or to sample some Rüdesheimer coffee.
You’ll also travel to Lahnstein for a visit to the 13th-century Lahneck Castle. Lahnstein is located a few miles south of Koblenz at the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine rivers.
On day six your ship will be docked in Cologne. Your tour options include a walking tour of the city with a visit to the Cologne Cathedral, a bike excursion through Cologne, or a chance to sample some Kölsch beer.
You’ll spend day seven in Amsterdam where you can choose between a canal cruise and tour of Amsterdam, a Jordaan District walking tour or a Jewish Heritage Tour.
Your trip will conclude in Amsterdam on day eight. After breakfast, you’ll disembark and transfer to the airport for your return trip home.
Cruises are available from April through November.
Starting prices for 2018 itineraries are from $2,049 to $3,599 per person. The $2,049 fare is a discounted price that is lower than the standard price of $2,799 per person.
Rhine & Moselle Delights
This is a 10-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam and includes travel on the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Most of the tour options are the same as those featured on the Enchanting Rhine cruise with the exception of cities visited during your cruise on the Moselle River.
The only ship that is available for this itinerary is the AmaPrima. As mentioned in the section above, she carries up to 164 passengers and has stateroom that measure between 160 square feet and 300 square feet.
Your trip will begin in Basel where you’ll board the AmaPrima and enjoy the evening aboard the ship for the first night.
On day two you’ll travel to Breisach. An excursion is available in Riquewihr, France or in the German cities of Frieburg or Breisach.
You’ll travel to Strasbourg on the third day where you’ll have the option of taking a guided tour of the city or a bike tour through Old Town.
Your ship will dock in Ludwigshafen, Germany on day four. You’ll have the option of visiting the 18th-century Mannheim Baroque Palace, Schwetzingen Gardens or a tour of Heidelberg. Later in the day, you’ll return to the ship and begin your cruise through the Rhine Gorge. After arriving in Rüdesheim, you’ll have the option of touring Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum or sampling some Rüdesheimer coffee.
On day five, you’ll spend the first part of the day in Rüdesheim. You’ll be able to either take a gondola ride to the Niederwald Monument, enjoy a bike tour of the Rheingau or hike to 13th-century Ehrenfels Castle. You’ll then continue the scenic cruise through the Rhine Gorge as you travel toward Cochem to begin your cruise on the Moselle River.
You’ll visit Trier on day six where you’ll have four different tour options. Two of the excursions are tours in the city of Trier. There is also a bike tour of the city available as well as a hike to Petrisburg, which is a few miles from Trier. You’ll return to the ship to travel to your next destination. The AmaPrima will cruise through the Moselle Valley as it heads toward the city of Bernkastel.
Day seven will begin in Bernkastel where you’ll be able to take a walking tour of the city, a bike tour along the Moselle River or hike to Landshut Castle. Your ship will depart Bernkastel in the afternoon.
On day eight you’ll visit Cochem, which is located at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. Your tour options include a visit to Reichsburg Castle and a tour of Mustard Mill or a bike tour of Cochem. In the evening, you’ll visit Lahneck Castle.
You’ll be docked in Cologne on day nine where you’ll be able to visit Cologne Cathedral and take a walking tour of the city, or take a bike excursion, or participate in Kölsch beer tasting.
Day ten will be spent in Amsterdam where you’ll be able to take a canal cruise and city tour or take the Jewish Heritage tour.
Your cruise will end in Amsterdam on day eleven. You’ll disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
This itinerary is available from May through December; however, there is only one sailing offered each month for the months of May, July, September, October and December.
Starting prices are from $3,499 to $5,099 per person for 2018 itineraries.
Comparisons Between the Different Itineraries
So which option is best for you? Well, it depends on whether or not you want to also travel on the Moselle River and visit the cities of Trier and Bernkastel. You’ll also have to look at the availability since there aren’t as many departures offered for this itinerary. And you’ll need to decide if you want to spend three additional days on a river cruise. If all of these conditions apply, then the Rhine & Moselle Delights is probably the best cruise for you.
If you’re just looking for a cruise on the Rhine River then either the Enchanting Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam or the Captivating Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel are great options. You’ll just need to decide which direction you want to travel on the Rhine. Does direction make a difference? Not really. Basel’s airport can be a little more confusing for landing passengers, as you’ll need to carefully use one of two exits, the one to Switzerland or the one to France. But if you’re transferring with AmaWaterways, you’ll have good directionals and someone to assist you.