Switzerland & The Rhine - Europe

Switzerland and the Rhine (Summer 2017)

Duration: 16 days Visiting: Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Germany, Netherlands

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Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

In Switzerland, discover a kaleidoscope of contrasting scenery, people and language whilst staying in some of the country's most lovely hotels. Journeying on through France and Germany, your river cruise along the mighty Rhine shows you historic cities, picturesque villages and ancient fortresses.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Geneva, City of Gardens

    Welcome to Switzerland. Prepare yourself for various modes of transport, all of which showcase the majesty of the snow-capped mountains, the glaciers, sparkling lakes, flower-filled meadows and the beauty of the rich, green valleys. Transfers from Geneva Airport to your hotel depart at 11:00, 13:00 & 16:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Montreux, Chillon and the Matterhorn Village of Zermatt

    Start your day with the highlights of Geneva, the ‘city of gardens', nestled at the end of its lake. See the Jet D'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. Then relax and enjoy the enchanting scenery, as we continue on to the scenic town of Montreux, at the foot of the Alps, boasting one of the most beautiful lakeside walks. Enjoy free time to explore this pretty town. Journey to the great arc of Lake Geneva where a Local Expert will show you medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalised by Byron's ‘Prisoner of Chillon'. Continue along the Rhone Valley, with high summer temperatures that support vines and other fruits. The final stage of your journey is by cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. Feast your eyes on the distinctive triangular silhouette of the Matterhorn. At night, enjoy a stroll in the clean mountain air to your chosen restaurant on your Dine-Around evening.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Zermatt

    (Relaxed Start) Zermatt in summertime is a Shangri-La of leisure time possibilities: try swimming or hiking or spend a whole day relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds. Perhaps take an optional ride on Europe's highest cable car to the snow-capped roof of the world for a magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France?

  5. Day 5

    Elegant Baveno

    Descend to Täsch and rejoin the coach. Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon as you ascend the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping on the gentle shores of Lake Maggiore. Perhaps take a delightful boat trip to see the stunning Isola Bella?

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Grison Alps to Chic St. Moritz

    (Relaxed Start) Head north back into the high mountain country of the Grison Alps today. Ascend the Julier Pass to arrive in the sparkling Engadine Valley with a climate characterised by clear skies. On arrival in the cosmopolitan resort of St. Moritz, a brief orientation will show you the spa quarter and the brilliantly sparkling glacial lake. Then jostle with the jet-set in the elegant boutiques.

  7. Day 7

    Scenic Train Ride, Liechtenstein and Lucerne

    Start the day with a scenic train ride along part of the route of the Glacier Express, across the Grison Mountains and through unforgettable scenes of ice-capped mountains, stone-built villages and lush meadows. At Chur, reboard your coach and drive along the valley of the Upper Rhine to spend a while in Vaduz, the tiny capital of Liechtenstein. Then a beautiful path takes you alongside the dramatic Walensee and Lake Zurich brings you to Lucerne. See the sorrowful sculpture of the wounded lion, commemorating the brave Swiss guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

  8. Day 8

    The Summit of Stanserhorn

    Start the day with a morning stroll along lakeside promenades, shopping for fine watches while enjoying the scenery. Then, from the town of Stans, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Later, embrace a fantastic wining and dining experience you'll never forget at a Celebration Dinner.

  9. Day 9

    Lucerne, Basel & Breisach to Join Your Cruise

    In the morning, transfer to Basel by train and then on to Breisach to join your Uniworld boutique cruise ship, the SS Antoinette and begin your journey along the romantic Rhine.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Breisach (Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or Colmar)

    (Relaxed Start) Venture ashore and choose to visit either the postcard-perfect wine villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or enjoy a city tour of Colmar's enchanting historic centre. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

  11. Day 11

    Kehl (Strasbourg)

    The Alsatian town of Strasbourg boasts a UNESCO-designated city centre in which you'll find a magnificent Gothic cathedral and charming half-timbered houses. See the sights on a delightful canal cruise through the picturesque Petite France district. Alternatively, ‘Do as the Locals Do' on a walking tour through Old Town, stopping for pastries and coffee. The afternoon is at leisure.

  12. Day 12

    Mannheim (Speyer)

    Choose to fully experience the medieval town of Speyer, on a walking discovery tour. See its compact and historic centre boasting the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe, as well as the Continent's oldest mikvah – a Jewish ritual bath. Alternatively, you can learn about unique wine vinegar aperitifs on an excursion to the Doktorenhof vinegar estate.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Rüdesheim, the Romantic Rhine River and Boppard

    (Relaxed Start) Explore Rüdesheim and its famous Drosselgasse – a narrow lane lined with taverns and shops – before enjoying a wine tasting at the 14th century Castle Vollrads. The adventurous will want to soar up to the Niederwald Heights on a gondola, followed by a guided “Go Active” hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen. Return to the ship for a scenic cruise along the spectacular, UNESCO-protected Upper Middle Rhine – a 40-mile-long stretch of river lined with castles. End the day with a guided stroll around the pretty, wine village of Boppard.

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    Cruising the Rhine River to Koblenz

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, relax and take in the stunning scenery along the Rhine River. When arriving in Koblenz, enjoy a walking discovery tour of this beautiful 'corner' of Germany. Alternatively, take an aerial tram ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which offers dazzling views of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. For a more active exploration, bike from Boppard to Koblenz. Later in the day, get a close-up look at Marksburg Castle.

  15. Day 15

    Cologne

    You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne's many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll with a Local Expert through Old Town to the city's iconic UNESCO-listed Gothic Cologne Cathedral. For beer connoisseurs, you'll wish to visit a brewery to taste the traditional local brew of the city, Kölsch. And for lovers of art, you won't want to miss one of the most important contemporary museums in Europe, Museum Ludwig. In the evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

  16. Day 16

    Depart Amsterdam

    Disembark your ship and enjoy a private transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home. Transfers are available for flights departing between 06:00 & 18:00.

Highlights

 

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Geneva: See the Jet d'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument.
  • Zermatt: See the majestic peak of the Matterhorn from this traffic-free resort (weather permitting).
  • Italian Lake District: Experience beautiful Lake Maggiore.
  • Lugano: Time to stroll in the gardens and browse in the exclusive shops.
  • St Moritz: See the spa quarter and ‘sgraffito' façade on the museum house.
  • Vaduz: Visit the capital of Liechtenstein and see the castle.
  • Lucerne: See the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and covered Chapel Bridge.
  • Scenic Drives: Lake Geneva, Italian Lake District, Simplon, Julier Passes, Grisons Alps, Walensee and Lake Zurich

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Zermatt: Choose your own ambience, style of cuisine and drinks for a more intimate culinary experience with friends. You will be offered a selection of fine restaurants on your Zermatt Dine-Around evening.
  • Lucerne: Join your Tour Director for a palate-pleasing Celebration Dinner and joyous evening with wine and good cheer!
  • Rüdesheim: Explore the town and its famous Drosselgasse before enjoying a wine tasting at the 14th century Castle Vollrads.
  • 7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
  • 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 6 Lunches (L), 2 Welcome Dinners (WD), 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA), 6 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW) and 2 Celebration Dinners (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. While Cruising: You can enjoy unlimited beverages on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Zermatt: The unique Hotel Alex is one of the most original hotels you will find anywhere in Switzerland, cleverly combining modern and traditional elements into a hospitality experience that's full of fun and surprises.
  • Zermatt: The Schlosshotel offers luxurious hotel rooms, quality service and a relaxed environment.
  • St Moritz: The Crystal is located close to shops in the town centre, where all the prestigious names from Chanel and Gucci to Louis Vuitton are lined up together.
  • SS Antoinette: The luxurious décor of the 443-foot, 154-passenger S.S. Antoinette – Uniworld's first Super Ship – features fine Brazilian marble on the walls and floors, a 19th-century Venetian glass mirror, a stylish Bar du Leopard with full-service bar, and an onboard cinema. The two-story foyer boasts a 10-foot blue Strauss Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires – a stunning piece that once hung in New York's famous Tavern on the Green – and a collection of original artwork is displayed throughout the ship.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Stanserhorn: Take a spectacular journey by a funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of expansive mountain views.
  • Cologne: Enjoy a Walking Discovery tour and visit the imposing Cathedral.
  • Montreux: Travel to the foot of the Alps, to the scenic Swiss town of Montreux, which boasts one of the most beautiful walks along Lake Geneva. Enjoy free time to explore this pretty town.
  • Lake Geneva: Visit beautiful Chillon Castle, set on a rocky islet in the lake. With the help of a Local Expert, look out for Lord Byron's name which he carved into a pillar.
  • Zermatt: Ride the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway up to the traffic-free Alpine resort.
  • Scenic Swiss Rail Journey: Travel along the route of the world-famous Glacier Express - through looping tunnels and dizzying viaducts, a glorious adventure in the scenic heart of the Swiss Alps, only possible by rail.
  • Breisach: Choose from a visit to the postcard-perfect wine villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr or experience a city tour of Colmar.
  • Strasbourg: Choose from a picturesque canal cruise or an exclusive 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour.
  • Speyer: Choose from a walking discovery tour or an exclusive visit and tasting at the Doktorenhof vinegar estate.
  • Koblenz: Choose from a walking discovery tour of this beautiful city or take an aerial cable car ride to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

ADDITIONAL FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate organiser and a friend in a foreign land. Uoncierge services are also available on-board your cruise. Enjoy 24-hour room service while cruising.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels as well as port charges during your cruise.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi, also available on selected River Cruise ships.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers available in Geneva at scheduled times. Train from Lucerne to Basel and transfers to and from train stations included. Included airport transfers available in Amsterdam for flights departing between 06:00 & 18:00 on last day of cruise.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Klein Matterhorn Excursion

A unique electric taxi service will drive us to the foot of Zermatt's highest and most spectacular mountain experience. Enjoy stunning views as we ascend to Furi and Trockener steg before boarding Europe's highest cable car to arrive on the snow-capped top of the world at 3883 m (12,740 ft). A magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France will make this an unforgettable experience - one not to be missed.

Adult Price: CHF 112.00

Code: ZER0001

Isola Bella

The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.

Adult Price: EUR 41.00

Code: ITA0001

Lugano Optional Tour

Embark on a gentle evening boat ride on serene Lake Lugano to the quaint little fishing village of Gandria. The locals are proud of their culinary culture, which, as you would expect, reflects their proximity to the Italian border! Enjoy a tasty Italian style three-course meal, complete with wine and fabulous views of the lake. Buon appetito!

Adult Price: CHF 92.00

Code: LUG0001

Bernina - Express Excursion

Enjoy one of the most exciting train rides in Switzerland as you cross the Bernina Pass to the Alp Grum. Spectacular views of the Alpine peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, green valleys and mountain villages. We then descend to Poschiavo to reboard our touring coach.

Adult Price: CHF 53.00

Code: ST 0010

Lake Lucerne Cruise

A chance to take in the wonderful mountain scenery from a different perspective. Enjoy a leisurely lake cruise, for fine views of the town and it's surroundings. The serene beauty of Lake Lucerne on a summer's day is a joy to behold, made even more enjoyable by the encompassing snow-capped mountains, green pastures and dense forests.

Adult Price: CHF 40.00

Code: LUC0003

Secret Switzerland

Incredibly, Switzerland provides all its citizens protection in case of nuclear disaster or war. Go behind the scenes for a unique tour of one of the world's biggest civilian fallout shelters! Cold War secrets of the Swiss will be revealed by our expert guide.

Adult Price: CHF 46.00

Code: LUC0004

Swiss Evening

There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.

Adult Price: CHF 99.00

Code: LUC0002

Carriages & Countryside

In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.

Adult Price: CHF 67.00

Code: LUC0001

Lake Maggiore Experience

A short hop on our private motor launch brings us to the world-renowned hanging gardens of Isola Bella, where white peacocks preen. In the Borromean Palace, our local expert reveals the grottoes and masterpieces lovingly nurtured by this wealthy Italian dynasty. Our island hopping continues to the quaint Fisherman’s Island where we are treated to a typically local Italian meal - Buon Appetito!

Adult Price: EUR 84.00

Code: ITA0007

Accommodation

 

Hotel Warwick Geneva

Geneva (Central) - Switzerland

The Warwick Geneva is centrally located and features stylish and elegant interiors.

Hotel Alex Schlosshotel Zermatt

Zermatt (Central) - Switzerland

Alex Hotel/Schlosshotel, Zermatt

Hotel Simplon Baveno

Baveno (Scenic) - Italy

Hotel Simplon, Baveno

Crystal Hotel Hotel Steffani St Moritz

St Moritz (Central) - Switzerland

Crystal/Steffani Hotel, St. Moritz

Astoria Lucerne

Lucerne (Central) - Switzerland

A recently refurbished city centre hotel, just minutes from the lake. It has a lively rooftop bar with views of Lucerne as well as several restaurants and a coffee shop.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable).
Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.

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