DAY 1 | Sept. 15. Depart your gateway city for Frankfurt, Germany
DAY 2 | Sept. 16. Frankfurt / Bernkastel
After arriving in Frankfurt, transfer to the MS Amadeus Silver, which is docked in Bernkastel on the Mosel River. This evening, gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner. (D)
DAY 3 | Sept. 17. Bernkastel
Excursion: Trier, Bernkastel and Vineyards of the Mosel. Once a regional capital of the Roman Empire, Trier has many ancient ruins. See the Porta Nigra, a Roman city gate built in the late second century A.D. and the emblem of the city. Visit the imperial baths, the largest outside of Rome, and a palace built during the reign of Constantine. See the Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady, a pair of churches founded to celebrate Constantine’s 20th year as emperor. Discover many of Trier’s other treasures, such as the 13th-century House of the Three Magi and the Hauptmarkt, the medieval market square. Return to Bernkastel for a walking tour of the 700-year-old town. See St. Michael’s Church, the late-Renaissance town hall and more. This afternoon, cruise through the bucolic Mosel Valley.
Educational Focus: Wines of the Mosel. Dr. Michael Stahlmann of the Dr. Loosen winery leads a talk about the wine produced by the estate. Hear about the centuries-old tradition of wine making and the combination of soil, sun, craft and art that goes into producing a Mosel Valley wine. Follow with a wine tasting as you cruise along the river past the Loosen vineyards. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 | Sept. 18. Arrive in Cochem this morning
Excursion: Cochem and Reichsburg Castle. Explore Cochem, which for centuries has been renowned for its idyllic location along a bend on the Mosel River. Gates and other remnants of the 14th-century town wall still remain and add to the charm of this medieval town. Half-timbered homes with colorful flower boxes line the narrow streets and outdoor cafés form a ring around the main square, while Reichsburg Castle over- looks the town from a hill. The original castle was built in the early 11th century. Destroyed nearly 700 years later, the castle was rebuilt in the late 19th century. True to its original style, it has a crenelated wall, multiple turrets crowned with dainty roofs and an imposing tower. Visit the castle, where you will receive a special welcome and a glass of wine.
Independent Exploration: Enjoy some leisure time in Cochem. This afternoon, the ship departs for Koblenz. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 | Sept. 19. Koblenz / Rüdesheim
Excursion: Koblenz. More than 2,000 years ago, the Romans established a settlement at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers. Today, the beautiful town of Koblenz occupies that same strategic location. Take a cable car to Festung Ehrenbreitstein, a fortress that sits high on a hill across the Rhine River from Koblenz. After a tour of the fortress, return by cable car to Koblenz for a tour of the town. This afternoon, bid farewell to the Mosel River and begin your exploration of the Rhine River. Travel through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a particularly beautiful and historic section of valley. Admire hills terraced with vineyards and castles that stand like sentries over the river and medieval towns.
Educational Focus: The Rhine Legacy. The Rhine River, an important waterway that for centuries has nurtured trade, encouraged cultural exchange and inspired writers and artists, comes with its own legends and lore. Learn about Loreley, the siren whose song bewitched many sailors and caused ships to crash into the rocks, and many other tales about the valley. The ship arrives in Rüdesheim this evening.
Independent Exploration: This evening you have time at leisure in Rüdesheim. Enjoy a walk along the lively Drosselgasse, which is lined with wine taverns, cafés and shops. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 | Sept. 20. Heidelberg
This morning, the ship arrives in Hanau. Enjoy a scenic drive to Heidelberg.
Excursion: Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley Wine Region. The university in Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest institution of higher learning. Explore the town with a stroll along the Hauptstrasse and visit the castle overlooking the Neckar River.
Local Flavor: Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in Heidelberg. After lunch, meet the ship in Miltenberg to begin your cruise of the Main River. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 | Sept. 21. Würzburg
Enjoy a leisurely morning as you cruise the Main River and make your way to Würzburg, one of Germany’s prettiest cities.
Excursion: Würzburg. Würzburg is a beautiful baroque city and your gateway to Franconian wine country and the Romantic Road. Visit the Residenz, an elegant, 18th- century palace that was home to the prince-bishops of Würzburg. Step into Staatlicher Hofkeller, a winery that was established by the Bishop of Würzburg in 1128, for a specially arranged tasting. Continue to the Alte Mainbrücke, a 16th-century bridge that was built to replace a Roman bridge, for unsurpassed views of the Marienberg fortress, vineyards and the Kapelle, an 18th-century church picturesquely perched on a hill above the city.
Educational Focus: Germany Today. Learn about contemporary issues affecting Germany and the European Community. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 | Sept. 22. Würzburg / Rothenburg
Excursion: The Romantic Road. Take a scenic drive along the Romantic Road to admire the walled, medieval towns that line this famous route. Stop in Rothenburg, one of the Romantic Road’s prettiest towns. Explore the Altstadt, the Old Town.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a traditional German lunch before returning to Würzburg. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Graduation Ceremony, followed by a Farewell Dinner. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 | Sept. 23
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city. (B)