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A cruise through the heart of Europe

  • 07/12/2020 - 07/20/2020
  • 9 Days
  • Starting price $3,495

Discover the beauty of the Rhine and enjoy as you cruise along this scenic ribbon of the river through Germany, France, and the Netherlands on an eight-day journey with Architectural Adventures. From the famed historical towns of Breisach and Speyer to the lively cities of Strasbourg and Amsterdam, discover remarkably timeless European architecture including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the gabled canal houses of Amsterdam, and Cologne's magnificent Dom, all while being led by an architectural expert.  Experience vibrant European cities along the Rhine with world-class accommodations and fine regional dining.

Call now to book! 1.800.293.5725

Max. guests - 30

Architectural highlights

  • Visit the historical city center of Freiburg and the Augustinerplatz, the site of Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone.
  • Take in the majestic 13th-century Gothic cathedral of Cologne.
  • Marvel at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Petite France area with its half-timbered buildings. 
  • Discover the old town of Amsterdam from an architect's perspective, and learn about urban design, the architecture of canal houses, and recent developments.
  • Visit Frankfurt to see its modern and historic architecture from the historical Römerberg area to the museums built in the 1980s, and the high-rise buildings on the north side of the Main River.

 

Other highlights

  • Walk through Oberwesel and into the town’s park to enjoy beautiful views over the city, its castle, and the river Rhine.
  • Enjoy a scenic canal cruise through Amsterdam, the city known as the “Venice of the North.”
  • Learn about different European topics including the current state of affairs in Europe with a local expert.
  • Savor the natural beauty along the shores of Lake Titisee in the fabled Black Forest region.
  • Learn about the castles and legends of the Rhine from a local expert.
  • This trip qualifies for up to 18 AIA learning units (4 of which are HSW credits).

 

Accommodation

MS Amadeus Star - Launched in April 2019, this stylish ship offers a total of 70 spacious deluxe cabins and 12 Suites. Cabins on the Mozart and Strauss Deck feature lowerable panoramic windows which extend across the entire cabin front. All deluxe cabins and suites offer comfortable, spacious bathrooms, infotainment systems, flat-screen television, telephone, cabin safe, minibar and air conditioning which can be individually regulated. Furthermore, the suites feature walk-on external balconies with seating.

 

Also included

  • Seven nights on the first-class MS Amadeus Star.
  • 19 Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 7 dinners.
  • An experienced Tour Director, in addition to the Architectural Adventures Educational Expert.
  • Land transportation by private motorcoach for excursions as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities and service charges for local guides, bus drivers and restaurant staff for included meals; please note a per-traveler gratuity of approximately 10 euros per day is recommended for river ship staff.
  • All meals include water, coffee or tea; in addition, wine, beer, and soft drinks are included with lunches and dinners.
  • Group transfers between Airport & Hotel for all participants who purchase group flights from AHI FlexAir program.

 

What to expect

  • Appropriate for people in good health with overall good mobility.
  • Travelers should be comfortable participating in a full day of sightseeing.
  • Activities range from light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, but with lengthy walks, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing stairs.

 

Price

Book by December 3rd, 2019 to ensure your space.

  • Starting at $3,495 per person, plus Port and VAT Taxes of $395 per person for all categories and suites.
  • Category E – $3,495
  • Category D – $3,595
  • Category C – $3,895
  • Category B – $3,995
  • Category A – $4,295
  • Suite - $4,795 (Limited availability on a first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Single supplement is waived for solo travelers — limited supply.
  • MS Amadeus Star deck plans available upon request.
  • A deposit of $600 per person, payable by credit card or check, is required to reserve a space.
  • Deposits are applied to the payment of the total price and the final payment is due by April 28, 2020.

 

Not included

International airfare and air departure taxes; passport/visa fees, entry/departure fees; visa photos as required; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters, meals not specified in the itinerary; personal items and expenses such as laundry and valet services, medications, telephone and cable charges; gratuities other than specified; travel and trip cancellation insurance; airport transfers (if AHI FlexAir is not purchased); other items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or as included.  

Prices, itinerary, accommodations, and experts subject to change.

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Architectural Adventures tours are managed by professional tour operators retained as independent contractors by The American Institute of Architects. To read Architectural Adventures full Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer visit architecturaladventures.org/travel-terms. To read the tour-specific terms and conditions from our tour operator AHI Travel visit architecturaladventures.org/ahi
 


 

Itinerary

Overview

Begin your journey

Depart your gateway city for Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Overview

Arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands

After arriving at Amsterdam Airport, embark on the MS Amadeus Star. Join a discussion with a local expert regarding the latest issues affecting Europe. Learn about the development of the European Union, which began in 1951 as a small group of countries cooperating economically; its current membership; and its future.

In the evening, board a canal cruiser to see this beguiling city from the water. More than 60 miles of tree-lined canals and waterways crisscross Amsterdam. Accompanied by a local expert, see its charming, iconic gabled homes, as well as some of the city’s 1,500 bridges and dozens of islands. (Mild)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Dinner
Overview

Amsterdam explorations

Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA – An Architect’s Perspective on Amsterdam (Moderate) - On this AIA exclusive excursion, visit the historical center of Amsterdam is a UNESCO world heritage site and counts no less than 8,500 listed monuments. From its origins as a fisherman’s village in the 12th century, Amsterdam developed into an important harbor town and then became one of the most prominent cities in Europe. This development is still visible in the city fabric today. Take a chronological walk from the very first harbor to the medieval part of town and the baroque canal area, finishing in the village-like Jordaan quarter with its hidden courtyards. On this tour, you will see the old town of Amsterdam from an architect's perspective, informing you about urban design, the architecture of canal houses and water management, but also about recent developments, conversions, and real estate prices. (This architectural tour is reserved exclusively for Architectural Adventures guests.)

• Rijksmuseum (Moderate) - Travel through Amsterdam, one of the largest historic centers of Europe. Admire the unique 17th-century architecture and pass historical landmarks such as the Royal Palace, the Mint Tower, the Skinny Bridge, and the Portuguese Synagogue. A visit to the Rijksmuseum, with its outstanding collection of masterpieces by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals, will complete the tour.

• Waterland Bike Ride (Active) - Travel to Waterland for a guided bike ride in a rural setting. Waterland is located just north of Amsterdam. Almost half the acreage of Waterland consists of water (hence the name) and the region is mainly fen, a marshy wetland. It comprises nine historical villages and has many officially registered monuments, 391 to be exact. A snack break is included. Other villages passed are Zunderdorp, Ransdorp, & Durgerdam.

• Jordaan District Walking and Food Tour (Moderate) - From its 17th-century roots as a working-class neighborhood, the Jordaan district has transformed into Amsterdam’s hippest place to shop, dine and unwind. With the guide, learn about its past while meandering through its tiny lanes and canals, lined with coffee bars, art galleries, vintage shops, and boutiques. Pop into local eateries and shops to sample tasty traditional snacks and treats, including poffertjes, fluffy mini-pancakes; kibbeling, crispy, battered fish with dipping sauce; flavorful herring with onions; and varieties of fresh Dutch cheese.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Cologne, Germany

AIA – An Architect’s Perspective on Cologne (Moderate) - Germany’s oldest major city, Cologne takes pride in its vibrant cultural scene and its awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral. Topped by two ornately decorated spires, the church was under construction for more than 630 years. During a guided walking tour of the old town, marvel at the cathedral’s impressive exterior as you stand in Cathedral Square, and then step inside to see the stone columns soaring upward toward the vaulted ceiling. After walking through the old town, shop or linger in a quaint café. The ship arrives in Koblenz, where it will overnight. (This architectural tour is reserved exclusively for Architectural Adventures guests.)

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Rhine Gorge & Oberwesel

Today, sail through the beautiful Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, en route to Oberwesel, and pass Loreley Rock. Onboard the ship, delight in the delectable traditional German treat — a frothy beer, complemented by fresh pretzels, sausages, and mustards. After sailing through a portion of the Rhine Gorge, the ship will dock in Oberwesel this afternoon.

Choose one of the following excursions:

• Wines of the Rhine (Moderate) - Arrive in the winemaking town of Oberwesel and shuttle to a wine tasting with a local vintner. Afterward, see the town of Oberwesel and stop in the park for some traditional music and entertainment.

• A Walk in Time (Active) - Take a walk along the city’s well-preserved fortification walls and towers. Walking on top of the city walls brings you back to the early days, where fortification walls were a necessity for survival against the enemy. Walk through the village and into the town’s park to enjoy beautiful views over the city of Oberwesel, its castle, and the river Rhine. Moderate walking and many stairs are involved.

After the excursion, enjoy some local music and entertainment in Oberwesel before returning to the ship. Continue sailing the Rhine Gorge in the afternoon.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Speyer, Heidelberg & Frankfurt

Spend the morning at leisure during the journey to Speyer. Arrive midday in Speyer, where the ship will moor for the afternoon.

Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA – Frankfurt Architectural Tour (Moderate) - On this AIA exclusive excursion, travel to Frankfurt for an introduction to its modern and historic architecture. From the historical Römerberg area to the museums built in the 80s to the high-rise buildings on the north side of the Main River, a local guiding architect leads this specialty tour. (This architectural tour is reserved exclusively for Architectural Adventures guests.)

• Speyer Walking Tour (Moderate) - Take a guided walking tour of Speyer’s highlights, including the imposing Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the burial place of the German emperors for almost 300 years.

• Heidelberg Castle and Town (Moderate) - Half-day excursion to historic Heidelberg, for a visit to the red-walled castle with its Great Vat (a 49,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask) and see beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and city below. Afterward, enjoy a short walk through the city center.

• Hike on Heidelberg’s Philosopher’s Way (Active) - Hike up the famous “Philosopher’s Way” for spectacular views of Heidelberg Castle, and the Old town. Take a rest in Philosopher’s Garden while enjoying the view along with some snacks and drinks.

Tonight, the ship departs for Strasbourg, France.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Strasbourg, France

This morning, the ship arrives in Strasbourg, the capital of France’s Alsace region. The city’s lovely historic center, called the “Grande Ile” or Big Island, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Choose one of the following excursions:

• AIA – Strasbourg Canal Cruise and Petite France Walking Tour (Moderate) - Discover the 16th- and 17th-century heritage of Petite France, a delightful and picturesque district, during a canal cruise and walking tour. Fishermen, tanners, and millers once lived in the many half-timbered houses lining the waterways. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral along the way. (This architectural tour is reserved exclusively for Architectural Adventures guests.)

• Strasbourg Panorama (Moderate) - Discover Strasbourg’s unique blend of German and French influences. Pass by the highlights, including Palais Rohan, an 18th-century building modeled after the noble mansions of Paris; St. Thomas Church, the main Protestant church; and the European Parliament buildings. Continue exploring Strasbourg with a guided walking tour of the historic center and a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral, considered one of the finest Gothic masterpieces.

• Culinary Strasbourg (Moderate) - Experience the Alsatian culinary scene on a guided tour that takes you to the city’s winstubs (small wine pubs) and other local cafés and shops. Along the way, sample traditional dishes and wines of Alsace. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral during your walk.

This afternoon, after your excursion of choice, craft your own plans in Strasbourg, where the ship will dock tonight. A shuttle bus will be available between the ship and the city center.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Breisach, Germany and Basel, Switzerland

This morning, you have the choice of three excursions:

• Riquewihr and the Wines of the Alsace (Moderate) - Set in a little valley near the Vosges mountains, this enchanting Alsatian medieval village looks much as it did in the 16th century. Stroll through the quaint town, known for its fabulous wines and romantic charm, on a walking tour and sample some local vintages at a winery.

• Breisach and Freiburg (Moderate) - Begin the walking tour in pretty Breisach, full of pastel-colored houses and cobbled lanes. Next, head to Freiburg, a university town known for its sunny, warm climate. Explore the lively Augustinerplatz in the center of town, noted for the Freiburg Münster, the historic 11th-century cathedral decorated with vibrant stained-glass windows and lacy spires.

• Black Forest Adventure (Moderate) - Venture into the Black Forest, famous for fairy tales and fables. Explore breathtaking Lake Titisee on a leisurely cruise. After the cruise, go for a swim in its crystal-clear waters or wander through the town.

The ship cruises to Basel, Switzerland, this afternoon. Tonight, share stories of your Rhine adventures with your fellow travelers at a Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations: MS Amadeus Star
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Return Home

This morning, disembark the ship in Basel and transfer to Zurich, Switzerland for flights home.

Meals: Breakfast
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