This article is to give you a glimpse of what a Rhine river cruise itinerary looks like. Be sure to see the article on our guide to river cruising when looking for your European river cruise.
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AMAKristina: A River Cruise on the Enchanting Rhine River
If you’ve never tried European river cruises you’re in for a fine treat. A river cruise allows you to get up close and personal with the destinations you’re seeking. This unique experience gives you the opportunity to explore Europe in a way that you never could have dreamed of experiencing it before. A river cruise gives you the luxury of exploring this magnificent continent and several of the countries within it all while giving you the adventure you seek at every port.
The AMAKristina is just one of the many ships in the AMAWaterways cruise lines. It was built in 2012 with it’s first sailing 2017, the AMAKristina boasts 443 feet of luxurious amenities. This particular AMAWaterways river cruise takes you thorough France, Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland all on the Rhine River. There are a few options for your 7-day cruise itinerary, allowing you to choose the adventure that suits you the best.
Amazing Luxury on AMAKristina
The AMAKristina, like all the AMAWaterways ships, give you the ultimate experience in luxury and adventure. The elegant staterooms help you to feel at home aboard the shop, with comfortable beds that you won’t want to leave and twin balconies so you are able to enjoy the passing views of the amazing country sides and cities as you float on by.
For your convenience, staterooms also include Entertainment-On-Demand, featuring free high-speed Internet access, Wi-Fi, movies, music and English language TV stations; climate-controlled air conditioning; and an in-room safe.
Outside of your comfortable stateroom, the high-end luxuries of the ship’s amenities away you. Enjoy a massage at the spa, sip delicious European coffee at the cafe, or enjoy some sunbathing on the Sun Deck. The swim-up bar in the ship’s pool gives you the option for a relaxing and fun time on deck. The fitness room and healthy menu choices make sure that you stay on track even while on vacation.
But what is a vacation without a little indulgence? AMAKristina offers exquisite dining options with unlimited wine and beer with lunch and dinner. You will be able to take in the local cuisine as AMAWaterways prides itself on allowing guests to enjoy local faire both on and off the ship.
Between the luxuries on the ship and the adventures offered off-board- including guided tours- it will be hard to decide which part of your European river cruise aboard the AMAKristina is your favorite- the parts on or off the Rhine River!
Your Rhine River Experience Aboard the AMAKristina
Day 1: Arrival
The first day is arrival and registration. From the Amsterdam airport you’ll be met by an AmaWaterways representative to get onto the shuttle. The shuttle will bring you directly to the ship where there is a welcome party waiting for you. After meeting some of the crew members it’s time to board your home for the next week on the Rhine river, the AmaKristina.
The AmaKristina was launched in 2017 and was designed to be the most luxurious river ship created to offer the best possible experience. You’ll find all the amenities you need to make your voyage enjoyable. Some of the notable amenities available are two dining facilities, a fully stocked bar, swimming pool, dance floor, piano, fitness center, walking track, gift shop, coffee café lounge, flat screen TV’s, massage and hair salon, forward deck lounge, and live entertainment from the on board musician.
No official tours are offered the first day. Instead, you’re free to explore the ship and venture out into the city on your own. Since the port is right in the middle of Amsterdam, it’s in a perfect location to walk into the city. The first day is also great for getting situated into your room and figuring out where all the amenities on the ship are. Most staterooms have a balcony so you don’t miss a single thing on the Rhine river even while lying in bed. Be sure not to miss the amazing food in the lounge upon your arrival. Hand crafted sandwiches and appetizers will hit the spot after a long flight. Also, later that night will be a group introduction of the entire crew as well as a change to get to know your fellow cruise mates.
Day 2: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the major ports of Europe and a jumping point for anyone traveling the area. Because of this you’ll see a diverse crowd of residents and tourists. Everyone might have a preconceived notion about what Amsterdam is and has to offer. Yes, there are many vices available to you at your fingertips such as recreational drugs and the famous Red Light District. However, there is an elegant charm to Amsterdam that cannot be overlooked.
The city is an endless ring of river canals spider webbing the historic streets and buildings. Almost every bridge you cross is another beautiful picture perfect scene. Another thing you’ll notice right away is the number of bicycles on the streets and stacked along the sidewalks. Nearly everyone in the city bikes, even young children, and the city is very equipped to handle the heavy bicycles traffic with dedicated lanes and traffic signals.
The best way to see the city is to take the “Amsterdam Canal Cruise & City Tour” offered by AmaWaterways. You’ll get to ride on a canal boat with an open roof to see all the action from the view of the water. After seeing many of the canals and historic sites it’s time to get up close to the culture. A walking tour to visit all the shops and merchants is sure to delight.
The city is the Netherland’s commercial capital as well as one of the top financial districts in Europe. Very successful businessmen and merchants called Amsterdam home and the architecture shows it.
Here you’ll also find the famous Anne Frank House in the city and Dutch Windmills on the outskirts of town. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to stop into a local bakery. Everything baked fresh daily and you’ll be delighted at the treats Amsterdam has to offer.
Day 3: Cologne and Koblenz, Germany
The third day is met with the opportunity to see two new cities, Cologne and Koblenz on the Rhine river. Cologne was founded by the Romans in 50 BC due to its natural port and grew to be one of the largest settlements in Europe. Today, it’s enjoyed by a vast multicultural population and one of the oldest universities in Germany. One of the most iconic buildings here is Cologne’s Cathedral. It was once the tallest building in all of Europe until the Eiffel tower was built.
Today you can choose to take a walking or biking tour of the city. The biking tour will take you along both banks of the Rhine river. Both are packed with historic sites and facts about the city by the knowledgeable AmaWaterways tour guides.
After your tour concludes you’ll sail up river to Deutsches Eck, or the “German Corner.” There lies the city of Koblenz where the Rhine river and the Mosel river meet. Once you make port you’ll be able to enjoy this small city by foot and take an evening stroll.
Be sure not to miss Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and Kaiser Wilhelm I, both beautifully lit up at night. Koblenz was a strategic point of the old world Rhine river and many battles have been fought there. Discover the rich history of the many cultures that controlled this city over the years.
Day 4: Rhine River Castles & Ruins and Rudesheim
This morning is spent sailing the Rhine river and enjoying the view from the top deck of the ship. A narrated castle tour will be conducted by the very talented, Csaba Tames, your Cruise Manager. The Rhine river is scattered with over 30 castles along its banks and the view from the water is remarkable. During your morning cruise you’ll be able to see the following castles; Stolzenfrelss, Marksburg, Rheinfels, Cat Castle, Pfalzgrafenstein, Sooneck, and Rheintien.
Once you make port in Rudesheim you’ll be able to choose from three different tours. The first tour is a guided bicycle tour exploring the city.
The second choice is a guided hike to Castle Ehrenfels. It’s about a 5 mile hike along the Rhine river, but the views over the top of the city are beautiful and the castle is exciting to discover.
The third choice of tours today is a wine tasting from the vast wine vineyards covering the countryside of Rudesheim. You’ll also have the change to take a gondola ride up the hill to see the vineyards from the air. That evening after dinner you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum displaying over 350 automatic musical instruments and hand cranked carnival machines.
Make sure not to miss the Rudesheim Coffee! This specialty coffee is made with “Asbach” brandy which is poured into a mug, then set on fire, mixed with coffee, and finished off with whipped cream and chocolate flakes. These will be served all day long so if you miss your chance during the day be sure to grab a nightcap after a long day of tours.
Day 5: Mannheim, Germany (Heidelberg and Speyer)
Today will be a packed day of many cities, beautiful scenery, and historic landmarks. After an overnight sail from Rudesheim you’ll arrive in Manneheim. Here you’ll have the opportunity to visit two cities, Heidelberg and Speyer.
Heidelberg is a romantic city set between two mountainsides. Over the top of the city is a magnificent castle partially in ruin. This is the center point of the town for many years and accomplished many architectural wonders. Heidelberg is also home to the oldest university in Germany founding by the Holy Roman Empire in 1386.
The pedestrian street of Hauptstrasse is almost a mile long and is one of the longest shopping streets in Germany. You’re sure to find some treasures here.
The town of Speyer is a beautiful little town with lots of charm. The most noticeable feature is the Speyer Cathedral and it’s truly massive. It was completed in 1111 and is the largest Romanesque church still standing today.
You’ll have the choice to either take a bus up to the castle of Heidelberg or take a walking tour on the opposite hillside to take in the view from across the canal. After each tour concludes you’ll have free time to explore the streets and find a pleasant place to eat lunch. AmaWaterways will provide you with cash to cover your lunch. After which you’ll travel by bus to Speyer to take a walking tour of the cathedral and the town.
Not part of the days offered tours, but something you should not miss is The Technik Museum in Speyer. Here you can actually walk into retired commercial as well as military planes, boats, and cars. You’ll have to move quickly, but it will be a memorable experience and delightful break from historic building tours.
Day 6: Strasbourg, France
An overnight sail up the Rhine river brings you to Strasbourg, France. From the moment you see the city you’ll fall in love with its charm and architecture. The Grande Ile is at the center of the city and was denoted as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, which was the first time the honor was given to an entire city center. Strasbourg is also a very important political city as well. It’s home to the Council of Europe, the Eurocorps, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Human Rights. Being the second largest port city on the Rhine river it is also home to the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine river.
There are three great ways to see the city today. The first is by bus which will take you all over the city. You can also choose a more active tour with the guided walking tour or bicycle tour. After your tours are over you can take a shuttle into the downtown of Strasbourg to enjoy some free time on your own. To cover more ground you can even ask to have a bike sent with you on the shuttle to use once you get there.
There’s so much to see and you’ll enjoy taking every moment to try and capture it all. The ship won’t depart until 10pm, but be sure not to miss the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail hour and dinner that evening. This will be a more formal event so be sure to wear something suitable. As the voyage is nearing the end you’ll enjoy the evening with your new friends you’ve come to know this week and live entertainment.
Day 7: Breisach, Germany
Wake up after a night of great food and entertainment and find yourself in Breisach, Germany. Breisach is a smaller town of around 16,000 people on the Rhine river. Its name comes from a Celtic term for “breakwater.” Much of the town was destroyed during WWII, but there is plenty of charm still remaining. Today you’ll not only have the option of visiting Bresiach, but also to see Freiburg, Germany and Riquewihr, France.
You’ll have the choice to travel out to the village of Riquewihr or take a tour of Freiburg and Breisach. With only 1,500 residents, Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here you can get a glimpse of how life was like 400 years ago. In Freiburg, you might take the opportunity to climb the cathedral tower, the Munsterturm. Get a glimpse of the Old & New Town Hall, the Swabian Gate, and the St. Martin’s Gate.
The AmaKristina will sail the Rhine river to Basel at 1:00pm so whatever you decide to do make sure to be back to the ship on time for your sail Basel, Switzerland.
Day 8: Basel, Switzerland
For those night owls, you’ll be able to explore the city the night before after it makes port. Basel is a beautiful city with much to offer and see. After spending the night in the port of Basel it’s time to wake up and prepare to leave. It will be a bittersweet ending as you’ll find it hard to say goodbye to all the new friends you made and amazing AmaWaterways crew who made you feel like family.
Be sure to have all your disembarkation documents in order and transportation arranged to your next stop, whether that’s the airport or to explore Switzerland on your own. Now is the perfect time to speak to you cruise manager about booking another AmaWaterways cruise. Be sure to ask about all upcoming itineraries and find the one that’s right for you. Leaving will be difficult, but knowing you already have your next voyage booked will make it easier to say goodbye.
There are so many different ways to see the beauty of Europe, but nothing compares to a river cruise aboard one of AMAWaterway’s ship. There are a plethora of cruise options throughout Europe. If you are looking to visit France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, the AMAKristina is the cruise ship for you. With amazing amenities, top-notch luxury, and generous time off the ship for adventures, a European river cruise aboard the AMAKristina on the Rhine River will make your European adventure one you will never forget.