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Rhine Bike & River Cruise: Basel to Amsterdam

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Explore four countries by foot and by bike without having to unpack your bags more than once on this all-inclusive Rhine cycle river cruise.

Guided Bike & Boat

  • Daily Mileage: 9 - 35|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 24
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

11-day Bike Vacation + Air Package

$5,795

8-day Bike Vacation Only

$4,695

Per person, double occupancy

Rhine Bike & River Cruise: Basel to Amsterdam

Four countries and two modes of travel are entwined in one discovery-packed vacation. You’ll cruise through the heart of Europe, touching the shores of France, Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, viewing terraced vineyards, quaint riverside towns, and lofty castles, then disembark to bicycle for an up close and personal view. Listen to the echoes of history—and perhaps the call of the Lorelei—as you follow the meandering Rhine River. Delve into the wine culture of Alsace, taste the region’s exquisite cheeses, explore medieval cities on guided tours, and admire the view from aboard your comfortable ship. All-inclusive pricing ensures the best value you can find in a Rhine cycle river cruise!

What to Expect

On Shore: This tour offers easy riverside terrain, with a few climbs. Riding is primarily on bike paths of both pavement and packed gravel, with some road riding through urban and rural areas. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points.

Onboard Ship: Our group of up to 24 VBT guests will be part of a larger group on board our 182-passenger river cruise ship. Every day will include your choice of exclusive VBT activities, as well as opportunities to join other ship-wide activities. While in port, the ship may be docked adjacent to other ships, which may require walking through other ships while boarding or disembarking. Additionally, some views may be obstructed while in port.

  • Daily Mileage: 9 - 35|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 24
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Admire magnificent scenery from two perspectives: by boat and by bicycle.
  • Enjoy the best of both worlds: an all-inclusive river cruise and a VBT bicycling vacation.
  • Touch the shores of four countries—Switzerland, France, Germany, and The Netherlands—but only unpack your bags once.
  • Delve into the wine culture of Alsace as you cycle France’s famous Route des Vins.
  • Learn the legend of the Lorelei as you cruise the majestic Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Ride into history on a car-free bike path that traces the route of ancient Romans and knights.
  • Explore the historic cities of Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Koblenz, and Cologne with local guides.
  • Cruise the charming canals of Amsterdam.
  • Feast on Edam cheese and other local specialties during a delightful picnic lunch.

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr58º/42º

May67º/51º

Jun72º/57º

Jul77º/60º

Aug76º/59º

Sep69º/53º

Oct58º/46º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr1.5 in

May2.9 in

Jun2.6 in

Jul2.4 in

Aug2.0 in

Sep1.8 in

Oct1.5 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Zurich and one night in Den Haag in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
7 nights aboard a deluxe river ship Check Check
21 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Thu, Apr 15 to Sun, Apr 25 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Switzerland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Zurich airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. Your VBT representative will be holding a sign and will help you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 20 minutes) to your centrally located Zurich hotel. Make sure your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. If your VBT representative is not immediately in sight, there is a “Meeting Point” at both Customs exits, inside the arrivals hall. Please wait there, as the VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. They should arrive within 30 minutes. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area. VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, they will gladly store your luggage at the reception desk. The rest of the day is yours to relax or begin your exploration of the city.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Zurich.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera, Zurich

At 11:15 a.m., meet your VBT representative in the hotel lobby to transfer to Basel, Switzerland (approximately 1.5 hours). Arrive at the dock in Basel at approximately 1:00 p.m. and board your Emerald Waterways ship.

The ship will be docked at Dreiländereck (Westquaistrasse 75, 4057 Basel, Switzerland), directly at the triple border, on the Swiss side. As the exact location of the ship may change, please call the ship on your arrival in Basel for directions.

Cruise start date of: 17 April and 4 September:
Emerald Dawn, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1436, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: 29 April and 13 May:
Emerald Sun, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1432, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: 3 July:
Emerald Destiny, tele. +49 (0)152 5671 3873, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: 16 June:
MS Emerald Luna, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1937, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: 11 August and 6 October:
Emerald Sky, tele. +49 (0), [email protected]

Your cabin may not be ready for you until 3:00 p.m., but you are welcome to enjoy lunch on board between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., and to relax in the ship’s common areas, stretch your legs, or explore Basel.

At 2:30 p.m., meet your trip leaders and fellow travelers on board for introductions and a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride on local bike paths, providing your first glimpse of life along the Rhine. Later, enjoy dinner on board as the ship sets sail for Breisach this evening.

WiFi on board the ship: Due to the nature of the ship movements, Internet access is not always available. If dependable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the ship. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:Cumulative Distance Range:14 km (9 miles)
Afternoon
Basel Warm-Up Loop:14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect:The ride from our ship is on paved bike paths through Basel and will provide you with the opportunity to get acquainted with your bicycle, the route notes, and Ride with GPS, and to mingle with some of the locals.

Wake up in Breisach and start your day with a relaxing breakfast on board. Then, disembark to start your ride, departing and returning directly from the ship’s dock. Today’s ride features the Kaiserstuhl-Radweg, a loop through the vineyard terraces of the sunniest corner of Germany. Riding on well-developed cycling paths and agricultural roads, you’ll pass through riverside forests, orchards, and vineyards. Stop at one of the villages to sample the local wine and meet some of VBT’s local friends. The Kaiserstuhl sits between Germany’s Black Forest and the Vosges in France, and it may be possible to catch glimpses of both during your ride.

Rejoin the ship in Breisach for a late lunch on board. In the afternoon there is time to explore this charming town and learn about its medieval past. The Museum of City History, housed in an ornate Baroque building, is a great first stop, as it traces the city’s history back to a few thousand years B.C.

There will be time to relax on board before the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala. Tonight, the boat will set sail for Kehl.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32 – 54 km (20 – 34 miles)
Morning
Breisach to Eichstetten with a Shuttle to Breisach: 32 km (20 miles)
OR
Breisach to Breisach: 54 km (34 miles)

What to Expect:Today’s ride options are on the Kaiserstuhl Cycle Route, which is a combination of dedicated bike paths and quiet roads. There are no significant elevation gains. The short option ends with a winery visit, followed by a shuttle back to Breisach to meet the ship. The longer option is a ship-to-ship ride.

You’ll arrive in Kehl in time for breakfast after which you’ll cross the river and say “bonjour” to Strasbourg. Here you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the city, including La Petit France, the city’s historic center.
In the late morning, a short shuttle will take you from Strasbourg into wine country. The most famous wine route in France, La Route des Vins, is a series of roadways and bike paths connecting one charming village to another. As you ride through these fertile valleys, you’ll stop to enjoy a picnic of local specialties prepared by your trip leaders. The early part of your ride is alongside the picturesque Canal de la Bruche. The canal’s towpath has been converted into a bike path, which forms part of the 2,400-mile (3,862-km) EuroVelo 5 route. You are deep in wine country and you’ll have an opportunity to taste the local vintage and be tutored on Pinot Gris, Rieslings, and Gewürztraminers. Your ride finishes in charming Obernai, where you’ll have free time to enjoy the town’s cafés, wine houses, and shops. A short shuttle returns you to your ship, which is waiting across the river in Kehl.

There will be time to relax before dinner and the evening activities on board. The ship sails for Mannheim just as your small group is sitting down to dinner.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 31 – 52 km (19 – 33 miles)
Morning
Entzheim to Obernai with a Shuttle to ship: 31 km (19 miles)
OR
Entzheim to Holtzheim with a Shuttle to ship: 52 km (33 miles)

What to Expect: Ride on bike paths, dedicated bike lanes, and country roads on your choice of routes though the charming wine villages lined with flower boxes south of Strasbourg. The short option includes a shuttle from Obernai back to the ship. The long option includes a shuttle from your return point in Holtzheim back to the ship.

You’ll awaken on board your ship in Mannheim. After breakfast, you’ll take a 45-minute shuttle to Heidelberg. The town is famous for its university and its castle, perched on a hill overlooking the town and the Neckar River. A local guide will provide information on the town’s highlights and you’ll view the castle from its courtyard. Other options include a hike on Heidelberg Hill or a bike ride from Mannheim to Heidelberg via Schloss Schwetzingen, recognized for its Turkish, French, and English gardens.

Unless you’ve taken the cycling option, your bike will be waiting for you in Heidelberg). Grab a snack from your trip leaders, and then you’re off on a scenic ride back to the ship in Mannheim, partly paralleling the Neckar River. Enjoy a late lunch on board as your ship sets course for Rudesheim.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 50 km (16 – 32 miles)
Morning
Mannheim to Heidelberg via Schloss Schwetzingen: 25 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Heidelberg to Mannheim: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride options are on a mix of bike paths and town roads featuring slow-moving traffic. There are no significant elevation gains today. The morning ride is elective and would replace sightseeing in Heidelberg.

Your ship leaves its mooring this morning, just as breakfast is being served as you head toward Koblenz which is at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. You’ll want to make sure you’re on deck for the Rhine Gorge which is one of the highlights of the river. This dramatic stretch of water passes the famed Lorelei – maybe you’ll hear her call – and you will see castle after castle, interspersed with southern-facing vineyards.

Arrive in Koblenz in the late morning and join a guided walking tour of this ancient city. For an entirely different view of the river, you can ride the cable car up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

After lunch on board the boat you’ll join your fellow VBT guests for a 30-minute shuttle to the town of Muden (Mosel), nestled along the Moselle River. Here, you’ll take your bike for a spin on the Mosel Cycle Route along the river and below the steep valley walls, back to Koblenz. Most of your riding will be on a dedicated car-free bike path and will include a view of the impressive Deutsches Eck (German Corner), rebuilt in 1993 to mark the headland where the Mosel and Rhine join.

For those seeking a break from the saddle, join an optional excursion (at additional cost) to Cochem. This trip includes transfers from Koblenz to Cochem and back, a walking tour of Cochem, and a guided visit to Reichsburg Castle. Booking details will be provided with your final documents.

Your ship remains in town until after midnight, allowing for an after-dinner stroll along the wide, tree-lined promenade.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Muden (Mosel) to Ship: 33 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Today features a relaxing and easy ride on the car-free Mosel Cycle Route, with some stretches on roadways entering Koblenz.

Arrive in Cologne in the morning and watch the city’s famous spires from the boat as you’re sitting down for breakfast. Disembark for a guided walk through this 2,000-year-old city, well-known for its High Gothic architecture. This is the largest city on the Rhine, and Germany’s fourth-most-populous.

After your walk, mount your bike for an urban adventure, exploring both the popular and little-known sites of this appealing metropolis. Return to the ship in the early afternoon for lunch and then it’s time to say goodbye to Cologne as the ship sets off on the final and longest leg of the trip, to Amsterdam. This is a good time to catch up on your reading, record the week’s events in your travel journal, or just relax as the ship heads to Amsterdam. Tonight you’ll be treated to a cocktail reception and gala dinner.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 km (13 miles)
Morning
Cologne City Loop: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride features a combination of bike paths and town streets, through parks, and along the waterfront.

This morning, see Amsterdam as earlier residents would have viewed it, through a guided boat excursion along the canals.

Midday, set off on the city’s excellent bike path network, heading north to the small fishing village of Monnickendam. As you pedal out of the city, you’ll get a glimpse of everyday life in the countryside, as well as some of The Netherlands’ iconic views. Your route is via Broek in Waterland, a particularly charming village that seemingly cries out for you to stop and take pictures. We’ve found an idyllic location to enjoy a picnic lunch, prepared by your trip leaders using local specialties. You’ll get a different perspective of this beautiful countryside during your leisurely return route to the ship.

Back on board, enjoy a full roster of entertainment and dining to celebrate your week on the Rhine with your fellow travelers.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 43 km (14 – 27 miles)
Morning
Ship to Monnickendam: 22 km (14 miles)
Afternoon
Monnickendam to Ship: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s routes offer flat, easy cycling on well-maintained bike paths. The short option involves a shuttle back to the ship from Monnikendam.

After breakfast, say goodbye to your ship crew and trip leaders, and join the group transfer by minibus at 9:00 a.m. to your hotel in Den Haag (approximately 60 minutes). After checking in, enjoy free time for independent exploration. Please note that your room may not be ready upon your arrival, in which case the hotel will store your luggage. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight in one of the city’s many fine restaurants. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations about what to see and do in Den Haag.

Note: Should you wish to spend time seeing more of Amsterdam, your luggage may be sent to the hotel in Den Haag with the group transfer, and you will then be responsible to travel to Den Haag at your leisure by train.

Accommodation: Carlton Ambassador Hotel, Den Haag
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Sat, Apr 17 to Sat, Apr 24 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your own way to Basel, Switzerland, to meet your trip leaders and fellow travelers. Please note that you cannot embark before 12:30 p.m. as the ship is being prepared for you.

The ship will be docked at Dreiländereck (Westquaistrasse 75, 4057 Basel, Switzerland), directly at the triple border, on the Swiss side. As the exact location of the ship may change, please call the ship on your arrival in Basel for directions.

Cruise start date of: 17 April and 4 September:
Emerald Dawn, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1436, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: 29 April and 13 May:
Emerald Sun, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1432, [email protected]

Cruise start date of: 3 July:
Emerald Destiny, tele. +49 (0)152 5671 3873, [email protected]

Cruise start dates of: 16 June:
MS Emerald Luna, tele. +49 (0), [email protected]

Cruise start date of: 11 August and 6 October:
Emerald Sky, tele. +49 (0)173 518 1933, [email protected]

Your cabin may not be ready for you until 3:00 p.m., but you are welcome to enjoy lunch on board between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., and to relax in the ship’s common areas, stretch your legs, or explore Basel.

At 2:30 p.m., meet your trip leaders and fellow travelers on board for introductions and a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride on local bike paths, providing your first glimpse of life along the Rhine. Later, enjoy dinner on board as the ship sets sail for Breisach this evening.

WiFi on board the ship: Due to the nature of the ship movements, Internet access is not always available. If dependable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Ride with GPS: There is limited WiFi on board. If you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone, VBT recommends that you download your VBT Maps & Route Notes from a WiFi zone prior to arrival on the ship. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. As always, VBT also provides our traditional printed maps and route notes during the tour.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range:14 km (9 miles)
Afternoon
Basel Warm-Up Loop:14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect:The ride from our ship is on paved bike paths through Basel and will provide you with the opportunity to get acquainted with your bicycle, the route notes, and Ride with GPS, and to mingle with some of the locals.

Wake up in Breisach and start your day with a relaxing breakfast on board. Then, disembark to start your ride, departing and returning directly from the ship’s dock. Today’s ride features the Kaiserstuhl-Radweg, a loop through the vineyard terraces of the sunniest corner of Germany. Riding on well-developed cycling paths and agricultural roads, you’ll pass through riverside forests, orchards, and vineyards. Stop at one of the villages to sample the local wine and meet some of VBT’s local friends. The Kaiserstuhl sits between Germany’s Black Forest and the Vosges in France, and it may be possible to catch glimpses of both during your ride.

Rejoin the ship in Breisach for a late lunch on board. In the afternoon there is time to explore this charming town and learn about its medieval past. The Museum of City History, housed in an ornate Baroque building, is a great first stop, as it traces the city’s history back to a few thousand years B.C.

There will be time to relax on board before the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala. Tonight, the boat will set sail for Kehl.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32 – 54 km (20 – 34 miles)
Morning
Breisach to Eichstetten with a Shuttle to Breisach: 32 km (20 miles)
OR
Breisach to Breisach: 54 km (34 miles)

What to Expect:Today’s ride options are on the Kaiserstuhl Cycle Route, which is a combination of dedicated bike paths and quiet roads. There are no significant elevation gains. The short option ends with a winery visit, followed by a shuttle back to Breisach to meet the ship. The longer option is a ship-to-ship ride.

You’ll arrive in Kehl in time for breakfast after which you’ll cross the river and say “bonjour” to Strasbourg. Here you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the city, including La Petit France, the city’s historic center.
In the late morning, a short shuttle will take you from Strasbourg into wine country. The most famous wine route in France, La Route des Vins, is a series of roadways and bike paths connecting one charming village to another. As you ride through these fertile valleys, you’ll stop to enjoy a picnic of local specialties prepared by your trip leaders. The early part of your ride is alongside the picturesque Canal de la Bruche. The canal’s towpath has been converted into a bike path, which forms part of the 2,400-mile (3,862-km) EuroVelo 5 route. You are deep in wine country and you’ll have an opportunity to taste the local vintage and be tutored on Pinot Gris, Rieslings, and Gewürztraminers. Your ride finishes in charming Obernai, where you’ll have free time to enjoy the town’s cafés, wine houses, and shops. A short shuttle returns you to your ship, which is waiting across the river in Kehl.

There will be time to relax before dinner and the evening activities on board. The ship sails for Mannheim just as your small group is sitting down to dinner.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 31 – 52 km (19 – 33 miles)
Morning
Entzheim to Obernai with a Shuttle to ship: 31 km (19 miles)
OR
Entzheim to Holtzheim with a Shuttle to ship: 52 km (33 miles)

What to Expect: Ride on bike paths, dedicated bike lanes, and country roads on your choice of routes though the charming wine villages lined with flower boxes south of Strasbourg. The short option includes a shuttle from Obernai back to the ship. The long option includes a shuttle from your return point in Holtzheim back to the ship.

You’ll awaken on board your ship in Mannheim. After breakfast, you’ll take a 45-minute shuttle to Heidelberg. The town is famous for its university and its castle, perched on a hill overlooking the town and the Neckar River. A local guide will provide information on the town’s highlights and you’ll view the castle from its courtyard. Other options include a hike on Heidelberg Hill or a bike ride from Mannheim to Heidelberg via Schloss Schwetzingen, recognized for its Turkish, French, and English gardens.

Unless you’ve taken the cycling option, your bike will be waiting for you in Heidelberg). Grab a snack from your trip leaders, and then you’re off on a scenic ride back to the ship in Mannheim, partly paralleling the Neckar River. Enjoy a late lunch on board as your ship sets course for Rudesheim.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 50 km (16 – 32 miles)
Morning
Mannheim to Heidelberg via Schloss Schwetzingen: 25 km (16 miles)
Afternoon
Heidelberg to Mannheim: 25 km (16 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride options are on a mix of bike paths and town roads featuring slow-moving traffic. There are no significant elevation gains today. The morning ride is elective and would replace sightseeing in Heidelberg.

Your ship leaves its mooring this morning, just as breakfast is being served as you head toward Koblenz which is at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. You’ll want to make sure you’re on deck for the Rhine Gorge which is one of the highlights of the river. This dramatic stretch of water passes the famed Lorelei – maybe you’ll hear her call – and you will see castle after castle, interspersed with southern-facing vineyards.

Arrive in Koblenz in the late morning and join a guided walking tour of this ancient city. For an entirely different view of the river, you can ride the cable car up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

After lunch on board the boat you’ll join your fellow VBT guests for a 30-minute shuttle to the town of Muden (Mosel), nestled along the Moselle River. Here, you’ll take your bike for a spin on the Mosel Cycle Route along the river and below the steep valley walls, back to Koblenz. Most of your riding will be on a dedicated car-free bike path and will include a view of the impressive Deutsches Eck (German Corner), rebuilt in 1993 to mark the headland where the Mosel and Rhine join.

For those seeking a break from the saddle, join an optional excursion (at additional cost) to Cochem. This trip includes transfers from Koblenz to Cochem and back, a walking tour of Cochem, and a guided visit to Reichsburg Castle. Booking details will be provided with your final documents.

Your ship remains in town until after midnight, allowing for an after-dinner stroll along the wide, tree-lined promenade.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Muden (Mosel) to Ship: 33 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Today features a relaxing and easy ride on the car-free Mosel Cycle Route, with some stretches on roadways entering Koblenz.

Arrive in Cologne in the morning and watch the city’s famous spires from the boat as you’re sitting down for breakfast. Disembark for a guided walk through this 2,000-year-old city, well-known for its High Gothic architecture. This is the largest city on the Rhine, and Germany’s fourth-most-populous.

After your walk, mount your bike for an urban adventure, exploring both the popular and little-known sites of this appealing metropolis. Return to the ship in the early afternoon for lunch and then it’s time to say goodbye to Cologne as the ship sets off on the final and longest leg of the trip, to Amsterdam. This is a good time to catch up on your reading, record the week’s events in your travel journal, or just relax as the ship heads to Amsterdam. Tonight you’ll be treated to a cocktail reception and gala dinner.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 km (13 miles)
Morning
Cologne City Loop: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride features a combination of bike paths and town streets, through parks, and along the waterfront.

This morning, see Amsterdam as earlier residents would have viewed it, through a guided boat excursion along the canals.

Midday, set off on the city’s excellent bike path network, heading north to the small fishing village of Monnickendam. As you pedal out of the city, you’ll get a glimpse of everyday life in the countryside, as well as some of The Netherlands’ iconic views. Your route is via Broek in Waterland, a particularly charming village that seemingly cries out for you to stop and take pictures. We’ve found an idyllic location to enjoy a picnic lunch, prepared by your trip leaders using local specialties. You’ll get a different perspective of this beautiful countryside during your leisurely return route to the ship.

Back on board, enjoy a full roster of entertainment and dining to celebrate your week on the Rhine with your fellow travelers.

Accommodation: MS MS Emerald Luna/Emerald Sky/Emerald Destiny/Emerald Dawn/Emerald Sun
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 43 km (14 – 27 miles)
Morning
Ship to Monnickendam: 22 km (14 miles)
Afternoon
Monnickendam to Ship: 21 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s routes offer flat, easy cycling on well-maintained bike paths. The short option involves a shuttle back to the ship from Monnikendam.

After breakfast, say goodbye to your ship crew and trip leaders as your tour ends. It is important that you disembark ship no later than 9:00 a.m. Taxis will be available for transfers to the train station or airport.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Zurich

2 Nights From $445 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Opera in Zurich
  • Daily breakfast
  • Airport and ship transfers
  • City Information

Depart home for Switzerland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Zurich airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. Your VBT representative will be holding a sign and will help you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 20 minutes) to your centrally located Zurich hotel. Make sure your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall. If your VBT representative is not immediately in sight, there is a “Meeting Point” at both Customs exits, inside the arrivals hall. Please wait there, as the VBT representative may be transferring with an earlier arrival. They should arrive within 30 minutes. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area. VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area.

Your hotel room may not be available until after 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early, they will gladly store your luggage at the reception desk. The rest of the day is yours to relax or begin your exploration of the city.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay in Zurich.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera, Zurich

Zurich is one of Europe’s most under-appreciated cities. It is situated in one of the planet’s most beautiful settings, beside the Limmat River and facing crystal-clear Lake Zurich with the snowy peaks of the Alps looming in the distance. Steep, cobbled alleys crisscross the Old Town, inviting endless exploration. Cozy cafes are magnets for coffee lovers and people watchers, and a bench-lined promenade on the lake invites contemplation. Zurich enjoys a reputation as an extremely clean and litter-free city and is frequently named as one of the cities with the best quality of life in the world. There is so much in this remarkable city to explore.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera, Zurich
Included Meals: Breakfast

While Zurich is certainly worth another day of exploration, you can also use the Swiss rail system to visit nearby destinations such as Lucerne with its 17th century Chapel Bridge and the neighboring Mount Pilatus.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera, Zurich
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Post-Trip Extension - The Hague

2 Nights From $245 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel
  • Daily breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • City Information

Today, explore one of the most extraordinary cities in Holland; not just because it is the seat of the national government, but also because of its place as the “International City of Peace and Justice” and second home of the United Nations. Beautifully set on the North Sea, Den Haag (The Hague) boasts many monuments and historic districts. It is known as the “Royal City by the Sea” because of the many members of the Dutch royal family who reside in its chic neighborhoods.

The Plein and Grote Markt squares are filled with great restaurants and coffee houses which exude a lively and welcoming atmosphere. Den Haag’s shopping is as varied as the city itself, ranging from luxury department stores offering top international brands to cozy streets lined with small boutiques and specialty shops. The city boasts internationally renowned art and culture. Visit the Mauritshuis, home of the best Dutch paintings from the Golden Age, or Panorama Mesdag, a cyclorama painting more than 45 feet (13.7 meters) high and 390 feet (118.8 meters) in circumference. A different kind of cultural center is the Peace Palace which is home to a number of international judicial institutions. If you’d rather go further afield, you can board a train to one of the nearby Dutch cities.

Accommodation: Carlton Ambassador Hotel, Den Haag
Included Meals: Breakfast

Take another day to enjoy this charming city or venture off by rail to see Amsterdam.

Accommodation: Carlton Ambassador Hotel, Den Haag
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel’s reception desk the night before your flight. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $2,295

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $2,195

Thu, Apr 15 - Sun, Apr 25, 2021

From
$5,795

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Sat, Apr 17 - Sat, Apr 24, 2021

From
$4,695

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Tue, Apr 27 - Fri, May 7, 2021

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$5,795

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Thu, Apr 29 - Thu, May 6, 2021

From
$4,695

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Tue, May 11 - Fri, May 21, 2021

From
$6,195

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Thu, May 13 - Thu, May 20, 2021

From
$5,095

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Fri, Jun 4 - Mon, Jun 14, 2021

From
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Sun, Jun 6 - Sun, Jun 13, 2021

From
$5,095

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Thu, Jul 1 - Sun, Jul 11, 2021

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Sat, Jul 3 - Sat, Jul 10, 2021

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Mon, Aug 9 - Thu, Aug 19, 2021

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Wed, Aug 11 - Wed, Aug 18, 2021

From
$5,345

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Thu, Sep 2 - Sun, Sep 12, 2021

From
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Limited Spaces Left

Sat, Sep 4 - Sat, Sep 11, 2021

From
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Mon, Oct 4 - Thu, Oct 14, 2021

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$5,795

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Wed, Oct 6 - Wed, Oct 13, 2021

From
$4,695

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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