Your French river cruise vacation begins in Port St. Louis, France, from where you’ll set sail to Arles—famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh and its 1st-century Roman Amphitheater. On a guided tour of historical Avignon, see the 14th-century Palace of the Popes—the largest Gothic fortress in the world—and take a guided tour to Châteauneuf du Pape. The city of Tournon is beautifully nestled among vineyards, where you’ll take a guided walk in this medieval treasure with plenty of Roman ruins and a fascinating 16th-century castle. In Lyon, take a guided tour to Beaujolais and the following day to Chardonnay, where you will have the opportunity to taste local wines. Cruise to Mâcon for an excursion to a Chardonnay wine cellar.
Transfer from St. Jean Losne to embark on your Rhine River cruise from Basel, Switzerland. You’ll stop in Breisach, the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest, well known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. In Strasbourg, France, stroll through the picturesque La Petite France district. Visit the ruins of Heidelberg’s castle, or stop in Mainz for a guided walk and a visit to the captivating Gutenberg Museum. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. Your last stop in Germany is Cologne, where a guided walk shows you the highlights of this 2,000-year-old city. A stay in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam is the perfect way to conclude this sensational European river cruise. And the best way to see the treasures of this 700-year-old city is on a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age."