Europe

Breathtaking European Rhine River Cruise

Set sail on an unforgettable European adventure through Holland, Germany, France and Switzerland on an eight-day scenic cruise of the Rhine River. Take in the sights of Amsterdam, Cologne and more from the premium Monarch Countess ship, starting in either Amsterdam or Basel – the choice is yours. Only unpack once and enjoy six shore excursions. Enjoy seven nights in an outside cabin with a French balcony with all meals, unlimited wine and beer with dinners, guided sightseeing and more.

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AUD$2,499/person

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The elegance and history of Europe await on this unforgettable seven-night cruise of the Rhine River through Holland, Germany, France and Switzerland. Soak up the sights of Amsterdam, Cologne, Basel and more from the comfort of the first-class Monarch Countess, with all meals included.

Want to start in Amsterdam and end in Basel, or the other way around? No problem – the choice is yours. Browse the itineraries and choose which package suits you best, whether you’re taking the cruise on its own or adding it to another experience in Europe.

What You’ll Love…

The Experience – Majestic palaces, cobbled streets and Gothic castles along the Rhine

Explore the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam, with its 17th-century buildings, winding canals and gabled houses. Learn more about its past and present with a guided tour of the city, taking in the Royal Palace, the Dutch National Monument and the famous Magere Brug (‘skinny bridge’). Board a glass-top boat to cruise the city’s canals, soaking up the sights of historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and churches en route.

Enjoy a walking tour of Germany’s colourful city of Cologne steeped in 2,000 years of history, and marvel at the famous Gothic cathedral with its twin spires that soar into the sky.

Discover the ancient German city of Koblenz with its Gothic revival castle and historic architecture. Onboard the ship, soak up spectacular views as you cruise past clifftop castles, terraced vineyards and quaint villages.

Where the Rhine and Neckar rivers meet, you’ll disembark at the German city of Mannheim. See its majestic Baroque palace and visit Luisenpark, a picturesque, 41-hectare park with a Chinese Garden and a lake with Gondoletta boats.

Enjoy a tour of the picturesque city of Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany. Marvel at the city’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre with its stunning Gothic cathedral, astronomical clock and ancient churches, and browse the shops and bistros of the Petite France historic quarter.

Stroll along the cobbled streets of Breisach with its pastel-coloured houses and Romanesque-Gothic St Stephansmunster Cathedral.

The Ship – Admire the passing vews from your French balcony aboard the Monarch Countess

Cruise in comfort on the Monarch Countess, enjoying a premium position in an outside cabin with a French balcony where you can admire the ever-changing view. Your well-equipped cabin offers all the comforts of a hotel room, with air conditioning, private bath facilities, a shower and a flat-screen TV.

In addition to 64 well-appointed cabins and four suites, this intimate yet well-equipped ship features a lounge with bar, a restaurant, a sun deck with a jacuzzi to soak up the views and even a fitness centre so you can keep fit during your stay. Rest assured that meals are taken care of for you, including a welcome dinner with the captain to kick off your cruise in style.

Cabin C: Located on the Sapphire Deck (the third deck down on the ship), C cabins are located on the outside of the ship with a French balcony.

Cabin A Upgrade: Upgrade to Cabin A to enjoy a location on the Royal Deck (the second deck down on the ship beneath the sun deck) with enhanced views from your French balcony.

Suite VIP Upgrade: Boasting a prime location on the middle of the Royal Deck away from common areas, the plush suites offer additional space (24sqm) and enhanced views from a French balcony.

Your Package Includes

  • Seven nights aboard the Monarch Countess, in a cabin complete with double or twin beds, a French balcony, private bath facilities, a shower, air-conditioning and a flat-screen TV
  • Seven breakfasts (including ‘early riser’ breakfasts in addition to the breakfast buffet), six lunches, seven dinners and late-night snacks over the duration of the tour, including locally-inspired cuisine and a Captain’s welcome and farewell dinner
  • Wine and beer with dinners
  • Self-serve coffee and tea onboard
  • Daily entertainment, including an onboard musician, for you to enjoy
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas on the ship
  • River port charges, porterage, entrance fees for destinations listed in the itinerary, tipping and gratuities
  • Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English with comfortable wireless headphones

The '7 day change of mind guarantee' does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Refund Policy applies.

Valid for the following departure dates:

Departing Amsterdam: 19 May 2019, 2 June 2019, 28 July 2019, 25 August 2019

Departing Basel: 26 May 2019, 23 June 2019, 21 July 2019, 4 August 2019

Update 27.07.18 at 9:50am AEDT: Please note the 23 June 2019 departure departs from Basel.

Please note, departure dates mark the first day of the tour. Guests must make their own travel arrangements to ensure they are in Amsterdam or Basel (according to the preferred departure location) on their chosen departure date.

Maximum tour group size is 136 passengers.

Package is valid for ONE PERSON aged eighteen years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES.

Single Travellers: Please note if you are travelling on your own you must purchase TWO packages and will be accommodated in your own full-size cabin.

Minimum Child Age: Children aged 16 years may travel when sharing with an adult. If a person under the age of 18 years will be travelling with an adult other than his/her parents, or with only one parent, a notarized letter written by the parents, or non-travelling parent, granting authorisation to travel, including the dates of travel should be carried.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two adults. Bedding configuration is double or twin beds.

Please note: no additional beds may be added.

Connecting rooms are not available.

All surcharges are payable directly to the tour company.

Amsterdam to Basel: Embarkation will begin at 2pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in. Passengers returning from Basel should select flights that depart no earlier than 8am.

Basel to Amsterdam: Passengers arriving in Basel should select flights that arrive no later than 6pm. Embarkation will begin at 2pm, however, early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in.

Please note tour involves around three to four hours of moderate walking each day and may involve uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and slopes.

Not recommended for travellers with disabilities. River cruises may not have ramps, wide entryways or elevators to accommodate disabled passengers or devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and motorised scooters. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs, walking frames and motorised scooters may not be taken aboard motor coaches and river cruises.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated). Menus are subject to change without notice.

The following optional tours are available to purchase directly from the tour operator:

Colmar city tour

Heidelberg city tour

Marksburg Castle tour

Know Before You Book - High & Low Water

European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your holiday, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels (suite upgrades will not apply). The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavour to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply. Refer to website's terms and conditions.

BASEL TO AMSTERDAM

DAY 1 - Cruise Embarkation in Basel

Embarkation will begin at 2:00 pm in Basel. After arrival formalities, rest and relax on board. This evening, the Captain's Welcome Cocktail and Dinner sets the mood for your delightful river cruise.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 - Breisach Walking Tour

Arrive this morning in the small town of Breisach that dates back over 4,000 years. On your walking tour along the cobbled streets lined with pastel-painted houses, it's hard to believe this town was mostly destroyed in WWII and then totally restored to its original beauty. View the towering Romanesque and Gothic St. Stephansmunster Cathedral, a highlight of the city. Spend free time in town, or, join the optional tour to Colmar in France, known as Alsace's most beautiful city with its dramatic steep pitched roofs, pastel stucco and distinctive French shutters accented by window boxes filled with colorful geraniums. At the end of your tour, stop by a local wine maker to sample a few of the region's varietals.

Optional: Colmar City Tour (PM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 - Strasbourg City Tour

A lovely day awaits you in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, situated on the border of France and Germany, blending the cultures of both countries. Discover Strasbourg on the tour highlighting the city's center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Of special note is the stunning Gothic Cathedral, an exquisite example of late Gothic architecture that houses one of the finest astronomical clocks in existence. See the magical La Petite France district, home to quaint shops and charming bistros, Place Kleber, a large historic square in the center of the city and Place Gutenberg, dedicated to the inventor of the printing press. This evening, the ship sets sail toward Speyer.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 - Morning in Speyer & Evening in Rudesheim

This morning arrive in Speyer. Perhaps take a refreshing morning walk through this picturesque town founded by the Romans, or alternatively, join the optional tour to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany and inspiration for some of the world's greatest writers and artists. The ship will continue sailing this morning and passengers joining the tour will rejoin the ship at lunchtime and relax on board this afternoon. After dinner, arrive in Rudesheim, a lively village in the heart of the Rhine; perhaps take a leisurely walk through town or visit a quaint wine tavern.

Optional: Heidelberg City Tour (AM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5 - Morning Cruising & Afternoon in Koblenz

This morning take in the spectacular vistas as the ship sails past castles perched on lofty cliffs, terraced vineyards and tiny villages. Pass the mighty Lorelei Rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine rising vertically from the waters, named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. After lunch on board, the ship docks in Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Join an orientation walk and free time to explore the Romanesque architecture and imposing defensive towers of this 2000-year old city. Or, join the optional tour to the dramatic Marksburg Castle, the only hill castle on the Rhine that's never been destroyed and has been continuously occupied for over 700 years.

Optional: Marksburg Castle (PM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 - Cologne City Tour

Today the ship will dock in Cologne, one of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland. Your walking tour of the city is highlighted by the soaring, twin-steeple Gothic cathedral that is the geographical and spiritual heart of the city. Known for its vibrant art scene, Cologne abounds with cafes, galleries, shops and taverns. The ship will set sail just before dinner this evening.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7 - Amsterdam City Tour

Cruise into Amsterdam as you enjoy breakfast on board, and join a panoramic tour of 700-year-old Amsterdam. View the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, the Queen's official home-away-from-home. On to the Dutch National Monument dedicated by Queen Juliana as a memorial to the victims of WWII and to the unusual Skinny Bridge, once so narrow that pedestrians could not pass each other. Then, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals for an up-close view of the stately historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and charming churches with striking bell towers. This evening bid farewell to your traveling companions on your final night on board.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 - Depart the Netherlands

This morning, disembark and transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am.

Meals: Breakfast

AMSTERDAM TO BASEL

DAY 1 - Arrive in Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland's sophisticated and modern capital. After arrival formalities, rest and relax on board, or begin your discovery of the many cultural sites this city has to offer. This evening, the Captain's Welcome Cocktail and Dinner sets the mood for your delightful river cruise.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 - Amsterdam City Tour & Afternoon Cruising

Today's panoramic tour of 700-year-old Amsterdam introduces you to both the old and the new sections of this city. View the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, the Queen's official home-away-from-home. On to the Dutch National Monument dedicated by Queen Juliana as a memorial to the victims of WWII and to the unusual Skinny Bridge, once so narrow that pedestrians could not pass each other. Then, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals for an up-close view of the stately historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and charming churches with striking bell towers. This afternoon get acquainted with your fellow passengers as you cruise south for Germany.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 - Cologne City Tour

Sail on the legendary Rhine to Cologne, one of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, arriving as you enjoy lunch on board. Your walking tour of the city is highlighted by the soaring, twin-steeple Gothic cathedral that is the geographical and spiritual heart of the city. Known for its vibrant art scene, Cologne abounds with cafes, galleries, shops and taverns. After dinner on board, time to explore Cologne's vibrant night life before setting sail.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 - Morning in Koblenz & Afternoon Cruising

The ship docks this morning in Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Join an orientation walk this morning and free time to explore the Romanesque architecture and imposing defensive towers of this 2000-year old city. Or, join the optional tour to the dramatic Marksburg Castle, the only hill castle on the Rhine that's never been destroyed and has been continuously occupied for over 700 years. At noon, set sail and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on board, taking in the spectacular vistas as the ship sails past castles perched on lofty cliffs, terraced vineyards and tiny villages. Pass the mighty Lorelei Rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine rising vertically from the waters, named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. This evening, arrive in Rüdesheim, a lively village in the heart of the Rhine. After dinner, perhaps stroll along the lanes filled with quaint wine taverns.

Optional: Marksburg Castle (AM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5 - Morning in Mannheim & Afternoon in Speyer

Today discover Mannheim, meeting point of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers, once the gathering place for classical composers. View the imposing red sandstone Schloss, Germany's largest baroque palace and the Luisenpark, one of the loveliest parks in Europe. Alternatively, join the optional tour to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany and inspiration for some of the world's greatest writers and artists; tour the city and view the ruins of 12th century Heidelberg Castle before returning to the ship as it sails to Speyer. Here, stroll the lanes of this picturesque city founded by the Romans, with its prized red sandstone cathedral named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, the ship sails for Strasbourg.

Optional: Heidelberg City Tour (AM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 - Strasbourg City Tour

A lovely day awaits you in the Alsace capital of Strasbourg, situated on the border of France and Germany, blending the cultures of both countries. Discover Strasbourg on the tour highlighting the city's center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Of special note is the stunning Gothic Cathedral, an exquisite example of late Gothic architecture that houses one of the finest astronomical clocks in existence. See the magical La Petite France district, home to quaint shops and charming bistros, Place Kleber, a large historic square in the center of the city and Place Gutenberg, dedicated to the inventor of the printing press. This evening, return to the ship as you sail toward Breisach in the Rhine Valley.

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7 - Breisach Walking Tour

Arrive this morning in the small city of Breisach that dates back over 4,000 years. On your walking tour along the cobbled streets lined with pastel-painted houses, it's hard to believe this town was mostly destroyed in WWII and then totally restored to its original beauty. View the towering Romanesque and Gothic St. Stephansmunster Cathedral, a highlight of the city. Spend free time in town, or, join the optional tour to Colmar in France, known as Alsace's most beautiful city with its dramatic steep pitched roofs, pastel stucco and distinctive French shutters accented by window boxes filled with colorful geraniums. At the end of your tour, stop by a local wine maker to sample a few of the region's varietals. Tonight, at the Farewell Dinner, share wonderful memories of your Rhine journey with your new-found friends.

Optional: Colmar City Tour (PM)

Overnight: River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 - Depart Switzerland

This morning, disembark and make your own way to the airport. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am.

Meals: Breakfast

Simply arrive in Amsterdam or Basel (depending on your chosen departure location) ready to embark the cruise on the date that your tour begins.

Amsterdam to Basel: Embarkation will begin at 2pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in. Passengers returning from Basel should select flights that depart no earlier than 8:00 am.

Basel to Amsterdam: Passengers arriving to Basel should select flights that arrive no later than 6:00 pm. Embarkation will begin at 2pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in.

Flights to Amsterdam are available from Australia with stops en route via carriers including Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia, Qatar Airways and more. Flights to Basel are available with stops en route via carriers including British Airways, Qantas and more.

Need Flights? We have a dedicated team who are able to assist with all your flight requirements. If you need a stopover or are looking at travelling to more destinations, our team can help. Contact our flights concierge team using the phone number on our website.