This extraordinary 11-day “Grand Tour” of Europe features an incredible combination of river, rail, lake and mountain travel including five nights aboard the deluxe Amadeus Imperial. Journey through the Western heart of the Continent through the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, cruising the most scenic sections of the fabled Rhine River. Barbara Horlbeck is the study leader on this tour!
- Pricing from
Early booking SAVINGS of up to $2,000 extended!
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages, International River Voyages
- Departure Dates
Jun 28, 2022 - Jul 8, 2022
The Golden Age of Amsterdam and Floriade Expo 2022
The historical heart of Amsterdam, laced with tree-shaded canals and stately 16th- and 17th-century merchant houses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect beginning to your Great Journey through Europe. Visit the world-class Rijksmuseum and enjoy a full-day excursion to quaint Edam, world famous for its cheese, and historical Hoorn, one of the great seafaringtowns of the Golden Age. Enjoy a full-day excursion to Floriade, the largest world horticultural expo and held only once every 10 years. With a theme of “Growing Green Cities,” Floriade Expo 2022 inspires visions of a greener tomorrow—showcasing global innovations for a more sustainable, healthier and happier future. Explore Floriade Expo 2022’s uniquely created Arboretum—a living library of more than 3,000 tree, plant and flower species alphabetically arranged by botanic name and filled with spectacular colors and scents. Marvel at nearly 2,000 trees on the expo grounds that have been sent from growers across the Netherlands. Accommodations are for three nights in a centrally located hotel.
Barbara Horlbeck, M.A., is an arts and culture professional with extensive global experience. She is a lecturer, writer, independent researcher and adjunct instructor of art history, and has developed and teaches college and university-level art history courses, including “Arts of the Islamic World” and “Arts of the Ancient World.” As Founder of Arts and Influences, Barbara developed the successful Food for Thought Lecture and Lunch Series and created a series of in-depth seminars covering a broad range of topics from “Arts of the Medieval World,” and “Arts of China, India and Japan” to “Collectors, Collections, and the Modern Museum.” As a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art for nearly 20 years, Barbara has led tours for educators, specialists and the general public. She has traveled in nearly 40 countries, including five continents and the North Pole, as well as Iran, India, Pakistan and China. Barbara loves helping travelers develop a deeper understanding of our rich artistic and cultural legacy while, at the same time, placing works of art and architecture in their rich historical context.
CANCELLATION FEES: Final payment due at least 95 days prior to departure. Cancellation fees and penalties apply as follows:
|PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
96 days or more prior*
95-61 days prior
60-45 days prior
44-0 days prior
50% of program price
75% of program price
100% of program price
*In the event of a cancellation between 45 and 95 days prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan & Company trip which commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. Click here for more information.
U.S./Amsterdam, the Netherlands/ Embark Amadeus Imperial
Depart the U.S. for Amsterdam. On arrival, enjoy a private cruise along the city’s UNESCO World Heritage‑designated canals, lined with distinctly Dutch 16th- and 17th‑century canal houses. Then, embark the deluxe Amadeus Imperial. Join your travel companions for the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner on Day 2.
Arrive in one of Germany’s ancient cities, founded as a Roman military outpost in 38 B.C. Since Charlemagne, Cologne has flourished as the Rhineland’s foremost mercantile and religious center, and it is the birthplace of the world‑famous original Eau de Cologne perfume. Explore the Altstadt (Old Town) and visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). The nation’s finest example of High Gothic architecture, the Kölner Dom took six centuries to complete. Admire the Cathedral’s lauded treasures, including medieval stained glass windows, the bejeweled sarcophagus of the Shrine of Three Kings, the monumental, 10th‑century Gero Crucifix and richly carved 14th‑century choir stalls.
Dock in historic Koblenz, strategically positioned at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, for a walking tour. Here, Germany’s Roman past dates to 9 B.C., during Augustus Caesar’s reign. From the landmark German Corner, see the 19th‑century fortress of Ehrenbreitstein across the Rhine River. Enjoy views of the Romaneque Basilica of St. Castor, built between the ninth and 13th centuries. Cruise through the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage-designated Middle Rhine Valley, where with nearly each bend in the river, terraced vineyards rise on steep slopes, medieval castles crown remote crags and tranquil villages emerge along peaceful banks. See the famous Lorelei Rock—where legend holds that a beautiful siren once lured sailors here with her enchanting song. Stop in Rüdesheim, the medieval heart of Germany’s wine country. Enjoy a tour aboard the whimsical Winzerexpress mini‑train, while traveling through country vineyards en route to a private wine tasting, which highlights local Rieslings, including the crisp Klosterberg.
Mannheim for Heidelberg
This morning, transfer from Mannheim to Heidelberg, where luminaries such as the poet Johann Wolfgang vonGoethe and Robert Schumann attended Heidelberg University, the oldest in Germany, founded in 1386. To many on the historic “Grand Tour” of Europe, Heidelberg epitomized Germany, nestled in the densely wooded valley of the Neckar River and alive with the spirit of Romanticism. On the walking tour, see the preservation of Heidelberg’s authentic Renaissance‑Baroque character, manifested in sites such as the eight remaining arches of its famous Alte Brücke (Old Bridge). Visit the stately ruins of Heidelberg Castle, the embodiment of the city’s medieval past, perched above the river.
The lively Alsatian city of Strasbourg fuses Old and New Europe with French and German influence. In the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Old City, cobblestone lanes weave around medieval houses, and the 13th‑century Ponts Couverts, bridges flanked by watchtowers, span idyllic canals. In Strasbourg, where John Calvin first established a reformed parish, view remnants of the Reformation in Saint‑Pierre‑le‑Vieux, a simultaneum used by Protestant and Catholic parishioners. See the Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame, whose graceful sandstone exterior, according to Goethe, rises “like a most sublime, wide‑arching tree of God.” The La Petite France district looks straight out of a fairy tale, with its historic miller, tanner and fishermen’s quarter of half-timbered houses along the Ill River. Nearby, member nations of the European Union engage in the daily discourse of the European Parliament.
Basel, Switzerland/Disembark ship/Bern/Lake Lucerne
Disembark the ship in Basel. Transfer across the bucolic Swiss countryside to Switzerland’s capital, Bern. Tour its beautifully preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
framed by signature 15th‑century arcades and the Aare River. Enjoy lunch in an 18th‑century High Baroque‑style granary, today a traditional Bernese restaurant. Journey from the foothills of the Alps through the Bernese Oberland to admire the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Jungfrau, an imposing summit known as the “Top of Europe.” En route to Lucerne, admire the soaring Alps, Switzerland’s stunning archetype of snowcapped peals, crystal‑clear glacial lakes and densely wooded forests. When you arrive, check into the Five-Star Schweizerhof Hotel Lucerne.
The rugged grandeur of Mounts Pilatus and Rigi reflected in a deep blue lake make Lucerne a long-favored travel destination. Begin your walking tour amid historic burghers houses in the Weinmarkt, wine market; then see the Hofkirche, Court Church, an exceptional example of German Renaissance architecture; and the Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who gave their lives defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Walk underneath tableaus of Swiss history and mythology painted on the arched roof of the 14th‑century wooden Chapel Bridge, Lucerne’s most famous landmark, spanning the Reuss River. Reach Mount Pilatus’s 7,000-foot summit by panoramic gondola for 360-degree panoramic views of central Switzerland’s unforgettable topography and lunch in a summit restaurant. Board the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, and descend nearly 5,400 feet in less than three miles to Lake Lucerne. Cruise by ferry along its placid waters—the glistening namesake of Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” surrounded by the magnificent Swiss Alps.
Relax during a scenic morning to Andermatt. After lunch in Andermatt, board the fabled Glacier Express, “the world’s slowest express train,” and delight in the surrounding natural beauty through panoramic windows along this ingenious rail route. Arrive in the Alpine resort of Zermatt, located beneath the dramatic pinnacle of the iconic Matterhorn. Check into the deluxe Hotel Alex.
Ascend through pine and larch forests, across meadows ablaze with wildflowers and past distant peaks blanketed by snow, aboard the highest cog railway in Europe, the Gornergrat Bahn. Sweeping vistas of breathtaking Alpine scenery unfold from atop the over-10,000‑foot summit, where the serrated profiles of the Matterhorn, the Liskamm and the Dufourspitze mountains and the vast Gorner Glacier extend beyond your periphery. Return to Zermatt at your leisure; enjoy stops including Riffelberg featuring a panoramic view of the Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. Enjoy the Farewell Reception this evening in the hotel.
Zermatt/Geneva/Return to the U.S.
Following breakfast, transfer to Geneva for your return flight back to your home city.
Everything you need to know about the tour
Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.
Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan
Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans