If you've never experienced a river cruise, you may be wondering "what's all the fuss about?"  There is perhaps no better way to explore the small towns and historic cities of the world than on a river cruise.  Traveling by car or bus will get you into the heart of the city, at the expense of having to pack and unpack frequently.  Big ship cruising offers you the conveniences of a floating hotel, but the ship usually docks a distance from the city center of a port requiring a taxi or bus transfer to see the sights.  River cruising gives you the best of both worlds, providing "walk-off-the-ship" access to the city center without the packing hassles.  And, with a maximum capacity of less than 200 passengers on most vessels, a river cruise offers a very intimate experience.

Best of all, river cruises tend to be nearly all-inclusive, providing not only your meals, but complimentary beverages too.  You will be able to immerse yourself into each city with a selection of tours specifically chosen to highlight the historic importance of each port of call.  Whether you tour by bus, bike, or foot,  your professionally-trained, English-speaking guides will make history come alive.  And, with a personal headset, you'll hear every word.

On board, you will find a variety of activities and entertainment options, including port lectures, cooking demonstrations, music performances by local musicians, and more.  Each of the luxurious staterooms provide free on-demand movies, music and English-language television stations.  And, complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.
Photo Credits: AmaWaterways
Our fabulous trip includes all of the features that you have come to expect from Brandon Company, including round-trip air into Amsterdam, and departing from Basel or Zurich, Switzerland, deluxe, overnight accommodations in Amsterdam before your cruise departs, deluxe staterooms on board the AmsStella, all meals as served on board the ship,  regional wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, complimentary bottled water, specialty teas and coffees anytime, world-class shore excursions in each port-of-call, round-trip transfers throughout, all baggage handling, gratuities and travel-related taxes throughout, and so much more.  Contact your local Brandon Company territory manager for complete details.
Itinerary and/or inclusions are subject to change without notice.
Daily Itinerary & Inclusions

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Flights depart various Brandon cities for Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Morning arrival in Amsterdam.
Clear local immigration and transfer to the hotel.
Remainder of the day at leisure to explore Amsterdam.
Dine around evening in Amsterdam.
Overnight in Amsterdam.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Breakfast at the hotel.
Hotel checkout and transfer to the ship.
Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight in Amsterdam. (On board)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Breakfast on board.
Group tour options in Amsterdam.
Afternoon departure for Cologne, Germany.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight on board.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Breakfast at leisure on board.
Arrive in Cologne, Germany.
Group tour options in Cologne.
Remainder of the day at leisure in Cologne.
Dinner as a group on board.
Evening departure for Rudesheim, Germany.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Breakfast at leisure on board.
Morning cruise through the Rhine Gorge.
Afternoon arrival in Rudesheim, Germany.
Group tour options in Rudesheim.
Evening departure for Ludwigshafen (Heidelberg), Germany.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight on board.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Breakfast at leisure on board.
Morning at leisure on board.
Afternoon arrival in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Group tour options in Heidelberg or Speyer.
Evening departure for Strasbourg, France.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight on board.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Breakfast at leisure on board.
Morning arrival in Strasbourg, France.
Group tour options in Strasbourg.
Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Evening departure for Breisach, Germany.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight on board.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Breakfast at leisure on board.
Morning arrival in Breisach, Germany.
Group tour options in Breisach, Freiburg, Germany, or Riquewihr, France
Afternoon departure for Basel, Switzerland.
Dinner as a group on board.
Overnight on board.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Early morning arrival in Basel, Switzerland.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home.
Looking for more information on your trip?  Below are some useful links and documents to get you started.  The documents are available in Adobe PDF format, and you will need a suitable PDF reader to view them.

In addition to the information below, useful apps are available for both Android and Apple products.  We encourage you to visit the “Play Store” on your Android device or the "App Store" on your Apple device and see. Many are free of charge and some even provide maps that can even be used with data turned off if you need to conserve data.
More Information
Your journey features an incredible itinerary, beginning with an overnight in Amsterdam.  From there, you will board the AmaStella for an eight-day adventure to some of the most iconic European cities along the Rhine.  In all, you'll visit four countries - The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland.  Remember that your cruise includes tours in each port, lead by professionally-trained, English-speaking guides.
Ports of Call
The famous canals of Amsterdam await .  Take a scenic cruise and see the tall narrow homes lining the water, the Skinny Bridge, and the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding during WWII.  Take a leisurely walk to Begijnhof, known for its historic buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, or the Royal Palace - Westerkerk.  Of course, no visit to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to a traditional Dutch windmill.  And, don’t forget your pair of wooden shoes!
One of the oldest cities in Germany, Cologne has been drawing visitors since at least the year 50 A.D., when it was officially founded as the Roman outpost of Colonia. Today the big attractions are the city’s majestic Gothic cathedral, vibrant night life, and great native beer called Kölsch.  If you’re up for it, ascend the 533 steps to the top of the spires, which took from 1248 to 1880 to complete.
The 40-mile stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.   The Middle Rhine Valley is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo Credit: German National Tourist Board e.V. - Andrew Cowin
Located at the southern end of the Rhine Valley, in Germany's respected Rheingau wine region, Rudesheim is best known for its wine making - especially Riesling wines.  But, no visit would be complete without a visit to its Drosselgasse. Known as the “world’s merriest street,” visitors will find a variety of shops, taverns and restaurants. Nearby, Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet is a museum of automated musical instruments.
Nestled along the Neckar River at the foothills of the Odenwald forest, Heidelberg is considered by many to be Germany's most beautiful city.  Heidelberg's Old Town features brick streets lined with charming shops and cozy cafes. And the ruins of the majestic Heidelberg Castle sit perched high above the city, serving as the town's dramatic and iconic backdrop.
The capital city of France’s Alsace region, Strasbourg is situated on the Rhine at the German border and proudly celebrates its heritage with influences of both cultures.  Be sure to visit  the lovely “La Petite France” neighborhood, where you will see the Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock.
One stroll through the town of Riquewihr, with its cobblestone streets and brightly-painted timber homes, and you'll feel as though you've entered a fairy tale.  It should come as no surprise to learn that Riquewihr was used as inspiration for Belle's village in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and has been designated "one of the prettiest villages in France".

Located in the meeting point of Germany, France, and Switzerland, Basel sits as a gateway to the Swiss Jura mountains and nearby cities of Zurich and Lucerne, as well as the neighboring French region of Alsace and the German Black Forest.
Each of her 79 staterooms features deluxe hotel-style bedding, spacious bathroom with multi-jet shower head, large wardrobe, full-length mirror, hair dryer, safe and direct-dial telephone, flat-screen TV that also works as a computer, Entertainment On-demand system providing complimentary TV, movies and music library, complimentary Internet and Wi-Fi, complimentary bottled water replenished daily, and a full or French balcony to enjoy the panoramic views of the beautiful sights along the river.  And, with a 1:3 staff-to-guest ratio, you'll receive personalized service sure to exceed expectations. 

With fewer guests on board, you'll have the space to relax and enjoy your cruise.  Indulge in a massage following a day of sightseeing.  Take a dip in the heated pool.  Stay in shape in the fitness room.  Or relax, and take in the breathtaking scenery from the observation lounge. 
As one of AmaWaterways newest and most advanced river vessels, the AmaStella will impress you with its luxurious appointments; gourmet dining; and friendly, attentive service. 

All meals are crafted by expert chefs and feature exquisite, locally-inspired cuisine as well as traditional Western offerings. Each meal is specially paired with premium red and white wines from regional wineries. There’s also sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast, menu service during lunch, as well as delicious tapas and snacks in the Main Lounge between meals. All onboard dining, as well as unlimited wine and beer with lunch and dinner, is included so you can indulge whenever and however you’d like.