I thought it might be worthwhile to share some more detailed information on the pre-cruise tour in Lake Como, Italy, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland and the scenic drive through the Swiss Alps via the Julier Pass and the famous resort town of St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Lake Como, Italy - photo courtesy of AmaWaterways
Our first stop for 3 nights in Lake Como, Italy has earned a spot on my bucket list with the lure of its’ romantic and picturesque scenery at the foot of the Alps. Our plan is to stay at the Hilton Lake Como Hotel, just 10 minutes from Como’s City Center and with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains from the rooftop infinity pool and sky-high bar.
Lake Como, Italy
There will be a couple of excursions while we’re in Lake Como since we’re there for 3 nights. The first of them is noted here with a boat ride to Bellagio. Bellagio is described as the ‘Pearl of Lake Como’ and some note it as the most beautiful town in Europe.
“LAKE COMO – BELLAGIO
Let the wind tousle your hair as you board your boat for a scenic ride along Lake Como to its stunning pearl, Bellagio. This intimate village offers postcard-perfect views whether you choose to stroll along the lakeside or venture up hill to its cobbled streets. Browse the shops or sample the local fare at Bellagio’s restaurants before returning to the boat.”
In Bellagio, AmaWaterways suggests you can ‘treat yourself to some of the region’s finest shopping, stroll through rhododendrons and azaleas in the 200-year old gardens at Villa Melzi, dance beneath the stars to live music at the wharf or enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the scenery at La Punta, a restaurant located at the very tip of the peninsula where Lake Como divides into two.’
The second of the tours in this region is described below here:
Be treated to a walking tour of Lake Como, a former glacial lake and popular resort area for the rich and famous since Roman times. Gaze at the azure waters and impressive villas that line the lakeside from the hills above and perhaps recognize the scenery from such Hollywood blockbusters as Ocean’s Twelve and Casino Royale.”
Did you know that Lake Como is also famous for producing some of the finest silks in the world? The Duke of Milan, back in 1400, arranged for the planting of mulberry trees all around the lake providing a haven for silkworms to flourish. Amazingly, by 1972, this region was producing more silk than either China or Japan! So, if you love quality silk then you’ll love the shopping here. There’s even a factory and outlet just 15 minutes from Como’s city center.
Following our stay in Lake Como we will transfer to Lake Lucerne via Julier pass considered one of Switzerland’s most scenic routes and also referred to as a jewel of the Swiss Alps. On the way, we will also have a chance to stop in St. Moritz, Switzerland for lunch and some free time.
Julier Pass, Swiss Alps
In Lake Lucerne the plan is to stay for 2 nights at the lovely 5-star Hotel Schweizerhof situated on the shores of Lake Lucerne and a ‘stone’s throw’ from Lucerne’s city center. Our primary scheduled tour of Lucerne will include a stop at the iconic Lion Monument that was sculpted in memory of the Swiss Guards that were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. Interestingly, Mark Twain gave praise to this mortally wounded lion sculpture as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. Also part of the tour will include a visit to the spectacular 13th century medieval walls and tower. Lucerne also happens to have one of the oldest covered bridges in all of Europe dating back to the 14th century.
The entire pre-cruise tour will include 5 nights with these 2 hotel stays including daily breakfast, all baggage handling, tours as noted and the transfers between locations right through to our embarkation point in Basel with the river cruise ship. This particular 5-night tour is custom designed for our charter group dates from May 7th to the 12th, 2025.
Tour Map - Courtesy of AmaWaterways
I must also mention that one of the many things that’s great about river cruising with AmaWaterways is the excursion choices that they offer on their cruise itineraries. As an example, I’m including specifically one of our port stops in Rudesheim with the various choices that are available for this particular location:
Join a wine tasting to discover the flavors of the town’s iconic vineyards and drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River. Later in the day, cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching Lahnstein, where you will enjoy a unique evening visit at Lahneck Castle”
As you can see from this description, not only do you have a choice of tours, but there’s even more than just one tour offered in many of the towns and locations, at no additional cost. The other great option that Ama offers is that you can choose your own pace with both a gentle and regular offering with the tours as well in case anyone has mobility issues with keeping up with others. This really enables something for everyone!
The Stunning Rhine Gorge, Germany
The entire itinerary including both the 5-night pre cruise tour and the 7-night Basel to Amsterdam Rhine River Cruise goes from May 7th to 19th, 2025. Here's the link for the itinerary and ability to book your stateroom: Mills-Roy Cruise (giftedtravelnetwork.lpages.co)
Any questions about anything related to the pre-cruise tour or the river cruise can be directed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you can join us!