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Lake Como, The Swiss Alps and Rhine Castles

Ok, I am so very excited about this opportunity for another special group Rhine River Cruise with AmaWaterways in May 2025 with a fabulous pre-cruise tour in Lake Como, Italy and Lake Lucerne, Switzerland!

Lake Como, Italy

Lucerne, Switzerland

The itinerary for the river cruise will commence in Basel, Switzerland on May 12th and end in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on May 19th. The pre-cruise tour for those interested would include 3 wonderful nights in Lake Como, Italy followed by 2 nights in Lake Lucerne, Switzerland with a phenomenal, picturesque transfer from Lake Como to Lucerne via the famous Julier Pass in the Swiss Alps with a lunch stop in the fabulous St. Moritz, Switzerland. The dates for the pre-tour would be from May 7th to the 12th.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

This pre-tour will include 5 hotel nights in 4- or 5-star hotel properties, including daily breakfast, a Lake Como Walking tour, a Lake Como boating excursion to the Bellagio, a Lucerne walking tour, the famous Lion Monument and Medieval City Walls Tour, a Basel Highlights Tour prior to embarkation and the full transfer from Lake Como to Lucerne and on to Basel through the Swiss Alps as mentioned above.

Swiss Alps

The ship is the lovely AmaSerena, with 82 staterooms and almost 60% of these have Ama’s revolutionary twin balcony options that include both an outside balcony and a traditional French balcony. There are also 4 larger 300 square foot suites and all staterooms are much larger than the ones we had on the Bordeaux France river cruise.

AmaSerena - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways

AmaSerena's Twin Balcony Stateroom - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways

The cruise is all-inclusive including the following:

• Multiple daily options for shore excursions including active, regular and gentle choices as required.

• All gourmet meals onboard (Early Riser Coffee and Croissants, a Rich Breakfast, a Festive Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Coffee with cake, cookies & sandwiches and a Multi-Course-Dinner)

• Choice of dining options at no additional cost including the Main Dining Salon and an intimate Chef’s Table Restaurant where the Chef prepares the meal in person.

• Free flowing red and white wine from the local regions, beer or soft drinks for lunch & dinner

• Captain’s Welcome Champagne Reception and Gala Dinner and Captain’s Farewell Champagne Reception and Gala Dinner plus several theme-dinners

• Complimentary “Sip & Sail” cocktail hour offering a “Happy Hour” menu on five evenings one hour before dinner (Captain’s Receptions on the other two evenings)

• Coffee, tea, ice-water and iced-tea are included all day. Cappuccino, latte and espresso can be requested free of charge during all meals! Complimentary coffee & tea station 24/7

• Bottled water, fluffy bathrobes and slippers are provided in each cabin.

• Complimentary use of fitness room and equipment

• Complimentary Wellness Program with qualified Fitness Instructor and use of the fitness equipment available free of charge

• Sun Deck for total relaxation with heated swimming pool and walking track

• Complimentary use of the AMA bicycles and helmets in each port

• Complimentary in-cabin movies

• Unlimited Internet onboard

• Elevator on board operating between different 2 main deck levels (not including the sun deck).

• Nightly piano music; also, during Afternoon Tea & Coffee Time

• Use of our Quietvox headsets is also included.

• Services of AmaWaterway’s incredible Cruise Director

Breakfast on the Sun Deck - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways

What’s very cool about this itinerary is the great array of excursions that will have something that will appeal to everyone. As is AmaWaterways normal course, there will be plenty of active options for those interested in hiking and biking, while there will also be other less active options with interesting activities, sightseeing, boat rides, wine tasting, gondola rides, plenty of castles, beer and other great tastings, canal cruise and so much more!

Another Strasbourg photo - courtesy of AmaWaterways

I thought it might be best to simply include a copy of the itinerary for the river cruise here as follows:


Embark the ship in Basel for the Swiss Alps & Rhine Castles cruise.


Enjoy getting to know Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Long an important university, banking and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval town hall, richly decorated market square and exquisite 18th-century patrician homes. Tour the city by foot or on a guided bike tour that takes you through three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. Alternatively, go on a full-day excursion to Lake Lucerne, or opt for one of the morning excursions and visit Lake Lucerne in the afternoon. With either Lake Lucerne excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to see its Lion Monument – the figure of a dying lion carved into a hillside in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792 – which Mark Twain described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” You’ll also see Lake Lucerne’s spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century.

Basel, Switzerland


Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through charming streets past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. Alternatively, take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie.

Strasbourg, France - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways


Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of four excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century, 49,000-gallon wine cask. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Old Gate, Altpörtel. Or pedal along the river Neckar to the picturesque medieval city center of Ladenburg and enjoy some free time to explore the shops. Later in the day, cruise to the charming village of Rüdesheim and let Siegfried’s Mechanical Instrument Cabinet charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream.

Heidelberg, Germany - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways


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.

Rudesheim, Germany - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways


Enjoy cruising to Cologne. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, the Overstolzenhaus, and the Festival Hall. For a different view, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and reibekuchen mit apfelmus, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten.

Cologne, Germany - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways


There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Alternatively, get a taste of local flavor, passing iconic canals, gabled houses, narrow bridges and house boats while tasting Dutch specialties at one of Amsterdam’s grand cafes.

Amsterdam - Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways


Bid Farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your homeward flight.

Does this not sound like a fabulous itinerary? Wow! I can’t wait and I hope you can’t either. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining us as I’m preparing the sign-up options now.

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