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Glacier Express and Rhine Cruise (Amsterdam-Basel)


Embark on one of the world's finest trains, Glacier Express before a cruise on the spectacular Rhine

12 days Sold out
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2023 Tour code: EGR23

About the tour

Embark on one of the world's finest rail adventures aboard the Glacier Express before descending down the valley for a cruise on the spectacular Rhine. Switzerland's incredible natural beauty is on full display throughout this panoramic rail journey. 


What’s included


Day 1 - Amsterdam

Today, meet your Tour Manager and the rest of your group at London St Pancras before travelling on the Eurostar service to Amsterdam, where you'll be escorted to the ship. This evening, we enjoy a welcome cocktail before dinner this evening.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train

After Breakfast this morning, we have a choice of two excursions, the first of which is a city tour of Amsterdam. One of the most popular of all the European cities, Amsterdam is as modern as it is historic, as young as it is old. From idyllic canals and large parks, to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a city that boasts something for everyone. The second option is an excursion to Hoorn where we board the splendid Medemblik Steam Train and enjoy a nostalgic trip through splendid Dutch scenery.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Cologne

Arriving into Cologne this morning, we venture forth into this vibrant German city on a walking tour. We visit the resplendent cathedral, a centuries-year-old building which survived 14 aerial hits during bombing across the Second World War. We also wander through the many bustling squares, labyrinthine streets and see Romanesque town-houses.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - The Upper Rhine and the Drachenfelsbahn

We depart from Cologne this morning and discover the marvellous Upper Rhine, a stretch of river characterised by lush green meadows and postcard villages. Our Cruise Director provides us with the history of this area, and highlights points of interest. In the afternoon, we dock in Koenigswinter, where we embark on a journey on the Drachensfelbahn railway. This rack railway rises into the mountains and high into the forests for wonderful views across the Rhine- Westphalia region of Germany. In the evening, we indulge with a traditional gourmet dinner which features Spargelzeit, a kind of white asparagus which is famous in this area. (Please note, Spargelzeit depends on seasonal availability).

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Rüdesheim and the Rhine Gorge

You have free time here this morning to explore Koblenz.

This afternoon includes one of the highlights of the tour as we pass through the glorious Rhine Gorge, one of the most beautiful sections of the river and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sheer river banks rise up, towering over the river below, covered in deep forests and miles of green vineyards, lending an almost ethereal feel to the waterway. We enjoy a commentary from our knowledgeable Cruise Director during this passage.

Our lunch today sees us tuck into a wonderful themed buffet with a suckling pig as the striking centrepiece, and several smaller dishes from this part of the world making up the rest of the offerings. Weather permitting we'll enjoy our lunch on the sun deck as we take in the majesty of the glorious Rhine Gorge. 

This evening we sail to the classic German town of Rüdesheim am Rhein, known for its formidable wine production especially of the dry Riesling variety.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Speyer and Heidelberg

We arrive into Speyer this morning, where you have free time to explore. This town is home to one of the largest privately owned collections of vehicles in the world, the Technik Museum Speyer. Featuring an entire jumbo jet, army vehicles, emergency vehicles, a submarine and much more, this museum is a treasure trove of vehicular delights and is well worth a visit. Later in the afternoon, we have an excursion to the delightful academic town of Heidelberg where we are treated to a guided tour. Heidelberg is famous for a magnificent ruined castle, proudly stood high above the town below, gazing down onto the river and the attractive town houses.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Strasbourg

Our vessel sails into the charming German town of Kehl today. Sat across the Rhine from Kehl is the beautiful city of Strasbourg, whose position on the German-French border has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history. Because of this, Strasbourg represents the best of both cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets.

You have two choices here. Your first option is a city tour of Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. Your second choice sees you travel into the famous Black Forest, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas.

Tonight is an opportunity to dress up in our finest as we enjoy a Gala dinner with the captain and crew.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - To Zermatt

After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the ship in Basel and transfer by rail to Zermatt. On arrival in Zermatt we make our way to either the Hotel National, Hotel Sonne, Hotel Simi or the Hotel Schweizerhof.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Journey on the Gornegrat Mountain Railway

Enjoy another mountain railway journey today, venturing forth on the Gornegrat Mountain Railway. This cog rail trip covers 4819 feet in its ascent of the Gornegrat, arriving at the summit where you can soak up the magical views of the surrounding mountains, including the imposing, indomitable Matterhorn.

Return later to Zermatt for a guided tour that includes the highlights of this pedestrianised town

  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Journey on the Glacier Express

Today, board the magnificent Glacier Express for a spectacular journey that offers unparalleled views of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges in the world.

Enjoy the views as the train spirals up the mountains, crossing enormous viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on its way to Chur. On arrival in Chur we make our way to the hotel, the Romantik Hotel Stern.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, we make our way by rail to Paris where we catch the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Glacier Express


MS Amadeus Queen
MS Amadeus Imperial
MS Amadeus Cara

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Glacier Express and Rhine Cruise (Amsterdam-Basel)

Embark on one of the world's finest trains, Glacier Express before a cruise on the spectacular Rhine


Ashleigh Howe
Simon Laverack
Lynne Broadley