Tours

Matterhorn
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Austria, Switzerland and Rhine River Cruise

Tour departs: 15 August 2018
Tour length: 26 Days

Overview

Tour Departs: 15 August 2018

Tour Length: 26 Days.

We start our comprehensive tour across the border in the Austrian capital and city of music, Vienna, before we journey to magical Salzburg and on into Switzerland. It might be a relatively small country surrounded by its larger neighbours but Switzerland certainly offers a feast of sublime sights and experiences for the visitor – spectacular scenery, magnificent alpine lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, lush rolling green meadows and a mixture of medieval old towns, country villages, and modern sophisticated cities. Highlights are many and include the Matterhorn, Jungfrau and a journey on one of the most famous trains in the world, the Glacier Express.

To finish the tour, we join our river ship for 7 nights cruising down the Rhine enjoying the fairy-tale sights and romantic twists and turns en route to Amsterdam.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Imperial Vienna for a 3-night stay
  • Salzburg, Zermatt, Geneva, Interlaken, Lucerne – all 2 night stays
  • Journey up both the Matterhorn and Jungfrau peaks
  • Glacier Express Railway
  • Cruise down the Rhine for 7 nights from Basel to Amsterdam

RHINE RIVER CRUISE:

Our home for the 7 nights cruising down the Rhine is the stylish and elegant “Amadeus SilverIII” catering for up to 160 guests. Features include:

  • River-view staterooms with French Balcony
  • Gourmet cuisine with complimentary regional wines served at dinner
  • Full programme of sightseeing included
  • On-board entertainment, lectures, tastings
  • Spacious public areas including lounge and bar and sun deck

 

Itinerary

Wednesday 15 August                      

Home – Hong Kong

We commence the tour with the daylight flight to Hong Kong.  On arrival into Hong Kong late this evening, we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay.


Thursday 16 August                           

Hong Kong – Zurich – Vienna (B)

This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hong Kong Island. We take the tram to Victoria Peak for panoramic views over Hong Kong. Then visit Repulse Bay and the fishing village of Aberdeen for a short cruise around the harbour by sampan. We conclude with a visit to Stanley Markets. The afternoon is at leisure before we are transferred back to the airport in time to join our flight to Vienna (via Zurich).


Friday 17 August

Zurich – Vienna (D)

An early morning arrival into Zurich where we transfer to the short flight to Vienna. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 3 night stay. The remainder of the day is left free to rest up before we get together for dinner this evening.


Saturday 18 August                              

Vienna (B)

On this morning’s tour, we drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish Quarter and stop at Heldenplatz (Heroes Square) in front of the Hofburg Palace, once the winter residence of the Austrian royal family and now the residence of the Austrian President. We leave the coach for a walk through to St Stephens Cathedral, the iconic heart of the city. There is time for lunch – you must visit a traditional Viennese coffee house – before this afternoon’s visit to the Schonbrunn Palace, perhaps Europe’s most impressive palace complex. 640 years of Hapsburg monarchy ended here in 1918 with the abdication of the last monarch and the start of the Austrian Republic.


Sunday 19 August                                 

Vienna (B,D)

Today has been left entirely free for you to enjoy Vienna at your leisure. Maybe visit one of the many galleries and museums, perhaps a tour of the Spanish Riding School, enjoy the elegant shopping “strasses” of the Old City, or just sit at an outdoor café and watch the world go by. This evening, we enjoy all things Viennese with a superb dinner at the Orangerie at Schonbrunn Palace including a concert of Viennese classical music with works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A wonderful finale to our stay in Vienna.


Monday 20 August                               

Vienna  – Salzburg (B.D)

Leaving Vienna, we enjoy a leisurely cruise along one of the most scenic parts of the Danube. At Melk, we visit the abbey, one of Europe’s most beautiful sights, which has been home to Benedictine Monks for over 900 years, notwithstanding the Reformation, and the occupations by Napoleon and the Nazis. The abbey of today is 18th century baroque with the major restoration completed in 1996. We continue our journey through the beautiful Salzkammergut lakeland to the pretty lakeside town of Mondsee where we visit the Basilica of St Michaels which featured in the wedding scene of the Sound of Music. From there it’s a short drive into Salzburg where we stay for 2 nights.


Tuesday 21 August

Salzburg (B)

Salzburg is picturebook Austria, the city of music, whether it be Mozart or Julie Andrews. This morning, we take a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage town starting at Mirbell Gardens then across the river to the Old Town, past Mozart’s birthplace and down the Getreidegasse with its popular shops and into Residenz Square with its magnificent forecourt and fountain. This afternoon, we leave the city for a spectacular mountain drive to the so-called “Eagle’s Nest” (Kehlsteinhaus), built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler on Kehlstein Moutain at an elevation of 6,017 ft / 1,834 m. The site can only be reached by taking the special bus to the  elevator shaft set deep in the mountain. Once at the top, the views are magnificent and there is time to explore the rooms which resonate with history.


Wednesday 22 August                       

Salzburg – Innsbruck – St Moritz (B,D)

Leaving Salzburg, we enter the Austrian Tyol, a majestic and enchanting landscape that is sure to excite the senses. At its heart is the regions capital, Innsbruck, presided over by the magnificent Hapsburg palace and baroque cathedral. We take a stroll through the ancient and narrow lanes to see Emperor Maximillian’s Golden Roof, the symbol of the city  which covers the gothic bay built to celebrate his wedding circa 1500AD. We then continue across the border into Switzerland along the alpine valley past deep blue lakes and forests overlooked by high mountain peaks. Our destination for the overnight stay is the chic resort of St Moritz, the leisure playground for the rich and famous in both winter and summer.


Thursday 23 August                             

St Moritz – Andermatt  (Glacier Express) – Zermatt (B,D)

We continue our journey by coach enjoying the spectacular alpine scenery before we reach Andermatt and join the Glacier Express, one of the world’s most famous trains. Sit back in first class comfort in the panoramic cars for an afternoon journey offering unrestricted views of rugged cliffs, pristine forests, deep gorges, rolling meadows, clear lakes and typical mountain villages.. Our destination is the vehicle-free mountain resort town of Zermatt where we stay for 2 nights.


Friday 24 August                                   

Zermatt – Matterhorn Excursion (B)

Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn, perhaps the world’s most famous mountain, and is surrounded by majestic peaks. This morning, we join the cable car for the trip up the Matterhorn. From the summit, enjoy the incredible views of the ice-bound Swiss Alps and the magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland / Italy / France. On our return, there is time to enjoy the traffic-free village shops. This evening, maybe dine at one of the many Swiss restaurants around the town.


Saturday 25 August                              

Zermatt – Geneva (B,D)

This morning we take the train to Taesch back to our coach and then continue our journey westwards. On reaching the northern arm of Lake Geneva, we stop at Chillon Castle, an architectural jewel which for over 1,000 years of history has inspired artists and writers, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron. We then continue on to Montreux which, as well as its beautiful lakeside setting and vineyard backdrops, is well known for its annual international jazz festival. There is time for a stroll along the promenade before we continue our journey through to Geneva for a 2 night stay.


Sunday 26 August

Geneva (B)

Geneva is certainly an international city being home to many international organisations including Red Cross and United Nations agencies. In the course of our morning tour, we see their headquarters as well as the old town and the parks and gardens including the lakeside English Garden where the famous floral clock is located. We finish the tour with a cruise on Lake Geneva offering great views of the Jet d”Eau fountain which is symbolic of the city. The afternoon is at leisure.


Monday 27 August                              

Geneva – Bern – Interlaken (B,D)

From Geneva, we travel north to the lakeside city of Lausanne, home to the International Olympic Committee and many other sporting organisations.  The city’s skyline is dominated by the grand gothic Cathedral. Leaving Lake Geneva, we turn north to the city of Berne, the Swiss capital and once voted Europe’s most floral city. We enjoy a walking tour through the well-preserved old town as well as magnificent views from the Rose Garden. The last leg of our journey takes us to Interlaken, our “between the lakes” home where we stay for 2 nights.


Tuesday 28 August                               

Interlaken – Jungfrau (B)

On today’s excursion, we travel along “Grindelwald Valley following the Lutschine River to Lauterbrunnen at the head of the valley of waterfalls where we see the Staubbach Falls plunge 300m. Then we take the cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau, the “Top of Europe” at 3,470m, for magnificent views of the world of eternal ice and snow. An absolutely spectacular day.


Wednesday 29 August                        

Interlaken – Lucerne (B,D)

From Interlaken, it is a short run through to Lucerne, skirting the shores of Lake Brienz and over the Brunig Pass. At Lucerne, our local guide joins us for a sightseeing tour of the city. We see the impressive Lion Monument dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the French Royalty during the French Revolution. Another feature is the city’s symbol, the covered wooden Chapel Bridge spanning the Reuss River, unique because of its interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, many of which have been restored following the 1993 fire. We overnight in Lucerne and enjoy a special Swiss meal at a local restaurant.


Thursday 30 August                             

Lucerne – Zurich – Basel (B,D)

Join Rhine River Cruise

A leisurely start this morning for the short drive through to Zurich. On arrival we meet up with our local guide who will show us the historical and cultural highlights of the city. We see the Swiss National Museum, Opera House and the Old Town and take the ferry for the scenic crossing of the lake to marvel at the grand architecture of the Fraumunster Church. We finish with the cable car ride to Felsenegg for sweeping view over the city and to the alps. After lunch, we travel through to

Basel where we join the river ship “Amadeus Princess” which will be our home for the next 7 nights. This evening, we are welcomed aboard with cocktails and dinner.


Friday 31 August                                   

Cruising – Strasbourg (B,L,D)

This morning we dock at Strasbourg (France) for the day. The city has been heavily influenced by both France and Germany and this has contributed to its unique appearance. The charm of the old city (“Petite France”) contrasts with the splendour of the buildings inspired by German architecture. This morning’s walking tour will show us many of the sights of the city while this afternoon’s excursion takes us into wine country and the Alsace region famous for its white wines and in particular the Riesling.


Saturday 1 September                              

Cruising – Speyer & Mannheim (B,L,D)

This morning we are in Speyer and we enjoy a walking tour of this, one of the oldest German cities with a beautiful old town. The cathedral, just a short walk from the river, has loomed large and powerful over the city for 1000 years. Continuing downstream during lunch, we reach Mannheim where we join our coach for an excursion to Heidelberg, one of Germany’s most beautiful cities where the ensemble of the old town, castle, River Neckar and the surrounding hills has inspired artists and poets alike.


Sunday 2 September                                 

Cruising – Rudesheim & Koblenz (B,L,D)

This morning, we are in Rudesheim for a walking tour of this typical Rhine Valley wine town. Siegfrieds Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum holds a large collection of instruments and musical boxes dating back to the 18th century and Drosselgasse is the famous little street leading from the river with lots of variety of craft shops and cafes. This afternoon, we cruise down river through the Rhine Gorge, perhaps the most beautiful part of the river where ancient castles guard the water from great heights, past the Lorelei Rock where many sailors have been lured to their doom, to German Corner at the junction of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers where the huge equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhem stands guard. We overnight in the city of Koblenz with time for a walking tour where its 2000-year-old history is revealed through castles, monuments and ancient city walls.


Monday 3 September

Cruising – Cochem (B,L,D)

This morning, we cruise a little way up the Moselle River to the town of Cochem where we enjoy a walking tour and wine tasting. Few towns in Germany can match its charm with its many fine buildings, quaint cottages, black & tan guild houses, winding streets and town square lined with historic half-timbered houses.  Then back aboard for overnight cruising continuing down the Rhine.


Tuesday 4 September                              

Cruising – Cologne (B,L,D)

The morning sees us in the city of Cologne, one of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland. During our morning walking tour, we will see the magnificent cathedral whose twin spires dominate the city. In the old town, much of which was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt afterwards, there are many cafes, shops and taverns and the city abounds with museums of all descriptions.  Back on board mid-afternoon as we continue cruising downstream towards Holland.


Wednesday 5 September                        

Cruising – Hoorn & Amsterdam (B,L,D)

Around lunchtime, we dock at the historic northern town of Hoorn and join our coach for an excursion around North Holland and on to the great city of Amsterdam. The city combines the history and architecture of the past with the mentality of a modern metropolis. The small scale of the buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals and squares create a unique and relaxed atmosphere. As part of our tour, we enjoy a canal cruise – there is no better way to see and understand the city. We return to our ship for our last night aboard.


Thursday 6 September

 Amsterdam (B,D)

It’s time to disembark this morning and farewell captain and crew. We have a coach and guide waiting to meet us and take us on a special visit to the 200-year-old Rijksmureum, one of the most famous museums in the world and home to many masterpieces by such people as Rembrandt, van Dyck, Vermeer and many others. The museum has undergone a major reconstruction over the past decade and only reopened in 2013. After our guided tour, we check into our hotel for an overnight stay. This evening, we enjoy our final dinner in Europe together.


Friday 7 September                                   

Amsterdam – Hong Kong (B)

Time to farewell Amsterdam and Europe this morning as we are transferred to the airport in time to join our lunchtime flight to Hong Kong.


Saturday 8 September                              

Hong Kong – Home

Arrival into Hong Kong is early morning. We have the day in Hong Kong with hotel rooms reserved at the airport to allow time for rest and relaxation. Later this evening, we continue our homeward journey as we join our overnight flight.


Sunday 9 September

Welcome Home.

Arrival time is mid-morning.

 

switzerlandMap

 

Prices

Tour Costs

Sharing Twin/Double Room – $17,750
Single Room Accommodation – $5,200

Tour Costs Include
  • Economy Class airfares – cost to upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class available on request
  • Prepaid government and airport taxes, security and fuel surcharges as at 1 September 2017
  • First class or superior hotel accommodation
  • River-view staterooms with French Balcony on Rhine Cruise
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of touring and local guides as appropriate
  • All tips and gratuities to coach drivers, guides and cruise staff
  • Baggage handling of one piece per person
  • Escorted by Maher Tours Leader
Tours Costs Exclude
  • Any meals and sightseeing tours not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance (assistance and advice will be offered).
  • Items of a personal nature such as room service, laundry, drink, telephone charges etc.

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