TUI Dutch & Deutsch Explorer 2021 River Cruise
This itinerary lets you switch between two European heavyweights, Germany and the Netherlands – alternating between wide-awake cities and picturesque towns.
The Netherlands’ canal-laced capital is the first stop of this itinerary. This big city has a small town feel, thanks to its network of canals, cobbled streets and gabled townhouses. You’ll spend the night here, giving you time to get to know the city’s craft breweries and trailblazing restaurant scene.
Criss-crossed by bridges and canals, Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the north. But its waterways are not all it’s famous for. In fact, mention the name of The Netherlands' capital city and you’ll get a whole list of associations. Clogs, cheese and windmills top the list, followed closely by World War history, cutting-edge art and coffee shops. One thing’s for sure, when you join the millions of tourists that flock to the city every year, you won’t have to look hard to find something that interests you.
You might hear Rotterdam referred to by a different name – the Gateway to the World, thanks to all the roads, rivers and railways that pass through it. And as Europe’s biggest port, it’s packed with lots of things to do, too. Start off by getting a bird’s eye view of the city from the top of the Euromast Tower – the tallest building in Rotterdam. Snap some photos from the viewing platform, then head to the restaurant for a sweet stroopwafel pastry. Over in the old quarter, you can learn about the bombing of Rotterdam during a tour of the 600-year-old St Lawrence Church – the only building in the area left standing after World War 2. Then, go for a wander around the city’s collection of art galleries, where you’ll see pieces by Picasso, Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
Dusseldorf is one of the most modern cities that flank the Rhine. At first glance it looks very business-orientated, with its banking, advertising and fashion industries recognised globally. Spend a few hours exploring, though, and you’ll discover an old quarter where pork knuckles are served with beer, and archaic theatres are set back off the pavement. Also of note is Dusseldorf harbour. It’s one of the city’s latest developments, and is recognised for its impressive avant-garde architecture – like Claude Vasconi’s Grand Bateau, built to resemble an ocean liner. Dusseldorf’s metroline’s an arty masterpiece, too – it’s decorated with geometric shapes and projections of planets and even has some LED walls.
Bonn is made for sightseeing. First off, you’ve got presidential palaces that hark back to when the city was the capital of West Germany during the Cold War. Elsewhere, thousand-year-old churches are packed in with glass-front shopping centres, which sit on streets decorated with Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit in April and you’ll see the purply-pink leaves come in to bloom. Plus, the museums here cover everything from Ancient Rome to the city’s most famous resident, Beethoven. Go for a walk along the river, meanwhile, and you’ll see the landscape change from cobbled streets to waterfront parks, which play host to weekend markets and music concerts in the summer months. Germany’s famous wine country’s ripe for exploring in the nearby valleys. Here, you can sample award-winning reds after a tour of the Gothic castles.
Settings like Koblenz’s don’t come around often. The city’s a meeting place of mountains and rivers and the Rhine and Moselle rivers come together here, too. The waterfront’s dotted with UNESCO-stamped forts and palaces, while fairy tale castles christen the hilltops on the edge of town. And the surrounding valleys are teeming with terraced vines and world-class wineries. You can take a cable car up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for spectacular views over the city and its two rivers. When you arrive at the fort, you can explore its many museums, as well. Alternatively, catch a bus to Schloss Stolzenfels. This hilltop-castle-turned-palace is super-grand, which is fitting considering it’s played host to guests like Queen Victoria.
The German town of Boppard’s main claim to fame is its wine. White Riesling and red Pinot Noir’s been bottled here for centuries, starting off life in the vineyards – including the biggest in the Middle Rhine Valley – outside of town. Known as the town of towers, Oberwesel hugs the hills that flank the Rhine. Its Medieval architecture and production of Riesling wine are two of this town’s shout-about features, plus it’s bookended by a couple of Gothic churches.
You’ll pull into Frankfurt nice and early, so you can pack in some sightseeing before your trip home. If you’re short on time, the Ebbelwei-Express is a great, whirlwind introduction to the city, stopping at 29 landmarks in an hour. Plus, you can combine sightseeing with a tasting of Frankfurt’s famous apple wine, which is included in the ticket price. It doesn’t get much more German than that.
|8 August 2021||£1,049|
|29 August 2021^||£1,089|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £252pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 7 nights on board TUI Maya
- Airport transfers - to and from your ship
- Full board plus - breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
- Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
- Barbecues on deck (weather permitting)
- Free WiFi (signal permitting)
- £120pp Experience Credit per 7 days
- All tips and port charges