Viking Cruise-Rhine Getaway March 2014

After our last Viking Cruise, we couldn’t stop bragging about it to our neighbors.  All this talk got them excited so with our voucher we received from the previous cruise we decided that we would book another one with them, this time on the Rhine River. We arrived a few days ahead of them in Zurich Switzerland. While there we booked an excursion through Viator to go to Mount Titlis in the swiss alps, that was so cool, literally. Our excursion stopped in Lucerne for some site seeing and checking out old town.  From there we headed up to Mt. Titlis to experience the Titlis Cliff Suspension Bridge, a pedestrian bridge suspended 10,000 feet above sea level.  The wind and snowstorm made it quite exciting to cross.  We also got to go into the Glacier Cave, which was awesome.  Of course, at the top of the mountain was a restaurant and gift store, so of course we dressed in swiss mountaineer costumes for a picture.  Returning to Zurich when then took a train to Basel and headed to the boat. While sitting on the boat waiting for our neighbors, having a glass of wine, we spotted them.  As they approached the boat, there was ladder type steps down onto the boat, our neighbor slipped on the first step and landed hard on his butt on the next step.  We thought to ourselves “their done, he has broken his coxis”. Luckily, he only hurt his pride a bit, or maybe he was just trying to make entrance, either way he was ok.  After setting sail in Basel Switzerland our first stop was Breisach Germany. We opted to head out to the Black Forest for our morning excursion, where we visited a local workshop to see the making of cuckoo clocks and how to learn how to make the famous Black Forest Cake. Returning to the boat for lunch we decided after lunch to wonder Breisach a bit. The weather was rainy but we made due and sat in a café and had a couple beers before returning to the boat. Day 3 we woke up in Strasbourg France.  There we once again took a guided tour of the city.  We saw the European Parliament along with the famed Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. I see now on the Viking Cruises they offer Alsatian Wine tasting; we would have been all about that if it was offered. Day 4 we arrived in Rudesheim Germany. We decided we wanted to do the Heidelberg full day tour.  We visited the Heidelberg Castle and saw the largest wine barrel ever; we admired the Neckar River Valley from the castle.  From there we walked down the hill to old town and did some shopping and eating. Arriving back at the boat we were off to Koblenz Germany for day 5, sailing along the most scenic stretch of the Rhine, where castles and fortress’ sat on the hilltops.  In Koblenz we toured the city and made a trip to Marksburg Castle.  The castle was so beautiful sitting upon the hill overlooking the Rhine. Day 6 and my birthday we were in Cologne Germany.  In Cologne we toured the city, wondering old town and tasting and purchasing the best German Mustards we could find.  We stopped to look at Germany’s largest Cathedral St. Martins.  We also indulged in Cologne’s beer culture by doing a pub crawl and sampling Kolsch, a light crisp beer brewed only in Cologne. I have to say it was a pretty awesome birthday. We arrived the next afternoon in Kinderdijk in the Netherlands.  There we toured a windmill and learned why windmills were built and saw how they worked.  We also sampled some Dutch cheese’s and tried Jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, I didn’t ask for seconds, instead I requested a beer. That evening we set off for Amsterdam, our last stop on the trip. Disembarking in the morning we had extended our stay by one extra day so we could enjoy Amsterdam.  It gave us time to explore the city.  We also booked a tour through Viator to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, boy were they spectacular. Spring had definitely sprung in Amsterdam.  Another great Viking Cruise trip.  Our neighbors enjoyed it so much, I think they have booked four more since this trip ended, even including Viking’s new ocean cruises.  Viking is a great way to see the hidden gems of the world in a laid-back relaxing way.  Fulfill your bucket list by trying one.