ST. LOUIS, MO, December 21, 2006 "“ A leading operator of worldwide river cruises, INTRAV has announced six departures of its "Classic Rhine" voyage in 2007 aboard the intimate, exclusively chartered 78-guest Rembrandt. Flowing through some of Europe's most storied landscapes, the Rhine has bound the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland in a common heritage and history. Amid fairytale scenes of vineyard-clad hills, towering castles and thick pine forests, guests will learn the legends and lore of the Rhine as INTRAV's onboard and local experts unfold the region's kaleidoscopic sweep of culture, art and architecture.
Departing May 11, 20, 29 and June 7, 16 and 25, INTRAV's itinerary showcases the premier cities and lesser-known towns along the Rhine. The journey starts in Amsterdam with an onboard overnight and exploration of the quintessential Dutch city with visits to the 17th century Royal Palace, Mint Tower, Skinny Bridge and famous Portuguese Synagogue.
In Arnhem guests visit the KrÃ¶ller-MÃ¼ller Museum, renowned worldwide for its outstanding collection of van Gogh masterworks and sculpture gardens featuring works by Rodin and Giacometti. After an afternoon meandering further along the Rhine, the Rembrandt reaches Cologne, Germany, the largest city on the river. A dominant power in the Rhineland since Roman times, here travelers can explore a number of world-class museums, medieval buildings and Gothic cathedrals.
Grab a deckchair and camera while cruising the Rhine Gorge for Mainz; the 50-mile stretch is considered by many to be the most evocative scenery bordering the Rhine with fertile vineyards clinging to steep hills crowned by towering castles. In Mainz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers, stroll through the Alstadt and stop at the Gutenberg Museum to see the world's first printing press.
In Heidelberg, an all-day excursion reveals the best of romantic Germany: narrow streets flanked by baroque architecture, market squares bordered by outdoor cafÃ©s, densely wooded mountains threaded with scenic trails and castle ruins scattered about.
Upon reaching Strasbourg, France, a walking tour visits the Old Town and Petite France area. The rest of the day is free for self-exploration of the Alsatian cultural capital. The following day guests depart on an overland trek through the pine-covered highlands of southern Germany's magnificent Black Forest, abundant with sparkling lakes, quiet valleys and Alpine villages. Next, stop at Freiburg, the region's capital with an almost 900-year history, to visit medieval masterpiece Munster Cathedral. After lunch at a local restaurant, an afternoon exploration of Route du Vin showcases well-preserved medieval houses, churches, cloisters and Renaissance architecture. Taste the famous vintages of the surrounding wine country with a visit to the cellars of Dopff & Irion at Domaines du Chateau de Riquewihr.
After a leisurely morning cruise along the Rhine, the Rembrandt reaches the Renaissance city of Basel, Switzerland. An afternoon walking tour introduces guests to the arched stone city gateway, Gothic-Romanesque St. Gallus Cathedral and Basel's distinctive beamed houses before some free time and the captain's farewell reception and dinner onboard.
Launched in 2003, the 78-guest Rembrandt is intimate and comfortable, featuring spacious public areas and generously sized all-outside guests staterooms and suites. Attentive staff in the single open seating dining room serves hearty regional specialties.
Per person prices for the "Classic Rhine" voyages start at $3,095, double occupancy, plus airfare, and include nine nights aboard the Rembrandt, all meals, shore excursions, port charges, departure fees and the services of an INTRAV cruise director and travel director, onboard guide and experts.
Guests wishing to extend their vacation can add a two-night extension in Amsterdam featuring accommodations at the centrally located Sheraton Hotel Pulitzer, a canal cruise with lunch, visit to the renowned Aalsmeer Flower Market and exclusive concierge service at INTRAV's hotel hospitality desk. Price is $795 per person, double occupancy.
Since its founding in 1959, St. Louis-based INTRAV has built a formidable reputation as an innovative designer and operator of worldwide river cruises, land and safari journeys and small-ship expeditions. With operational experience in more than 90 countries, INTRAV offers more itinerary choices to more destinations around the world. For additional information about INTRAV call (800) 456-8100 or visit www.intrav.com.
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