Wander at your leisure through some of the world’s most notable museums in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Basel and Arnhem. An exclusive morning visit to the Hermitage in Amsterdam allows you to explore the works in the “Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age” exhibition sans crowds.
While you’re in Amsterdam, the “Venice of the North,” ramble along the canals and admire the city’s architecture, stopping for some Dutch cheese and fries, or check out the charming Jordaan neighborhood by bike—one of the city’s favorite modes of travel. The Jewish Heritage tour stops at the beautiful 17th-century Sephardic Portuguese Synagogue, whose architecture was inspired by the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.
Rotterdam, a quintessential port city known for its modern architecture, is highlighted by Market Hall, a horseshoe-shaped, glass-façade office and residential building that also serves as a great place for an indoor culinary stroll. Marvel at 19 tall windmills in the nearby village of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site containing the largest concentration of old windmills in The Netherlands.
Without question, the centerpiece of Cologne is the UNESCO-designated Gothic Cathedral with its shrine to the Three Magi. After learning about its histories and mysteries, visit Cologne’s Jewish Quarter, once home to Europe’s first Jewish community north of the Alps. A must-try: Germany’s famous white wine.
Hit the ground running in Frankfurt, a bustling financial nerve center featuring both towering skyscrapers and Old Town architecture. Visit Germany’s oldest museum, the Städel, with 700 years of European art under one roof, or learn about the legacy of the Rothschilds on the Jewish Heritage tour.
Strasbourg, located in northeastern France, offers visitors a slice of life: cobbled lanes, giant stork nests, mouthwatering pastry shops and locals eager to share the city’s 2,000-year-old Jewish history. Don’t forget to buy a handmade souvenir featuring their beloved white stork.
Before ending your cruise in Basel, you’ll have found that the best view of all is from your ship’s top deck, where the Rhine is shown at its most impressive. Though Basel is historically divided by the Rhine in two sections, it’s simple to explore both sides via ferry powered only by the Rhine.
Basel is a town for tasting—things like their famous honey-almond cookies—and shopping—for designer goods, antique books and, of course, signature timepieces. Wander from one charming square to another or opt for the “Basel: Theodor Herzl and the First Zionist Congress” tour.