Rhine River Cruise and Gardens

Basel Rhine River

Enjoy a Rhine River Cruise with Gardens, May 19-28, 2025

Triangle Gardener is partnering with the Travel Sisters Network on this AmaWaterways cruise. It includes 9 breathtaking gardens, plus heritage sites, experiences, and villages along the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Plus, the don’t miss excursion through the Rhine Gorge, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site with its 40 castles strung like pearls on its river banks.

This is a custom-designed tour of gardens, not available on any other river cruise on the Rhine River.

Price is based on the type of cabin booked on the ship, and includes:

-2 nights at a 4-star hotel in Basel, Switzerland with 4 garden experiences
-2 Breakfasts and a Welcome reception included in Basel

— plus —

-8 day, 7 night AmaWaterways excursion on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
-5 garden tours plus the AmaWaterways tours of heritage sites, experiences, and villages along the Rhine River.
-Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sip and Sail cocktail hour included each day on the ship.

Arrival in Basel and departure in Amsterdam ground transportation included.


Rhine River Cruise


Questions? Email info@trianglegardener.com or call 919-926-7501.




Day 1. Monday, May 19

Arrive in Basel, Switzerland. A local assistant to meet/greet you at the airport or train station and transfer you to the hotel.

Welcome Reception at the hotel.

On your own for dinner.

Overnight in Basel.

Note for those arriving early: Basel hotels provide a Basel Card with free transit tickets around town and discounted admission to many of the attractions.

Day 2. Tuesday, May 20

Continental breakfast is provided at the hotel.

Morning tour: University of Basel Botanical Garden
Founded in 1589 by Caspar Bauhin, the first professor of anatomy and botany, this is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens. It is located near Basel’s historic Old Town. Over 7500 different plant species from all of the Earth’s major biospheres flourish in an area covering 8000 square meters. Visitors can view the plants all year round in various show greenhouses and outdoor areas.

Return to the hotel. Lunch on your own

Afternoon tour: The Rehberger-Weg Sculpture Walk
This walk links two countries – Switzerland and Germany, two municipalities, two cultural institutions – and countless stories. The tour includes artwork created by the artist Tobias Rehberger. Walkers can explore a uniquely diverse natural and cultural landscape along with the sculptures on this pathway.

Return to the hotel.

Dinner on your own.

Day 3. Wednesday, May 21

Continental breakfast is provided at the hotel. Check out of the hotel.

Morning tour: Wenkenhof Park and Villa Gardens
Rare trees and shrubs, well-kept lawns, and a wonderful pond: the large park at Wenkenhof is unique and worth a visit all year round. The park comprises multiple parts: the Wenkenpark is a landscaped park from the 1920s with sculptures by Richard Serra. The riding hall built in 1928 houses a lovely bistro café. The villa was built in 1735 as a summer residence with its charming baroque garden pavilion from 1736 with French gardens. Villa Wenkenhof is Basel’s answer to Versailles in miniature.

Afternoon tour: The Merian Gardens
Start the tour with lunch on your own in Café Merian in the Merian Gardens. The cafe is an excellent place to relax and has a wonderful view of the English garden.

Then tour this beautiful botanical garden, a historic park, and a carefully designed place for relaxation on the outskirts of Basel. There is a surprising variety of things to discover in the 18-hectare park, such as the magical rhododendron valley, the English garden, the protected dry grasslands, horticultural areas with rare vegetables, delicate snowdrops, clematis in all shapes and colors, and Europe’s largest collection of irises, featuring 1500 historical bearded irises and 300 species of wild iris is renowned worldwide. The Merian Gardens have been shaped by numerous individuals over the last century.

Transport late afternoon to the AmaWaterways ship for boarding on the Rhine River excursion.

Enjoy the Sip and Sail cocktail hour and dinner provided on the ship.

Overnight on the ship.

Ship sails late evening from Basel, Switzerland for Breisach, Germany

Day 4. Thursday, May 22

Wake up this morning in Breisach, Germany, the gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests.

Half day AmaWaterways morning tour options:

Option 1: Colmar, France – Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Colmar, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture and perhaps get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, a small replica of the famous version in New York, to commemorate the sculptor’s Colmar birthplace.

Option 2: Freiburg, Germany – Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.”

Option 3: Black Forest in Germany – Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside, or go on a hike to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions. Please Note: The Black Forest cycle and hike are weather-dependent.

Ship departs Breisach early afternoon for Strasbourg, France. Enjoy the ship amenities while sailing.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Overnight on the ship.

Day 5. Friday, May 23

Welcome to Strasbourg, France, the capital city of Alsace, with flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location.

Half day AmaWaterways morning tour options:

Option 1: Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République. Then walk through its iconic UNESCO World Heritage “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through these charming streets and past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock.

Option 2: For the active adventurer, you can take a guided bike ride through this captivating city and Parc de l’Orangerie.

Half day afternoon garden tour: Jardin Botanique de l’Universite, Strasbourg
The garden was established in 1619 and is the second oldest botanical garden in France after that of Montpellier. Its first inventory, published in 1670 by Marcus Mappus, listed some 1600 species. The entire university was suppressed in 1792 after the French Revolution, but the garden’s director managed to preserve not just the garden itself but also the statues of the Strasbourg Cathedral, which he buried within the garden. In 1871, the territory became a part of Germany and the German Emperor began reconstruction of the university as a scientific and cultural showcase, creating eight new institutes, the observatory and zoological museum, and today’s botanical garden located on a new site. The garden and its magnificent greenhouses were inaugurated in 1884. In 1919, the garden reverted to French territory after World War I. Most of its greenhouses were destroyed by hail in 1958. Newer greenhouses were built in 1967. Today the garden contains about 15,000 specimens representing more than 6,000 species of plants and is operated by the University of Strasbourg. It consists of 9 plots surrounding the Institute of Botany: an arboretum, tropical greenhouse, cold greenhouse, the Bary Greenhouse, a greenhouse of grasses, a pond, the systematic garden, ecological plantings, and useful plants.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Overnight on the ship.

Ship sails from Strasbourg at dinnertime

Day 6. Saturday, May 24

Wake up in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Half day AmaWaterways morning tour options:

Option 1: Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century 49,000-gallon wine cask.

Option 2: For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. Or ride along the river Neckar to the medieval town of Ladenburg where you’ll have some free time to explore the shops and quaint Marktplatz.

Option 3: Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate.

After lunch, the ship sails to Rüdesheim.

While the ship is sailing, the garden tour will drive from Ludwigshafen to Frankfurt to see the Palmengarten and will meet back up with the ship in Rüdesheim early evening.

Half day afternoon garden tour: Palmengarten, Frankfurt
Old stands of trees and plants from all over the world; meadows and water; wilderness and knowledge; art and culture – the Palmengarten is a place without equal. The garden covers 20 hectares and houses around 13,000 plant species in its outdoor areas and under the roofs of many, often historic, display houses. Exhibitions, topical guided tours, and musical events make the Palmengarten a major attraction in all seasons. Just what makes this garden so special? First, there is a vast number of native plant species, which are displayed in biocenoses modeled after their natural habitats. We encounter the most common mixed-forest communities such as beech and oak-hornbeam forests, along with plant communities that are characteristic of extremely dry habitats. The Botanical Garden places special emphasis on the regional context; among others, the displays include plants from the Schwanheim Dune, the Berger Hang (Berger Slope), and the oligotrophic basalt grasslands of the Wetterau. An additional focus is on endangered plant species that are included in the “Red Lists.” More than 500 of these can be found in the Botanical Garden, easily recognized by the red information signs. For these endangered species, different preservation cultures are maintained that are descriptively presented and explained in specially designed beds. They not only include wild species but cultivated plants as well, as the latter are frequently represented in the gardens in many valuable horticultural varieties.

After the garden tour, we will drive to Rüdesheim to rejoin the ship.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Overnight on the ship.

Day 7. Sunday, May 25

Welcome to Rüdesheim.

Half day AmaWaterways morning tour options:

Option 1: Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards.

Option 2: If you prefer a more active adventure, hike through Rüdesheim’s vineyards, taking in views of the town, the Roman Bridge and Bromersburg Castle.

Option 3: Or join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River.

Ship sails after lunch to Lahnstein, Germany.

During the afternoon, the ships sails through the scenic Rhine River Gorge, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site with its 40 castles strung like pearls on its river banks.

Overnight Lahnstein.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Overnight on the ship.

Day 8. Monday, May 26

The ship departs Lahnestein in the early morning and arrives at Dusseldorf after lunch. Use this sailing time to enjoy some of the ship’s amenities.

Upon arrival in Dusseldorf, the garden tour will drive to Cologne, Germany.

Half day afternoon garden tour: Forstbotanischer Garten, Cologne
The Forstbotanischer Garten is an arboretum and woodland botanical garden. Established in 1964, it is set over a good 25 hectares. With over 3,000 species of groves, the garden boasts an extraordinarily large diversity of species, some of which are foreign groves. Cedars and redwoods from Northern America are spread on a one-and-a-half-hectare forest ground. Particularly charming is the Japanese section with uncountable azaleas, peonies, and Katsura trees. The garden’s military past can be recollected when viewing the Rhododendron Canyon. Until the end of World War I, the area was part of the ”Äußerer Festungsring Köln”, the outer ring of fortresses that surrounded Cologne. It was used as an infantry base. The remaining segments were integrated into the plantings as a rocky garden. In the south, is the adjacent Friedenswald, “Forest of Peace”, a botanic tour of the world. Germany’s worldwide diplomatic relations are represented by plants growing in the matching countries.

The garden tour drives back to Dusseldorf to rejoin the ship.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Ship departs Dusseldorf for Amsterdam during dinner.

Day 9. Tuesday, May 27

This morning, the ship will continue cruising on the river to Amsterdam, arriving after lunch. Use this sailing time to enjoy some of the ship’s amenities.

Half day afternoon garden tour: Visit Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Established in 1638, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world – a green oasis nestled in the heart of the city. The garden encompasses a diverse collection of plants, including rare and exotic species from different corners of the globe. The garden’s various greenhouses, outdoor plantings, and thematic gardens provide a captivating journey through the beauty and diversity of plant life. It’s a must-visit for nature enthusiasts, offering a tranquil escape from busy urban surroundings.

From here we visit the Amsterdam Floating Flower Market. The only floating flower market in the world. The market has existed since 1862 and the flower stalls stand on houseboats and evoke the old days when the market was daily supplied by boats. The market is open all year and is a very colorful place to visit. You will find all sorts of flower bulbs like tulips. But you can also buy bouquets or single flowers. The bulbs at this market are ready for export so you can take them with you to enjoy them at home.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the ship, along with the Sip and Sail cocktail hour.

Overnight on the ship in Amsterdam.

Day 10. Wednesday, May 28

Bid farewell to Amsterdam and our Gardens and Rhine River cruise. The tour concludes after breakfast on the ship.

Safe travels home or wherever you plan to visit.


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