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Setting sail from Basel
Basel lies where Switzerland, France and Germany meet, a sophisticated and multicultural city with a picturesque setting astride the river Rhine. The medieval Old Town is exceptionally well preserved, best appreciated from the summit of the hilltop cathedral, which offers incredible views across the city. Basel boasts a wealth of museums and galleries, and plays host to events including the renowned Art Basel contemporary art fair, held during the summer, and Fasnacht, Switzerland's most famous winter carnival.
The food here is great, with so many different influences. Try salmon ‘nach Basler Art’ (in a white wine marinade with fried onions), and wash it down with the local Riesling.
Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region, right next to the border with Germany, and there is a tangible Germanic influence that sets the city a little apart from the rest of France. Highlights include the beautiful Gothic cathedral, the old town’s fairytale half-timbered houses, and the pictureque canals of the Petite France district.
Hugging the river Rhine to the south of Frankfurt, the pleasant little town of Speyer has a long and distinguished history. This was one of the Holy Roman Empire’s most important cities, as evidenced by the beautiful Romanesque cathedral, and is also home to a delightful Christmas market during the winter months.
Frankfurt is the financial heart of Germany, a forest of silver skyscrapers that’s home to both the German and European Central Banks. This focus on commerce has led some to dismiss the city as a dull, soulless sort of place, but in fact Frankfurt buzzes with a real cultural vibrancy.
Cologne is a wonderfully warm and welcoming city, its skyline dominated by one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe. You will likely spend most of your time in the attractive Altstadt (Old Town), home to beer halls aplenty and some fascinating museums.
In September 1944 the Allies launched Operation Market Garden, a huge airborne assault designed to establish a bridgehead on the river Rhine. The operation went disastrously wrong at Arnhem, as immortalised in the 1977 film ‘A Bridge Too Far’, and your visit offers the chance to learn more about this infamous battle.
Arriving in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of our very favourite cities to visit, and comes alive with vibrant spring colours during tulip season. The Amsterdam canal belt is now officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and from them there are so many neighbourhoods to explore, such as the Jordaan with its higgledy-piggledy streets and its famed garden courtyards (hofjes). There are also a wealth of famous museums and galleries to choose from, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, not to mention some more, shall we say, quirky options.
Explore by water, or by bicycle to get a feel for the city – a hop on hop off canal boat, or rented bike or pedalo will do the trick.
Your home from home
Uniquely designed and decorated, with an exceptional attention to detail, the River Empress has been crafted to reflect the specific area in which she operates.
What we love
Uniworld's ships really do stand out from the crowd, unmatched in their opulent style and individual features. Every detail of the ship has been carefully considered to create an environment which enhances your itinerary, providing supreme levels of comfort and reflecting the region in which you're travelling.
|Style||Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Basel
The Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois (three kings) is one of Europe’s oldest city hotels.
Excursions from Basel
If the Romans are your thing then you'll enjoy Switzerland’s largest Roman ruins at Augusta Raurica, with the excellent Römermuseum alongside.
Two nights in Amsterdam
There is a fantastic range of canal front hotels to choose from, but we love the new Waldorf Astoria.
Visit windmills in Zaanse Schans, the flowers at Keukenhof, or the cheese market in Alkmaar.