When: March 10-March 17, 2024
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland
Countries Visted: France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland
Optional Extensions: 2 nights in Amsterdam pre-cruise, 4 nights in Switzerland post-cruise
Trip Status: Waitlist. Sign up to receive a text notification when spots come available. (See FAQs below about my waitlist before signing up.)
Join us on our 7-night Rhine River Cruise, beginning in the colorful canals of Amsterdam, winding through Germany and France, and ending in majestic Switzerland!
- Scenic canal cruise in Amsterdam
- Tour of Cologne, including Old Town and the cathedral*
- Cruise through the Rhine Gorge*
- Gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue
- Tour of Heidelberg’s medieval city and castle or Speyer’s Romanesque cathedral* and medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate
- Tour of Strasbourg, France, and its storybook La Petite France* district, Notre Dame Cathedral, and astronomical clock
- And more! (Some ports will have multiple excursion options, including hikes and bike rides, so you can personalize your experience.)
*These are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A cell phone and international data plan for one adult in your party is required for the duration of the trip. This cruise is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Cabins, Prices, and What’s Included
We have private charter, so our group will be the only travelers on board. Our cruise fare is deeply discounted and includes almost everything outside of flights and airport transfers.
Cabins have two twins or one queen bed (your choice of configuration). Some cabins have sleeper chairs and sofa beds for an additional one or two people, and a few have connecting doors. Larger families should register early for triple, quad, and connecting cabins.
Every cabin must have at least one person, age 18 or older. (Age is determined as of March 10, 2024, and passports must be presented to verify age.)
NOTE FOR PARTIES OF 3
Prices are per cabin (not per person), and differ depending on type of cabin, location, and how many people are in the cabin. Since they’re based on double occupancy, the price for one person isn’t much cheaper than the price for two people. There are no single cabins.
Cabins are on three decks:
- Lowest cabin deck is mostly below the waterline, except for windows.
- Middle cabin deck sits a little above the waterline.
- Highest cabin deck is well above the waterline.
French balconies are similar to a regular balcony, but the space is inside your room. When the patio doors (full glass windows) are closed, it’s an indoor sitting area with a full view. When you slide the doors open, it’s like a balcony, but you can’t step out (there’s a railing there to keep you from falling into the river). There isn’t a separate outdoor space.
Twin balcony rooms have a French balcony as described above, plus a separate outside balcony.
PRICES ARE PER CABIN, NOT PER PERSON
Category E – Lowest cabin deck, 160 sq ft
No balcony, windows are high, small, and don’t open; closer to crew cabins; smaller cabin; best for 1 or 2 people
1 person – $2,901 per cabin
2 people – $3,282 per cabin
Category D – Lowest cabin deck, 160 sq ft
Same as Category E except closer to the center of the ship and a little farther away from the crew cabins; best for 1 or 2 people
1 person – $3,171 per cabin
2 people – $3,552 per cabin
Category CB – Highest cabin deck, 155 sq ft
French balcony, end of deck, smallest of all the cabins; better for 1 person, but bedding for 2 people
1 person – $3,711 per cabin
2 people – $4,092 per cabin
Category CA – Middle cabin deck & highest cabin deck, 170 sq ft
French balcony, end of the middle cabin deck and close to end of highest cabin deck
1 person – $4,071 per cabin
2 people – $4,452 per cabin
Category BB – Middle cabin deck, 210 sq ft
Larger than previous categories; twin balconies, closer to center of deck, some have connecting doors to accommodate parties of 4, two cabins can connect to Category AB cabins to accommodate parties of 5 (with sleeper chair)
1 person – $4,611 per cabin
2 people – $4,992 per cabin
Category BA – Highest cabin deck, 210 sq ft
Similar to Category BB, but on highest cabin deck; twin balconies, closer to center of deck, some have connecting doors to accommodate parties of 4
1 person – $4,791 per cabin
2 people – $5,172 per cabin
Category AB – Middle cabin deck, 235 sq ft
Larger than previous categories; twin balconies, center of deck, larger sitting area, most accommodate up to 3 people (with sleeper chair), two cabins can connect to Category BB cabins to accommodate parties of 5 (with sleeper chair)
1 person – $4,971 per cabin
2 people – $5,352 per cabin
3 people – $8,028 per cabin
Category AA – Highest cabin deck, 235 square feet
Similar to Category AB, but on highest cabin deck; twin balconies, center of deck, larger sitting area, most accommodate up to 3 people (with sleeper chair)
1 person – $5,151 per cabin
2 people – $5,532 per cabin
3 people – $8,298 per cabin
Suite – Highest cabin deck, 350 square feet
Largest cabins, twin balconies, center of deck, has a tub in addition to a shower, accommodates up to 4 people (with sleeper chair and sofa bed)
1 person – $6,321 per cabin
2 people – $6,702 per cabin
3 people – $10,053 per cabin
4 people – $13,404 per cabin
Your cruise fare includes port charges, gratuity for ship staff/crew, excursions, and site admissions on our itinerary during the cruise. (Tips for local guides are at your discretion.)
All meals are included – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, desserts, snacks, sandwiches, and multi-course dinners. Drinks include sparkling wine and juices for breakfast, regional wines, beer, and soft drinks for lunch and dinner, with cappuccino, latte and espresso available upon request. Coffee, tea, and water are available all day, and bottled water is provided in the cabins.
Your cruise fare doesn’t include airfare, airport transfers, any extra tours or excursions you do on your own, any meals while off the ship, trip insurance, and the optional pre- and post-cruise extensions.
Payment Schedule, Cancellation, and No-Refund Policy
A $100 per-person, non-refundable registration fee is required and will be charged to your debit/credit card when you submit your request for spots. This fee is separate from your cruise fare. (If I can’t accommodate one of your top 3 cabin categories, this fee will be returned.)
Half of your cruise fare is due within 7 days of my confirmation of your spots. I can’t hold spots after 7 days. The remaining balance is due by October 15, 2022*.
*NOTE: I need full payment so far in advance because this a deeply discounted custom cruise with unforgiving contract terms. When I sign the contract, I’m responsible for paying for the entire ship, regardless of whether all cabins are filled or not. This is also why I can’t refund any payments for any reason (medical, job lay-off, death in the family, anything).
Please make sure you understand and agree with this before you register – no refunds, no matter what. I can’t afford to pay for empty spots. Your signed waiver, registration form, and payment acknowledges your understanding and agreement with my no-refund policy.
I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers (if your bank offers that and allows you to transfer the full amount – no split payments). I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, anything that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
Travel insurance that covers your expenses if you cancel the trip is highly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure of the reasons you can cancel, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.). Pandemics and civil unrest usually aren’t covered, so make sure you check carefully. (I’ve heard some insurance companies are adding coverage for pandemics now, but again – check carefully!)
Food Allergies, Special Needs
Make sure you list any food allergies or other special needs on your registration form. I’ll check to see if your needs can be accommodated before I confirm your registration. (No money will be refunded and special accommodations can’t made due to allergies or other special needs if you don’t tell me about them when you register.)
Multi-city airfare and transfers to and from the airport are not included in the price. Don’t purchase non-refundable flights until the trip is confirmed. Airlines have their own refund policies and I have no control over them.
I’ll email flight recommendations/details after the cruise is confirmed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this trip still open? Are any spots left? Will you have a waitlist? Is it first come, first serve.
I’ll update this page if we run out of spots. I can’t answer “do you have spots left” emails because I receive registrations throughout the day. What’s available at noon, for example, may not be available at 1:00 pm.
My “waitlist” is a text notification list. It is not first come, first serve. It is based on a lottery system. The notification goes to everyone who signed up, and everyone has an equal chance of getting spots, no matter if they’re the first or last to sign up.
When the cancelation period for a trip closes, the waitlist also closes since we can no longer replace spots.
To increase your chance of winning a waitlist “lottery,” make sure to follow the instructions in the text you receive and provide the information I ask for.
NOTE: Cabins that come available are first offered to existing travelers to give them the opportunity to upgrade or change cabin types. Remaining cabins will be offered to families on my text notification list.
Is the price per person?
It’s per cabin, not per person. For example, a Category E cabin is $3,282 total for two people. The cabin is $2,901 if there’s only one person in the cabin.
This is a lot of money to send to someone I don’t know, especially with no refunds. Can you provide references?
I could provide references from families who’ve traveled with me since I began doing these trips in 2006, but the references could be faked.
Instead, read my About page to find out more about us, then do a search of “Carolina Homeschooler trips” and “Traveling Homeschooler trips.” If I’ve cheated anyone, it’ll be all over the internet. My “Traveling Homeschoolers” name is newer, created in 2016 to differentiate between my local member trips, and trips that are open to everyone, so search both names.
You can also get a sense of who we are if you follow me on Facebook.
It’s too stressful to send money if you don’t trust me. Please research before you register and pay.
Do you think you’ll fill the ship and be able to confirm the cruise?
We were able to confirm our first river cruise (Danube) and second (Rhine), but the rest were impacted by COVID. We’re hopeful that 2024 will be our victory cruise!
I’ve never been on a river cruise before. Can you give me an idea of what the ship is like, activities, etc.?
The ship may change (since it’s 2 years out), but most river cruise ships are typical – the top deck is open for viewing and hanging out in the sun. The remaining decks are half cabins, half social areas (lounge, seating areas, restaurants, etc.).
The cabins are 155-350 square feet. The smaller ones have fixed windows or French (inside) balconies, while the bigger ones have twin balconies (inside and outside balconies).
Rooms have two twins or 1 queen (they hook the twins together to make the queen). Although we didn’t receive any complaints about the beds, their twins and queens seemed smaller than regular twins/queens (to me – others thought they were normal twin/queen size).
You don’t have to pay extra to get better food (like you do on ocean cruise ships) or pay extra for drink packages (soft drinks and adult beverages). You don’t have to pay extra for excursions, either. They’re all included in the price. Port charges and gratuity is also included in the price.
The focus of river cruising is on the places we’ll visit, not the ship (the opposite of ocean cruises), so there aren’t a lot of planned ship activities during the day (because we’re out touring).
In the evenings, we enjoy socializing, playing games, and just spending time together. They also bring local entertainment (musicians, etc.) on board.
There’s plenty to do, but also time for parents and children to socialize and bond. And we did plenty of socializing on our Danube cruise. We left that ship feeling as if we were one big, extended family. It was amazing!
Does the description list everything we’ll be doing?
We usually have a choice of tours each day, so you’ll have a lot of choices – tours, walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. However, I’ve listed some highlights of what to expect. (The itinerary for 2024 hasn’t been decided yet, but it should include the highlights I’ve listed.)
When will you post information about the optional pre- and post-cruise extensions?
I’ll post more information when I confirm the cruise.
I have young children. Can we all share one room? I have a baby, toddler, preschooler – do they count in the price?
We can’t accommodate babies, toddlers, or preschoolers on this trip. It’s recommended for ages 7 and up, and everyone counts in the price. Most cabins are limited to two passengers, but we do have a limited number of triples, quads, and connecting cabins. Register as soon as you’re certain you’re going for the best chance of getting these higher-capacity cabins.
Should people with mobility issues go on this trip?
We’ll have “gentle walker” versions of most tours to accommodate travelers with mobility issues. There’s no elevator access to the lowest cabin deck (Category E and D cabins), or the top (open, non-cabin) deck. There’s very limited access for guests confined to wheelchairs.
Describe your issues in the “special needs” section of the registration form and I’ll make sure we can accommodate your issues before I confirm your spots.
What cities will we fly into and out of?
We’ll fly into Amsterdam and out of Basel or Zurich (depending on whether you do the post-trip extension). I’ll provide more flight information when I confirm the trip. Please don’t purchase your flights until I confirm and send you more details.
What payment methods do you accept?
The non-refundable $100 registration fee must be paid by credit/debit card when you submit your registration. It’s separate from your cruise fare.
For your cruise fare, I accept checks (personal, bank checks, BillPay through your bank) and Zelle transfers (if your bank offers that, and if they allow you to transfer the whole amount in one transfer – no split payments).
I don’t accept credit or debit cards (other than for the registration fee), money orders, PayPal, Venmo, any payment method that requires me to provide my account number to a third party, or any other payment method.
What are the COVID health requirements? Are vaccinations or masks required?
We don’t know what the requirements will be for 2024. Even if we did, requirements change so often that things can change even a week or two before our cruise. Only register if you’re willing to accept whatever requirements are in place when we travel. We’ll have a great time, regardless!
Want to join us?
- We have a waiting list for this cruise. Sign up to receive a text notification when spots come available. (See FAQs below about my waitlist before signing up.)
- If you don’t receive a confirmation with payment information within 5 days, please email me.
- Half of your cruise fare is due within 7 days of receiving my confirmation of your spots. The remaining balance is due by October 15, 2022. (Your registration fee is charged upon submission of your registration and is separate from your cruise fare.)
- And that’s it! Email me if you have any questions.