All Race Days include 5K-12K trail runs or hikes (Subject To Change)
Basel is located in Northwestern Switzerland and is commonly considered to be the capital of that region. It is close to the point where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. Basel even has suburbs in France and Germany. Oh…and Basel is where we board our R2A vessel!!!
What’s more important than the fondue, and our first of four countries, is that we’re embarking on a weeklong journey along the Rhine River. And not only that, but we’re going to take this journey during the second of four weeks at the Euro Cup! This is the second largest soccer/football tournament in the world, only second to the World Cup. You can love the sport or be entirely unfamiliar with it – it doesn’t matter. Because every country we visit is going to be celebrating in the streets during June 2024!
Different from years past, we’ll be kicking off the week with a race on Day 1. Come prepared for your first 5K after check-in and registration. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to freshen up for night 1 on the boat!
Have you ever fallen asleep, drifting down a river in one country, and then woken up in a completely different country that very next morning? We will have done that come day 2! And we’ll do that a bunch of times this week! Different languages, cities, cultures, and food, every single day. It’s just that amazing and we’re going to cover just that much ground.
Breisach is actually Celtic, and means “breakwater”. This city was once right in the middle of the Rhine, until the river was straightened by an engineer in the 19th century. Freiburg is one of Alsace’s best-known wine villages and is a town some have hailed as the prettiest in the world. Most might simply tour and sip their way through this region. We’ll do that, but we’ll be sure to one-up everyone with a race to accentuate it all!
Night 1 will have been a little hectic with introductions, racing, registration, and announcements. On this more relaxed Night 2, the captain of the ship will be hosting a delicious welcome dinner.
This is our one and only day in France, so let’s all be sure to soak in every ounce of French culture we can. Let’s not forget, France’s football team is currently ranked #3 in the world. Wouldn’t it be something if we timed a Euro Cup game featuring France while in France? That just might happen!
There are good views of both the town of Kehl, with its houses and gardens, as well as today’s centerpiece, Strasbourg, with its high rise developments along the riverfront. The cross border garden parks mark our course for Day 3, with trees, flower beds and miles of routes to choose from.
Today we have the pleasure of exploring TWO of the fabled Rhine River towns! We’ll wake up in Rudesheim and make our way to Boppard by late afternoon.
Rudesheim is where we’ll race in the morning. Through the trails of Heidesheim. Giving us just enough time to see all there is to see in Rudesheim after.
After arriving in Boppard, it’s time to sample some estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollrads. If your legs are up to the task, there is one last hike through some of the most beautiful landscapes that line the Rhine.
In 2021, when R2A sailed along the Danube, we added a fun bike ride from port to port. It was so memorable that we knew we’d have to do something like it again. That day is today! Jump on those bikes and let your pedaling take you to our next port. Or…take the lazy route and board the boat (see you when we get to our day’s final destination!). By biking along the Rhine, you’ll have a chance to cruise through neighborhoods, local shops, and see the things most only see from a riverboat’s view. Next stop, Koblenz!
Upon arrival into Koblenz, be on the lookout for Deutsches Eck (“German Corner”). It is the name of a headland, where the Mosel river joins the Rhine. It became known for a monumental equestrian statue of William I, the first German Emperor, erected in 1897 in appreciation for his role in the unification of Germany. It was destroyed in World War II. Following German reunification, the statue was erected on the pedestal after controversial discussions in 1993.
We’ve incorporated an afternoon race outside of Koblenz, at the volcanic caldera lake of Laacher See (aka Laach Lake). That evening, we’ll dine before our overnight to Cologne!
Good morning from Cologne! We will also have landed in a host city for the Euro Cup! Dare we hit it right and find ourselves in a stadium, watching a game? Or in a town square, with a big screen, cheersing fans from all over the world? It’s likely!
History buffs will enjoy an expertly led tour through Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance façade. Wander through the city’s historical center and take in its charming atmosphere, narrow alleyways flanked by old houses and countless breweries. One thing is for certain – you will have ample free time to explore Old Town on your own.
It’s our final race day! Board the buses for a spectacular course mapped out years in advance. The grand finale will take you to Große Dhünntalsperre. Let’s trounce through any remaining lakes and trails yet to be uncovered. Große Dhünntalsperre is a region where 20 hidden gems are waiting to be explored and visited.
Today marks more time in Cologne, and our longest journey along the Rhine yet. Next up, our fourth and final country, The Netherlands! Home of the Dutch, Holland to some, where the color orange is synonymous with its people. The Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner means only one thing – our final stop in Amsterdam is near!
It’s time to disembark in Amsterdam. Our time in the river may be through, but we have one last day and night in store for this epic R2A crew. Friendships will be strengthened even more as we take on our very last city on the itinerary.
We’ll board the buses and check our bags into our hotel. Now it’s time to make the most of our day in Amsterdam together! On our last river adventure along the Danube, Mike’s Bike Tours in Munich was a fast and effective way to cover a lot of ground in a jaw dropping city. And what do you know…Mike’s Bike Tours is in Amsterdam too! We have 130 bikes reserved that afternoon, for a final group cycle around the city.
Over the course of approximately 2.5 hours they’ll take us through the most beautiful highlights of Amsterdam. We’ll pass canals, drawbridges, the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, an old fort, and much more. We’ll learn about Amsterdam’s rich history as well as the foibles that make up Amsterdam’s culture. The tour mixes all of this with the guides personal stories, observations, and opinions. All the guides are personable, knowledgeable, and fun. They have our safety in mind, so we can enjoy the ride responsibly. And also…they’ll take us for a drink somewhere along the way. Could the Dutch be playing while we’re in Amsterdam? Could be!
You’re on your own tonight, but in typical R2A fashion, I’m sure we’ll all wind up at the same spot for one final celebration before it’s time to say goodbye.
So long R2Aers! Another R2A complete and another European river conquered. Another priceless journey has come and gone. Good news, though – we have lots of other adventures in store for you! See you in another country, and maybe even another continent, soon enough.
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