Kinderdijk
A view of Kinderdijk from the ship

I just returned from an amazing adventure with Viking Cruises. I sailed on the Viking Eir doing the 8-day “Rhine Gateway” cruise down the Rhine, starting in Basel, Switzerland and ending in Amsterdam. This was my first cruise with Viking but not my first river cruise. I really love the experience and have done a Danube cruise and a cruise down the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam before. You only have to unpack once and your luxury hotel travels with you. Each day we explored a different city and region, then you get back on the ship, it sails at night to the next port and the next morning you’re in a different city to explore. It’s awesome.

Viking Eir
The Viking Eir docked in Koblenz, Germany

Before the cruise, I spent a few days in Basel and afterwards I spent the day in Amsterdam before heading to Paris for the weekend. I’ll be posting more about the trip and you can see more from my trip on my YouTube channel and on my @luxuryfred IG. I have a ton of photos and video and will be putting it all together into posts, videos and articles for you.

Strasbourg Cathedral
The view from the top of Strasbourg Cathedral

I really had a great time, the entire experience was wonderful. We had what Viking calls a veranda cabin with a nice-sized balcony. It was great to sit outside and watch the world go by while we enjoyed some wine. The food on the ship was terrific and it’s always fun to meet the other cruisers.

River cruise ship
Drone pic of the ship docked in Cologne, Germany

Aside the luxurious accommodations and delicious food, the cruise was also filled with wonderful excursions and adventures. There was one, free, included excursion each day and a range of optional, extra-cost trips. The included excursions were usually visits and tours of the area where we docked. We did a few of them and also did some of the optional trips. These included a special Strasbourg tour which included a climb to the top of city’s amazing cathedral. We also did a wine tasting excursion to th Moselle Valley, which was as interesting for the scenery and history of the area as it was for the Riesling we tasted. On the final day of the cruise, we did the windmill bikeride in Kinderdijk, which was also a lot of fun.

Amsterdam canal
A typical and beautiful street scene in Amsterdam

After the cruise, we spent the day enjoying Amsterdam including a visit to the Pulitzer Amsterdam, the city’s best luxury hotel. We walked around, visited a few coffee shops, ate all kinds of things and ended our day at the moving Anne Frank House. Then it was off to Centraal Station for the three-hour train ride to Paris. As always, I made all my arrangements via Rail Europe, the best way to get your European train tix or passes for US travelers.

Pulitzer Amsterdam
The Pulitzer Amsterdam

We spent a few days in Paris mainly exploring Le Meurice and Plaza Athenee and had an epic lunch at Le Dali, one of the restaurants at Le Meurice.

Le Dali restaurant
A view of the Dali-inspired dining room at Le Dali. Pear by Cedric Grolet.
Eiffel Tower
The majestic Eiffel Tower