Amazing Amsterdam & Rhine River Cruise with George Graphos

July 11, 2018 to July 21, 2018

Join George Graphos and his wife Kathy, for two nights in Amsterdam before exploring one of Europe’s most legendary rivers. This mesmerizing journey along the Rhine will include guided sightseeing in Cologne, Koblenz, and Strasbourg. Delight in excursions to Germany’s Black Forest and to Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town with its imposing castle. Also, sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, see the legendary Lorelei rock, and visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.

Motor coach transportation is included from various pick up points to Chicago O’Hare airport for the overnight flight to Amsterdam.

Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where you’ll be transferred to the Kimpton De Witt hotel.

Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital. This delightful city has elegant and classic architecture, many cafés, and restaurants and has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, canals, and bike paths throughout the city make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Afternoon and evening at leisure.

Hotel: Kimpton De Witt Hotel (or similar)
Meal: Dinner

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing on a full day tour the Dutch countryside. First stop is Zaanse Schans, a pretty town on the Zaan River and a popular destination due to its well-preserved windmills, some dating back to the 17th century. See evocations of traditional Dutch life at the historical shipyard, as well as iconic Holland windmills. The houses in the Zaan area are built in wood and painted in bright green and white, which gives the village a very picturesque character. We then continue to Volendam, which is a popular sea side town in the Netherlands, well-known for its old fishing boats and the traditional clothing still worn by some residents. Evening at leisure.

Hotel: Kimpton De Witt Hotel (or similar)
Meal: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and morning leisure time before departing to a local hotel for your transfer to the Tranquility II. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception and dinner.

Meal: Breakfast

There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time in the city this afternoon—you might like to join an optional biking tour (weather permitting). Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne in the afternoon. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters.

Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. In Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your ship for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. Join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration.

Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After lunch, travel to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany. With a LOCAL GUIDE, visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As capital of the Alsace region, Strasbourg is the and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city that manages to retain its historic charm. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timber houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade.

Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into Alsace wine country is available today. After dinner, enjoy an onboard WOODCARVING demonstration.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning and then a transfer to the Basel Airport and your flight home to Chicago. Upon arrival in Chicago, your motor coach will be waiting to return you to your original point of pick up.

Meal: Breakfast


Air-Inclusive Package

  • Group motorcoach transfer from select pick-up points to and from Chicago O’Hare
  • Round-trip flights from Chicago O’Hare to Amsterdam, returning from Basel, Switzerland
  • Motorcoach transfers between the airport, and hotel when purchasing the air inclusive trip

Tour Highlights

  • Hosted by George Graphos
  • Hotel accommodations in Amsterdam for two nights at the centrally located 4-star Kimpton De Witt Hotel including breakfast daily
  • Full-day sightseeing tour to the windmill town of Zaanse Schnas and the beautiful coastal town of Volendam
  • Deluxe seven-night Avalon river cruise on the Tranquility II, in a river view stateroom from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland
  • Complimentary shipboard gratuities
  • Experienced Tour Manager from Fox World Travel to accompany the group*
  • Remarkable service from your English-speaking crew and on-board Cruise Director
  • Customized, informative travel documents containing

Sightseeing

  • Amsterdam: Volendam: and canal cruise
  • Cologne: choice of guided city walk or Jewish Heritage walk
    Koblenz–Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim: guided sightseeing in Koblenz; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; special treat
  • Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg: visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; excursion to Heidelberg; guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat
  • Strasbourg: visit the La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; onboard woodcarving demonstration
  • Breisach ~ Excursion to the Black Forest: visit a local woodcarver’s workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum

Dining

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • All meals onboard the ship with chef-inspired regional recipes to include:
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily

Not included:  Meals, unless noted; medical services; airline imposed baggage fees; airport gratuities to baggage handlers, gratuities to motorcoach drivers; or any other items of a personal nature. A valid passport is required. Travel insurance protection is not included. Ask your travel consultant about our reasonable options.

Note: Daily Itinerary is subject to change. Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.

Cruise Only

Category D and E Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category B Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category A Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category P Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Air-Inclusive from Chicago O’Hare

Category D and E Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category B Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category A Cabin

Based on double occupancy

Category P Cabin

Based on double occupancy
*Above pricing is per person based on double occupancy in your choice of cabin category and subject to availability. All taxes and fees of $652.60 are INCLUDED and subject to change. Fox World Travel has no control over flight changes, delays or cancellations.  Single pricing available upon request. Triple accommodations not available.
Initial Deposit: $500.00 per person
Final Payment Date: April 6, 2018

Early Booking Discount: $250 per person discount when booked and deposited prior to February 19, 2018

Journey’s Club Past Passenger Discount: Past passengers of Avalon River Cruises, Globus, Monograms and Cosmos Vacations receive an additional $130.00 off per person (combinable with above promotions on single and double cabins!)

NOTE: Discounts are subject to change at any time

Departure from Chicago (July 11) to Frankfurt (July 12)

  • Depart from O’Hare International Airport on Lufthansa 431 at 4:00 p.m. and arrive at Frankfurt Airport at 7:15 a.m.

Flight from Frankfurt to Amsterdam (July 12)

  • Depart from Frankfurt Airport on Lufthansa 988 at 9:10 a.m. and arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol at 10:20 a.m.

Flight from Basel to Frankfurt (July 21)

  • Depart from EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg on Lufthansa 1205 at 2:25 p.m. and arrive at Frankfurt Airport at 3:20 p.m.

Return home from Frankfurt to Chicago (July 21)

  • Depart from Frankfurt on Lufthansa 432 at 5:15 p.m. and arrive at O’Hare International Airport at 7:20 p.m.
Please note: Flight schedules are subject to change and Fox World Travel has no control over flight changes, delays or cancellations.  Tickets will be non-refundable once issued. Changes will be subject to a fee plus any fare difference. Additional restrictions may apply. Flight schedules are subject to change. Fox World Travel has no control over flight or equipment changes, seat assignments, delays or cancellations. A minimum of 10 passengers is needed for the group air. Checked baggage fees may apply.

Pricing and flight options from other cities available upon request.

Optional Insurance:

Cancellation and travel protection is strongly recommended. Fox World Travel offers several plans with Travel Guard Insurance. Details and rates can be obtained from your travel consultant.

Cancellation Penalties:

  • Date of Booking to April 6, 2018: Deposit amount $400.00 per person
  • April 7 to May 11, 2018: 50% of trip cost + applicable airline fees
  • May 12 to June 10, 2018: 75% of trip cost+ applicable airline fees
  • June 11, 2018 to departure: No refund

Airline tickets are non-refundable once ticketed.

A valid passport is required with a validity of at least six months beyond the return date of the trip.

Note: Daily Itinerary is subject to change. Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.

George Graphos TripGeorge Graphos

After more than three decades as WBAY-TV’s chief meteorologist, George Graphos recently retired, freeing him up for the things he enjoys, like traveling the world.

George doesn’t have one of those classic young meteorologist stories of spending his youth engaged in the search for the true actual air temperature by counting the chirps of a lone cricket and thus was born his penchant for “the perfect forecast.” Truth be told, George’s love of all things weather came quite by happenstance. A friend contacted George, offering him a crew position aboard a sailboat returning to the Great Lakes from the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Possessing neither the skills required to save oneself from a body of water deeper that six feet nor the ownership of a rich history of deep water sailing, George keenly surmised that being single — and ignorantly fearless — he would seize the opportunity with little or no delay. After all, it was college summer break and this favorable combination of circumstances seemed to be exciting. It wasn’t long before George became smitten with sailing and soon discovered his passion for “all things weather,” and thus initiated a mid-course correction toward the study of Meteorology and the Geosciences. After completing his studies at Northern Michigan University and the University of Texas at Dallas, he landed his first position in broadcast news as Meteorologist for WLUC-TV in Marquette, Michigan. He then worked as on-air Meteorologist for KPNX-TV in Phoenix before arriving at WBAY in Green Bay in 1985 as Chief Meteorologist. George says, “I feel blessed that these twists of fate have brought me and my family to northeast Wisconsin. WBAY has become a wonderful professional partner, and the fine people here in northern Wisconsin have become dear friends.” George can be found speaking in school classrooms, to clubs and organizations, as well as emceeing various events in the area. In his free time he enjoys traveling with his family to locales as near as Door County and as far as anywhere in Europe. He says, “I have way too many hobbies and interests, and far too little time to enjoy them. Painting, watercolors, computer graphics, photography and, most importantly, sports car racing at one of my favorite places in the world, Elkhart Lake’s Road America, both as a race fan and a racer!” And now we come back to “What is the temperature?” George says, “Count the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. Example: 30 chirps+40=70°F.” By the way, to convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count the number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get the temperature. Example: 48 chirps/(divided by) 3+4=20°C