Rhine Art and Music Cruise

Be part of the celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and embark on a leisurely cruise through the landscapes and cities that play host to Europe’s finest art museums and concert halls.

Board the luxurious MS Amadeus Silver III in Amsterdam and cruise up the scenic Rhine River, arguably Europe’s most important waterway and cultural vein. This unique cruise will provide a veritable panorama of European art, history, music and landscapes, including a series of exclusive concerts and gala performances and visits celebrating Beethoven’s unique musical legacy.

Along the way, benefit from the insights of three specialist tour leaders: classical music broadcaster Christopher Lawrence, art history expert Thomas Abbott and musicologist Andy Bromberger.

Extend your exploration of Europe’s great art and music cities with an optional pre-cruise tour Van Eyck to Van Gogh: Artistic Highlights of the Low Countries from Brussels to Amsterdam and post-cruise tour Art Treasures of Zurich and Basel.


This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.

Suggested departure from Australia or New Zealand on Qatar Airways flights to Amsterdam via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.

Arrive in Amsterdam and make your way to the ship. At 15:00 embark upon the luxury river cruise ship, the MS Amadeus Silver III, which will be our home for the next seven nights.

In the late afternoon, depart Amsterdam for Cologne. At 18:00, join Christopher, Thomas, Andy and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner.

Then, attend a private chamber music concert on board by trio including acclaimed clarinettist Ralph Manno, cellist Jens Peter Maintz and pianist James Voss presenting a program featuring Beethoven.


Enjoy a morning talk by your tour leaders on topics of music and art, followed by lunch.

As we enter Germany, enjoy some time at leisure to enjoy the constantly changing panorama before we enjoy a private concert on board by Ralph Manno, Jens Peter Maintz and James Voss.

In the late afternoon, arrive in Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city and the major cultural centre of the Rhineland. This evening, enjoy a performance of Henry Purcell’s opera Miranda at the Cologne Opera House.


Today, discover the historic centre of Cologne, dominated by the famous Cologne Cathedral, during a walking tour including the old town, the Romanesque Great Saint Martin Church and the Cologne Cathedral. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1248 and was finally completed in 1880, supported by the German Romantic movement. Enjoy a private guided tour of the Cathedral and admire the stunning windows designed and completed in 2007 by German visual artist Gerhard Richter, the most famous contemporary artist from Cologne.

Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to further explore Cologne at your own pace.

Following a talk by your tour leaders, enjoy a private chamber music concert on board performed by the acclaimed Schumann Quartet performing Beethoven’s string quartets.


This morning, visit the Max Ernst Museum, located in the town of Brühl. The museum is dedicated to the works of Max Ernst, considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. The collection displays a unique and diverse collection of sculpture works from the late 1920s to his last works in 1974.

Continue to Bonn, the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. Enjoy a walking tour, following in the footsteps of Beethoven. See Beethoven Hall, which hosts one of the world’s leading music festivals, and the ‘’Beethon’’, a sculpture based on the best-known portrait of Beethoven. See also his memorial on Munsterplatz and the Chamber Music Hall.

Finally, visit Beethoven House, which celebrates the life and work of the composer.

Return to the ship in the afternoon for some free time before tonight’s performance.

In the evening, attend the biggest annual event in Bonn – the Bonn Opera International Gala. This superb opera gala is performed at the Bonn Opera House by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the Opera Choir of Bonn. Conducted by the General Musical Director of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Dirk Kaftan, the gala features leading singers and musicians from around the world (program to be advised in early 2020).

Later in the evening, depart Bonn for Koblenz.


Arrive in scenic Koblenz in the morning and discover this 2,000-year-old city. From the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, enjoy the spectacular view to Deutsches Eck (German Corner), where the Moselle joins the Rhine, dominated by a giant equestrian statue of Emperor William I.

Return to the ship later in the day and cruise up the Rhine River. After a talk by your tour leaders, enjoy views of the most beautiful section of the river – the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

In the afternoon, arrive at the winemaking town of Rüdesheim in the Rhine Gorge and enjoy some time at leisure to explore the narrow streets of Drosselgasse, the heart of Rüdesheim’s old town.

In the evening, depart Rüdesheim for Mannheim.


Arrive in Mannheim in the morning and enjoy an exclusive early-access tour of the Kunsthalle Museum on a day on which it is closed to the public. Reopened in 2017 in Germany’s largest new museum building, this pioneering modern and contemporary art museum houses a large collection, from French avant-garde to post-Impressionism as well as Expressionism and New Objectivity.

Then, enjoy some time at leisure to further explore the city, view the Mannheim Baroque Palace and Luisenpark, one of the most beautiful parks in Germany.

Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a talk by your tour leaders while cruising to Speyer.

Upon arrival in Speyer, visit its imposing cathedral, the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe, and where eight Roman emperors and German kings are interred. Then, enjoy some time at leisure to wander through the old town.

In the evening, depart for Strasbourg.


Arrive in Strasbourg, the dynamic capital of Alsace in France, in the morning. Depart for a walking tour of Grande Ile (Large Island), the historic centre of Strasbourg, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. See the Cathedral, an outstanding masterpiece of Gothic art, the sumptuous Palais Rohan, which houses Strasbourg’s Archaeological, Decorative Arts and Fine Arts museums, and explore the charming Petite France and tanners’ quarter, the Covered Bridges and the Vauban dam.

Return to the ship in time for lunch and depart Strasbourg for Basel.

This afternoon, enjoy some time at leisure on board. Later, attend a private music concert on board (program to be advised).

In the evening, celebrate the conclusion of our art and music exploration along the Rhine River with a special farewell dinner with your tour leaders and fellow travellers.


Arrive in Basel in the morning and disembark the MS Amadeus Silver III after breakfast.

Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

For those tour members not continuing on the post-cruise tour Art Treasures of Zurich and Basel and returning home today, drive to Zurich for suggested Qatar Airways flights to Australia or New Zealand via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.


Per person, sharing from

AUD 10,500

Per person, single from

AUD 11,750

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,500

Tour prices

Final payment due

06 February 2020

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Qatar Airways
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.         


Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Tour price includes

  • Seven-night luxury cruise from Amsterdam to Basel on the MS Amadeus Silver III including all meals (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner) and wines
  • Private music concerts on board and Category 1 tickets for the Bonn Opera International Gala and opera in Cologne
  • Lectures, talks and panel discussions with your tour leaders, Christopher Lawrence, Thomas Abbott and Andy Bromberger
  • Comprehensive sightseeing, including entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Land transportation on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and waiting staff
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel/airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, drinks, room service, etc.
  • Airport porterage
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Welcome aboard the MS Amadeus Silver III

The MS Amadeus Silver III is an elegantly modern cruise ship built in 2016 and combines the luxuries of a 5-star hotel with innovative design and first-class service. The MS Amadeus Silver III boasts generously-sized rooms, a panoramic terrace offering spectacular views of the passing riverscape, a stylish restaurant, authentic Viennese on-board coffee house, and a stunning sun-deck. All staterooms offer an outside view
of the beautiful scenery and have luxuriously comfortable beds, panoramic windows, en-suite bathrooms with shower, spacious wardrobe, individual climate control, flat-screen satellite TV, direct dial telephone, hair dryer and electronic safes.

Van Eyck to Van Gogh: Artistic Highlights of the Low Countries
with Kate Kangaslahti   |  28 April – 06 May 2020 (9 days)
View tour here

Art Treasures of Zurich and Basel
with Thomas Abbott   |  13–17 May 2020 (5 days)
View tour here