Viking River Cruise Shore Excursions

(25 Reviews)
100% Recommended

Beth Fortin

Blaine, MN
Experience Asia Pacific Your Way

The word exotic best fits the Asia Pacific region of the world and as an Asia Travel Specialist I am here to help you plan that vacation. I have spent extended time in Japan and have made return trips. I have also helped many travelers plan recurr...

My husband and I enjoyed a fall Rhine River Cruise with Viking River Cruises.  We sailed from Basel to Amsterdam with stops in eight ports including our departure and arrival ports.  An excursion is included with your cruise fare at each port plus there are a few optional excursions available for purchase. I would like to highlight our day in Breisach, Germany.  

Our day began with the included scenic motor coach tour through The Black Forest. As we passed through the small villages, forests and vineyards into the woods our guide entertained us with history, folklore, and the culture of this picturesque region.  The highlight of the tour was a stop at the Hofgut Sternen Shop in Breitnau home of the world’s second largest cuckoo clock. Here we had the opportunity to watch demonstrations on how cuckoo clocks are made, learn how to make a Black Forest Cake or take a stroll through the forest.  Since my husband is somewhat cuckoo for cuckoo clocks we chose to spend our time watching the clock making demonstration and admiring the hundreds of clocks on display. After the stop we returned back to the ship via Freiburg. The tour was four hours long and quite an easy tour.  The walking portions of the tour were over easy surfaces with a few steps and inclines. We were back on the ship with plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely lunch before our afternoon tour.  

Colmar in World War 11: Museum & Memorial explored the Colmar Pocket where American and French forces pushed back Nazi troops during the winter of 1944-1945. This afternoon tour was an optional tour which we purchased. 

The first stop of the tour was the Audie Murphy Memorial at the end of the forest next to Holtzwihr. This is the location where Lieutenant Audie Murphy single-handedly held off a counterattack of the German Army for more than one hour and forced them to retreat back into Holtzwihr. The following day Holtzwirhr fell to the Americans. 

As we continued on to Ostheim, we passed by an exact replica of the Statue of Liberty in Colmar, France.  The Statue in Colmar, France stands facing the direction of our Statue of Liberty in New York City.  This statue was sculpted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of  Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s death.  Bartholdi was born in Colmar and was the designer of the of the Statue of Liberty.  Ostheim was the first village in the Colmar Pocket to be liberated. Here we visited the old church wall with a stork nest on top. The rest of the church was destroyed in the fighting.  The wall remains are a tribute to the deceased, civilians, and soldiers.  

The next stop was Kaysersberg where we heard more stories of the battle of the Colmar pocket. This fierce battle lasted 2 months from December to early February in very extreme temperatures. 

The final stop of the day was the Colmar Pocket Memorial Museum in Turckheim. The museum is a wine cellar where the Americans took rest and enjoyed a bit of the cellar contents after they liberated the town. Small in size, the museum houses a wealth of items on display to tell the history of the Battle of the Colmar Pocket.  Items on display are mostly donated from the attics and basements of local residents and some were donate by veterans. A very moving museum that visualized the stories we heard throughout the day.  

The tour was 4 hours in length with easy walking where needed.  This tour was moderately priced and well worth both our time and money spent.  Our guide Malcolm shared stories of the battles and history of the region with utmost passion, often bringing several people on the tour to tears. 

See more travel stories
Return to my Why River Cruising? page
©  Travel Leaders Group