Dear Fellow Cycling Enthusiasts,
In 2010, Santana chartered a Lueftner Amadeus river cruise ship for a cycling cruise linking Paris with Amsterdam. It sold out within the first week.
In 2013, Santana upgraded our Rhine and Moselle itinerary and chartered Lueftner’s larger Amadeus Princess. This larger encore adventure also sold out within a week.
In 2016, we chartered the Amadeus Princess for the second time on these rivers, and it sold out within 2 days.
A couple of months ago Lueftner called to offer us the newer and nicer Amadeus Silver II at a price that seems too low. Compared to past years the price of this 2019 charter allows us to offer upgraded staterooms for $1000 less.
Why? Our friends at Lueftner Cruises love Santana’s younger and more active participants.
While Jan and I enjoy scouting new and exotic destinations, the romanticism of the castle-lined Rhine and Moselle Rivers is just too enchanting to pass up.
For 2019, Santana has chartered the Amadeus Silver II for our Paris to Amsterdam Cycling Cruise.
With prices this low, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity.
What could be better than saving $1000 a proven cruise itinerary that utilized a newer and nicer ship?
Optional 3-Night Paris Prelude
Saturday July 20 – Although some may choose to fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) a night or two earlier, on our official kick-off date (Saturday, July 20) we’ll be at the airport to meet all morning flights. This afternoon at our hotel near the Arc de Triomphe there will be time (and help) to assemble, test, and secure your bikes. After our bikes are built, you’ll have free time to stroll Champs-Élysées–the broad avenue where the famous Tour de France ends. Tonight’s welcoming banquet includes, what else, Parisian Cuisine!
Sunday – After an early lap or two (with photo ops) on the Champs-Élysées, we’ll head back to our hotel to freshen up and enjoy the afternoon before the festivities begin. If you choose to only come into Paris for a 2-Night PreTour, flights that arrive by Noon on Sunday will allow just enough time to unpack, build your bikes, and take a stroll in Paris before dinner.
Monday – Our Monday morning ride we’ll ride through Parisien suburbs to reach Versailles for an on-bike tour of the Palace’s Gardens. This unprecedented event includes a stop for lunch and guided visit of Marie Antoinette’s rustic retreat (which most tourists miss due to the long hike). Back at our Paris hotel after 35 easy miles, we’ll tuck our bikes into soft blankets for their overnight truck ride to Strasbourg.
Tuesday – On our PreTour’s final morning, we’ll depart Paris on France’s newest and fastest TGV. Cruising through the countryside at 200 miles per hour, the “world’s fastest rail service” allows us to catch up with our bikes in beautiful Strasbourg.
If you wish to skip Paris altogether, there is also new TGV service that gets you from Charles de Gaulle to Strasbourg without a change of trains. While this works best if your flight arrives on Monday, the earliest flights on Tuesday would allow you to allow you to arrange to move straight onto the ship, without an interim hotel stay.
Tuesday July 23, 2019: Built on a large island where the Île River spills into the Rhine, the narrow streets of Strasbourg’s “Petit France” are blocked to cars—and perfect for our bikes. After crossing over the 1852 canal that connects to Paris and the Atlantic, today’s after-lunch ride is a flat 32-mile route that follows the 1831 Rhine – Rhone canal. Continuing South through a series of Alsatian villages, our ride ends when we reach the Rhine to find Lueftner’s Amadeus Silver II. The rest of the afternoon, while we settle into our spacious staterooms, the Silver II will pass through three locks during our return to Strasbourg.
Day 2: Our first full day of riding leaves Strasbourg to pass through flowered villages adorned with storks’ nests. If you haven’t yet visited Alsace, this is the part of France you’ve dreamed of (with half-timbered architecture, clean streets and friendly residents who are quick to smile and wave). On the German side of the river, we’ll re-board the Amadeus Silver II for lunch.
Later, she’ll move another 15-30 miles to reach the intriguing village where we end our afternoon rides. On most days of this bike tour, you can ride in the morning, afternoon, both, or neither. On this day our afternoon ride uses a ferry to cross back to Alsace, and continues on the left bank to where the Rhine flows out of France. This evening we’ll find the Silver II tied up in the city of Speyer, where the old walled section has a lively walking district.
Day 3: Our floating five-star hotel not only bids us farewell each morning, meets us for lunch and waits for us at the end of our rides, it can also travel through the night to reach a spectacular ride start for the following morning. While we slept last night our luxurious spa resort traveled 100 miles downriver to Bingen. Today’s morning and afternoon rides explore a fabled fifty-mile stretch of the Rhine where hills on both sides are covered with vineyards and crowned by castles. To preserve the natural majesty of this castle-lined segment, bridges are banned. Instead, convenient ferries connect the dozen villages on both banks. You’ll love this day, which includes a guided exploration of the Rhine’s most formidable castle.
Day 4: What could possibly be more amazing than the finest stretch of the Rhine? Those who’ve cruised or cycled both prefer the Moselle. From its source in the mountains above Strasbourg this smaller parallel river flows through Luxembourg before joining the Rhine at Koblenz. Because the navigable portion of the Moselle is a mere 120 miles long, most Rhine River itineraries skip it. What a shame! On our upriver Moselle day even the slowest riders will have time to explore the delightful bridge-joined villages of Traben-Trarbach before the Silver II arrives to serve lunch. In the afternoon most will find time to sample Moselle wines before the Silver II reaches the magnificent twinned towns of Bernkastel-Kues. This unhurried day of Moselle River cycling is as perfect as it gets.
Day 5: While we slept the Silver II climbed through additional locks to reach Luxembourg, and the highest ride start of our entire tour. Here we’ll leave the Moselle and follow an old railroad grade through tunnels for to reach a bakery stop in Echternach. From there our downhill ride crosses back into Germany to reach Trier. Never heard of Trier? Settled centuries before the Romans arrived, the conquerors from down south enjoyed the Moselle so much that they made Trier their north-of-the-Alps capital.
Amazingly well preserved, Trier has Roman baths, Roman walls, Roman amphitheater, Roman palaces, Roman gate, Roman Christian church, and a pre-Christian temple that’s the largest remaining Roman building outside Rome. After a guided walking tour through Trier, we’ll reboard our floating hotel and stand on the top deck so we can duck as the Silver II cruises beneath Trier’s 1800-year-old Roman Bridge (the oldest trafficked bridge north of the Alps). In all our years of Santana’s tours this day offers the best combination of relaxed cycling and amazing history.
Day 6: Our final day of Moselle cycling stops for a morning coffee in the storybook town of Cochem. On our first visit here a local artist stumbled upon our colorful group on the way to his morning performance. Pausing to share a short conversation, he then climbed the ancient carillon tower to honor our presence with a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. This afternoon we’ll park our bikes for an enchanted streamside hike through gnome-infested woods to reach a magical castle for a guided tour.
According to travel expert Rick Steves, the 800-year-old Burg Eltz is Europe’s finest and best-preserved fairy-tale castle. While a paved road through the hills allows cyclists and motorists to reach the castle’s back door, Mr. Steves believes the forested hike from the Moselle is an essential part of the castle’s magic. This afternoon we’ll reboard the Silver II just above the Rhine River confluence. If you stay up late enough, tonight we’ll glide beneath the spotlighted spires of Cologne’s gothic Cathedral.
Day 7: This morning we’ll wake up in Emmerich (Germany) and ride through an abandoned border station to reach nearby Arnhem (Netherlands). In Holland’s eerily beautiful Hoge Veluwe National Park we’ll cycle through heaths and dunes to find the amazing Kröller-Müller Museum. In 1935 Helene Kröller-Müller, a modern art aficionado who was among the first to recognize Vincent van Gogh’s genius, left her vast collection to the National government with the stipulation that they continue her mission. After lunch in Arnhem, another insightful highlight of this Santana cruise will be an expert-guided on-bike exploration of Operation Market Garden, the tragic World War II battle memorialized by the Hollywood classic, A Bridge Too Far. Both famous bridges are still there. We’ll ride across them to reboard the Silver II in the Dutch city of Nijmegen.
Day 8: We’ll tie up at the very center of Holland’s capital. Having seen an art museum yesterday, this morning we’ll ride past fragrant bakeries and “coffee shops” to Zaanse Schans, to visit a fascinating array of working wooden-windmills. If you want to treat your feet, you can get measured and watch while your pair of klompen is custom carved in five minutes. Back at the ship, lunch and bike packing precedes a free afternoon. Because we’re docked at the very center, a short walk or tram ride can get you to any of Amsterdam’s top sights.
Wednesday July 31: On Debarkation Day, when we need to vacate the ship by 10AM, our earliest shuttle will leave at 6 to get you to Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport (AMS) in time for a 9AM departure. If you’re headed elsewhere in Europe, the train station is a short walk. If you who wish to spend an extra day or two in Amsterdam, we’ve booked rooms in a 4-star hotel that will provide bike-capable airport shuttles.
MS Amadeus Silver II
|Suites||12 (284 sqft)|
|Staterooms||72 (188 sqft)|
Lueftner Cruises’ latest river ship design has created a luxurious ship with larger staterooms and beautiful amenities.The Mozart & Strauss Deck staterooms have drop down panoramic windows, which are wider and cleaner than a French Balcony. You’ll both be able to lean out to share beautiful views up and down the river.
All staterooms are 188 square feet, and suites are over 50% larger (284 square feet!) and include a true walk-out balcony. The Haydn Deck Staterooms have a tall and wide fixed window. With the same floor-plan and amenities as upper deck staterooms, you can’t tell which deck you’re on with the curtains closed.
Morning and Mid-Day dining includes bountiful buffets created by our 5-star chef. Each evening your waiter will present a new five course menu—listing an array of choices for you to select from. Is Beer & wine included with dinner? Of course!
The forward Panorama Lounge/Bar has 270-degree views and seating for all our guests. The Amadeus Club is a more intimate venue at the rear of the ship. Both the Lounge & Club are great places to relax, catch up on emails, post a few photos on Social Media, or read a nice book.
Jan and I recently visited the Amadeus Silver II remarked on the luxury and comfort of this newer ship. It is the perfect place to dine, sleep, and relax between rides.
If you want to see more of the ship,
here’s a 360 degree virtual tour —
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the exact dates?
A: July 23 to 31, 2019. 9-Days/8-Nights.
Q: What’s the cost?
A: Due to the current strength of the dollar our first-in per-person pricing for this 9-day cycling cruise starts at $3,699 per-person. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE. Our reservations page shows pricing of available staterooms.
Q: What’s “Early-In” Pricing?
A: To manage the risk of chartering entire cruise ships, couples who commit early are rewarded with discounts of up to $2,000 per stateroom. Lowest pricing in every category is limited to the first few rooms. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE.
Q: What about tipping?
A: Jan and I don’t accept tips. A comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $400 per person includes a long list of port fees, off-ship activities, admissions, interpretive guides, sight fees, and ride support (gps route files, morning shuttles to give casual riders a head start, and an SOS van driven by a pro mechanic). Note that this is less than the average cruise passenger pays for week of “deluxe excursions.” Shipboard gratuities of $165 per person includes wash & fold laundry and valet bike handling.
Q: Are all the staterooms the same?
A: No. Lueftner Cruises’ latest river ship design has created a luxurious ship with larger staterooms and beautiful amenities.The Mozart & Strauss Deck staterooms have drop down panoramic windows, which are wider and cleaner than a French Balcony. You’ll both be able to lean out to share beautiful views up and down the river.
All staterooms are 188 square feet, and suites are over 50% larger (284 square feet!) and include a true walk-out balcony. The Haydn Deck Staterooms have a tall and wide fixed window. With the same floor-plan and amenities as upper deck staterooms, the Haydn Deck rooms provide superior value. With the curtains closed they feel the same as a room on the pricier Mozart Deck.
Q: How are staterooms assigned?
A: In any sub-category all rooms are identical. Using the PayPal timestamp, those who reserve earliest get the conveniently located staterooms closest to the front of the ship. If friends desire a pair of adjacent staterooms the timestamp of the first reservation determines the location of both rooms. In short, out of fairness to all our guests, we will not take requests for specific room numbers. Those who book early obtain prime positioning.
Q: Are rental bikes available?
A: Yes. If you own a nice bike that fits, however, bringing it with you is relatively easy and inexpensive. More info on this in Bill’s Travel Tips. Single bike rental rates are $450 per person for the event, includes delivery to Saone River embark and retrieval from Rhone River disembark.
Q: How do we get to and from the tour?
A: Detailed info by July ’18. Those who arrive and leave on the embark and debark days will receive FREE Airport transfers.
Q: How many miles each day?
A: In addition to our daily pair of zero-mile options (remaining on the ship or exploring the islands via Sergio’s Coach), every day has multiple cycling routes. Anyone who can ride 35 flat miles will be able to enjoy cycling in both regions. If you prefer hills or want to spend additional hours in the saddle, we’ve got you covered. At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s grades and difficulty. Santana’s vets have learned to love and rely on their handlebar-mounted gps units. Available for less than $200, these touch-screen marvels prevent the age-old problem of getting lost or riding unplanned miles. Santana supplies free electronic mapping and route files. Simply select the route and follow the highlighted map.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: A near-immediate sell-out of this event is anticipated. Early-in pricing is limited to the first few rooms in each category. Pricing listed on the Stateroom Reservations section is the current pricing. Refresh your browser to see any changes that may have occurred if you delay booking after loading this page. To lock-in availability and the lowest pricing on a RISK-FREE basis, reserve your space through our PayPal portal. PayPal’s secure website is open 24 hours per day, accepts all major credit cards, and automatically adjusts for remaining stateroom availability. Reserving your spot is RISK-FREE. In each category the prime location staterooms will be assigned in the same order as the time stamp of your booking.
Q: What do you mean by RISK-FREE?
A: When you use your credit card and book through PayPal, we’ll give you 14 risk-free days to think it over and clear your schedule. If you change your mind, send an email to Matt@SantanaAdventures.com within two weeks to cancel the PayPal transaction and obtain a full refund.
Q: What if we change our minds after 14 days?
A: Because full-boat charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-through-PayPal commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out—for any reason. This is no different than the clear written policy that existed for all except one of Santana’s prior chartered-ship cruises (this charter will be our 41st!). While preparing for our 2009 Danube event I neglected to include the following proviso. That’s the year a group of friends, after verbally agreeing to pay in full and then stringing Jan along for many months, decided to cancel their plans. Lesson learned! Here it is (again) in writing:
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on rallies and tours, Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 20 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. An informative application will be mailed with your invoice; and further information is available online.
Q: Have you ever relaxed your refund policy?
A: Jan and I have willingly resold a number of fully prepaid staterooms for a fee of $500 per person—which was waived when a vacating couple found someone to take their place. When there has been more than one pending resell request, those who paid-in-full earliest had their space resold next. Using this non-guaranteed method (which is grossly inferior to trip insurance) Jan and I have cheerfully refunded over $250,000 in otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable cruise fares.
Q: What’s the difference between a SAG-wagon and Santana’s SOS/treasure vans?
A: Most tour companies use SAG-wagons that haul luggage and “sweep” the route between overnight stops. The drivers refill water-bottles, fix flat tires, and retrieve riders who can’t manage the easiest route between the widely spaced hotels. The problem, of course, is that the roving vans tend to be annoying until you actually need help. At that point it’s common to wait for two or more hours until one shows up. Although SAG drivers can fix a flat, they don’t have the tools or know-how to handle serious mechanical problems. Instead, they drive you to a bike shop (which explains why SAG-wagons disappear for hours at a time). This tour’s SOS van is driven by a pro bike mechanic who brings tools and spares. When you phone him with the coordinates from your GPS, he’ll arrive in a flash to get you back in the saddle. Because Santana expects participants to fill their own bottles, fix their own flats, and choose a ride they can finish, our SOS drivers are underworked, and have time to retrieve your shopping treasures.
Q: Does the Amadeus Silver II have WiFi? Does the ship have an elevator?
Will there be menu selections for vegetarians, vegans and picky eaters?
A: Yes to all of the above.
Q: What if we have more questions?
A: The easiest way to get help is by phoning or emailing Matt, who is happy to help answer your questions.
+1 (949) 677-7896 Matt@SantanaAdventures.com
Q: What if I run into problems with Reservations or PayPal?
A: The easiest way to get help is by phoning or emailing Matt, who is happy to help guide you.
+1 (949) 677-7896 Matt@SantanaAdventures.com
Paris to Amsterdam 2019
Full Cancellation policy appears below. Your deposit signifies an acceptance of those terms.
** Pricing Includes First-In Discount of $1000 per-stateroom
|* Fares are Per-Person & Double-Occupancy|
|* Fares are set at time of purchase, and are otherwise subject to change based on availability.|
|* Please note that the number of rooms in each category is limited and unchangeable.|
Stateroom Prices are per person, double occupancy
Deposits listed below are per stateroom, up to two participants
|Our comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $400 per person covers a long list of off-ship activities, port-fees, admissions, and guides.
Crew Gratuities of $165 per person will be collected at the event.
|Your initial deposit is refundable for 14 days. Unless you cancel in writing within that 14 day period, the following Scary Cancellation Policy applies to Santana’s chartered cruise events:|
|Because cruise ship charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-with-a-deposit commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out, for any reason. This is the same policy that existed on all of Santana’s cruises for the past 10 years.|
|Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on Rallies and Tours, Santana’s Cruises are non-cancelable, non-transferable, and non-refundable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard Trip Insurance. For the past 20 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without a single complaint. An informative application is available upon request; and further information is available online.|