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    Beethoven, his life and music
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    Cultural Amsterdam
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    Cologne Cathedral
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    Beautiful Bonn
River Cruise
River Cruise

Celebrating 250 years of Beethoven


from £1,799 per person
2 passengers 11 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises
  • Exclusive to Saga Exclusive to Saga
  • Full Board Full board

Learn about one of classical music’s greatest composers – Ludwig van Beethoven, on this new river cruise that in 2020 will celebrate his birth 250 years ago in 1770.

Your cruise onboard Dutch Melody gets off to a great start as you spend your first two nights in Amsterdam, a city renowned for its beautiful cobbled streets flanking serene canals, a wealth of museums, historic buildings and cafe culture. It’s also where you’ll enjoy an included concert at the famous Amsterdam Concertgebouw – one of the world’s great concert venues.

During your cruise look forward to three talks from guest speaker John Suchet, as well as an evening on-board music performance. Guests will also receive a complimentary copy of John Suchet’s book ‘Beethoven - the man revealed’ (one copy per booking). Further information of days and times of talks and performances will be provided onboard.

In addition to three music-related talks from John during your cruise, there will be a musical performance on board, plus a visit to the newly restored Beethoven House Museum in Bonn with its wealth of original exhibits and 12 rooms providing a glimpse into the work and life of the composer. Other stops during your cruise include Cologne with its stunning cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bonn, Koblenz and more. Look forward to discovering beautiful cities, the music and life of Beethoven, and stunning scenery as you sail the beautiful Rhine.


32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners

  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Three talks from your guest speaker
  • Evening music performance onboard
  • Classical Music Host
  • Saga Cruise Host
  • Saga Cruise Assistant
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
  • Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry
  • Concert at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
  • Bonn city tour including Beethoven’s birth house and museum
  • Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Music

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Amsterdam


Travel by coach via Eurotunnel, or ferry, from Folkestone to Amsterdam where you embark Dutch Melody. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner onboard as you remain moored here overnight. D

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 2 Amsterdam


Explore the vibrant Dutch capital, popular for its friendly welcome, picturesque canals, world-class museums and galleries and laid-back cafes and bars. Perhaps take an optional excursion to explore the city on a combined coach tour and canal cruise. This evening look forward to a visit to the famous Amsterdam Concertgebouw – one of the world’s famous concert venues, where you will take your seats for a concert performance. (Please note this concert may take place on an alternative evening.) Depart late this evening and cruise overnight to Utrecht. B, L, D

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 3 Utrecht


Cruise to Utrecht in the early hours of the morning. Perhaps explore the medieval heart of the city with its 112-metre high Domtoren tower or visit one of the city’s museums. Alternatively perhaps join an optional excursion to Utrecht’s Botanical Gardens. Depart late tonight. B, L, D

Utrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 4 Arnhem


Enjoy a day in Arnhem with plenty of time to join an optional commemoration tour and learn more about the bloody battle that was fought here during World War II. Tonight cruise on towards the German border. B, L, D

Arnhem Netherlands Europe

Optional excursions

Visit the site of the momentous events of Operation Market Garden, beginning at the famous ‘Bridge Too Far’. It was here that the 2nd Battalion, led by Lieutenant Colonel Frost, held out for four days in September 1944 against overwhelming odds. At the north end, you’ll see a monument which honours those who participated in the mission, many of whom lost their lives.Continue to the old church in Oosterbeek, where the Allies took refuge prior to withdrawing, passing some of the fields where the landings took place. At the Airborne Museum, you can see photographs and memorabilia, along with anti-tank guns and a Sherman tank which stand exactly where they were left in battle. You return to Arnhem via the Airborne Cemetery, the final resting place of 1,748 Allied troops. Walking Grade 2

Arnhem Airborne WWII memorial building

Day 5 Cologne


An afternoon in Cologne provides the opportunity to visit one of Germany's most popular attractions, the vast Gothic cathedral, started in 1248 to house the relics of the three Magi but not finally completed until 1880! You can see the magnificent shrine to Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – now among the patron saints of Cologne – behind the high altar. Depart tonight as you head for Bonn. B, L, D

Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 6 Bonn


Look forward to enjoying two days in Bonn, one of Germany's oldest cities and its provisional capital city between 1949 and 1990. You can also look forward to an included city tour which features a visit to the Beethoven House Museum. Based in the house where Beethoven was born, the museum is home to the world’s largest collection of artefacts and documents relating to the composer. Explore the twelve rooms, plus there’s an interactive tour and sculpture courtyard as well as temporary exhibitions. B, L, D

Bonn North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 7 Bonn


Today is at leisure in Bonn. Perhaps set off for some independent exploring, taking in the city’s magnificent baroque palaces and historic buildings from the 16th century when the powerful elite of Cologne chose to reside here. It's also known as one of the country's finest centres for art, and has galleries and museums including the impressive Museum of Art and the Federal Art Gallery. B, L, D.

Bonn North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 8 Bonn to Rudesheim


Depart in the early hours of the morning and cruise to Rudesheim, arriving lunchtime and where you moor overnight. Explore the city with its cobbled streets and famous tavern-lined Drosselgasse. You can also look forward to joining an included excursion to Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Music, with its musical instruments, including barrel organs, music boxes and puppet musicians – a splendidly entertaining museum where you’ll see and hear all kinds of eccentric self-playing music machines! B, L, D

Rüdesheim Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 9 Rudesheim to Oberwesel to Koblenz


After breakfast, cruise a scenic stretch of the Rhine to Oberwesel where you can enjoy some free time to explore. Best known for the production of Reisling, the town is surrounded by a medieval wall and defence towers. The dramatic Schönburg Castle perched high above it was built in the 12th century, by the Dukes of Schönburg who ruled Oberwesel and collected customs fees from ships passing through on the Rhine. The castle was burned down in 1689 and remained in ruins for 200 years before it was bought and restored. Early this evening continue cruising to Koblenz where you moor overnight. B, L, D

Koblenz Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 10 Koblenz to Andernach


The city of Koblenz sits at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers and is an important centre for the wine industry. Enjoy the morning here when you can perhaps stroll along the pretty riverside promenade, overlooked by the Festung Ehrenbreitstein citadel, which sits on a hill across the river or treat yourself to an optional tour and cable car trip. Set sail at lunchtime and cruise to Andernach where you spend the afternoon, with the chance to see the famous Andernach Geyser. Sail later this evening and cruise overnight to Dusseldorf. B, L, D

Andernach Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 11 Dusseldorf


Arrive in Düsseldorf this morning and discover the contrast of the city’s modern, avant-garde architecture with the more traditional appeal of the altstadt — Old Town. An optional tour reveals the highlights. This afternoon is at leisure ahead of your farewell dinner on board this evening. Remain moored here overnight. B, L, D

Dusseldorf North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 12 Düsseldorf to UK

Disembark Dutch Melody after breakfast, and begin your return journey to the UK. B

Guest speaker

John Suchet

John Suchet is in his 10th year of presenting the flagship morning show on Classic FM. In that time he has written five composer biographies — Beethoven, Mozart, the Strauss Dynasty, Verdi and Tchaikovsky — and this year a special anniversary edition of his ‘Beethoven — The Man Revealed’ will be published to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the great composer’s birth.

John Suchet

Please note

Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently. Optional excursions are at an additional cost and all excursions are subject to availability and change.

Celebrating 250 years of Beethoven


from £1,799 per person
2 passengers
11 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
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Celebrating 250 years of Beethoven


from £1,799 per person
2 passengers
11 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required