Performance Today ®

A floating festival through four countries with Performance Today ®

WAIT LIST STARTED! Beethoven's 250th Birthday Along the Rhine

THIS TRIP IS CURRENTLY WAITLISTED. 2020 marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday and you are cordially invited to celebrate in the composer’s homeland with Performance Today ® host Fred Child. Designed for lovers of nature, culture and, of course, classical music, this customized adventure of food, music, art and sheer fun will thrill you. Enjoy concerts featuring the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Cologne and the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn in Beethoven’s birthplace of Bonn. As we cruise the Rhine River through Holland, Germany, France and Switzerland on our privately chartered river ship, we’ll enjoy intimate classical music “Perf Chats” with pianist and Performance Today ™ Artist in Residence Andrew Staupe. Stroll through festive village streets and sip delicious wines with the locals in Germany’s Rhine region and in Alsace, France. Enjoy lakeside café views of the towering Alps in Switzerland. Your journey ends on a high note in the High Alps of Switzerland on the shore of beautiful Lake Lucerne.

Perfomance Today

Fred Child

Fred Child is the host of American Public Media’s Performance Today®, the most-listened-to classical music radio show in America. Fred is also the commentator and announcer for Live from Lincoln Center, the only live performing arts series on television. In recent years, Fred has hosted a series of unique live national concert broadcasts, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s opening concerts from Walt Disney Hall, Gustavo Dudamel’s debut with the LA Philharmonic, season-opening concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic live at Carnegie Hall, the Last Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall in London, New Year’s concerts by the New York Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa’s final concert with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and the ground-breaking “Spring for Music” concerts from Carnegie Hall. He has given concert talks for Lincoln Center, the Aspen Festival and Summerfest La Jolla; his CD reviews have appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered; and his music reports have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He’s been a contributor to Billboard magazine and a commentator for BBC Radio 3. While growing up in Portland, Oregon, Fred studied classical piano. He also dabbles in guitar, percussion and bagpipes. Fred loves baseball (throws right, bats left) and is an avid hiker, climber, skier, cyclist and runner and a licensed private pilot. This will be the sixth Performance Today tour Fred has hosted. Fred and his wife Wang Jie live in New York City.

Andrew Staupe

PT Arist in Residence– Andrew Staupe, Pianist
American pianist Andrew Staupe has been featured numerous times on Performance Today ® as an Artist in Residence. He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Houston Symphony, Utah Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, Arkansas Symphony and Tallahassee Symphony. Overseas performances include appearing in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Denmark. Andrew has earned prizes in a number of competitions including the 2011 Pro Musicis International Award, Gold Medal at the 2010 Young Texas Artists Music Competition and was also a Laureate of the 2013 American Pianist’s Association competition finals. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, he studied at Rice University and at the University of Minnesota. Andrew is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.


Day 0 - Tuesday, May 26 - Depart the USA for Amsterdam

Remember you'll need to depart the States no later than today. Optional group flights from select U.S. cities will be offered. Details TBA.

Day 1 - Wednesday, May 27 - Your Journey Officially Begins

Goedemorgen, welkom in Holland! Our classical music journey through Holland and Germany begins in the historic heart of Amsterdam as we board the elegant MS Amadeus Silver III. This evening enjoy a welcome aboard dinner with your Performance Today hosts, captain, guides and fellow travelers. Please note, the ship will set sail at 4pm. Sleep on board (D)

Day 2 - Thursday, May 28 - Koln and Offenbach

This morning we’ll be making a stop for those who would like to visit the iconic Zollverein coal mine, a UNESCO site near Essen, or a garden and palace tour of the Schloss Benrath in a borough of Düsseldorf. After a morning of cruising or exploring we arrive in Köln (Cologne), the oldest city in Germany. This is the birthplace of Offenbach. A guided walking tour of city sights includes a visit to twin-spired Cologne Cathedral, one of Europe’s most beloved Gothic cathedrals. You’ll have some free time to wander through Cathedral Square and the Hohe Strasse pedestrian area in the afternoon. This evening we attend a performance of the acclaimed St. Petersburg Philharmonic! Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 3- Friday, May 29 - Beethoven's Bonn

This morning we arrive in Beethoven's birthplace, the city of Bonn. We’ll have a morning to exploring this charming city including Beethoven's house that is now a memorial site and museum. This evening enjoy a concert with the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn. Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 4 - Saturday, May 30 - Moselle River Excursion

Today our Amadeus vessel takes a special trip down the romantic Moselle River, the largest tributary of the Rhine, and docks at the old town of Cochem. The scenery in the Moselle Valley has been dominated by vineyards for millennia. Cochem itself has narrow streets, twisting alleys and medieval town gates, churches and walls. Discover the beauty of Cochem and perhaps sample some of the Riesling wines produced in this region. This evening we set off towards Koblenz. Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Sunday, May 31 - Koblenz on the Rhine

This morning we arrive in Koblenz, ideally situated at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle rivers. The Romans, the Franks, the Holy Roman Empire, the French, and the Germans have all had a hand in this strategic city’s 2000 year history. St. Castor Basilica, the Church of our Beloved Lady, and the Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm’s memorial at the German Corner, are just a few of the sites which reflect the history of the area. This afternoon, spend time on deck as we cruise the most beautiful section of the river – the legendary Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Later this afternoon, the vessel arrives in Rüdesheim, a winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge. Discover the region’s rich history of winemaking with a visit to the local museum. Return to the ship for a delicious dinner. Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Monday, June 1 - A Day in Heidelberg and Speyer

After breakfast, explore the bustling metropolis of Mannheim. This unique city has many sights to see including the University of Mannheim, the National Theater Mannheim, and St. Sebastian’s Church. It is also home to Luisenpark, one of the most beautiful parks in all of Germany. Nearby Heidelberg is another old university city which is also a worthwhile visit. This afternoon’s call is at Speyer, a city known for its cathedral where eight Roman Emperors and German Kings are interred. The Old Town Gate, Memorial Church, and Transportation Museum are all highlights of this beautiful city. Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Tuesday, June 2 - Strasbourg, France

After breakfast, the ship arrives in Strasbourg, the ancient capital of Alsace and one of Europe’s most attractive cities. During a city tour you’ll see the outside of the European Parliament building and have a guided tour of the inside of the city’s vast and famous cathedral. The cathedral features numerous carvings as delicate as lace! Because of the richness and sheer density of Strasbourg’s historic buildings, the entire city center is being adopted as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship casts off again as our journey continues towards Switzerland. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Gala Farewell Dinner after your exciting day. Sleep on board (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Wednesday, June 3 - Disembark in Basel, Switzerland and continue on to Lucerne

After breakfast we disembark our ship and drive deep into the heart of Switzerland to Lucerne, our base for the next three nights. Our first stop will be the Lion of Lucerne monument. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Enjoy free afternoon and evening. We suggest a walk across the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel. The bridge contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city's symbol and as one of Switzerland's main attractions. Sleep in Lucerne (B)

Day 9 - Thursday, June 4 - A Private Cruise on Lake Lucerne

Enjoy a relaxing day in Lucerne, or join your fellow travelers for an optional excursion to Interlaken and the famous Schilthorn. Gondolas and cogwheel trains take us to the top of the Schilthorn for stunning views of the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Sleep in Lucerne (B)

Day 10 - Friday, June 5 - Lucerne or Explore the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau Mountains

This morning we set off for a boat excursion on beautiful Lake Lucerne. You can enjoy an independent lunch on the lake or take an outing to the Alps and visit Mt Pilatus by cable car for epic views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps. You'll ride the world's steepest cogwheel rail way, pass lush meadows, mountain streams and sheer rock faces on the way to your destination! Join your Performance Today host, Fred Child, for a farewell lunch today. Sleep in Lucerne (B, L)

Day 11 - Saturday, June 6 – Your Performance Today Adventure Concludes

Auf Wiedersehen! Your guide will accompany you to the Zurich airport this morning. Return home with a lifetime of happy memories. Gute Reise! (B)


  • With Performance Today ® Host Fred Child
  • With pianist Performance Today ® Artist in Residence Andrew Staupe
  • Guided by Earthbound Expeditions founder Matthew Brumley
  • Seven nights cruise the Rhine River on the deluxe MS Amadeus Silver III
  • Three nights, post-cruise stay in Lucerene, Switzerland
  • All multi-course meals while cruising with wine served at dinner
  • Musical performances and Perf Chats while cruising
  • Tour of Beethoven's birthplace in Bonn, Germany
  • Performance of the acclaimed St. Petersburg Philharmonic
  • Concert with the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn
  • Wine and cheese tastings in Germany and France
  • Alsace and the UNESCO city of Strasbourg
  • A private cruise on Lake Lucerne
  • Like-minded public radio listeners who share your passion for classical music

Pricing and Terms

12/Days/11 nights (when including optional group air) Optional Group Flights depart May 26, 2020 (group air from select U.S. Cities TBA in July 2019) Trip begins Amsterdam, The Netherlands on May 27, 2020 Trip ends Lucerne, Switzerland on June 6, 2020 Not included: Travel insurance, port fees of $200, gratuities for the ship crew, air tickets to/from Europe, any items not mentioned in your Performance Today Rhine itinerary. Savings: $100 discount applies for all Minnesota Public Radio, Public Radio Custom Travel or Earthbound Travel alum. If your deposit is made by October 1, 2019 and/or you make your final payment by check, you will receive the additional discounts. See additional discounts on the pricing page of the brochure.
Brahams Deck- Stateroom: $5,099 per person price before discount(s), $800 single supplementBach Deck- Stateroom: $5,799 per person price before discount(s), $1,350 single supplementBeethoven Deck- Stateroom: $6,599 per person price before discounts(s), $1,350 single supplementBeethoven Deck- Suite: $7,499 per person price before discount(s), call for single supplement details


Advanced, canceled or delayed sailing for cruises: Please note that the cruise schedules and tour activities can be subject to change due to port accessibility, weather, labor disputes or for any other reason whatsoever. The Owner or Operator of the cruise vessel may, at any time, cancel, advance or postpone any schedule tour and may, but is not obliged to, substitute another vessel or itinerary and it shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to passengers by reason of any such cancellation, advancement, or postponement.

Exclusive air rate is in Economy Class and allows for no deviations or upgrades. Seat assignments are subject to the discretion of the airline, specific requests cannot be guaranteed.

Physical requirements: In order to make the most of your trip, you should be able to walk independently for one to two miles, often over uneven cobblestones and be able to stand for a period of time during walking or museum tours or visits to other sights.

Concerts, Festival and Events: If for any reason the organizers of a schedule concert, festival or event cancel or postpone a planned activity with little or no notice, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to secure a similar event or secure another concert(s). Strikes, unscheduled delays, lack of funds and acts of God are beyond the control of Earthbound Expeditions. Cancellation of an event, festival or concert is not cause for refund.

Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guests is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents and expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.