Disembark this morning for an excursion to the Lake Lucerne area and Mt. Pilatus - where mountain peaks, forests and meadows straight out of a picture book await your family. Travel to Alpnachstad at the edge of shimmering Lake Lucerne, where you'll board the world's steepest cogwheel train for your ascent to the summit of Mt. Pilatus. Climbing to the very top (Oberhaupt), nearly 7,000 feet high, is most definitely part of the fun, as you travel upward at a really steep 48° angle, while drinking in the views of Alpine meadows and mountain streams.
Head back down the mountain at your leisure to lovely Lucerne
for some time to explore on your own; sights in this "city of lights" include Altstadt (the Old City), whose narrow cobblestone lanes lead to centuries-old buildings painted with frescoes; the Kappelbrücke (Chapel Bridge), a covered wooden footbridge dating back to the 1330s, with an octagonal water tower that was once used as a prison; picturesque squares like the Kornmarkt, Weinmarkt and Hirschenplatz; and the iconic Lion Monument, honoring the Swiss mercenaries who lost their lives during the French Revolution.
This afternoon, join us in Lucerne for fun with fondue and a Swiss folklore show, prior to returning to the riverboat in Basel, lying at the center of the "Three Corners," where France, Germany and Switzerland meet at the Rhine, with its city skyline dominated by the 14th-century Münster Cathedral. After a discovery briefing and dinner onboard, your riverboat departs Basel for the start of your cruise. (B/D)