Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg River Cruise - MS Emily Bronte

8 Days - River Cruise

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From Cologne, we slip our mooring and head on our journey south to Koblenz, sitting at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. We spend a morning exploring this historic town and then continue to the beautiful old town of Boppard. We cruise through the outstanding natural beauty of the Rhine Gorge and onto Mainz, famous for the ‘Gutenberg’ Bibles. Next we enjoy a guided tour of stunning Heidelberg, on the route of Europe’s ‘Grand Tour’, nestling by the picturesque river Neckar. By day five, we arrive in Strasbourg, a delightful city with its centre largely unchanged since the 14th century, a mosaic of winding alleys and lanes lined with quirkily crooked, half-timbered houses. Then to Colmar, a typically quaint medieval Alsatian town. The following day we return downstream, stopping in Rüdesheim one of the liveliest towns on the river, before continuing through the Rhine Gorge to Cologne. Here we enjoy a guided walking tour of the city with time to explore the stunning cathedral, an excellent finale to the cruise. Drinks Package For all 2018 departures we now offer a drinks package, at a cost of £99 per person for this cruise. This includes the following with lunch and dinner: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu. The drinks package must be added to your booking prior to departure you can do this by calling the reservations team. If you choose not to purchase a drinks package, or you are travelling in 2017, there is a vast selection of drinks on board each ship available for individual purchase. 

Highlights

  • Take a stroll through the winding streets of Koblenz
  • Relax at your leisure in Boppard with ample time to explore the stunning castle
  • Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge
  • Visit to Mainz, capital of the Rhineland and a centre of Germany’s wine lands
  • Guided tour of majestic Heidelberg, follow in the footsteps of philosophers and poets
  • Enjoy a guided tour of historic Strasbourg, capital of Alsace
  • Take a scenic drive through beautiful Alsatian countryside to the pretty town of Colmar
  • Visit Cologne and see its magnificent Gothic Cathedral

Inclusions

  • Return standard class Eurostar and return rail connections on selected dates from over thirty regional stations to London, or return flights from selected airports (at a supplement)
  • Full-board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day
  • All tours as mentioned

Itinerary

Day 1

Take a stroll through the winding streets of Koblenz Relax at your leisure in Boppard with ample time to explore the stunning castle Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge Visit to Mainz, capital of the Rhineland and a centre of Germany’s wine lands  Guided tour of majestic Heidelberg, follow in the footsteps of philosophers and poets Enjoy a guided tour of historic Strasbourg, capital of Alsace Take a scenic drive through beautiful Alsatian countryside to the pretty town of Colmar Visit Cologne and see its magnificent Gothic Cathedral

Day 2

This morning we reach Koblenz, beautifully located at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle, a town founded by the Romans, allowing you to immerse yourself in two millennia of history. Tiny streets and alleyways lead to intimate squares lined by traditional shops and tiny cafés, and this morning we will have a walking tour followed by free time. During our first lunch on board, we continue upstream, arriving in Boppard, beautifully situated on one of the river’s most impressive and sweeping bends. Simply relax on board or take a stroll through the narrow old streets.

Day 3

This morning we cruise through the Rhine Gorge where the waters narrow to one fifth their normal width. The sheer valley walls soar 400 metres from the river’s edge and magnificent birds of prey glide on the thermals above. Teutonic Knights built numerous castles which crown the adjacent hillsides. Our next port of call is historic Mainz, boasting the largest wine market in Germany, but its most famous son is Gutenberg, father of modern printing. You can visit the excellent museum housing two original 1452 Gutenberg Bibles, the first books ever printed in Europe.

Day 4

After breakfast, we take the short drive to Heidelberg for a guided walking tour. Its setting is second to none, nestling by the picturesque river Neckar, in a valley dominated by its imposing castle. The city is a maze of historic, baroque and gabled buildings lining the river with its romantic old-town behind. Its 14th century university, one of the most prestigious in Europe lends Heidelberg that atmosphere rather similar to Cambridge. We have free time to explore before rejoining the ship.

Day 5

After breakfast, we take the short drive to Heidelberg for a guided walking tour. Its setting is second to none, nestling by the picturesque river Neckar, in a valley dominated by its imposing castle. The city is a maze of historic, baroque and gabled buildings lining the river with its romantic old-town behind. Its 14th century university, one of the most prestigious in Europe lends Heidelberg that atmosphere rather similar to Cambridge. We have free time to explore before rejoining the ship.

Day 6

Relax on board whilst we cruise back downstream, arriving in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon, one of the most visited and liveliest towns on the river. With its narrow, crooked streets leading down to the sweeping river and surrounded by wooded and vine-covered slopes. This is the heart of Riesling, one of central Europe’s finest wines and Rüdesheim is crammed with places to try this fruity refreshing drink. Rüdesheim is one of those places just to stroll around, enjoy a glass of wine and take in the scenery. This evening the ‘Captain’s Dinner’ will take place on board.

Day 7

This morning, we can enjoy once again more marvels of the Rhine, as we pass through the gorge. Then the valley sides dissolve away and the hills begin to fade to the plain as the ship drifts towards Cologne. This afternoon we have a walking tour of the attractive old town, beautifully restored and boasting a plethora of excellent shopping and cosy bars, some of which still traditionally brew their own beer. We also see the superb cathedral, the largest gothic structure on earth with stunningly intricate stained glass and taking 600 years to complete.

Day 8

This morning we drive to Brussels connecting with the Eurostar service to London St. Pancras International. Or, should you be returning by air, you will be taken to the airport for your homeward flight.

Life on board

After years of painstaking research to create the most perfect vessels afloat, a new era in river cruising dawns as we introduce our brand new, state of the art, ‘all suite’ ships. Swiss operated and truly world-class, we are absolutely delighted to present the five-star MS Emily Brontë.

  Cost per person: €1,949pp
  Number of nights: 7

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  01 905 6300