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We would be delighted to help you choose your river cruise, whether that be this one or one of the many others we have available. You can pop in the shop for an initial chat, or ideally make an appointment for a convenient time. We can follow up by phone and email or face to face if you decide to take it further.
Arrive at the airport for your flight to Dusseldorf or Cologne, or take the Eurostar to Brussels from London St Pancras International. On arrival, transfer by coach to your cruise ship moored in the heart of picturesque Cologne. The dedicated English-speaking crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your luxurious, well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.
As you wake and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, the delights of this river cruise begin to emerge as we drift past the first rolling hills of the Rhine Valley. The forested Siebengebirge - Seven Mountains - a cluster of ancient volcanic hills that inspired many of the Brothers Grimm's legends, including 'Snow White', act as the overture for even more dramatic scenery upstream. We cruise past the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, which was captured intact by the Allies towards the end of the Second World War, allowing thousands of troops to cross into Germany's heartland. Pretty waterfront towns and carefully tended vineyards come into view as we glide gently into our mooring to visit delightful Koblenz.
Slipping our mooring at Koblenz we proceed upstream on the Rhine and soon encounter the impressive Marksburg Castle, a fortress dating back to the 13th century. We then weave through the huge looping bend - one of the most impressive on the river - at Boppard, a wonderfully picturesque town known as the 'Pearl of the Rhine'.
Journeying further, you explore the most famous of all the river's reaches and a real highlight of the cruise, the dramatic Rhine Gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops towering more than 600 feet above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past Saint Goar and the many ruined castles, there's a real sense of the myths surrounding this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that of the Lorelei - or 'murmuring rock' - where beautiful nymphs distracted sailors and lured them to their deaths in the treacherous waters.
After lunch we moor in Rudesheim, a classic Rhine wine village with crooked houses sloping down from wooded hillsides and terraced vineyards. The afternoon is free to relax in its bustling cafes, find a traditional Weinstube to enjoy a glass of excellent local wine, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a gondola ride to the striking statue of Germania overlooking the river's exit from the Gorge. After dinner this evening, another sumptuous affair prepared by your chef, maybe sample a small Asbach - the famous brandy distilled in Rudesheim - while watching the last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.
Still sailing upstream, the landscape becomes much wider and flatter, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the Liebfraumilch wines. Occasionally the excited chatter of birdlife breaks out as we pass oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, which are now havens for over a hundred bird species.
This morning we cruise gently upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, whose elaborate engineering never ceases to fascinate. Why not find a comfortable chair and catch up on some reading, play chess or watch the rolling kaleidoscope of scenery from the Sun Deck?
We soon arrive in France and moor in Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. This afternoon we have a walking tour of its picturesque Old Town, bisected by canals and made up of a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals. Unforgettable sites include the stupendous Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, multi-towered Ponts Couverts - covered bridges - and the pretty Petite France quarter of pastel-coloured former artisans' houses lining the canals. Don't be surprised if you're tempted to linger a while in a typical Alsatian cafe to sample some of the region's world-famous wines - a crisp Riesling or that particular speciality of Alsace, spicy Gewurztraminer. Back on board this evening there's a truly memorable occasion - the 'Captain's Dinner', featuring delicious specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise.
Your final day cruising is spent gliding through the dramatic scenery of the rift valley separating the Vosges and Black Forest mountains. We arrive at the ancient town of Breisach, whose historic heart is surrounded by stone ramparts and dominated by the impressive Saint Stephan's Cathedral.
This afternoon you drive through some of Central Europe's most stunning scenery - the Black Forest Mountains. This is a fabled landscape of rugged valleys, white-water rivers, cascading waterfalls and rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees - exactly as you expect it to be. Our destination is the idyllic village of Titisee, nestling on the shores of its crystal-clear lake.
Rejoining the ship, we resume our stately passage upriver. As the sun sets and the riverside lights begin to twinkle there are wonderful views over the imposing Vosges massif. You enjoy this evening's dinner en route to Switzerland and our next mooring at Basel.
For many today will be the highlight of the cruise. This morning we drive into the stunning Bernese Oberland where the views become ever more breathtaking. This is the grand alpine heart of Europe with some of the finest mountain scenery on earth, described by the composer Mendelssohn as 'the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country'. On viewing the legendary snowcapped peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau you'll be quite simply awestruck. We then ascend by mountain railway for more extraordinary vistas, with the crystal-clear lakes reflecting the grassy meadows and lush forests below. This truly magical landscape is sure to enchant you.
Today we transfer either to the airport for your flight home or the railway station to take the TGV to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.
Please note that these should be seen as a guideline only - please call us for up to date availability and an exact costing. Prices are 'per person' based on 2 adults sharing one room.
Prices start from approximately £1199 per person based on 25 October 2019, up to £1899 per person for ceratin dates in high season although other dates are less. Some dates may have a significant supplement on these prices if flights and trains are already getting booked up. The earlier you book, the cheaper it is. Supplements apply for upgraded cabins and holiday extensions.
The best way to start the ball rolling is to give us a few brief details about your requirements and make an appointment to come in at a later date. That way we can prepare a couple of options for you ready for when you come in.
And remember, you never pay a penny more when you book any of these trips through us - the price you pay is the advertised online price, assuming it's accurate.
On Your Travels S2461. We act as the Global Travel Group plc in connection with the sale of travel products. Unless specified as the operator, the Global Travel Group plc is the agent of the ATOL protected tour operators and other principals.
Every holiday you buy from us is 100% financially protected and covered by ATOL. You will receive the new style yellow ATOL certificate with your confirmation. Please note that ATOL does not cover travel where you have not booked any flights through us.