Rhine Cruise to Switzerland
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Your Itinerary Rhine Cruise to Switzerland
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN COLOGNE
Arrive at the airport for your flight to Düsseldorf 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.
DAY 2 – KOBLENZ
As you wake to 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
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 for a guided
Founded by the Romans, this historic city is beautifully located at the
confluence of the Rhine and its sister river the Moselle. Discover
Koblenz’s maze of medieval buildings in the Altstadt – old town – which
is studded with a fine array of traditional shops and classic Rhineland
cafés. As you wander, historic buildings appear seemingly at every turn;
see a former mint, the Four Towers – 17th-century houses with striking
turrets set at a crossroads – and many fascinating squares and
churches, including the 9th-century Basilica of Saint Kastor.
Wherever you wander you’re never far from a riverbank, and it’s worth
crossing the 14th-century stone Balduin Bridge across the Moselle for
fine views back across the spires of the Altstadt. Tonight, enjoy a
meticulously prepared dinner on board, and afterwards perhaps a quiet
stroll along the riverside promenade to the Deutsches Eck – ‘German
Corner’ – where the great rivers Rhine and Moselle meet.
DAY 3 – RHINE GORGE & RÜDESHEIM
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.
After lunch we moor in Rüdesheim, a classic Rhine wine village with
crooked houses sloping down from wooded hillsides and terraced
vineyards. During this afternoon’s delightful walking tour, witness the
bustling marketplace, the half-timbered Klunkhardshof and
Bromserburg Castle, which dates from 1275. After dinner this evening,
another sumptuous affair prepared by your chef, maybe sample a small
Asbach – the famous brandy distilled in Rüdesheim – while watching the
last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.
DAY 4 – SPEYER
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.
Today we berth in historic Speyer, founded by the Celts and one of
Germany’s oldest cities, celebrated for its illustrious past, for an
afternoon walking tour. The breathtaking Imperial Cathedral, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, is among the largest Romanesque churches in the
world; it’s also one of the finest. Its beautiful four-roomed crypt is the
resting place of many Holy Roman emperors and German kings.
Another landmark is the magnificent neo-Gothic Gedächtniskirche, built
at the turn of the 20th-century to commemorate the 1529 ‘Protestation
at Speyer’, a significant event when a group of Martin Luther’s followers
protested against his imperial ban – henceforth Luther’s religious
followers were known as ‘Protestants’. There’s free time to explore here
before stepping back on board for another splendid dinner.
DAY 5 – STRASBOURG
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 café to
sample some of the region’s world-famous wines – a crisp Riesling or
that particular speciality of Alsace, spicy Gewürztraminer. 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.
DAY 6 – BREISACH & BLACK FOREST
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
Later 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.
DAY 7 – LUCERNE & BERNESE OBERLAND
Today we take the short drive to Lucerne, often considered
Switzerland’s most beautiful city, spectacularly situated among stunning
mountain views. It has been attracting well heeled visitors for two
centuries, including our very own Queen Victoria. Highly recommended
is an invigorating stroll along the Chapel Bridge, a unique covered
wooden walkway crossing the lake, supported by stilts and lined with
colourful flower-filled window boxes. Not only is it the city’s most iconic
structure, it’s a superb way to absorb Lucerne’s regal atmosphere.
As you enter the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland, the views
become quite literally 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 snow-capped
peaks of the Eiger, Mönch 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 meadows and forests below. This
truly magical landscape is sure to enchant you. Later we’ll descend again
by mountain railway before returning to the ship. Please note,
temperatures will be significantly lower at altitude, even during the
summer months, so it’s advisable to pack suitable clothing. Lunch is not
included on this full day excursion; however the ship will offer a packed
DAY 8 – RETURN HOME
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: This document has been compiled based on the information available to us at the time it
was created for you, we reserve the right to alter or cancel itineraries, accommodation or other
arrangements at any time. Prices and accommodation are subject to change as they are based on
availability at the time of booking.