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Riviera Travel Rhine Cruise to Switzerland

A stunning 7 night sailing from Cologne to Basel - Fares from only £1,349pp

Take a relaxing Rhine river cruise to Switzerland along one of the most scenic waterways in Europe & enjoy some of the finest Alpine scenery on earth at stunning Interlaken.

River Cruising
Cruise Line:
Riviera Travel
Cruise Ship:
Various - See below
Date:
May - October 2015
Duration:
7 Nights
Approx Rating:
Fares From:
Only £1,349pp
0800 810 8220
Jungfrau
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What's Included
  • Return flights from London Gatwick or Eurostar from St Pancras at no extra cost!
  • Other regional airports may be available at a supplement, please call for details
  • The services of an experienced tour manager
  • Price includes full-board from dinner on your first day of arrival until breakfast on your last day
  • Explore medieval Koblenz
  • Visit to the pretty, romantic town of Rüdesheim - centre of the Rhineland wine trade
  • Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge
  • An evening in Speyer - dominated by the imposing basilica
  • Guided tour of Strasbourg - amazingly rich in a wealth of sights
  • Visit to the old walled town of Breisach
  • Tour of the beautiful Black Forest and lakeside town of Titisee
  • Tour of some of the finest Swiss Alpine scenery, seeing the Jungfrau and the Eiger, Interlaken and the stunning lakeside town of Lucerne
Date's & Prices
Date & Ship Fares from (pp)
7th May 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,349
14th May 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,349
18th May 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,399
11th June 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,449
15th June 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,449
18th June 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,449
22nd June 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,449
25th June 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,449
10th July 2015
MS Charles Dickens
£1,349
13th July 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,349
17th July 2015
MS Charles Dickens
£1,349
20th July 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,349
27th July 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,399
3rd August 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,399
10th August 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,349
17th August 2015
MS Lord Byron
£1,349
17th August 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,399
24th August 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,399
31st August 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,499
7th September 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,499
15th September 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,449
22nd September 2015
MS William Shakespeare
£1,449
28th September 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,449
5th October 2015
MS Jane Austen
£1,349
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Terms and conditions apply, offers are subject to availability. Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; if you choose to travel with us on any of the full day excursions by coach, a packed lunch will be provided. Anyone choosing to stay on the ship may of course have lunch in the restaurant; morning/afternoon tea and coffee; all visits and excursions as mentioned in the brochure, airport transfers, coach travel as mentioned, travel to and from port of embarkation and the services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager. E&OE

Your Ships

MS Jane AustenMS Jane Austen
You'll feel the unmistakable understated opulence of this extraordinary vessel as you board through the spacious, marble-floored lobby. Stylish furnishings using environmentally friendly materials are beautifully combined with the most advanced safety systems… and the work of a wonderful designer's eye conjuring up the classic lines and sophistication of a luxurious ocean liner. As always, the finesse is in the detail - beautifully crafted tropical hardwoods, wrought iron, highly polished copper and brass, all beautifully illuminated then added to soft leather furnishings and imaginative colour schemes, promotes a subtle, chic ambience of exceptional taste.

MS William ShakespeareMS William Shakespeare
Specially commissioned and designed to our exacting specifications, she is, without doubt, one of the world's finest river cruise ships. We have worked tirelessly with one of Europe's most experienced and respected luxury shipbuilders, Veka Group, to create the perfect ship, featuring many unique, ground breaking innovations. The finest of materials have been used in construction with virtually no expense spared; its sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and wrought iron fittings, thick pile high-quality carpets, luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees will absolutely delight you. In addition the ship's spacious layout, subtle and tasteful lighting, elegant décor, luxurious cabins and excellent facilities are undoubtedly the very best on cruise ships today.

MS Lord ByronMS Lord Byron
How can one adequately sum up the new for 2013, wonderfully elegant five-star MS Lord Byron? How can we describe this extraordinary vessel that's truly one of the finest ships of its type afloat anywhere in the world? Quite simply, every single aspect and element is designed to the highest possible specification and our own exacting standards to bring you the very best and most enjoyable river cruising experience, in the most luxurious comfort. We have worked tirelessly with our Swiss partner Scylla AG, one of the world's most experienced luxury rivership builders with a pedigree stretching back over nearly 40 years, to design the perfect vessel, with virtually no expense spared.

MS Charles DickensMS Charles Dickens
Specially commissioned and designed to our exacting specifications, she is, without doubt, one of the world's finest river cruise ships. We have worked tirelessly with one of Europe's most experienced and respected luxury shipbuilders, Veka Group, to create the perfect ship, featuring many unique, ground breaking innovations. The finest of materials have been used in construction with virtually no expense spared; its sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and wrought iron fittings, thick pile high-quality carpets, luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees will absolutely delight you. In addition the ship's spacious layout, subtle and tasteful lighting, elegant décor, luxurious cabins and excellent facilities are undoubtedly the very best on cruise ships today.

Itinerary

Day 1

You fly to Düsseldorf from where a coach will take you to the ship. Or you can take a late morning Eurostar from London St. Pancras International arriving in Brussels approximately two hours later, where a coach will take you over the German border to your ship. Moored in Cologne's picturesque historic centre, the dedicated crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

Day 2 - Koblenz

As you wake and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, the real delights of this river cruise begin to unveil as the first rolling hills of the Rhine Valley drift silently past. Firstly you see the forested Siebengebirge (seven mountains), the inspiration for the Grimm's many legends including 'Snow White', just the overture for even more dramatic scenery as we head upstream. We pass the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, captured intact by the allies in a bold action t owards the end of WWII, before finally crumbling into the waters below. The pretty waterfronts of riverside towns come into view and the first of the Rhine's vineyards shimmer in the morning sun as we glide gently into our mooring to visit picturesque Koblenz.

Founded by the Romans, the city is beautifully located at the confluence of the Rhine and its sister, the Moselle. Your afternoon is free to wander ashore and explore the many medieval buildings, housing a fine array of traditional shops and classic Rhineland cafés. There is much for the student of historic buildings to admire: the former mint, the Four Towers with their ornamental 17th century turrets and several fascinating squares and churches, including the 9th century Basilica of St Kastor.

The waterfront along the Moselle is stunning too, with the medieval Balduin bridge, staggeringly still in use. If you managed to resist the luscious cakes on offer from the beckoning pavement cafés then you'll be ready for your meticulously prepared dinner on board your ship, 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 - Rudesheim

Amongst the many twists and turns along its course, one of the most impressive and memorable on the Rhine is surely the huge looping 'S' bend at Boppard. This morning's cruise weaves around this long meander, guarded by the mighty Marksburg Castle. 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 over 1,000 feet above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past St Goar and the many ruined castles, you get a real sense of the myths of this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that surrounding the Loreley rock, where beautiful nymphs distracted hapless sailors luring them to their deaths in the treacherous waters.

After lunch you berth and visit Rüdesheim. The afternoon is free to relax in its bustling cafés, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a cable car ride to the great statue of Germania, strikingly overlooking the river's exit from the gorge. There are some delightful corners in what is a classic Rhine wine village and the connoisseur of the grape will find some genuinely top class produce in the area. After dinner this evening, why not end the day with a small Asbach - the br andy locally distilled here in Rüdesheim – as you watch the last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.

Day 4 - Speyer

Still sailing upstream, the Rhine is much wider and flatter now, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the infamous Liebfraumilch wines. The river is much more gentle here and Oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, are a haven for over one hundred species of bird life in one of Germany's largest nature reserves.

Today the ship berths in delightfully medieval Speyer, which you are sure to just love. During the 16th century in nearby Worms, Martin Luther was excommunicated for his religious beliefs and banished from the Holy Roman Empire. His followers in Speyer protested at this and for the first time were called 'Protestants'. You can visit the neo-gothic Gedächtniskirche, built to commemorate this event and the huge, richly decorated Basilica, one of the finest Romanesque buildings in existence which when it was built was widel y acclaimed as one of the finest in Christendom. Its crypt alone is the largest in Germany, with its pastel coloured sandstone pillars and striking marble floors is probably the most beautiful in the world and is the final resting place of several emperors and kings from Speyer's illustrious past. You also have some free time to explore as you wish before rejoining the ship.

Day 5 - Strasbourg

This morning, you gently cruise upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, which never cease to fascinate. Why not catch up on some reading in the ship's library, play chess or watch the scenery from the Sun Deck: relax and enjoy your well-earned break. You soon arrive in France and Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region, now one of the centres of the European Union. This afternoon, we will have a walking tour of its unique and picturesque 16th century old town, bisected by canals and a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals plus the superb cathedral. Don't be surprised if, as the shadows lengthen, you're tempted to linger a while in a typical Alsatian café to sample some of the world famous wine for which the region is rightly renowned - maybe a Riesling or that particular speciality of Alsace, the spicy Gewürztraminer. This evening, the 'Captain's Dinner' will take place on board, serving delicious specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise, hosted of course by the Captain himself.

Day 6 - Titisee

Your final day's cruising is spent gliding majestically between the ancient forested outcrops of the Vosges and the Black Forest, through the great rift valley, formed many millennia ago by massive geological forces. We arrive at the ancient town of Breisach whose historic heart is surrounded by immense stone ramparts.

This afternoon, you drive amidst some of central Europe's most stunning scenery. Rugged valleys full of white-water rivers and cascading waterfalls, rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees: this is the Black Forest at its best and exactly as you expect it to be. You visit the archetypical town of Titisee, nestling on the shores of its crystal clear lake.

Having rejoined the ship, the crew slip moorings, the sun sets over the imposing massif of the Vosges mountains and the riverside lights begin to twinkle as you restart our stately passage up river. You enjoy this evening's dinner cruise en-route to Switzerland and our next mooring at Basel.

Day 7 - Lucerne, Bernese Oberland & Interlaken

For many, today will be the highlight of the cruise. You firstly take the short drive to Lucerne. Spectacularly nestled among stunning mountain views, it is by far Switzerland's most beautiful city and has been attracting well-heeled visitors for two centuries, one of the most famous of which being our own Queen Victoria. You must take an invigorating stroll along the Chapel bridge - symbol of the city, a unique covered wooden walkway crossing the lake supported by stilts, lined with colourful, flowerfilled window boxes and a superb way to absorb Lucerne's rather regal atmosphere.

The scenery becomes ever more dramatic, and then as you enter the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland, it becomes quite literally breathtaking! This is the grand Alpine heart of Europe and amongst the finest mountain scenery on earth, described by the composer Mendelssohn as 'the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country'. You visit Interlaken wonderfully situated between two shimmering lakes. Crystal clear waters reflect the surrounding alpine meadows, forests and peaks above, whilst on the opposite bank, craggy mountains including the snowcapped Jungfrau, one of the greatest in Switzerland, puncture the sky. This is quintessential Switzerland at its very best. You then return to the ship for our final sumptuous dinner.

Day 8

This morning, at the appropriate time you take the TGV (France's famous high-speed train) to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St. Pancras International. Should you be returning by air, you will be taken to the airport for your homeward flight.

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