Rhine Cruise to Switzerland 2021 Riviera Travel River Cruise
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.
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 to a sumptuous breakfast, the delights of this river cruise begin to emerge as you 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.
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 tour.
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.
Proceed upstream on the Rhine and soon encounter the impressive Marksburg Castle, a fortress dating back to the 13th-century. You'll 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, 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.
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 you pass oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, which are now havens for over a hundred bird species.
Today, 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.
This morning cruise gently upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, whose elaborate engineering never ceases to fascinate. You soon arrive in France and moor in Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. This afternoon you 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 you haved visited during your 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.
Later you'll 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, you'll resume your 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.
Today, 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 lunch.
After breakfast on board, transfer to the railway station to take the TGV to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.
- Deposit of only £250pp
- Return flights from the UK - regional airports/Eurostar are available but may carry a supplement
- 7 Nights on board your choice of River Cruise Ship
- All Meals on board. Including Welcome Cocktails & Dinner & Captains Dinner
- Seven visits and guided tours
- 5 Star service from English-speaking crew & knowledgeable local guides
- Complimentary WIFI on board
- All Port charges, airport taxes & overseas transfers
- Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager
Extend Your Cruise
Extend your stay, pre or post cruise, with this great value cruise extension! Simply give our award winning team a call for full details on 0800 810 8220
- 3 nights in charming hotels with breakfast
- Explore Switzerland by train
- Visit to historic Chur, spectacularly located at the very heart of this magical Alpine landscape
- Experience the legendary Glacier Express, Europe’s most scenic rail journey
- Stay in world famous Zermatt, home to the iconic Matterhorn and a perfect base for exploring the breathtaking
Dining Drinks Package
- Dining drinks package from £109pp
- Draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu are included with lunch & dinner.
- The drinks package must be purchased prior to departure. Ask the team for more information