TUI The Moselle Valley: Vines & Views 2021 River Cruise
Vineyard-filled vistas, traditional taverns and crumbling castles – this cruise introduces you to the oh-so-romantic towns and landscapes of the Moselle Valley.
You might hear Frankfurt referred to by another name – Mainhattan, alluding to the city’s setting on the Main River, as well as its futuristic skyline. But, mixed in with the new, there are timber houses and red-brick churches. Lots of the city was damaged in World War Two, but it’s since undergone a huge restoration project. Römerberg square’s now lined with traditional, Medieval-style buildings. Palmengarten is Frankfurt’s version of Kew Gardens, with zones dedicated to rainforest, sub-Antarctic and desert plants. And the 200-year-old Städel Museum houses artworks by Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt. Get a feel for Frankfurt on the Ebbelwei Express tram, which does a circuit of the city, rattling past the zoo and Römerberg.
Settings like Koblenz’s don’t come around often. The city’s a meeting place of mountains and rivers and the Rhine and Moselle rivers come together here, too. The waterfront’s dotted with UNESCO-stamped forts and palaces, while fairy tale castles christen the hilltops on the edge of town. And the surrounding valleys are teeming with terraced vines and world-class wineries. You can take a cable car up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for spectacular views over the city and its two rivers. When you arrive at the fort, you can explore its many museums, as well. Alternatively, catch a bus to Schloss Stolzenfels. This hilltop-castle-turned-palace is super-grand, which is fitting considering it’s played host to guests like Queen Victoria.
There’s an English countryside feel to Bernkastel-Kues, thanks to rolling green hillsides, pointy church spires and cosy streets. The Moselle River splits the town in half, and once acted as a natural divider between the separate villages. They joined forces at the turn of the 20th century, combining Bernkastel’s quaint, timber-clad marketplace and Kues’ more modern streets. A single bridge connects the east and west banks, and a brief stroll out of town gets you to vineyard-coated hills with standout views.
Get to know the Romans in Trier, a city in the Moselle wine region, right near the Luxembourg border. It’s Germany’s oldest city, and easy to navigate on foot. From port, you can walk into the centre in 10 minutes, and many of its main attractions are close together. And if you don’t fancy walking, there’s a tourist mini-train called the Romer Express that can drive you around the old town in 35 minutes. The main tourist landmarks to look out for are the Porta Nigra – the only surviving city gate – as well as the City Museum and St Peter’s Cathedral, said to be the oldest in all of Germany.
You’ll find the town of Piesport cosied up on the banks of the Moselle, halfway between Trier and Bernkastel-Kues. Its slate-roofed buildings are surrounded by vineyards, including the famous Goldtropfchen estate, which translates to ‘golden droplet’. The steep slopes rising up from the Moselle were favoured by the Romans for wine production, and there are wine presses here that date back to the 2nd century. Hot springs and fine wines are a couple of Traben-Trarbach’s major calling cards. The town was once one of Europe’s biggest exporters of vino, thanks to the signature Riesling tipple that garnered international attention. Vineyards are spread out across the sloping banks either side of the Moselle River, and the town itself has underground vaults where some of the top tipples are stored.
Cosied into one of the curves of the Moselle River, Cochem is Germany at its prettiest. Its old town’s fit to bursting with half-timbered houses and Medieval gates. Its hill’s crowned by a romantic-looking castle, and restaurants and manicured parks form ranks along its riverside promenade. Hiking trails lace through the surrounding valleys and vineyards, where you can reward yourself with a glass of local Reisling. Catching a ride on the chairlift up to the Pinnerkreuz lookout is a great way to start. It’s worth it for the views alone. Elsewhere, you can track down the town’s secret Cold War bunker. It’s home to a huge safe, where Germany’s Central Bank stored £8 billion in case of a nuclear war.
The German town of Boppard’s main claim to fame is its wine. White Riesling and red Pinot Noir’s been bottled here for centuries, starting off life in the vineyards – including the biggest in the Middle Rhine Valley – outside of town. Known as the town of towers, Oberwesel hugs the hills that flank the Rhine. Its Medieval architecture and production of Riesling wine are two of this town’s shout-about features, plus it’s bookended by a couple of Gothic churches.
You’ll spend your last day where you started out, in Frankfurt. This place might be Germany’s fifth-biggest city, but it’s got green fingers, too. Its botanical garden – Palmengarten – spreads out over 22 hectares, with greenhouses simulating sub-Arctic, tropical rainforest and desert environments.
|15 August 2021||£1,219|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £252pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 7 nights on board TUI Maya
- Airport transfers - to and from your ship
- Full board plus - breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
- Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
- Barbecues on deck (weather permitting)
- Free WiFi (signal permitting)
- £120pp Experience Credit per 7 days
- All tips and port charges
- Walking tour of Koblenz
- Hilltop fortress & Scenic cable car
- Walking tour of Bernkastel
- Luxembourg city tour
- Walking tour of Trier
- Wines and sights of the Moselle Valley
- Wine tasting in Piersport
- Cochem city tour & Reichsburg castle visit
- Walking tour of Cochem
- Walking tour of Nurburgring
- Walking tour of Boppard
- Hammes winery tour and tasting
- Medieval Marksburg castle