TUI Rhine: Chateaux & Gateaux 2020 River Cruise
The name says it all for this one. You’ll journey from Germany’s wine country and idyllic Black Forest to the super-pretty French city of Strasbourg and Basel, in Switzerland.
You’ll start your trip with a day in a true metropolis. Architecture-wise, Frankfurt is a contradiction. You’ll need to crane your neck to clock the glistening, glass skyscrapers in the financial district. But the city’s crown jewel is its pretty-as-a-picture square, known as Römerberg. Here, half-timbered houses huddle around a Medieval church. On the nearby riverfront, things fast-forward into the 21st century again. The Sachsenhausen area’s home to art museums, restaurants and apple wine pubs.
Today’s split in two – you’ll spend the morning in Koblenz and the afternoon and night in Boppard. Koblenz is where the Moselle and Rhine rivers meet – a viewpoint and statue of Germany’s first Emperor mark the spot. There are forts and castles to explore, too, which are perched above the city. Late afternoon, you’ll cruise into Boppard, via the famous S-shaped bend. You’ve now officially entered wine country, so you can spend the evening dipping into local taverns.
You’ll pull into Rudesheim around lunchtime. This place has a prime spot in the UNESCO checked Rhine Gorge. Most visitors find themselves along Drosselgasse – a narrow cobbled street packed-out with wine taverns, restaurants and shops. It’s a full-of-life place, so you can expect oom-pah bands and dancing. Alternatively, you can head up to the hilltop Niederwald Monument. There’s the option of walking up the vineyard-blanketed slopes or taking the cable car to the top.
One of Germany’s oldest cities is on the cards today. Founded by the Romans in 12 BC, Speyer is littered with landmarks. Unlike lots of German towns, this place survived the Second World War relatively unscathed, which means its huge 11th-century cathedral is still gasp-worthy. It’s planted itself right at the end of Speyer’s main street, where it fights for attention with the pretty pastel-painted buildings, bustling cafés and boutiques.
You’ll start edging towards the French border, as you reach Rastatt. This place is a launchpad for hikes around Germany’s Black Forest. Despite its name, this region’s a picture of deep-green forests, mountains and lakes. In fact, it’s believed to have inspired the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Rastatt itself has a historic heart, too, with two extravagant palaces to its name – one of which is said to be modelled on the Palace of Versailles.
You can swap Germany for France today, when you reach Kehl. This place lies just across the river from Strasbourg and a footbridge connects the two. Here, the huge Gothic cathedral and the Petite France area are the main must-sees. The latter’s laced with canals and crooked, half timbered houses that look like they belong in a Disney film. There’s 21st-century architecture, too – like the cube-shaped Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Today, you’ll follow the Rhine along the French border. You’ll get most of the day in Breisach, which is sandwiched between the river and the Black Forest. Just like its French neighbours, this place has a passion for wine. You can dip into vaulted cellars for a tasting, or admire the vineyards from its hilltop cathedral. The town was flattened by World War Two, but you’d never guess it, thanks to its meticulously reconstructed pastel houses.
We’ll arrive in Basel early doors, giving you more time to see the Swiss city’s top sights. Unlike modern Zurich, this place has just two skyscrapers to its name. Here, the emphasis is on culture and history, with Switzerland’s oldest university and more than 30 museums. Plus, head up to Cathedral Mount to check out Basel Minster and the tomb of Dutch scholar Erasmus. You’ll get sweeping views of the old town from up here, too
|9 August 2020^||£1,349|
|23 August 2020||£1,329|
|25 October 2020||£1,179|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £98pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 7 nights on board TUI Isla or 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)
- 1GB of Wi-Fi per cabin, per week
- £120 excursion credit, per person, per 7 days
- All tips and port charges
- Walking tour of Koblenz
- Hilltop fortress & Scenic cable car
- Walking tour of Boppard
- Hammes Winery & tasting
- Rudesheim walking wine tour
- Winzerexpress & siegfried's mechanical music cabinet
- Walking tour of Speyer
- Half-day trip to Heidelberg
- Germany wine route & tasting session
- Uncover the best of Baden-Baden
- Villages of the Black Forest
- Colmar city tour
- Tour of Strasbourg
- Walking tour of Rastatt
- Exploring the Black Forrest
- Walking tour of Breisach & wine tasting