Castles Along the Rhine 2020 Uniworld River Cruise
Flowers tumble from baskets lining streets of half-timbered houses, and lights glint off quiet canals. A mighty river carries ships and cargo through a landscape shaped by time and history. The spires of medieval churches and castles appear around each bend in the river, and vineyards climb the verdant hillsides.
Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an insider’s look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg; stroll through the fairytale towns of Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Rüdesheim; and taste delightful white wines in the villages where the grapes are grown. Beethoven and Byron loved the romantic landscapes of the Rhine River, and the beauty that inspired them is still yours to experience.
Arrive at Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, where you will be transferred to the ship. Note: Guests sailing on the S.S. Antoinette will embark in Breisach between March and May due to lock renovations.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Alsatian "Village Day" OR Colmar city tour.
Look up “charming and “picturesque” in the dictionary and it could very well show images of today’s choice of destinations—two of Alsace’s best-known wine villages or a town some have hailed as the prettiest in the world. Is it really? See for yourself from our uniquely Uniworld perspective. A charming town dominated by a 17th-century hilltop cathedral, Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road. This is your launching point for one of two excursions along the celebrated route des vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range. You can visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two of the most picturesque villages in the region, or take a tour of the larger town of Colmar, considered one of the most beautiful destinations along the wine road and the capital of Alsatian wines. If you’re interested in doing something a bit more physically challenging, you could stay in Breisach and walk or bike through the surrounding vineyards. Spend the afternoon onboard, simply enjoying the views from the ship’s lounges or decks and sampling some of the ship’s amenities. Sip a cocktail on the Sun Deck or relax with a massage. A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening..
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Strasbourg by canal OR exclusive "Do as the Locals Do" Strasbourg walking tour.
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it via a canal boat or on foot with an insightful local expert, this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital, which is known as the “Crossroads of Europe” for its strategic location halfway between Paris and Prague. You may choose to see Strasbourg via its historic canals (the way Strasbourg has been seen by its visitors through the centuries), which would give you an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city. Or you may experience the historic core as the locals do, with an exclusive walking tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river. You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own. Note: Shuttle service will be provided to and from the center of Strasbourg in the afternoon
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Speyer walking discovery tour OR exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious, and something you’ll experience with no other river cruise line. The ship docks in Mannheim, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach to the nearby town of Speyer for a guided walking tour or taking in an exclusive tasting at a local vinegar estate. A shuttle is available to take you to and from Speyer if you wish to explore it on your own. Romans founded the city, and the Historical Museum of the Palatinate has an interesting collection of Roman antiquities (as well as Celtic and early German objects) you might enjoy investigating.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive Castle Vollrads wine tasting OR exclusive guided "Go Active" hike from Rüdesheim to Assmanshausen, and guided Boppard village stroll.
Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in one of two ways—an exclusive tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollards or an invigorating vineyard hike. Later, join your Cruise Manager for a village stroll highlighting stately riverfront homes and the lingering traces of Boppard’s fascinating Roman past. Your floating hotel arrives in Rüdesheim, one of the most charming ports of call in the Rhine Valley. This city has a long history going back to Roman times and is famous for the Drosselgasse, a narrow, bustling lane of shops and wine bars, as well as its impressive Niederwald Monument, built to celebrate the re-establishment of the German empire in the late 19th century. You may opt to visit a renowned vineyard or, for a more active jaunt, take the long way shoreward from Niederwald with a vineyard hike that includes a stop at a unique museum.
Cruising out of Rüdesheim you’ll enter the sublimely beautiful Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Byron described it as “a work divine, a blending of all beauties.” Turner painted it. Wagner used it as inspiration for his opera Götterdämmerung. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this scenic 40-mile (65-kilometer) stretch of the Rhine features a stunning, castle-dotted landscape that many 19th-century composers, painters and poets considered the embodiment of an ideal romantic spirit. Each bend and twist of the river affords new delights: Steep riverbanks are graced with sloping vineyards and picturesque towns, and hilltops are crowned by fairytale castles. Each one of those castles tells a tale: of great families raising fortresses against each other, of warfare and ruin and rebuilding through the centuries. Some castles have been entirely reconstructed; others tower above the water in majestic ruin, still an inspiration for romantics. You won’t want to miss the scenery as you sail into Boppard.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Koblenz walking discovery tour or aerial cable car ride to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress OR exclusive guided "Go Active" bike ride, and Marksburg Castle visit.
No other river valley on earth boasts more castles than the Rhine, and today you’ll have an opportunity to experience real-life “Game of Thrones” ambiance deep within the medieval walls of Marksburg Castle. Not into dungeons and dragons? Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a scenic bike ride. As you come upon Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. You have wonderful tours from which to choose today
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Cologne walking discovery tour with choice of Cologne Cathedral.
You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Cologne is the largest and oldest city of the Rhineland and a cultural mecca, with more than 30 museums and hundreds of art galleries. A congenial atmosphere and a mix of ancient, modern and reconstructed buildings characterize the heart of the city.
Disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Amsterdam.
- Savings of up to 30% if booked by 31st March 2020
- Return flights or Eurostar from the UK, some supplements may apply to regional airports.
- 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the exquisite S.S. Antoinette
- All transfers on arrival and departure days
- All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
- Exclusive Generational Family-Friendly Programme on select summer departures
- Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir£\xAE of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
- All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions & Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
- Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
- 6 days of excursions, including "Choice Is Yours" options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
- Guided “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do” and “Village Day” programs
- State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio headset system on all excursions
- Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
- Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
- 4 countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland
- 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
- Captivating onboard local entertainment
- Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: "The Rhine River: Shaping European History from the Romans to the European Union"