From the meandering Main to the UNESCO-designated Upper Middle Rhine Valley with its multitude of castles dotting its shores to the vineyard-clad hills of the Moselle, enjoy Europe at its most picturesque. Let the storybook villages—Bernkastel, Cochem and Wertheim—captivate you; and Rothenburg, located on the Romantic Road enchant you. Marvel at the world's largest ceiling fresco in the Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and the beautiful Chagall windows while in Mainz. Savor the many flavors of Germany with a chance to sample the world-famous wines of the Rheingau, the hearty smoked beer of Bamberg and Rüdesheim’s famed coffee. All along the way, gain an intimate understanding of the history and culture of the places you visit.
EMBARKATION – LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG. Board your ship in Luxembourg for your Europe’s Rivers & Castles cruise.
TRIER, GERMANY – BERNKASTEL, GERMANY. Trier is Germany’s oldest city, renowned for its rich ancient Roman past, and referred to as the “Rome of the North” or “Second Rome” as it has impressive Roman relics and nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Join a guided tour of the city, including the old Roman amphitheater, Roman Baths and Basilica of Constantine. Alternatively, go in search of the secrets of the Porta Nigra Gate, dating back to 180 A.D., on a tour that takes you back to a time when Rome ruled the world from the Emperor’s seat in Trier. You also have the choice of a hike high above Trier to Petrisberg. Later in the day, sail to Bernkastel, Walk through its colorful Old Town center and past many medieval and Renaissance buildings on a guided tour that also includes a winery visit and tasting. For those seeking an active adventure, hikers can opt to trek up to the ruins of Landshut Castle, which dates all the way back to the 9th century.
ALKEN, GERMANY – COCHEM – RÜDESHEIM, GERMANY. Head to fairytale Cochem and visit the Reichsburg Castle followed by a walking tour. As an alternative, visit one of Europe’s oldest working mustard mills where you will sample Cochem’s famous mustard. Later in the day, set sail for Rüdesheim, where you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, or enjoy the town’s iconic Rüdesheimer coffee, served ceremoniously with whipped cream and brandy.
RÜDESHEIM. Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue or allow yourself to be treated to a wine tasting. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards above the Rhine River. As an alternative, head to the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers to Mainz, where you’ll enjoy a walking tour of its Old Town, brimming with quaint narrow streets, Baroque churches and half-timbered houses. You’ll also have a chance to visit the Collegiate Church of St. Stephan, best known for its blue Chagall windows.
WERTHEIM. Wertheim’s old town center still features half-timbered houses and the Gothic architecture of the Stiftskirche, its oldest Protestant church. You may either join a guided walking tour through the historic city center or learn the art of pretzel making with a visit to a local bakery. For those seeking a more active adventure, take a scenic bike ride through the Main River Valley or hike high above the town for a visit to the castle, one of the most picturesque ruins in Germany.
WÜRZBURG. Enjoy a city tour of Würzburg, a bursting with Baroque splendor. Or visit Würzburg’s Baroque Residenz Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features an opulent interior, including a grand fresco by Tiepolo. Or stretch your legs while hiking to Würzburg Castle. Alternatively, go on a full-day excursion to Rothenburg, Germany’s best-preserved walled town located on the Romantic Road. Later in the afternoon, you will have a unique opportunity to visit Juliusspital wine estate – one of Germany’s largest wine estates. You will have a unique opportunity to visit their historic cellar and taste some of the best wine in Germany.
ELTMANN. Head to Bamberg, which has been referred to as “Franconian Rome” as, like Rome, it was built on seven hills—but in Bamberg, a church graces each one. Bamberg’s medieval and Baroque architecture has withstood the test of time and, as such, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a guided walking tour of this medieval gem where you’ll see its cathedral, Old Town Hall and elegant old mansions, and afterwards, indulge in the town’s famous smoked beer, Rauchbier. Or, indulge in the culinary specialties of Bamberg, including licorice root, Hornla pastries, traditional German sausage and smoked beer. As a more invigorating alternative, pedal from Eltmann to Bamberg, meeting the ship there later in the day.
NUREMBERG – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Nuremberg as you prepare for your journey home.