Begin your splendid journey along two of Europe’s most alluring rivers, the Rhine and Moselle. Expand your imagination in fairytale villages, such as Cochem, Bernkastel and Riquewihr, where folklore and history come alive in every street. Whimsical fantasies also come to life at Siegfried’s Mechanical Museum and at Schwetzingen Gardens. Encounter fascinating Roman ruins, medieval towns with colorful half-timbered houses and enchanting castles as you cruise along two of Europe’s most captivating rivers.
EMBARKATION – LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG. Board the ship for your Rhine & Moselle Splendors cruise.
SCHWEICH, GERMANY – TRIER – BERNKASTEL, GERMANY. Trier, Germany’s oldest city, has often been referred to as the second Rome. Be guided to the Roman Imperial Baths, the Porta Nigra and Emperor Constantine’s Throne Room. Or hike to Petrisberg Hill, where you’ll take in a spectacular view of the city and its glorious spires. Alternatively, cycle through Trier and past its incredible sites. During the afternoon, sail to Bernkastel, strategically located in the middle of the Moselle Valley’s wine-producing region. Walk through the colorful Old Town center and past many medieval buildings before enjoying a wine tasting at a local winery. For those who prefer to be more active, trek up to the ruins of Landshut Castle, which dates all the way back to the 9th century, or pedal past sun-kissed vineyards along the Moselle River.
COCHEM – LAHNSTEIN. History comes to life in Cochem with its half-timbered houses and Reichsburg Castle. Join a guided tour through the castle, and then walk through its Old Town. For those wishing to have a more active exploration of the area, you can go on a guided hike to the castle. Or pedal through Cochem and along the beautiful banks of the Moselle River, taking in the picturesque gabled houses bujlt on steep narrow alleys. Or for a different adventure, explore the Bundesbank Bunker to get a closer look at this mysterious Cold War-era bank vault. Later in the day, sail along the Moselle, taking in the fascinating scenery before arriving in Lahnstein where you’ll enjoy a visit to Lahneck Castle.
RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM. Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river, before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, and afterwards be treated to a wine tasting. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream.
LUDWIGSHAFEN. You have a choice of several excursions, depending on your interest. Visit Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Alternatively, relive a bygone era on an excursion to the glorious Schwetzingen Palace and Gardens. Tour this splendid palace and wander through its gardens with more than 100 sculptures and an assortment of whimsical buildings. The Apollotempel houses a statue of the ancient Greek god of light and the arts, playing the lyre; and the most spectacular, the Türkischer Garten with a mosque, are a few of the many highlights you will see. For those seeking a more active adventure, hike the historic Philosopher’s Path along the Neckar River or join a guided bike tour along the Neckar River to the medieval town of Ladenburg.
STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, has flavors of both France and Germany which you’ll get to discover. Enjoy a panoramic bus tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République followed by a walking tour through its iconic “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. You’ll also see the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. The active adventurer can join a guided Old Town bike tour, which also takes you through the Parc de l’Orangerie. Later in the day, taste Alsatian wines – delightful on the palate and highly praised for their fragrant aromas.
BREISACH, GERMANY – BASEL, SWITZERLAND. Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate, followed by a tasting of local wines. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” You’ll also enjoy a wine tasting following your Freiburg tour. As an active choice, go on a hike in the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions; or cycle through the scenic countryside.
BASEL – DISEMBARKATION. Bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home.