Paris and Zurich provide the perfect beginning and ending to your splendid journey along two of Europe’s most alluring rivers, the Rhine and Moselle. In between, expand your imagination in fairytale villages—enchanting Cochem where folklore and history come alive in every street, and in well-preserved Bernkastel with its medieval Market Square and half-timbered houses. Whimsical fantasies also come to life at Siegfried’s Mechanical Museum and at the Palace Gardens of Schwetzingen, a cultural heritage site of European significance with more than 100 sculptures scattered throughout its surprising landscape. And then blend Italian and German heritage throughout the way in Trier, with its Roman Imperial Baths and the Porta Nigra; and Strasbourg built on a foundation of German and French heritage, and you have the most splendid journey.
EMBARKATION – LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG. Embark your ship in Luxembourg. Tonight, gather on board and meet your fellow passengers. The ship departs very late tonight for Germany.
TRIER, GERMANY – BERNKASTEL. 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. During the afternoon, sail the Moselle River 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.
COCHEM – LAHNSTEIN. History comes to life in Cochem with its half-timbered houses and Reichsburg Castle. Join a guided tour through the castle, situated high above the town, 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 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 of Europe’s steepest vineyards before arriving in Lahnstein where you’ll enjoy an exclusive festive celebration.
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 Music Museum charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream.
LUDWIGSHAFEN. Discover a grand Baroque palace, one of Mark Twain’s favorite European towns or one of the most whimsical gardens in the Europe on choice of excursions. Relive a bygone era on an excursion to the glorious Mannheim Baroque Palace. Tour this splendid palace furnished with over 800 exhibits, including 21 large tapestries, ornate furniture, priceless paintings, valuable porcelain and costly silverware. Prefer to visit the town Mark Twain fell in love with, then join on a tour to Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany's Castle Road. You'll see the red-walled castle with its Great Vat, an 18th-century 49,000-gallon wine cask and the old city. Alternatively, visit Schwetzingen Palace Gardens, a cultural heritage site of European significance. Wander through the gardens with more than 100 sculptures and admire an assortment of whimsical buildings. The Apollotempel, houses a statue of the ancient Greek god of light and the arts, playing the lyre; the Badehaus, a summerhouse modelled on an Italian villa; and the most spectacular, the Türkischer Garten with a mosque designed by Nicolas de Pigage, the largest structure of its kind in a German garden— are a few of the many highlights you will see.
STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, has flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location, 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 afternoon, be treated to a special Alsatian wine tasting of some of the region’s most delicious and notable wine. Discover how the Vosges Mountains provide the Alsace with ideal wine making conditions, and as such, Alsatian wines are not only delightful on the palate, but they’re also highly praised for their fragrant aromas, ranging from bright and fruity to crisp and spicy.
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. While there, enjoy a visit to a winery for a tasting of locally produced Alsatian 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 visit a winery where you will have the opportunity to taste their locally produced wines, and then continue with a walking tour. Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside; or go to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions, as well as home to elaborate cuckoo clocks, striking half-timber houses, ruined castles and quaint towns. (B,L,D) *Please Note: Black forest hike is weather dependent and may only operate at certain times of year. Please refer to your final documents for details.
BASEL – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark after breakfast.