RIVER CRUISES / COMBINED RHINE/RHONE, TWO LEGENDARY RIVERS
DAY 1 | AMSTERDAM
We board in Amsterdam between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm and settle into our cabins. We are introduced to the crew over a welcome cocktail. After dinner on board, we have an optional visit of Amsterdam old town by glass-covered river boat. We moor for the night.
DAY 2 | AMSTERDAM
After buffet breakfast on board, this morning we have an optional guided visit of Amsterdam, a truly beautiful city where we can admire the rich architectural heritage from the 17th and 18th centuries. Often referred to as the “Venice of the North”, the town has a quite unique character, mixing ancient and modern and is a wonderful place to visit. We return on board for lunch and the afternoon is at leisure or we can join an optional excursion to Haarlem . The town has a rich history, with much evidence of the Dutch Golden Age from the 17th century and it has many of its central medieval buildings intact. We return on board in Amsterdam in time for dinner. We set sail and continue our cruise through the night.
DAY 3 | AMSTERDAM - XANTEN - DUSSELDORF
We have buffet breakfast on board today and we spend the entire morning afloat, passing the towns of Nijmegen and Arnhem in Holland, on the Rhine, then we cross the border into Germany near Emmerich . We have lunch as we cruise and in the early afternoon, we arrive in Xanten . From here we set off by coach for an optional excursion to Aachen . We begin with a tour of the old town with its narrow alleyways and historic squares, marked by some 2000 years of history. We continue with a visit to Aachen Cathedral – one of the finest examples of Western architecture and the oldest cathedral in northern Europe. More than 30 German kings were crowned here and the sanctuary, where Charlemagne is buried, is one of the most prestigious pilgrimage site. The cathedral has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1978. We also visit the Treasury, which is regarded as the most important ecclesiastical treasury north of the Alps. Of particular note is the collection of religious and sacral masterpieces from the Byzantine, Carolingian and Staufen periods. The “Cross of Lorraine” and the “Bust of Charlemagne” are part of the unique collection of treasures (the visit of the treasury is unaccompanied, with visitors having the aid of a small hand-held guide. We have a little free time before returning on board in Düsseldorf . Tonight we have dinner on board, followed by an evening of entertainment.
DAY 4 | DUSSELDORF - COLOGNE - KÖNIGSWINTER - KOBLENZ
We begin our cruise early this morning and cruise to Cologne. We arrive around sunrise in Cologne and have breakfast on board. We set off on foot for an optional guided visit of Cologne. Crossroads of Europe since the Middle Ages, Cologne has kept its importance as a vibrant commercial and industrial city as well as a cultural and religious centre . We have the opportunity to admire the exterior facades of the magnificent Gothic cathedral which took over 500 years to complete. Around the cathedral, 12 other Romanesque churches are set in a circle, representing the 12 holy apostles. We continue our visit to the old town and stop to admire the outside of the neo-Gothic building, home of the famous Eau de Cologne. After a little free time, we transfer by coach to Königswinter where we re-join the ship in time for lunch. Our cruise continues up the Rhine until we arrive in Koblenz in the early evening. After dinner on board, why not have a postprandial stroll to see the famous “Deutsches Eck” (or German Corner). We moor for the night.
DAY 5 | KOBLENZ - MAINZ - WORMS
We begin our cruise early this morning and cruise to Mainz. We have our buffet breakfast on board as we cruise back up the loveliest part of the Rhine, the Romantic Rhine, with its many castles, legends and the mythical Loreley Rock. We have lunch as we cruise and arrive in Mainz during the afternoon. We have an optional guided visit of the town and the Gutenberg Museum (closed on Mondays). Capital of the Rhine Palatinate, Mainz was founded more than 2000 years ago by the Romans. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the top architects and sculptors created the basic shape of the town, with fine palaces and churches. Here we have the chance to admire the magnificent historic houses which have been outstandingly well-restored. We then visit the Gutenberg Museum, the world’s finest museum for printing equipment, materials and books, which has two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the oldest printed book in the world. During our excursion, the ship continues its journey to Worms, where we re-board at the end of the afternoon. Tonight we have our Gala dinner on board, followed by an evening of dancing and entertainment. We continue our cruise through the night to Strasbourg.
DAY 6 | STRASBOURG – Transfer by coach – BESANCON - CHALON-SUR-SAONE
We have our buffet breakfast on board as we cruise and arrive in Strasbourg around 8.00am . We disembark around 9.00am and join our coach for the journey to Besançon a charming city renown forits architecture and history. After lunch we will go for a walking tour to descover historical landmarks : Granvelle palace, The square Castan , the dark gate, St Jean cathedral... Besaçon is also famous for its Citadel, designed by Vauban and part of the UNESCO world heritage. We will then continue our coach journey to Chalons-Sur-Saone where we will arrive at the end of the afternoon. to board around 5: 30pm . We will have time to settle in our cabins before we start cruising at 6: 00pm towards Lyon. Presentation of the crew. We are introduced to the crew over a welcome cocktail. Dinner on board is followed by an evening of music and dancing. We continue our cruise through the night.
DAY 7 | LYON - TOURNON
We have our buffet breakfast on board as we cruise and arrive early in the morning in Lyon. We have free time for independent exploration or we can join an optional guided visit of the town. Lyon is wonderfully located at the confluence of the Rhone and Saône rivers. A panoramic tour gives us a chance to view all the main attractions and monuments in the city. Our coach then takes us to Lyon Old Town so we can visit the Traboules passageways. We have some free time in the Saint Jean quarter, the historic heart of Lyon. We return on board for lunch and continue our cruise to Tournon . The afternoon is spent gently cruising along the Rhône Valley, passing the vineyards of the Côte Rôtie , Condrieu, Château Grillet and St Joseph. We arrive around 7 pm in Tournon . Dinner on board tonight is followed by an evening of music and dancing. We moor for the night in Tournon .
DAY 8 | TOURNON - ARLES
After buffet breakfast on board, we have an optional guided tour of Tournon . Here we visit the town of Tournon by tourist train and the little alleyways in the historic centre take us back to the Middle Ages. We visit the imposing castle of Tournon , one of the finest castles in the Ardèche region. This magnificent castle was built on a high granite rock between the 14th and 16th centuries and was the domain of the barony of the Counts of Tournon . Its elevated position gives it a most impressive appearance. We conclude our visit with a tasting of regional products and wines. After some free time, ,we return on foot (at our own pace) to the boat. We have lunch on board and continue our cruise to Arles. En route, we pass the towns of Valence, Montélimar and Viviers , and also navigate through some locks. Dinner on board tonight is followed by an evening of entertainment. We continue our cruise through the night.
DAY 9 | ARLES - AVIGNON
We arrive during the night in Arles. After buffet breakfast on board this morning, we have an optional guided visit of Arles. Here we discover an important cultural city, crammed with Gallo-Roman remains and a remarkably well-preserved Roman arena, before we head into the hinterland or arrière pays to learn about the production of Provençal olive oil. We return on board for lunch and continue our cruise, heading for Avignon , where we arrive mid-afternoon. Our optional excursion is a visit to the City of the Popes and the fortified Palace, a veritable citadel overlooking the famous bridge set high on a rocky outcrop and surrounded by city walls. We return on board, Tonight we have our Gala dinner and entertainment on board. We moor for the night.
DAY 10 | AVIGNON
After buffet breakfast on board we disembark at 9.00am . End of our journey.
NB: Please note the ship’s captain reserve the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel.
The excessive consumption of alcohol is dangerous and life-threatening – please consume in moderation.