Jungfrau Express & Rhine Cruise MER21
|Resort:||Jungfrau Express & Rhine Cruise MER21|
|Operator:||Great Rail Journeys|
Before you set sail on the magical waters of the Rhine, venture to the top of Europe on the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch, the continent’s highest railway station. Experience the majesty of the Swiss Alps by rail, as the mountains serenade you with spectacular views across the peaks below.
Days 1-2 – To Interlaken
Meet your Tour Manager at our departure office in London St Pancras to board the Eurostar service to Paris. From here, we continue to Strasbourg or Colmar (departure dependent) where we overnight. On Day 2 we continue to Interlaken by rail, we check into our hotel, the 4-Star Hotel Metropole, arriving in time for dinner. You may wish to head out on an evening stroll into the town. Interlaken is set between lakes Thun and Brienz, and the beauty of the surrounding mountains is on full display as they stand guard over the calm waters below.
Day 3 – Journey on the Jungfrau Express
We begin today’s journey travelling along the Bernese Oberland Railway. Trundling through the foothills of the Alps from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, we pass flower-filled pastures and pretty villages. We then join the Wengernalp Railway, continuing our ascent through ever-changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg. Here we join the Jungfrau Railway. Climbing further from Kleine Scheidegg, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the ‘Top of Europe’, situated 11,332 feet above sea level. You have plenty of free time at the summit to explore the Ice Palace and its many sculptures.
Day 4 – Boarding your ship
We depart Interlaken today, travelling to Basel by rail, where you’ll be met by a Great Rail Journeys representative who will escort you to the ship, the Amadeus Silver III. This evening, we enjoy a welcome cocktail before a delicious Swiss themed meal.
Day 5 – Strasbourg
Our vessel sails into the charming French city of Strasbourg today. Strasbourg’s position on the German-French border has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history. Because of this, Strasbourg represents the best of both cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. You have two choices here. Your first option is a city tour of Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. Your second choice sees you travel into the famous Black Forest, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas.
Day 6 – Speyer and Heidelberg
We arrive in Speyer this morning, where there’s free time to explore. This town is home to one of the largest privately-owned collections of vehicles in the world, the Technik Museum Speyer. Featuring an entire jumbo jet, army vehicles, emergency vehicles, a submarine and much more, this museum is a treasure trove of vehicular delights and is well worth a visit.
Later in the afternoon, we have an excursion to the delightful university town of Heidelberg where we are treated to a guided tour. Heidelberg is famous for a magnificent ruined castle that stands guard over the riverbanks, proudly looking over the town below.
Day 7 – Rdesheim and the Rhine Gorge
We sail into the classic German town of Rdesheim am Rhein, known for its formidable wine production, especially of the dry Riesling variety. Perhaps walk along the river during your free time here this morning, before our ship departs for Koblenz. This afternoon includes one of the highlights of the tour as we pass through the glorious Rhine Gorge, one of the most beautiful sections of the river and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sheer banks rise up, towering over the river below, covered in deep forests and miles of green vineyards, lending an almost ethereal feel to the waterway.
Our lunch today sees us tuck into a wonderful themed buffet with a suckling pig as the striking centrepiece, and several smaller dishes from this part of the world. We sail this evening into the enchanting city of Koblenz; you may wish to visit one of the famous wine taverns here.
Day 8 – The Lower Rhine and the Drachenfelsbahn
After an evening in Koblenz, we depart and discover the marvellous Lower Rhine, a stretch of river characterised by lush green meadows and postcard villages. Our Cruise Director provides us with the history of this area, and highlights points of interest. In the afternoon, we dock in Koenigswinter, where we embark on a journey on the Drachensfelbahn railway. This rack railway rises into the mountains and high into the forests for wonderful views across the Rhine- Westphalia region of Germany.
Day 9 – Cologne
Arriving into Cologne this morning, we venture forth into this vibrant German city on a walking tour. We visit the resplendent cathedral, a centuries-year-old building which survived 14 aerial hits during bombing across the Second World War. We also wander through the many bustling squares, labyrinthine streets and see Romanesque town-houses. Tonight is an opportunity to dress up in our finest as we enjoy a Gala dinner with the captain and crew.
Day 10 – Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train
We arrive in Amsterdam this morning where we have a choice of two excursions, the first is a city tour of Amsterdam. One of the most popular of all the European cities, Amsterdam is as modern as it is historic, as young as it is old. From idyllic canals and large parks to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a city that boasts something for everyone. The second option is an excursion to Hoorn where we board the splendid Medemblik Steam Train and enjoy a nostalgic trip through enchanting Dutch scenery.
Day 11 – Homeward bound
After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the ship and here your cruise concludes. Make your way back to the railway station with your Tour Manager to board your train back to London St Pancras.