Day 1 Zrich – Basel.
Transfer to Basel (Embarkation). Welcome to Switzerland.
Day 2 Breisach.
Included today: Excursion to the Black Forest.
Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The region is bet known for its cuckoo clocks, Black Forest ham and Black Forest Gateaux. Perhaps visit the workshop of a local wood carver and clock maker, or visit the open-air Museum of Vogtbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Strasbourg.
Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg is influenced by the culture of both countries and is the capital of the Alsace region. It is the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Noteworthy sights include the Gothic Cathedral, the lovely Petite France district, Place Klber, and Place Gutenberg with its statue of the inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion to the Alsace wine region is available. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Speyer, Germany
Included today: Excursion to Heidelberg: guided visit of the castle, see the Great Vat.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Speyer and explore the town at your own pace. Located on the left bank of the Rhine, Speyer was a bishopric and boasts a Romanesque cathedral with six imposing towers and the finest and largest crypt in Germany. This afternoon an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! (B, L, D)
Day 5 Rdesheim – Rhine Gorge.
Included today: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; cruise through the Rhine Gorge.
Rdesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town – enjoy a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and free time to explore the Drosselgasse. Later, cruise downstream from Rdesheim to the dramatic Rhine Gorge, an incredibly beautiful stretch of river where quaint, fairytale castles stand sentry on the steep, terraced banks. Pass the legendary Lorelei Rock, where it is thought the sweet songs of sirens lured enchanted sailors to their doom. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Koblenz
Included today: choice of guided sightseeing or visit Sayn Manor House
Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business centre of the Middle Rhine region. Here, join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. alternatively, opt to visit nearby SAYN MANOR HOUSE, belonging to counts of the same name. This afternoon, enjoy some free time in the city (B, L, D)
Day 7 Bernkastel
Included today: Guided walk; onboard wine tasting.
The entire Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery, and in the middle of this region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its well-preserved half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This evening enjoy an on-board WINE TASTING (B, L, D)
Day 8 Metz, France
Included today: A choice of guided sightseeing of Metz or visit the salt mines near Saarbruecken, Germany
Metz, located in the north-eastern corner of France, at the confluence of the Seine and Moselle rivers, has a rich history and many cultural and architectural gems. The city’s gothic St. Stephen’s cathedral has the largest expanse of stained glass windows, in the world; the Basilica St. Pierre-aux-Nonnains is the oldest church in the country; and the Opera house, the oldest working opera in France. Join a local expert for GUIDED SIGHTSEEING or alternatively, choose to take an excursion to Saarbruecken, Germany to visit the Vlklingen Steel mill, the only authentically preserved steel mill in the world, dating back to the peak of the iron and still industry. The mill was shut down in 1986 and is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Remich, Luxembourg.
Included today: Excursion to Luxembourg City – Grenvemacher. Excursion to Trier, Germany
Because of its location and natural geography, Luxembourg City has been a place of strategic military significance throughout history; the first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. The city centre occupies a picturesque site, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Ptrusse Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will acquaint you with this city whose layout is complex as it is set on two levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two river valleys. At the head of the Moselle Valley is Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Some say Trier is even older than Rome and that it was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000-seat amphitheatre; the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement, which still gives access to the town’s centre; imperial baths; and the Roman Bridge, Germany’s oldest bridge with stone pilings dating from 144-152 ADall evidence of this once grand Roman city. Trier also offers pleasant market squares, Germany’s oldest Christian church, and a cornucopia of architectural stylesRoman, baroque, neo-classicism, renaissance, and gothic. A choice of GUIDED CITY SIGHTSEEING or the more history-focused “ROMAN TRIER” guided tour, followed by some free time, gives you the opportunity to discover this magnificent town. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Beilstein.
Included today: Eltz Castle A leisurely day today – free time this morning to explore the quaint little town of Beilstein. Then this afternoon visit medieval ELTZ CASTLE, still today owned by a branch of the family who lived there in the 12th century. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Cologne
Included today:choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk
Early this morning, arrive in Cologne. One of Germanys largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time be sure to try a Klsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! Before lunch set sail for Holland and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of cruising. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Amsterdam
Included today: Amsterdam canal cruise.
This morning dock in sail to Amsterdam. Set out to discover the treasures of this city by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdams Golden Age. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to join one of a number of optional excursions on offer (B, L, D)
Day 13 Amsterdam.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)