Lucerne and the Legends of Germany
|Resort:||Lucerne and the Legends of Germany|
Our adventure starts in romantic Lucerne, exploring Mount Rigi by mountain railway, and Lake Lucerne by boat, surrounded by some of the most stunning scenes of Switzerland. We then take to the Rhine, where enchanting landscapes, including the nearby Black Forest, have fuelled legends of beautiful sirens and fairytales of witches and wolves. The river banks are the perfect location for great towns to flourish, and we enjoy several alluring spots steeped in historical character culminating in Cologne.
5 excursions and visits
Day 1 Lucerne – Basel
We transfer to Basel to embark our ship, where light refreshments are available.
Day 2 Basel (Mount Rigi)
After breakfast we begin our adventure to Mount Rigi. We travel by coach to Arth-Goldau, and board a cogwheel train for a journey with beautiful views over meadows and steep waterfalls, to Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi. The best scenes are from the top, 1,797 metres above sea level, when a clear day will allow fantastic views over a sea of mountain peaks and 13 lakes. Some free time allows you to fill your camera with the views, before we take a cogwheel train down to Vitznau – a spectacular experience on Europe's first mountain railway. The journey finishes on the shores of Lake Lucerne, where an elegant steamboat carries us to Lucerne. Switzerlands most famous lake is a grand setting for a beautiful city, and you have free time to enjoy its cobbled streets, and striking art and architecture before we return to Basel by coach.
Day 3 Breisach
The Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of St Stephen dominates the town of Breisach. Its hilltop location has fantastic views over the town, the upper Rhine and the Black Forest – the vast and mysterious setting of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, and home of cuckoo clocks and cherry gateau. You have the choice to spend your day wandering freely through a town that has 4,000 years of history, detailed in its city museum; or head for a cruise on beautiful Lake Titisee with free time to enjoy the peaceful ambience.
Day 4 Strasbourg
We have a full day to explore Strasbourg, starting with a tour and canal cruise. Its share of historical heritage sites includes Petite France, through which the citys canals flow between beautifully preserved half-timbered houses; and UNESCO-listed Grande Ile – the wonderful city centre influenced by both its French and Germanic heritage, and structured around an outstanding Gothic cathedral. Afterwards, continue to explore this dynamic French city independently.
Day 5 Speyer
Spend today in Speyer, a handsome town of great importance through the Middle Ages and beyond. Choose to meander at leisure in this compact city, or join an optional walking tour. The stately City Hall which housed the city fathers, the baroque Old Mint, and the Jews Courtyard, one of the most important medieval Jewish sites in Germany, all tell parts of its tale. As does Emperor Konrad IIs extraordinary Romanesque cathedral, a vast temple where eight emperors and kings, along with some of their queens, are buried. We sail on this evening.
Day 6 Lorelei Passage – Koblenz
We sail through the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine Gorge, and navigate the legendary Lorelei Passage. It is said a beautiful siren would sit on the rock and lure fishermen with her songs. We sail on to Koblenz where we take a tour of the beautiful city. At German Corner, an impressive monument to Emperor Wilhelm I watches over the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. Behind him are beautiful castles, a neoclassical Electoral Palace and historic squares. In front of him, on the opposite bank of the Rhine, sit the vast ruins of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which we also visit today. Within the old battlements, several museums detail a millennium of history.
Day 7 Bonn – Cologne
We spend the morning in Bonn, the hometown of Beethoven, where well enjoy an included walking tour and make a stop outside his birthplace. In the afternoon we sail on to Cologne, one of Germanys oldest cities. The city centre holds one of Europes largest and most magnificent cathedrals which you can explore on an optional walking tour.