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Riviera Travel Cruise The Heart of Europe

Riviera Travel Cruise the Heart of Europe

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Experience an incredible variety of medieval towns and imperial cities, from quintessential Bamberg to classical Vienna, with their wealth of cultural treasures plus the world-famous scenery of the dramatic Rhine Gorge.

– Discover Bamberg, exploring Little Venice
– Explore Regensburg
– Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge

– 14nts onboard a 5-star ship
– Return flights or Eurostar
– Transfers
– 15 visits and tours
– Full board dining
– Complimentary on-board tea and coffee
– Complimentary on-board wi-fi
– Services of Expert Cruise Director and Concierge
– All port charges and airport taxes
– Checked luggage

Day 1 – Arrival in Cologne

Arrive for your flight to Düsseldorf or Cologne, or take the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Brussels. On arrival, transfer by coach to your cruise ship moored in Cologne’s picturesque centre. The dedicated English-speaking crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle in to your luxurious and well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

Day 2 – Koblenz & Boppard

The first morning on a river cruise is always a thrill as you awake to the gentle lapping of the water and the colourful valley sides slipping effortlessly past your cabin window – there really is no other holiday experience quite like it. We call at historic Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers and dominated by the immense Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. This morning we take a guided walk around the Old Town, exploring its twisting streets and charming squares.

Day 3 – Rhine Gorge & Rüdesheim

Today you experience one of the real highlights of your cruise – the passage through the Rhine Gorge. Here the river narrows, the current is swifter and the towering valley sides soar 600 feet, while the ruins of castles, which once held sway over passing mariners, crown every tortuous turn. We pass rocky outcrops and cruise around endless twisting bends to the famous Lorelei or ‘murmuring rock’, where according to legend, enchanting maidens lured unsuspecting sailors to watery graves. Next we call at Rüdesheim, a true Rhine wine town surrounded by vineyards whose fruits you can sample in the many wine taverns you’ll find in its cobbled streets.

Day 4 – Mainz

This morning we take the short cruise to the town of Mainz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers. An important Roman city for over 450 years with the largest amphitheatre north of the Alps, Mainz is also home to the magnificent Romanesque Saint Martin’s Cathedral and the fine Saint Stephen’s Church, whose interior is filled with beautiful blue light flooding through stained-glass windows featuring intricate biblical figures – a masterpiece by the great artist Marc Chagall.

Day 5 – Miltenberg & Wertheim

The views this morning are of dense emerald-green forests as we cruise to Miltenberg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval villages. It became prosperous during the Middle Ages under the protection of its castle and today its colourful half-timbered houses and market square with its octagonal Renaissance fountain are an atmospheric reminder of times past.

During lunch we cruise around the first of the many meandering bends that characterise the Main River, pausing at Wertheim, one of those towns that’s a joy to stumble across because it’s completely unknown on the mainstream tourist trail.

Day 6 – Würzburg

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning as we glide towards Würzburg, situated at the head of Germany’s Romantic Road, so called because of its spellbinding procession of captivating scenery, medieval towns, lofty castles and grand palaces. Würzburg is best explored on foot and we have a walking tour through neat streets dotted with fine pastel-coloured Baroque and Rococo buildings.

Day 7 – Bamberg

Today we visit Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s quite simply one of the most outstandingly preserved and beautiful small towns in Europe, easily on a par with Prague. The masterpiece you see today began its artistic journey during the 11th century when Emperor Heinrich II chose Bamberg as the location for a capital city he planned to be as grand as Rome.

Day 8 – Nuremberg

Today we call at Nuremberg, the Bavarian city which will always be associated with the Nazi period – Hitler’s pre-war rallies and the international war crimes trials that brought down the final curtain on that notorious regime. What is less well known is that Nuremberg is regarded as the unofficial capital of Germany’s First Reich, better known as the Holy Roman Empire, which was founded with the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 AD and lasted for over a thousand years.

Day 9 – Regensburg

This morning we cruise along the Main–Danube Canal to Kelheim, where we join the enchanting Danube River. Our next port of call is Regensburg, formerly an important garrison guarding the most northwesterly point of the Roman Empire whose camp gate, the Porta Praetoria, can still be seen.

Day 10 – Passau

Another day dawns as our journey brings us to Passau, the last town we stop at in Germany, nestling where the Inn and Ilz Rivers join the Danube. After a leisurely breakfast take the opportunity to explore the ‘Three Rivers City’, overlooked by the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century hilltop fortress. The Old Town below is known for its Baroque architecture including Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, where the world’s largest cathedral organ sounds.

Day 11 – Melk

On a striking rocky bluff above the town of Melk is the enormous Benedictine Abbey, which we visit this morning. This extraordinary building was originally a castle that was subsequently bequeathed to the Benedictine order during the 11th century and has been a monastery ever since. Reconstructed in full Baroque style during the 18th century, the Abbey has many fine rooms and a stupendous library with 100,000 priceless volumes, including some intricate illuminated manuscripts.

Day 12 – Vienna

Imagine Vienna and you think of an elegant imperial city that’s one of the gems of Central Europe, and perhaps the world’s most musical city. Its name conjures up an image of culture, ornate architecture, resplendent cafés, aristocratic palaces and imposing cathedrals, with the romantic music of the great composers filling the air. In fact, the reality is little different and there’s an absolute wealth of things to see in this former capital of the Habsburg Empire, which held sway over much of Central and Eastern Europe for centuries until its demise at the end of the First World War. For such a grand city Vienna is quite compact and this morning we enjoy an enlightening guided tour

Day 13 – Bratislava

This morning we explore Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, which has shrugged off the greyness of the communist era and rekindled the splendour of its imperial past in its painstakingly restored Baroque Old Town. Wander the winding streets to the main square where you’ll find the former Old Town Hall, now housing a museum dedicated to the history of the city and where you may climb the tower for some lovely views. Equally impressive is the great 9th-century castle that dominates the city, with its expansive views across the Danube.

Day 14 – Budapest

You rise refreshed in this breathtakingly beautiful imperial capital that straddles the great Danube River, and we have a whole day to enjoy it. Dominated by its castle, Budapest has been called ‘Little Paris of Middle Europe’ and, with its truly magnificent skyline of soaring spires and grand domes, it’s not hard to see why. It’s renowned for the bewitching blend of monuments reflecting Hungary’s national culture and those of the foreign powers that have dominated most of the city’s history.

Day 15 – Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport at the appropriate time for your return flight.

MS Emily Brontë

MS Geoffrey Chaucer

MS Oscar Wilde

Fact File

  • Currencies: Euro, Forint
  • Flight Time: Approx. 2 hrs 30 mins to 3 hrs
  • Languages: Hungarian, German
  • Time Zone: GMT+1
  • Countries: Hungary, Germany, Austria

Wi-Fi

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship for the duration of your cruise. Please note that speeds may vary.

Visa Information

UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter Hungary, Germany or Austria however must have a valid passport.

Low Locks & Bridges

Due to locks and low bridges along this stretch of river, the rear main part of the sun deck will be closed between Mainz and Passau. The other outside areas in front of the lounge, the lido bar and the lower section of the sun deck in front of the wheel house are still accessible.

*All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic.

Airport or train station Ship location Transfer time
Dusseldorf Airport Cologne 1 hr
Cologne Airport 30 mins
Brussels Station 3 hrs 30 mins including comfort stop
Budapest Airport Budapest 45 mins

 

Vienna City Stay – 3nts
In 2023 – add four days to your holiday, staying at the centrally located Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna.

Cologne City Stay – 3nts
In 2023 – add four days to your holiday, staying at the centrally located Dorint Hotel am Heumartk

Speak to our sales team for pricing and availability.

Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability

Useful Info

Location

Board Basis

Full Board

Duration

15 Days

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