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Home » Destinations » Europe » Germany » Riviera Travel The Rhine Cruise to Switzerland
Glide passed the pretty towns along the Rhine River, experience the breathtaking Alpine scenery on a mountain rail journey into the spectacular Bernese Oberland and discover Switzerland’s most attractive cities.
This holiday is ideal for travellers looking for a relaxing way to see stunning alpine views and visit historic European towns.
Arrive at the airport for your flight to Düsseldorf or Cologne, or take the Eurostar to Brussels from London St Pancras International. On arrival, transfer by coach to your cruise ship moored in the heart of picturesque Cologne. The dedicated English-speaking crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your luxurious, well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.
As you wake and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, the delights of this river cruise begin to emerge as we drift past the first rolling hills of the Rhine Valley. The forested Siebengebirge – Seven Mountains – a cluster of ancient volcanic hills that inspired many of the Brothers Grimm’s legends, including ‘Snow White’, act as the overture for even more dramatic scenery upstream. We cruise past the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, which was captured intact by the Allies towards the end of the Second World War, allowing thousands of troops to cross into Germany’s heartland. Pretty waterfront towns and carefully tended vineyards come into view as we glide gently into our mooring to visit delightful Koblenz.
Slipping our mooring at Koblenz we proceed upstream on the Rhine and soon encounter the impressive Marksburg Castle, a fortress dating back to the 13th century. We then weave through the huge looping bend – one of the most impressive on the river – at Boppard, a wonderfully picturesque town known as the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’.
Still sailing upstream, the landscape becomes much wider and flatter, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the Liebfraumilch wines. Occasionally the excited chatter of birdlife breaks out as we pass oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, which are now havens for over a hundred bird species.
This morning we cruise gently upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, whose elaborate engineering never ceases to fascinate. Why not find a comfortable chair and catch up on some reading, play chess or watch the rolling kaleidoscope of scenery from the Sun Deck?
We soon arrive in France and moor in Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. This afternoon we have a walking tour of its picturesque Old Town, bisected by canals and made up of a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals.
Your final day cruising is spent gliding through the dramatic scenery of the rift valley separating the Vosges and Black Forest mountains. We arrive at the ancient town of Breisach, whose historic heart is surrounded by stone ramparts and dominated by the impressive Saint Stephan’s Cathedral.
This afternoon you drive through some of Central Europe’s most stunning scenery – the Black Forest Mountains. This is a fabled landscape of rugged valleys, white-water rivers, cascading waterfalls and rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees.
For many today will be the highlight of the cruise. This morning we drive into the stunning Bernese Oberland where the views become ever more breathtaking. This is the grand alpine heart of Europe with some of the finest mountain scenery on earth, described by the composer Mendelssohn as ‘the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country’. On viewing the legendary snowcapped peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau you’ll be quite simply awestruck. We then ascend by mountain railway for more extraordinary vistas, with the crystal-clear lakes reflecting the grassy meadows and lush forests below.
Today we transfer either to the airport for your flight home or the railway station to take the TGV to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.
MS George Eliot
MS Emily Bronte
MS Geoffrey Chaucer
MS Oscar Wilde
– Currencies: Euro, Swiss Francs
– Flight Time: Approx. 2 hrs
– Eurostar & TGV Time: Approx. 2 hrs (outbound) & 5 hrs 30 mins (inbound, via Paris)
– Languages: German, Swiss
– Time Zone: GMT+1
– Countries: Germany, Switzerland
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship for the duration of your cruise. Please note that speeds may vary.
UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany or Switzerland however must have a valid passport.
*All transfer times are approximate
Dusseldorf Airport to Ship: 1 hour
Cologne Airport to Ship: 30 minutes
Brussels Station: 3 hours and 30 minutes (including comfort stop)
Ship to Basel Airport: 30 minutes
Ship to Zurich Airport: 1 hours and 30 minutes
Ship to Basel Station: 20 minutes
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