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Home » Destinations » Europe » Switzerland » Riviera Travel Music, Arts & Craft of Switzerland and the Rhine
Embark on a captivating Rhine River cruise, uncovering hidden treasures in Europe’s picturesque landscapes. Explore the Swiss countryside that inspired Mendelssohn’s compositions, venture into the fairytale-like Black Forest for traditional handicrafts, and discover Strasbourg’s cultural richness in France. Dive into the world of mechanical musical instruments in Rüdesheim and visit Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn back in Germany.
Day 1 – Arrive in Basel
Travel to Basel by plane or Eurostar before transferring to the ship
Day 2 – Stanserhorn & Lucerne
Begin the day with breakfast on board and a visit to a Swiss glass manufacturer in Hergiswil, delving into the rich history of glassmaking and observing the rhythmic work of contemporary glassblowers.
Experience the unique Cabrio cable car to Stanserhorn, a mountain near Lucerne, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps at almost 1,900m above sea level. A packed lunch prepared by on-board chefs enhances the mountain air experience.
Drive through the Swiss countryside to the picturesque city of Lucerne, admired for its crystal-clear lake and backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Explore the city’s musical legacy on a themed guided tour, discovering the inspiration behind works by composers like Wagner, Rachmaninoff, and Toscanini.
This evening, enjoy another splendid dinner on board as the ship remains moored in Basel overnight.
Note: Activity order may vary, and lunch is not included in this full-day excursion, but a packed lunch will be provided by the ship.
Day 3 – Breisach & the crafts of The Black Forest
Arriving in Breisach at lunchtime following a morning sail, you’ll drive through the picturesque Black Forest Mountains, renowned for rugged valleys, white-water rivers, and cascading waterfalls amid dense pine trees. Delving into the fairytale landscape, we’ll seek out the region’s famed handicrafts – carved wooden cuckoo clocks.
After returning to the ship, enjoy dinner as the ship cruises towards Strasbourg. In the lounge, enjoy a live performance by a highly talented violin soloist.
Day 4 – Strasbourg
Your introduction to France begins in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, with a walking tour through the charming 16th-century old town, featuring narrow streets, canals, and timber-framed houses. Explore the Alsatian Museum, offering a glimpse into 18th and 19th-century life with exhibits ranging from furniture to sacred artifacts. If time allows, visit Saint Thomas Church, showcasing Mozart’s played organ and a framed copy of his letter describing Strasbourg.
After lunch, the vessel gracefully departs Strasbourg for an afternoon of scenic cruising. Enjoy riverbank views from the sun deck or engage in conversations in the lounge. As evening approaches, anticipate another delightful meal in the ship’s restaurant before arriving in Speyer later tonight.
Day 5 – Speyer
This morning, we’ll explore the medieval charm of Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities, founded by the Celts. A guided tour will unveil the UNESCO-listed Imperial Cathedral, a magnificent Romanesque church housing the crypt of Holy Roman emperors.
After lunch on board,the cruise resumes, offering panoramic views of rolling hills, vineyards, and oxbow lakes. Enjoy the Captain’s Dinner, featuring specialties from our cruise destinations. In the classic Rhine wine village of Rüdesheim, consider exploring ashore for a digestif, such as the locally distilled Asbach brandy.
Day 6 – Rüdesheim, Rhine Gorge & Koblenz
After a night in Rüdesheim, we’ll explore the wine village, starting with Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet at Brömserhof, featuring over 400 automatic musical instruments serenading us with unknown and familiar tunes. In the afternoon, experience the dramatic Rhine Gorge, sailing past Saint Goar, ruined castles, and the legendary Loreley Rock.
You then arrive in Koblenz, a picturesque city at the Rhine-Moselle confluence. Explore medieval buildings in the Altstadt, discover historic landmarks, and cross the Balduin Bridge for stunning views. After a meticulously prepared dinner on board, enjoy local stories through song and dance, featuring Rhinish folk music in traditional costumes.
Day 7 – Bonn
Early risers will witness the ship’s departure from Koblenz as it sails towards Bonn. Enjoy a leisurely morning amid scenic Rhineland landscapes, passing charming riverside towns, vineyards, and the famous Remagen ruined bridge, a historic World War II site. Around lunchtime, arrive in Bonn, known for its arts scene, including the Bonn Museum of Modern Art and the Bundeskunsthalle.
As Beethoven’s birthplace, classical music fills the air, with buskers in the historic town centre. Explore the bustling Old Town with cobblestone streets, bookshops, and cherry blossom-lined Heerstrasse and Breite Strasse. As the last evening on board, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the magical cruise and bid farewell to new friends.
Day 8 – Return home
Transfer to the airport or train station for your journey home
MS Emily Brontë
MS Geoffrey Chaucer
*All transfer times listed here are approximate and dependent on traffic.
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