This is a completely new and original program, inviting passengers to discover the two great legendary rivers: the Rhine, a romantic river listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and the Rhône, a river that is renowned for its strong current. Along both rivers, there are legendary historical paths that offer spectacular scenery.
DAY 1 AMSTERDAM
We'll board in Amsterdam between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and you'll have time to get comfortably settled into your cabin. This evening, we'll introduce our crew over a welcome cocktail. You'll enjoy dinner on board, and you can join us for an optional visit of old-town Amsterdam by glass-covered river boat. We remain in port overnight.
DAY 2 AMSTERDAM
You'll enjoy a buffet breakfast on board, and this morning you can join us for an optional guided visit of Amsterdam, a truly beautiful city where we can admire its rich architectural heritage from the 17th and 18th centuries. The town has quite its own character, mixing ancient and modern elements. We'll return on board for lunch, and you can enjoy some free time afterwards, or you can join us for an optional excursion to Haarlem. Haarlem is a town rich with history, showing considerable evidence of the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, and it has many of its central medieval buildings intact. We'll return on board in Amsterdam in time for dinner. We'll depart and continue cruising through the night.
DAY 3: AMSTERDAM - WESEL - DUSSELDORF
You'll enjoy a buffet breakfast on board today and we'll spend the entire morning afloat, passing the towns of Nijmegen and Arnhem in Holland, on the Rhine, then we'll cross the border into Germany near Emmerich. We'll have lunch as we cruise, and in the early afternoon we'll arrive in Wesel. From here we'll set off by coach for an optional excursion to Aachen. We'll begin with a tour of the old town with its narrow alleyways and historic squares, marked by some 2,000 years of history. We'll continue with a visit to Aachen Cathedral - one of the finest examples of Western architecture and the oldest cathedral in northern Europe. More than 30 German kings were crowned here, and the sanctuary, where Charlemagne is buried, is also a religious pilgrimage site. The cathedral has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1978. We'll also visit the cathedral's treasury (closed on Mondays). Of particular note is the collection of religious and sacred masterpieces from the Byzantine, Carolingian and Staufen periods. The “Cross of Lothair” and the “Bust of Charlemagne” are part of the unique collection of treasures (the visit of the treasury is without a guide, and a small pamphlet explaining the visit is provided). We'll have some free time before we return on board in Düsseldorf. We'll then have dinner, followed by an evening of entertainment.
DAY 4: DUSSELDORF - COLOGNE - KONIGSWINTER - COBLENZ
We'll begin our cruise early this morning and make our way to Cologne. We'll arrive around sunrise and you'll enjoy breakfast on board. We'll set off for an optional guided walking tour of Cologne. A European crossroads since the Middle Ages, Cologne has remained important as a vibrant commercial and industrial city as well as a cultural and religious center. We'll have the chance to discover the exterior façades of the magnificent Gothic cathedral which took over 500 years to build. Around the cathedral, 12 other Romanesque churches are built in a circle formation, representing the 12 apostles. We continue our visit to the old town and stop to admire the outside of the neo-Gothic building, home of the famous Eau de Cologne. We'll have some free time before we leave by coach to Königswinter, where we return on board in time for lunch. We'll continue up the Rhine, and we'll arrive in Coblenz early in the evening. After dinner on board, why not have a postprandial stroll to see the famous “Deutsches Eck” (or German Corner)? We remain in port overnight.
DAY 5: COBLENZ - MAINZ - WORMS
We'll begin our cruise early this morning and make our way to Mainz. You'll enjoy a breakfast buffet on board as we cruise back up the lovely Romantic Rhine, with its many castles, legends and the famous Lorelei rock. We'll have lunch as we cruise and we'll arrive in Mainz in the afternoon. You can join us for an optional guided visit of the town and the Gutenberg Museum (closed on Mondays). Capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz was founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. In the 17th and 18th centuries, top architects and sculptors created the basic shape of the town, with fine palaces and churches. Here we'll have a chance to admire the magnificent historic houses which have been outstandingly well-restored. We'll then visit the Gutenberg Museum, the world's finest museum for printing equipment, materials and books, which has two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the oldest printed book in the world. During our excursion, the boat continues its journey to Worms, where we'll return on board at the end of the afternoon. In the evening you'll enjoy a gala dinner on board, followed by an evening of dancing and entertainment. We'll continue cruising through the night, heading for Strasbourg.
DAY 6: STRASBOURG - Transfer by coach - BESANÇON - CHALON-SUR-SAONE
We'll have a buffet breakfast on board this morning as we cruise, arriving in Strasbourg around 8:00 a.m. We'll leave the boat around 9:00 a.m. and join our coach for the journey to Besançon a charming city renowned for its architecture and history. After lunch we'll take a guided walking tour to discover historical landmarks: Granvelle Palace, Castan Square, La Porte Noire, St. Jean Cathedral... Besançon is also famous for its citadel, designed by Vauban and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We'll then continue our coach journey to Chalons-Sur-Saône, where we'll arrive at the end of the afternoon, and we'll return on board around 5:30 p.m. You'll have time to settle into your cabin before we depart at 6:00 p.m. towards Lyon. We'll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party. You'll enjoy dinner on board, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We'll continue cruising through the night.
DAY 7: LYON - TOURNON
You'll have a buffet breakfast on board as we cruise, and we'll arrive early in the morning in Lyon. You'll have some free time to explore on your own, or you can join us for an optional guided visit of the town. Lyon is admirably situated at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône. A panoramic tour will give you a chance to view all the main attractions and monuments in the city. We'll then go by coach to old-town Lyon, where you'll discover the historic traboules passageways. You'll have some free time in the Saint Jean quarter, the historic heart of Lyon. We'll then return on board and continue our cruise to Tournon. We'll enjoy the afternoon gently cruising on the Rhône, passing by the Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château Grillet and St. Joseph vineyards. We'll arrive in Tournon around 7:00 p.m. You'll enjoy dinner on board, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We'll remain in port overnight in Tournon.
DAY 8: TOURNON - ARLES
You'll enjoy a breakfast buffet on board, and then you can join us for an optional guided tour of Tournon. Here we'll visit the town by tourist train, and the little alleyways in the historic center will give us a glimpse of the Middle Ages. We'll visit the impressive castle of Tournon, one of the most beautiful castles in the Ardèche region. This magnificent castle was built on a high granite rock between the 14th and 16th centuries and was the domain of the barony of the Counts of Tournon. Its elevated position gives it a most impressive appearance. You'll wrap up your visit with a chance to sample regional products and wines. We'll make our way back to the boat on foot (at our own pace). We'll then return on board and continue our cruise to Arles. As we cruise, we'll pass through the towns of Valence, Montélimar and Viviers, and also navigate through some locks. We'll have dinner followed by an evening of entertainment. We'll continue cruising through the night.
DAY 9: ARLES - AVIGNON
We'll arrive during the night in Arles. You'll enjoy a breakfast buffet on board, and then you can join us for an optional guided tour of Arles. We'll discover an important city of culture, filled with Gallo-Roman ruins and a remarkably well-preserved Roman arena. We'll return on board for lunch and continue our cruise, heading for Avignon, where we'll arrive mid-afternoon. You can join us for our optional excursion to the City of Popes and the fortified Palace of the Popes, a citadel surrounded by ramparts and perched on a rocky outcropping over the river. We'll then return on board. We'll have our gala dinner and an evening of entertainment. We remain in port overnight.
DAY 10: AVIGNON
You'll enjoy one last breakfast buffet on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.
(1) Optional excursions.
Alcohol can damage your health. Please drink in moderation.