FIRST ITINERARY: Cruise on the Guadalquivir and the Guadiana Rivers
Thursday, May 5, 2016 : PARIS - SEVILLE
Flight(l) from Paris to Seville. Passengers are welcome to board our ship starting at 5:00 p.m. You’ll be greeted at the ship by flamenco dancers and singers to celebrate your arrival. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We’ll enjoy a dinner of local specialties. Take advantage of some free time in Seville this evening.
Friday, May 6, 2016 : SEVILLE - CADIZ
We’ll set out on a guided tour of Seville. The Andalusian capital is a flamboyant, charismatic, ever-evolving metropolis with layers upon layers of history at its core. During our visit, we’ll enjoy a cocktail at the Alcazar palace. After our tour, we’ll return on board and cast off. We’ll begin our cruise on the Guadalquivir, which begins at Cañada de las Fuentes in the Cazorla mountain range and meanders through the countryside for over 430 miles. Join us in the lounge for some afternoon activities. We’ll arrive in Cádiz this evening. After dinner, we’ll take in a flamenco show in Cádiz(2).
Saturday, May 7, 2016 : CÁDIZ
This morning, we’ll visit Jerez. The charming old town has beautiful palm-lined squares. Our tour will include a visit to a “ganadería” (a property where bulls are raised) and the chance to learn about this living symbol of Spanish culture. Afterwards, we’ll return on board. The afternoon will be dedicated to a guided stroll around Cádiz. Still retaining its Moorish appearance, this pastel-painted city is a melting pot of cultural and historical riches. We’ll have a tasting of some surprise delicacies. Afterwards, we’ll return on board for dinner and an evening of entertainment. The ship will cruise to Alcoutim during the night.
Sunday, May 8, 2016 : ALCOUTIM – VILA REAL (Portugal)
This morning we’ll pass through some fabulous landscapes and cruise by timeless villages. After our CroisiEurope 40th birthday quiz contest, enjoy some free time in Alcoutim, a typical Portuguese village. Return on board for our departure towards Vila Réal de Santo Antonio. This afternoon we’ll head for Faro, the capital of the Algarve region. We’ll have a tour on foot of the old town and admire the facades of the castle and cathedral, as well as other impressive buildings in the area. Take advantage of some free time before returning to Vila Réal de Santo Antonio. Tonight’s dinner will include Portuguese specialties and entertainment. Our ship will cruise through the night.
Monday, May 9, 2016 : VILA REAL - EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA
We’ll arrive in El Puerto de Santa Maria during the morning. Our onboard host/hostess will take you to visit the Osborne bodega and taste the local wines. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to Isla Minima. During our pause on the water, feel free to participate in our surprise activity. We will cruise past the Doñana National Park, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, and the city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where the river meets the ocean. On arrival, we’ll visit a genuine Andalusian hacienda located on the banks of the Guadalquivir, followed by a horse show. After our tour, we’ll return on board and begin to cruise towards Seville through the night.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 : EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA - ISLA MINIMA
We’ll spend the entire day touring Grenada, leaving early in the morning by coach. This grandiose and verdant site also owes its prestige to its Moorish monuments, especially the Alhambra: a palace straight out of A Thousand and One Nights. We’ll also discover the Generalife, a pleasure palace with attached romantic gardens. We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant. Indulge in some of the local desserts before spending some free time in the city. After our tour, we’ll return on board. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 : ISLA MINIMA - SEVILLE
We’ll spend the entire day touring Córdoba, leaving early in the morning by coach. During the guided visit of the town, you will discover the mosque-cathedral with its “forest” of no less than 856 interior columns, each covered in precious jasper, granite and marble—as well as the Judería, or old Jewish Quarter, with its fascinating network of alleyways lined with white buildings and flowers, and typical traditional houses opening onto beautiful patios. We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant. You’ll have some free time to explore before heading back to Seville. Spanish-themed dinner and evening on board.
Thursday, May 12, 2016 : SEVILLE - BORDEAUX
Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking. You’ll then take a flight(l) from Seville to Bordeaux. Several delightful surprises await you on arrival at the port in Bordeaux. After you have comfortably settled into your new cabin, dinner will be served. Tonight’s dinner and entertainment will be Bordeaux-style.
SECOND ITINERARY : Cruise on the Gironde
Friday, May 13, 2016 : BORDEAUX – PAUILLAC
We’ll spend the morning cruising the river, sailing down the Garonne to the Gironde, passing alongside the islands of Cazeau and Patiras before reaching Pauillac. Built long ago by wine merchants and sea captains, Pauillac has managed to preserve the former mansions of the old nobility along its waterfront, constructed with great blocks of stone. If you’d like, join us in the lounge for some entertainment and games. We’ll leave on an excursion in the afternoon: a tour through the prestigious Médoc vineyards. Nestled between the ocean and an estuary, the Médoc is a renowned region where the most famous of all the red wines in the world is produced. We’ll travel through the most prestigious vineyards in the region, catching glimpses of the infamous Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. We’ll enjoy a tasting during our visit. After our tour, we’ll return on board and take part in an evening of entertainment.
Saturday, May 14, 2016 : PAUILLAC - GIRONDE ESTUARY - BLAYE
We’ll spend the morning cruising the Gironde to the estuary. We’ll cruise along the marshes and see the steep cliffs of Meschers-sur-Gironde, troglodyte homes and fishing cabins before reaching Blaye. Another surprise activity awaits you! Once we arrive in Blaye, we’ll leave on an excursion to the delightful city of Cognac, visiting the city and having a taste of the spirit in a cellar. We’ll return on board for dinner. Afterwards, we’ll set off on a night visit of the imposing and majestic citadel and the awesome view offered of the river from above. Southwestern France-style evening of entertainment.
Sunday, May 15, 2016 : BLAYE - LIBOURNE OR BOURG(3) - SAINT-EMILION
The ship will leave early this morning for Libourne, cruising along the Dordogne. In the afternoon, we’ll leave by coach on an excursion to Saint-Emilion and a guided tour of its underground monuments, an absolutely awe-inspiring and unique site to visit. A wine tasting will wrap up our tour. Afterwards, we’ll return on board. This evening, join us for another CroisiEurope 40th anniversary quiz contest.
Monday, May 16, 2016 : LIBOURNE OR BOURG(3) - CADILLAC
Our ship will cruise for Cadillac. During this time, take advantage of the different activities proposed on board. After lunch, we’ll visit a magnificent and prestigious chateau that is included in the many historical treasures of the Gironde region. We’ll enjoy a wine tasting and then visit Cadillac. You’ll discover its battlements, towers and a castle dating back to the 16th century before we return on board. The evening is free to do as you please.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 : CADILLAC – ARCACHON BAY - BORDEAUX
Join us for a guided tour of Bordeaux, whose historical area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today’s surprises include a visit to a prominent site known for art. We'll return on board in Bordeaux. The afternoon will be spent on a tourist boast cruising through beautiful Arcachon Bay, admiring the Ile aux Oiseaux, the iconic stilted cabins (cabanes tchanquées), and the oyster farms from the deck. We'll enjoy a sampling of some oysters as well. We’ll return to our ship for the Captain’s Dinner and an evening of dancing and entertainment
THIRD ITINERARY : The Loire Châteaux
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 : BORDEAUX - TOURS
We’ll leave Bordeaux at 8 a.m. for Tours. We’ll have lunch on the road and then visit the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, located on an island in the middle of the Indre River. Built by a wealthy financier during the reign of François I, it expresses all the refinement of a château dating from the early French Renaissance. Afterwards, you’ll check into a hotel in Tours. In the evening, we’ll visit the illuminated gardens of Chenonceau, accompanied by the music of Arcangelo Corelli, master of Italian classicism. We’ll spend the night at the hotel.
Thursday, May 19, 2016 : TOURS - HONFLEUR
In the morning, we’ll enjoy a tour of the Royal Château of Amboise. This emblematic monument and its landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Loire valley and are registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We’ll stroll around the royal quarters and the chapel of Saint-Hubert, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. We’ll have lunch before joining the ship in Honfleur, where we’ll be greeted in spectacular fashion! Passengers are welcome to board at 6 p.m. After you have comfortably settled into your new cabin, we’ll enjoy dinner and some Norman folklore on board.
FOURTH ITINERARY : Cruise on the Seine River
Friday, May 20, 2016 : HONFLEUR - DUCLAIR
This morning will be dedicated to a guided tour of Honfleur, the cradle of Impressionism, located at the mouth of the Seine as it flows into the English Channel. We’ll enjoy a cocktail in one of the famous salt warehouses before returning on board. The afternoon will be spent on an excursion to the Côte d'Albâtre. This dramatic coastline, sculpted over eons by the wind and the waves, is dotted with attractive villages, fishing harbors, resort towns, pebbly beaches and lovely gardens. We’ll pass over the modern Pont de Normandie, and through Étretat and Fécamp, taking in the must-see sites that line the coast. Afterwards, we’ll return on board. Our ship will cast off when the tides are right. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board.
Saturday, May 21, 2016 : DUCLAIR -ROUEN
We’ll take off on a guided tour of The Norman Abbey Circuit, discovering the majestic edifices along the way. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and cruise to Rouen. Enjoy the view of the steep cliffs and typical villages along the coast before we arrive in the Norman capital. We’ll have a guided visit of Rouen, which possesses the most historically classified buildings in France, a rich and exceptional heritage, and original and creative gastronomy. Towering above the city is the highest spire in France. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and continue our cruise. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner.
Sunday, May 22, 2016 : MANTES-LA-JOLIE - POISSY - PARIS
We’ll begin to cruise early in the morning. Today we’ll visit the Palace of Versailles, one of the most famous and prestigious monuments in the world and the most beautiful and complete achievement of 17th-century France. Afterwards, we’ll return on board. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising and enjoying the various onboard activities. Once in Paris, we'll pass the impressive concrete and glass buildings of the futuristic business district of La Défense. After dinner, discover the nighttime beauty of the “City of Light." We’ll also enjoy a “Titi Parisian” evening of entertainment.
FIFTH ITINERARY : Cruise on the Rhine river
Monday, May 23, 2016 : PARIS - STRASBOURG
You’ll disembark the ship and be transferred by train from Paris to Strasbourg. Welcome to the city where it all began 40 years ago! We’ll set out on a guided tour of the capital of Europe. We’ll have lunch in the legendary Kammerzell House, and continue our visit at the Cathedral. We’ll then head to the Petite France quarter, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we’ll take in a retrospective of the company. We’ll board the MS Gérard Schmitter, named after our founder, at 6 p.m. in Strasbourg, as we are greeted by musicians on the dock. After you have comfortably settled into your new cabin, join the Schmitter family for a special gala dinner.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 : STRASBOURG - RÜDESHEIM
We’ll cruise to the charming village of Rüdesheim, our arrival set to music. A tourist train will take us to the gondola lift, which will in turn bring us over the vineyards and up to the Niederwald Monument. From here, you’ll have an excellent view of the landscapes surrounding the Rhine. We’ll enjoy a tasting of wines before a visit to the mechanical music cabinet museum. Take advantage of some time on your own before returning to the ship. After dinner, we'll accompany you on foot to the famous Drosselgasse and its numerous cafés, bars and music. Have a cup of original Rüdesheim Coffee, a famous specialty composed of authentic Asbach Uralt and coffee, with a dollop of whipped cream.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 : RÜDESHEIM – COLOGNE - DÜSSELDORF
We’ll cruise along the magnificent Rhine Valley. In Cologne, we’ll visit the cathedral—a veritable Gothic masterpiece. After our tour, we’ll return on board and cruise to Düsseldorf. Tonight we’ll enjoy an evening of Schlager music.
Thursday, May 26, 2016 : DÜSSELDORF - AMSTERDAM
Take advantage of the wide range of onboard activities proposed during our full-day cruise today. We’ll arrive in Amsterdam in the evening, where we’ll tour the celebrated canals by boat. Even today, they continue to define the city’s landscape, and in 2010 Amsterdam's canal ring was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historical center, cruising the canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city.
Friday, May 27, 2016 : AMSTERDAM
We’ll leave for Volendam, a charming village that has preserved its character for over six centuries thanks to the tough vitality of its fishermen. We’ll visit a cheesemaker and taste some delicious Gouda cheese. We’ll then head for Zaanse Schans, an open air museum with wooden windmills, barns and houses. The afternoon will be spent in the city of Amsterdam. Our first stop will be the De Rieker Windmill, one of the eight windmills in greater Amsterdam. We’ll then visit one of the many factories in the Diamond District and enjoy a surprise cocktail together. The evening is free to do as you please.
Saturday, May 28, 2016 : AMSTERDAM
We’ll leave by coach for the Rijksmuseum. The State Museum is more than two hundred years old and today is seen as having one of most breathtaking collections in the world. Alongside masterworks such as Rembrandt’s “Night Watch,” are several paintings by Vermeer, van Dyck and Jan Steen. Enjoy some free time in the city this afternoon. Afterwards, we’ll return to the ship by coach. We'll partake in a Dutch-themed evening on board and begin to cruise to Duisburg during the night.
SIXTH ITINERARY : Cruise on the Danube and the Black Sea
Sunday, May 29, 2016 : DUISBURG - DÜSSELDORF
We’ll spend the morning cruising the Rhine. In the afternoon we’ll travel by coach to Düsseldorf for a guided tour of the city. In this modern and dynamic city, take some time strolling the Konigsallee, an inimitable combination of extravagant luxury and joy of life that has turned it into a world-renowned trademark. After our visit, we’ll return on board and cruise to Bonn. This evening, join us for another CroisiEurope 40th anniversary quiz contest.
Monday, May 30, 2016 : BONN – KOBLENZ and the ROMANTIC RHINE VALLEY
Once we arrive in Bonn, we’ll have a guided tour following the footsteps of Beethoven. The famous composer spent the first 20 years of his life in this vibrant city. The house where he was born is now a museum containing the largest collection of his works in the world. At the end of our visit, we'll return on board in Koblenz, and continue to Miltenberg. This afternoon, we’ll cruise along the most beautiful part of the river, known as the Romantic Rhine. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 : MILTENBERG - WERTHEIM AM MAIN
We’ll spend the morning cruising the Main. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive in Miltenberg. A popular stop for river cruises, this historical town is famous for its half-timbered houses. We’ll then continue on to Wertheim by coach. Once we return on board, we’ll begin to cruise towards Wurtzburg. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 : WURTZBURG
Our visit to Wurtzburg will include a tour of the Würzburger Residenz palace. Listed as a World Heritage Site, it is considered the most homogenous of Baroque palaces in the world. We’ll return to our ship and cruise towards Bamberg. Enjoy the onboard activities during this time.
Thursday, June 2, 2016 : BAMBERG – THE RHINE–MAIN–DANUBE CANAL
Enjoy a guided tour of Bamberg, whose historic city center is listed as a World Heritage Site. Narrow alleys, cozy corners, medieval and baroque building fronts: Bamberg can be considered a unique work of art in itself. We’ll then spend the afternoon cruising on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Enjoy the onboard activities during this time.
Friday, June 3, 2016 : NUREMBERG
Join us for a guided tour of Nuremberg this morning. Despite having been severely damaged during WW2, many of the city's old medieval buildings have been painstakingly restored to their former glory. Afterwards, we’ll return on board and spend the afternoon cruising where many surprises await you!
Saturday, June 4, 2016 : REGENSBURG
We’ll leave for a guided visit of Regensburg. A Roman settlement under Marcus Aurelius, Regensburg was also the first capital of Bavaria. We’ll visit the Walhalla, a memorial displaying some 65 plaques and 130 busts of the important people throughout 2,000 years of German history. Before our meal, join us for a traditional cocktail hour set to music with beer, pretzels and sausages. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to our next destination. Tonight’s entertainment will be provided by the crew.
Sunday, June 5, 2016 : PASSAU – LINZ (Austrian Danube)
Join us for a guided tour of Passau. Water has literally shaped this picturesque town at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to Linz, enjoying the onboard activities and arriving in the evening. After dinner, dance to the rhythm of the region's traditional music: Volksmusik.
Monday, June 6, 2016 : LINZ
We’ll have a guided tour of the city. Since 2009, Austria’s third-largest city has seized the reins as the European Capital of Culture. After our tour, we'll return on board and continue our cruise on the Danube to Melk. Take advantage of this time to participate in the onboard activities or to laze about on the sun deck. We’ll arrive in Melk this evening.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 : MELK – KREMS – VIENNA – THE WACHAU VALLEY
We’ll set out on a guided tour of the Melk Abbey. Sitting majestically high on a bluff overlooking both the Danube River and the town of Melk, the massive building boasts 497 rooms and 1365 windows. After we return on board, we’ll cross the magnificent Wachau Valley, arriving in Krems in time to tour the Göttweig Abbey. To finish up our visit, we'll enjoy a glass of Austrian sparkling wine. We’ll return on board and continue our cruise to Vienna, arriving at the edge of one of the greatest symbols in the city. Take a spin on the Reisenrad in the Prater amusement park, made famous by a scene in “The Third Man” with Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 : VIENNA – BRATISLAVA (Slovakia)
Enjoy a guided tour of Vienna, a city packed with imperial history and many quiet corners to explore. We’ll have lunch in a typical tavern in the Grinzing district. Afterwards, we’ll continue on to Bratislava for a guided visit of the capital of Slovakia. The charm of the Slovak capital is found in its old city: splendid baroque palaces, churches and lovely squares. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board. Our ship will begin to cruise to Budapest.
Thursday, June 9, 2016 : BUDAPEST (Hungary)
Join us for a guided tour of the metropole that was once two distinct cities, united only in 1873. After our visit, we’ll taste some local delicacies in the covered market. Take some free time this afternoon to explore the Hungarian capital at your own pace. Tonight we'll enjoy some Hungarian folklore on board. While you sleep, our ship will begin to cruise to Osijek.
Friday, June 10, 2016 : OSIJEK (Croatia)
We’ll spend the morning cruising the illustrious Danube River. Take advantage of this time to admire the scenery from the sun deck. This afternoon, we’ll leave for a guided tour of Osijek. We’ll visit the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, whose multi-tiered spire provides the city with its defining visual trademark. Continue on to the old city (Tvarda) where we’ll visit the 18th-century fortress (superb panoramic view of the river) and then on to the large square where you can admire the Holy Trinity Statue. This evening, join us for the CroisiEurope 40th anniversary grand finale quiz. We’ll begin to cruise to Novi Sad. Our ship will cruise through the night.
Saturday, June 11, 2016 : NOVI SAD - BELGRADE (Serbia)
Join us for an excursion to Novi Sad, a cheerful town with all the spoils but none of the stress of a large city. At the end of our visit, we'll return on board in Belgrade. This afternoon will be dedicated to a tour of the Serbian capital, where socialist blocks are squeezed between art nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics. We’ll enjoy a Serbian-themed evening on board.
Sunday, June 12, 2016 : THE IRON GATES
We’ll spend the entire day cruising the river. In the morning, we’ll pass through the Iron Gates, the gorge on the Danube that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. A Roman memorial plaque commemorating the completion of the military road is located on the Serbian side. We’ll also see the modern sculpture of the Dacian king Decebalus, the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner. Formal dress is required, and our crew will serve up some of our chefs' finest dishes for an unforgettable evening.
Monday, June 13, 2016 : RUSE (Bulgaria)
Upon our arrival in Ruse, we’ll leave on an excursion to the canyon-shaped valley along the Rusenski Lom River. We’ll visit the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock, as well as the Ivanovo rock monastery “St. Michael the Archangel.” Our day will continue with a visit to the Cherven fortress ruins and its fantastic panoramic views. In the afternoon, we’ll tour the city of Ruse. One of Bulgaria’s most elegant cities, its past is abundantly displayed in its ruined Roman fortress, standing guard high over the Danube. We’ll enjoy a Bulgarian-themed evening on board.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 : RUSE – GIURGIU –BUCHAREST – FETESTI (Romania)
We’ll spend the entire day in Bucharest (traditional lunch included). While much of the center is modern, you will find some splendid 17th- and 18th-century Orthodox churches and graceful art nouveau villas tucked away in smaller streets. We’ll visit the Village Museum, one of the most original and fascinating museums containing an amazing collection of original peasant homes from around Romania. We’ll return on board in Fetesti and continue our cruise to Tulcea. Many surprises await you during our dinner tonight!
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 : TULCEA - PARIS
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. You’ll be transferred to the airport in Constanta for your flight to Paris.