Adored by boating tours, this part of the canal, also known as the Green Way, meanders through the plain between Alsace and the Vosges. It links Strasbourg to Saverne, the gateway to Alsace at the foot of the Vosges Mountains, and continues through a grand forest to Lutzelbourg in the Moselle region. Its spectacular architecture and many structural works include the 'Saint-Louis-Arzviller inclined plane' (the only one in Europe), where boats are hoisted up a steep incline through the Vosges, before reaching Xouaxange, a charming small town in the Moselle.
DAY 1: STRASBOURG
Passengers are welcome to board the MS MADELEINE in the late afternoon at our river mooring in Strasbourg (rue du Havre). After you've comfortably settled in your cabin, we'll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party. You'll enjoy dinner on board, as our boat stays in port overnight.
Special Attraction: Tour of Old Strasbourg in the evening.
DAY 2: STRASBOURG -WALTENHEIM
In the morning, our boat will raise anchor and begin our cruise to Waltenheim-sur-Zorn. You will enjoy your last breakfast and lunch on board. We will cross the Zorn Valley and its landscaped fields, where the canal is wide and straight. We'll traverse the Brumath Forest and reach Waltenheim-sur-Zorn around 3:00 p.m. After lunch, join us on an excursion to hike along the hops trail in Wingersheim (only available with prior booking). Alsace offers an attractive and unusual landscape. With a heritage of wine-growing and beer-brewing, the province will give you a new perspective by showing you how hops is grown. Your pleasurable hike through the hop fields will be followed by beer tasting. We'll return back on board at the end of the day for dinner. Our boat will stay in port overnight. At a dinner, you can choose to taste the tarte flambée, local specialty, at a restaurant in Waltenheim.
DAY 3: WALTENHEIM - SAVERNE
You'll begin your day relaxing with a breakfast buffet on board. Our boat will raise anchor and cruise from Waltenheim to Saverne. You will be able to take advantage of this bucolic journey, as we pass the towns of Schwindratzheim, nestled on a hillside, and Hochfelden, a typical local village. During the morning, you are free to stroll or bike on the paved trails alongside the canal. We'll arrive in Saverne in the afternoon. Our boat will be moored in front of Rohan Castle. You will have free time to explore or relax in Saverne. We'll set off on an tour of Château de Hohbarr, nicknamed "The Eye of Alsace", where you will discover a splendid view of the Alsatian plains. On the way back to the boat, we will pass by the Chappe Tower, an ancient telegraph, where you will discover an interactive display on the history of all modes of telecommunication. You'll enjoy dinner on board, as our boat stays in port overnight.
DAY 4: SAVERNE - LUTZELBOURG
After enjoying a breakfast buffet on board, you can join us for an guided tour of Saverne. Virtually unknown by the usual tourist routes, Saverne offers a wide range of places to discover: The Grand Rue with its unicorn fountain (the symbol of the city); the Katz house, adorned with magnificent carved timbers; Notre Dame Church with its 12th-century steeple; various 18th-century administrative buildings; or the Récollets Monastery founded in the 14th century. At the end of our morning tour, we'll return on board for lunch and continue the cruise to Lutzelbourg. The canal winds through the Vosges Mountains before joining the Lorraine region. Our boat will arrive at Lutzelbourg, which deserves its reputation as the most beautiful village on the French canal banks, late in the afternoon. We'll set off on foot to marvel at Lutzelbourg Castle. Perched at over 980 feet above sea level on a rocky, red sandstone spur, the ruins of the castle majestically dominate the village down in the Zorn Valley. We'll return back on board at the end of the day for dinner. Our boat will stay in port overnight.
DAY 5: LUTZELBOURG - Arzviller Inclined Plane - XOUAXANGE
After enjoying a breakfast buffet on board, we will cast off for the Arzviller inclined plane. On the way, we will stop at the crystal glassworks near the inclined plane. Located at the foot of the incline for over 25 years, the crystal workshop is a family-run business specializing in the art of cutting crystal. You'll learn about this time-tested tradition, and watch crystal blowing and cutting demonstrations. We'll return on board and continue our journey through the Artzviller inclined plane - an incredible experience. A fabulous structure, this transverse system boat “elevator” is one-of-a-kind in Europe. The inclined plane replaces 17 successive locks over 2.5 miles that once needed a full day to navigate. The structure consists of a steel caisson (136 ft. x 18 ft.) which is lifted or lowered on an over 41% incline. In only 4 minutes, the boat will have climbed or descended 144 feet in altitude. You'll enjoy lunch by candlelight, while we pass through the Arzviller and Niderviller Tunnels, arriving in Xouaxange in the evening. You'll enjoy dinner on board, as our boat stays in port overnight.
DAY 6: XOUAXANGE - LAGARDE
After a breakfast buffet, we will cruise through Xouaxange to Lagarde. Our boat will go through the Réchicourt lock, one of the largest in France, before continuing our journey through the lakes. After lunch on board, you can join us on an visit to Sarrebourg that will take us on Chagall trail. Located at the foot of the Vosges and the region of Alsace, the city is rich with diversity. Its historical and cultural heritage is full of unexpected treasures, such as Marc Chagall's unique stained-glass window, a virtual hymn to peace. You'll enjoy free time to relax or explore at your own pace. Before returning to the boat, we will stop and discover the Mephisto factory.
We'll end the day with a gala dinner on board, as our boat stays in port overnight.
DAY 7: LAGARDE - Strasbourg
Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. From Lagarde, you'll leave by coach to Strasbourg, arriving late in the morning.
(1) Optional excursions.
(2) Please contact us for more itinerary details. For cruise Ref. XOS, itinerary and excursion packages are different.
Alcohol can damage your health. Please drink in moderation.