Your holiday summary

Holiday type River cruises
Country Germany
Resort Rhine
Travel type Train
Price range From £1299
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 7 nights
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0330 333 6751

Rhine and Moselle river cruise - MV Serenade 2

This cruise visits some of the most fascinating sights straddling the Rhine and Moselle, two of Europe’s most picturesque rivers. The floating accommodation for your tour is the MV Serenade 2, one of the most luxurious vessels navigating the rivers.


Included
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins subject to availability on the Beethoven (lower) deck at a supplement of £899 per person. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; morning/afternoon tea and coffee; all visits, excursions, airport/station transfers, coach travel as mentioned, travel to and from port of embarkation and services of an experienced tour manager.

Please note flights are at a supplement and there is a £10 or £15 supplement for certain regional stations.

  • Standard class reserved seat on Eurostar from London St. Pancras or flight from Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham or Edinburgh (at a supplement)
  • Return rail connections on selected dates from more than 30 regional stations
  • Guided tour of historic Koblenz
  • Visit to Boppard
  • Time to explore the hillside town of Rudesheim
  • Cruise through the spectacular Rhine gorge
  • Stop in Cochem
  • Take a stroll in the twin village of Traben-Trarbach
  • Tour of Trier
  • Guided tour of Cologne
  • The services of our experienced tour manager
Day one

Take a late morning Eurostar from London St. Pancras International or Ebbsfleet International, arriving in Brussels approximately two hours later where a coach will take you over the German border to the MV Serenade 2, moored in Cologne’s historic centre. Alternatively you can fly to Dusseldorf from where a coach will take you to the ship. The dedicated crew will welcome you aboard, ensuring you settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with the shipl.

Day two

Your first port of call is, 2000 year old Koblenz, with its fortress dominating the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle, the two rivers you will explore during the cruise. Moored in the old town, we take a guided walk around the principal monuments and historic centre exploring squares, restored historic house frontages and hidden passageways.

During your first lunch we cruise to Boppard, also known as ‘Pearl of the Rhine’, a classically picturesque village, located on a long, sweeping, bend of the river. A stone quayside crowded with people going about their daily business, the cobbled streets, lined by typical half-timbered houses and cafés, leading to the town and its main square beyond. Founded by the Romans, as much of the area was, Boppard boasts the best preserved Roman town walls in Germany.

Day three

Leaving Boppard journey through the Rhine gorge. Here, at every turn of the river, valley sides are crowned by the ruins of castles, which once held sway over the fortunes of passing travellers. This is home to numerous medieval legends, tales of mysterious happenings and dark deeds that have been passed down by generations of sailors.

We leave the gorge and during the afternoon, stop in Rudesheim, perhaps the most famous of all the Rhine wine towns with crooked houses sloping down from the wooded hillsides and terraced vineyards. Visit the Asbach brandy distillery with a tasting or you could take a trip on the unusual gondola lift with its views across the river. Visit the mechanical music museum: a collection of 350 intricate antique musical instruments and musical boxes from all over the world, many in working order. This evening dinner is served at the ship’s restaurant .

Day four

Make the most of the early risers’ tea and coffee this morning as we pass through the Rhine gorge. Legends abound of ancient travellers lost in the gorge and passing the Loreley Rock, the swirling waters of the bend are a reminder of the most famous legend of all: a maiden is said to have lured sailors on to the rocks with her feminine charms and alluring song. The villages drifting by, St Goar, Bacharach and Kaub are synonymous with wine production and can sample some of the best local wines with local produce. This afternoon, we cruise upstream along the Moselle. The banks, studded with more villages with tottering timber-framed houses pass by, before we moor in Cochem, in times gone by the a centre of the Moselle wine trade.

Day five

Leaving Cochem the steep dramatic valley sides are covered with reputedly the steepest cultivated vineyards in the world. The valley’s gradient here means our progress is respectably sedate as we meander upstream through the heart of the Moselle’s winelands. We call at the twin village of Traben-Trarbach, once the second most important wine trading town in Europe after Bordeaux and renowned for the Belle Epoque buildings from that time. During dinner this evening the vineyards slip by en-route to your overnight port, Bernkastel.

Day six

This morning we drive to Trier, the oldest city in Germany, sitting astride the river and at one time home to Karl Marx. Founded by the Romans, it was the capital of a huge portion of their empire, encompassing present-day Spain, France, Britain and parts of Germany. It had a population of 80,000, little different from today, the Emperor Constantine lived here and it boasted a range of buildings to match. It has one of the best amphitheatres in existence, baths, a roman bridge and the Porta Nigra, an immense fortified gate which formed the eastern border of the Roman empire and towers above the surrounding medieval buildings. This is the largest and best preserved Roman building north of the Alps and is testimony to their architectural genius.

We take a guided tour during which you learn all about the historical significance of the city. We return to the ship, having the afternoon free to explore Bernkastel and its cobbled market square surrounded by ornate half-timbered houses, many dating from the 15th century. Most famously, is the Pointed House of the rustic middle class building tradition from the Middle Ages and a classic example of the Moselle vintner’s dwelling. As we slip our mooring, and cruise downstream retire to the ship’s restaurant for dinner, and perhaps one of the fine Riesling wines from the vineyards before you.

Day seven

Rejoining the Rhine this morning cruise downstream past riverside towns backed by the volcanic hills. We also see the railway bridge at Remagen, captured intact towards the end of the second world war, thus arguably shortening the war in Germany. Passing the last riverside vineyards and half timbered houses around Linz, we leave the last historic strong point before mooring in the heart of Cologne, in the shadow of the Gothic cathedral for which the city is so famous. Taking 600 years to build it has the most intricate stained glass in Europe.

This afternoon we have a guided tour of the city and you have time to explore its tree lined squares and perhaps visit one of its bars, many of which still traditionally brew their own beer. This evening the ‘Captain’s Dinner’ will take place on board, during which specialities of the regions we have visited during our cruise will be served, hosted by the Captain himself.

Day eight

This morning at the appropriate time we drive to Brussels connecting with the Eurostar service to London St. Pancras International or Ebbsfleet. Should you be returning by air, you will be taken to the airport for your homeward flight.
MV Serenade 2

Launched in 2007, this ship is at the cutting edge of design, with the most comfortable surroundings for its 134 passengers. Extensive use of wood and glass creates a modern and spacious atmosphere. Built to the highest standards and meeting the most recent and most stringent safety regulations introduced in January of that year, it comprises three main decks, the Chopin (upper), Mozart (middle) and Beethoven (lower), all air conditioned throughout, topped by a very spacious Sun Deck.

The three main decks, are connected by a standard lift (rarely found on river ships), plus wide staircases with the sun deck being reached by stairs or a stair lift. This makes the entire ship as accessible as possible for those with limited mobility. At the centre of the ship on the Mozart Deck is a spacious lobby, just like a luxury four star hotel, plus a small boutique stocking items you might have forgotten, alongside a range of goods and souvenirs. The chic Mendelssohn restaurant is more than capable of seating the full ship’s complement. Downstairs from the lobby on the Beethoven Deck is, most unusually for a river cruiser, the fitness suite complete with gym equipment, sauna and massage chairs, plus a table tennis room.

Ascending the staircase from the lobby, the Chopin Deck features the Vivaldi lounge bar, furnished with deep carpets, armchairs and settees. Here the staff will serve you a selection of hot and cold drinks from the fully licensed bar. The Captain’s Club, as the ship’s library is called, is ideal for both reading or perhaps a game of Bridge with your fellow passengers. Floor to ceiling panoramic tinted windows reveal the passing scenery as you relax with a drink. A real highlight of the Serenade 2 is the designed forward observation lounge where you relax in your armchair, indoors or out.

The Sun Deck, one of the largest on this type of vessel, incorporates covered shaded areas, and affords space to relax in the sun in a deck chair and enjoy the fresh breeze as the vine-clad slopes and historic towns slip by. If you’re really missing the fairways or even if you’ve never given it a go before, why not try your hand on the putting green, perhaps play a game of chess on the giant chessboard or take a look at how the captain steers his mighty vessel along the winding rivers from the Bridge, towards the bow of the ship.

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