Your holiday summary

Holiday type River cruises
Country Germany
Switzerland
Travel type Cruise
Price range From £1399
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 7 nights
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0330 333 6751

Rhine cruise to Switzerland - MS Lord Byron

Our journey through the Rhine valley visits historic Koblenz, where we have time to explore the old town at the confluence of both the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Next, we continue our navigation through the Rhine gorge onto Rudesheim, where we enjoy another evening complemented with dinner on board.

As the Rhine widens and the landscape becomes less rugged, our cruise continues south, stopping in Rudesheim onto medieval Speyer with its Romanesque Basilica that dominates the town. Next day we arrive in France at the city of Strasbourg. Continuing, we drive through the Black Forest onto Titisee, nestling on the shores of its namesake lake.

Our final destination is Switzerland where we moor in Basel. We have included a tour to Lucerne, and then into the Bernese Oberland and some of the world’s finest alpine scenery. See the Eiger and enjoy a stroll round Interlaken, nestled between two lakes and situated in the shadow of the Jungfrau.

Included


  • Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on the all decks, at the relevant supplement.
  • The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; if you choose to travel with us on any of the full day excursions by coach, a packed lunch will be provided.
  • Anyone choosing to stay on the ship may of course have lunch in the restaurant; morning/afternoon tea and coffee;
  • All visits and excursions as mentioned in the brochure,
  • Airport/station transfers,
  • Coach travel as mentioned,
  • Travel to and from port of embarkation
  • Services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.
Day one

You fly to Düsseldorf from where a coach will take you to the ship. Or you can take a late morning Eurostar from London St. Pancras International arriving in Brussels approximately two hours later, where a coach will take you over the German border to your ship. Moored in Cologne’s historic centre, the dedicated crew will welcome you aboard the floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

Day two

As you wake you see the forested Siebengebirge (seven mountains), the inspiration for the Grimm’s many legends including ‘Snow White’, We pass the ruined bridge at Remagen, captured intact by the allies in a bold action towards the end of the second world war, before crumbling into the waters below. The waterfronts of riverside towns come into view and the first of the Rhine’s vineyards shimmer in the morning sun as we glide gently into our mooring to visit Koblenz. Founded by the Romans, the city is located at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. Your afternoon is free to wander ashore and explore the many medieval buildings, housing an array of traditional shops and Rhineland cafés, the waterfront along the Moselle and the medieval Balduin bridge, which is still in use.

Day three

This morning’s cruise weaves around the long meander at Boppard, guarded by the Marksburg castle. Journeying further, you explore the Rhine gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops, towering over 1,000 feet above the valley sides. Sailing past St Goar and the many ruined castles, you get a real sense of the myths of this historic river around you. No legend is more famous than that surrounding the Loreley rock, where nymphs distracted hapless sailors luring them to their deaths in the treacherous waters.

After lunch you berth and visit Rüdesheim. The afternoon is free to relax in its cafés, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a cable car ride to the statue of Germania, overlooking the river’s exit from the gorge. There are some corners in what is a classic Rhine wine village and the connoisseur of the grape will find some genuinely top class produce in the area. After dinner this evening, why not end the day with a small Asbach - the brandy locally distilled here in Rüdesheim.

Day four

Still sailing upstream, the Rhine is much wider and flatter now, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the Liebfraumilch wines. The river is much more gentle here and Oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, are a haven for over one hundred species of bird life in one of Germany’s largest nature reserves.

Today the ship berths in medieval Speyer. During the 16th century in nearby Worms, Martin Luther was excommunicated for his religious beliefs and banished from the Holy Roman Empire. His followers in Speyer protested at this and for the first time were called ‘Protestants’. You can visit the neo-gothic Gedächtniskirche, built to commemorate this event and the huge, richly decorated Basilica, one of the finest Romanesque buildings in existence which when it was built was widely acclaimed as one of the finest in Christendom. Its crypt alone is the largest in Germany, with its pastel coloured sandstone pillars and marble floors and is the final resting place of several emperors and kings from Speyer’s past. You also have some free time to explore as you wish before rejoining the ship.

Day five

This morning, you cruise upstream, passing through two locks. You soon arrive in France and Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region, now one of the centres of the European Union. This afternoon, we will have a walking tour of its 16th century old town, bisected by canals and a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals plus the superb cathedral. Sample some of the world famous wine for which the region is rightly renowned - maybe a Riesling or that particular speciality of Alsace, the spicy Gewürztraminer. This evening, the ‘Captain’s Dinner’ will take place on board, serving specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise, hosted by the Captain himself.

Day six

Your final day’s cruising is spent gliding between the ancient forested outcrops of the Vosges and the Black Forest, through the rift valley, formed many millennia ago by massive geological forces. We firstly visit the ancient town of Breisach whose historic heart is surrounded by immense stone ramparts. This afternoon we drive amidst some of central Europe’s finest scenery. Rugged valleys full of white-water rivers and cascading waterfalls, hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees. We visit Titisee, nestling on the shores of its lake. Having rejoined the ship, the crew slip moorings, the sun sets over the massif of the Vosges mountains as we restart our stately passage up river. We enjoy this evening’s dinner cruise en-route to Switzerland and our next mooring at Basel.

Day seven

We firstly take the short drive to Lucerne. Nestled among mountain views, it has been attracting visitors for two centuries, one of the most famous of which being our own Queen Victoria. The Chapel bridge - symbol of the city, a unique covered wooden walkway crossing the lake supported by stilts, lined with colourful, flower-filled window boxes is typical of Lucerne’s rather regal atmosphere. The scenery becomes ever more dramatic, then as we enter the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland. This is the grand Alpine heart of Europe and was described by the composer Mendelssohn as ‘the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country’. We have a short stop in Interlaken situated between two lakes. Crystal clear waters reflect the surrounding alpine meadows, forests and peaks above, whilst on the opposite bank, craggy mountains, including the snow-capped Jungfrau, puncture the sky. We then return to the ship for our final dinner.

Day eight

This morning, at the appropriate time you take the TGV (France’s famous high-speed train) to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St. Pancras International. Should you be returning by air, you will be taken to the airport for your homeward flight.

Please note: on dates marked with an asterisk on the departure details, this tour operates in reverse order. You will experience the same tours and visits.
MS Lord Byron – five star

We have worked with our Swiss partner Scylla AG, one of the world’s most experienced luxury river ship builders, with a pedigree stretching back over nearly 40 years, to design the vessel. You’ll feel the understated opulence of this vessel as you board through the spacious, marble-floored lobby. Stylish furnishings using environmentally friendly materials are combined with the most advanced safety systems and the work of a designer’s eye conjuring up the classic lines and sophistication of a luxurious ocean liner. As always, the finesse is in the detail - crafted tropical hardwoods, wrought iron, highly polished copper and brass, all illuminated then added to soft leather furnishings and imaginative colour schemes, promotes a subtle, chic ambience of exceptional taste.
Intuitive, unobtrusive service with 35 staff serving just 140 guests. This ratio of 4:1 allows a personal touch which makes such a difference to your cruise. Plus unlike other vessels typically carrying up to 200 passengers, you’ll enjoy far more space – as well as a smaller, more intimate dining experience.
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Departure date Departing point Departure UK Arrive at Destination Nights Price  
12-May-2014 St Pancras 10:58 14:05 7 1399.00 please call
12-May-2014 St Pancras 12:58 16:08 7 1399.00 please call
12-May-2014 Gatwick Airport 15:45 18:05 7 1399.00 please call
3 results
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