Discover the Rhine Valley

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2 Included Excursions
  • Explore charming Konigswinter
  • Discover popular Boppard
  • Spend time in bustling Rudesheim
  • Enjoy time in historic Mainz
  • Take in the sights of Koblenz

The mighty Rhine passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe and cities packed with charm and history. Marvel at the many ancient castles and prehistoric fortifications along the way and take in the breathtaking landscapes and rolling vineyards.

This Holiday is Great For

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Day One - UK to Northern France
Across to Calais then onwards to Northern France for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day Two - Embark in Cologne 
We travel from Northern France to join the MV Virginia in Cologne, where we moor overnight. 

Day Three - Cologne to Linz am Rhein 
This morning we commence our cruise to the quaint town of Linz am Rhein, situated on the right bank of the river Rhine near Remagen.  Spend an afternoon at leisure in this town, known for its colourful houses.

Day Four - Linz am Rhein to Boppard 
Leaving Linz am Rhein we enjoy a relaxing cruise to Boppard, set on a pretty horseshoe bend of the river. Take a stroll along the attractive, riverfront promenade of this popular wine-growing town. 

Day Five - Boppard to Rudesheim 
We depart Boppard and sail to Rudesheim. This evening join our included excursion to discover the town’s wine-growing past and enjoy a wine tasting. Take time to explore the famous Drosselgasse and a traditional Rudesheimer coffee is a must! 

Day Six - Rudesheim to Mainz 
Today we say goodbye to Rudesheim and continue our cruise to historic Mainz. A highlight today is an included excursion to sophisticated Wiesbaden and a journey on the Neroberg Mountain train with beautiful views over the city. Mainz is a town with an impressive old town characterised by marvellous baroque buildings. 

Day Seven - Mainz to Koblenz 
We cruise onwards from Mainz to Koblenz which is situated on both banks of the Rhine at the confluence of the Moselle and known for its charming architecture and historic monuments. 

Day Eight - Koblenz to Cologne 
We continue to our last port of call at Cologne. Spend the afternoon at leisure in this wonderful city with its impressive Gothic cathedral and relax at one of the many bars.

Day Nine - Cologne to France 
Time to disembark our cruise in Cologne, We then travel to Northern France for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day Ten - France to UK
We depart Northern France and return to the UK, via Calais.

MV Virginia

Whether you want to discover the Rhine and Moselle rivers, or Dutch Waterways, the MV Virginia is the ideal choice. Our warm, inviting ship is a firm favourite with Shearings customers, and it’s very easy to see why. If you’re after scenic River Cruises that give you the opportunity to travel in style and comfort, while exploring beautiful destinations and taking in stunning scenery, we have the perfect selection of Europe River Cruises for you. 

Having been fully refurbished in 2013, the MV Virginia provides a modern, relaxed atmosphere, with impressive decor and a fantastic environment in which you’ll be able to relax at ease while enjoying Rhine River Cruises. 

You’ll experience the classic Shearings charm that our customers are now accustomed to. Our friendly staff will be on-hand at all times to welcome you aboard the ship after exiting excursions in fantastic destinations, and they’ll be happy to recommend ideas for things to do and sights to see when we’re docked. 

The MV Virginia is the perfect vessel for first-time River Cruise travellers - if you’re booking your very first Dutch Waterways, Rhine or Moselle River Cruise, you’ll feel right at home on this ship. With its intimate and relaxed atmosphere, you’re sure to make a number of firm friends with your fellow passengers. 

While we’re travelling, be sure to admire the changing scenery from the sundeck, where you can soak up the rays or sit under the covered area. Why not enjoy a pre-dinner drink with your new friends at the bar, before tucking into the sumptuous meals served on-board. You’ll get to enjoy buffet breakfasts, as well as three-course lunches and four-course evening meals with waiter service. 

Step aboard the MV Virginia with Shearings to discover just why this ship is so popular with our customers.



Ship Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

Evening Wine Tasting in Rudesheim

Rudesheim is a famous wine-making town in the Rhine Gorge, and we will enjoy the unique opportunity of sampling some of the incredible wines produced here with a wine tasting this evening. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rudesheim is filled with well-known wine taverns, and its history of wine-growing stretches back to Roman times. We will explore some of the wonderful Rhine vineyards of Rudesheim, sampling some of the area’s local wines for a unique experience.  


Wiesbaden and Nerobergbahn

Lined with magnificent neoclassical buildings that were rebuilt after the Second World War, Wiesbaden is one of Europe’s oldest spa towns, with 14 hot springs still flowing today. Enjoy a stroll through Wiesbaden's old quarter, from bustling Schlossplatz square, home to the city centre's earliest surviving building, the Old Town Hall dating back to 1610. Running along the eastern side of this historical quarter is elegant Wilhelmstrasse, which is a shopper’s delight.

To conclude our excursion we’ll visit the Nerobergbahn, a funicular railway to the top of Neroberg hill, from where there are panoramic views of Wiesbaden and the surrounding countryside.


Optional Excursions

A Taste of Boppard

Known as the 'Pearl of the Rhine' Boppard was founded by the Romans; under the Merovingian dynasty it became a royal residence and during the Middle Ages the town was a considerable centre of commerce and shipping. The town is located at the top of the largest loop of the Rhine and is part of the Middle Rhine Valley that belongs to the Heritage of UNESCO since 2002. With over 2,000 years of cultural history Boppard has seen many travellers come and go, well-meaning or ill-meaning, that have all left their mark on the town, from castles, churches, monasteries, gardens and parks.

Boppard can be best seen on our guided walking tour, we see the Romanesque church of St. Severus with its two towers built in the 12th /13th centuries, we also see the Electoral castle, over the years the castle has been home to the local customs office, the town gendarmerie, police station, courthouse, prison and military hospital, today it is home to the town's museum. As we continue to the old town we pass the many romantic squares and small lanes lined with beautiful stately homes.


Ahr Valley

Today we explore this beautiful region, known locally as the ‘wildest daughter of the Rhine’. The origins of this name are quite obvious when you look at the spectacular scenery, as the Ahr River meanders its way through the picturesque valleys, with breath-taking rock formations, idyllic castles, ruins and terraced vineyards rolling down the hillsides.

We visit the charming town of Ahrweiler, known as the ‘metropolis of red wine’. The town is surrounded by medieval town walls, and many of the buildings are original, giving it a truly medieval atmosphere. We continue our journey back to the ship, passing through pretty little villages along the way.


Panoramic Cologne and Cathedral

Join us as we explore this historical city! Cologne has strong Roman ties and is the fourth-largest city in Germany, with more than one million inhabitants. The city is located on both sides of the River Rhine and is home to the famous Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). During World War II, the inner city of Cologne was completely destroyed and was then fully reconstructed in the 1950s. 

With our expert guide, we see many of Cologne’s fascinating sights, including the ancient Roman city walls, which were the longest in Germany; the impressive medieval gates; and the twelve large Romanesque churches, which are located in the confined area within the boundaries of the medieval city walls. Many of Cologne's churches rank among the most important in Western Europe.

We also see the world-famous 4711 – the original Eau de Cologne headquarters; the medieval Old City with its impressive town houses, dating back to the 14th century; and the historical Rathaus (City Hall). 

We then continue to the world famous Cathedral (entrance included). We find out when construction began and why it took until the 19th century to complete. You will see the world-famous Gero-Crucifix of the 10th century and the medieval stained glass windows.  

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Rudesheim and St Hildegard Abbey

We visit the town of Rudesheim which sits at a bend on the Rhine and has had a wine producing heritage of more than 1000 years. The town is built in a typical Prussian style, matching much of the Rhine Gorge and we’ll discover its charm as we take a walking tour around Rudesheim. The Drosselgasse at the heart of the town is a bustling little alleyway which seems unchanged in centuries and a walk down here is like a step back in time. A number of castles dot the local landscape including Bromseburg and Boosemburg Castles as well as the ruins of Ehrenfels Castle, great views of which can be had from town. We will then visit the Benedictine St Hildegard Abbey; it is a fascinating insight into life among a religious order as well as a great chance to learn the history of this place and see the beautifully decorated church within its grounds.


Wine, Wurst And Vineyard Tour

Enjoy a vineyard tour. Gain an insight into the fine wines of the region and the art of wine cultivation on a tractor-drawn carriage ride along the Rhine Hill route, which offers magnificent views of the Rhineland Plain. Afterwards tuck into Mainz’s signature dish of ‘Weck, Worscht und Woi’ (bread, sausage and wine).