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Enchanting Alsace & the Rhine Valley


Heidelberg Castle
  • Overview


    • Admire historical Alsace and charming Heidelberg
    • Explore the city of Strasbourg
    • Visit pretty Koblenz and Rudesheim
    • Discover Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities

    Take in magical riverside scenery as we cruise along the beautiful Rhine and continue into the Alsace region of France. Relax on board and explore some of Germany’s most historical cities during this wonderful river cruise.

    Great for:

    • Great for - Culture
    • Great for - History
    • Great for - Nature
    • Great for - Walking

  • Itinerary



  • The Ship


    MV Virginia

    • MV Virginia
    • MV Virginia - lounge
    • MV Virginia - bar
    • MV Virginia restaurant
    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…
    • Length: 67.50 metres
    • Width: 9.00 metres
    • Accommodation areas refurbished: 2013
    • Passenger Capacity: 107
    • Passenger decks: 4
    • Star rating: 3 Star


    • MV Virginia Grade A

      MV Virginia Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including wet room-style shower and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Fixed twin beds
      • Located on Promenade deck
      Relax as we travel along the Rhine, Moselle or the Dutch Waterways on one of our Europe River Cruises on-board the MV Virginia and choose our Grade A cabins. You’ll enjoy a fantastic journey with us, and you’ll be able to retire to your comfortable cabin on the Promenade deck of the MV Virginia for a rejuvenating rest at the end of each day.

      You’ll find a private bathroom in your cabin, with a wet room-style shower and a toilet, as well as a safe to store your important belongings in, and a hairdryer and flat screen TV. Your cabin will also be equipped with air conditioning and has fixed twin beds.
    • MV Virginia Grade A+

      MV Virginia A+ Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including wet room-style shower and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Tea and coffee area
      • Sitting area
      • Fixed twin beds
      • Located on Promenade deck
      For the ultimate relaxing experience when enjoying scenic River Cruises on-board the MV Virginia, choose our Grade A+ cabins. Situated on the Promenade deck, you’ll be able to sit back and allow us to transport you along some of Europe’s finest rivers.

      In your cabin, you’ll find a private bathroom with excellent facilities, including a shower and toilet, as well as a safe and hairdryer in your cabin. Why not watch some TV, or enjoy a complimentary cup of tea or coffee while relaxing in the cabin’s sitting area?
    • MV Virginia Grade B

      MV Virginia Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including wet room-style shower and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Fixed twin beds
      • Located on Main deck
      Join us on-board the MV Virginia for one of our fantastic scenic River Cruises and enjoy comfortable accommodation in our Grade B cabins. Relax in your cabin after a great day of travelling, whether you’ve spent the day watching the changing scenery as we continue our journey, or you’ve enjoyed some amazing excursions to beautiful new destinations.

      Our Grade B cabins come with all the facilities you’ll require for an excellent stay on-board, including private bathroom facilities with a shower and toilet. You’ll also find a safe, hairdryer and air conditioning in your cabin, as well as a flat screen TV and fixed twin beds.
    • MV Virginia Grade C

      MV Virginia C Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including wet room-style shower and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Fixed twin beds
      • Located on Promenade/Main deck
      Enjoy a relaxing journey on-board the MV Virginia as we discover beautiful sights and amazing attractions with one of our many Rhine River Cruises, or one of our Moselle or Dutch Waterways River Cruises. We have something to suit all travel tastes, and our Grade C cabins on the Promenade and Main decks of the MV Virginia will serve as fantastic accommodation for the duration of your cruise.

      You’ll find fixed twin beds in your cabin, as well as private bathroom facilities with a shower and toilet. There will also be a safe, air conditioning, a hairdryer and a flat screen TV in your cabin, so you can relax after a day of excursions.
    • MV Virginia Grade D

      MV Virginia D Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including shower cubicle and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Fixed twin beds
      • Located on Cabin deck
      Situated on the Cabin deck of the MV Virginia, our Grade C cabins provide great accommodation for your exciting Dutch Waterways, Rhine or Moselle River Cruise. After an evening of fun and sumptuous food in our restaurant, bar and living areas of the ship, you can return to your cabin for a peaceful night’s rest.

      Your cabin will come equipped with private bathroom facilities, which includes a shower cubicle and toilet, and you’ll also find fixed twin beds in your cabin. As well as this, you can make use of your cabin’s safe, hairdryer, air conditioning and flat screen TV during your River Cruise.
    • MV Virginia Single Cabin

      MV Virginia Single Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including wet room style-shower or shower cubicle and toilet
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Flat screen TV
      • Air conditioning
      • Fixed single bed for sole occupancy
      • Located on Cabin and Main deck
      Should you be travelling by yourself, or prefer to stay in a separate cabin, our Single cabin is ideal. With private bathroom facilities, including either a wet room-style shower or a shower cubicle, and a toilet, you’ll be perfectly suited for great facilities when travelling on-board the MV Virginia.

      Our Single cabins can be found on the Main and Cabin decks of the MV Virginia, and you’ll also find a safe, hairdryer, flat screen TV and air conditioning in all of our Single cabins. Each cabin is also fitted with fixed twin beds for sole occupancy.
  • Gallery
  • Excursions & Extras


    Obernai and Mont Sainte Odile

    We visit Obernai, an attractive town on the Alsace wine Route. Encircled by ramparts, the old town has a beautiful architectural heritage with its central market square surrounded by period buildings, such as the 13th-century belfry and the town hall, and also with the Renaissance well and the Saints-Pierre-et-Paul church of neo-Gothic architecture.

    On to Mont Sainte Odile where Sainte-Odile created a monastery from an existing castle at this strategically important point around the year 700. The monastery remained in use for 11 centuries, until the revolution in 1789, when it was subsequently re-acquired and resumed its original monastic role from 1853. Next to the church a second courtyard contains pretty gardens and a statue of Saint-Odile, leading to a chapel where you can see the tomb and sarcophagus containing the remains of Odile. This leads on to the cloisters and then a large terrace with amazing views across the Alsatian Plain.

    Heidelberg, Germany
    Transfer to Heidelberg

    Heidelberg is seen as one of the most beautiful destinations in Germany and you can join us as we transfer to the city for a day of sightseeing. The old town sits below the town’s imposing renaissance castle. The castle, which is now a ruin is over 800 years old was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times in its history and dominates the skyline of the city. In the old town itself a number of Gothic churches and the old bridge are historical highlights and an imposing former medieval prison, known as the witch’s tower gives the area a sinister feel!


    Evening Wine Tasting and Siegfried’s

    Join us this evening as we board the Little Tourist Train to our first port of call, the world-famous Siegfried's Musik Kabinett just off the famous Drosselgasse. 

    This Museum is home to one of the world’s biggest collections of self-playing musical instruments, where visitors can admire over 350 exhibits. Our tour concludes with a visit to Adolf's wine cellar to taste his famous local wines. 

    Here, we learn about the different wines of this region, the history of wine-growing in the region, the way the wines are produced and their particularities. Following this we get to taste the local wines, which are served with a pretzel to neutralise the taste of the different wines. A great way to spend an evening in Rudesheim!

    Historic Koblenz
    Get to know one of the oldest towns in Germany on our guided walking tour around the historical Old Town. The charming and romantic streets between the St. Castor’s Basilica and 'Liebfrauenkirche' (Church of Our Beloved Lady) represent today’s main tourist attraction of Koblenz. 

    Of course, the sightseeing tour would not be complete without a visit to the Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I at 'Deutsches Eck' (German Corner) and the town’s landmark, the 'Schangel' Fountain in the courtyard of the present Town Hall. 
    Speyer Cathedral
    Historical Speyer and Cathedral
    Dominated by its Romanesque Cathedral, Speyer is one of Germany’s oldest cities and is the resting place of eight medieval emperors and kings of the Salian, Staufer and Hapsburg dynasties. During our guided walking tour we visit the stunning Cathedral - a UNESCO heritage site and the largest of Germany's three Imperial Romanesque Cathedrals. 

    Speyer Dom survived destruction by the French armies in 1689 and is today considered one of the finest examples of High Romanic architecture in Germany (entrance included). We head through the beautiful historical old town seeing the Alportal (Old Gate). Built between 1230 and 1250, the gate is one of the 68 towers and gates within the city walls. We continue to Trinity Church, constructed in memory of the protest that took place at the Diet of Speyer.
    Majestic Heidelberg and Castle

    Join us as we head to the beautiful city of Heidelberg. Considered as one of the many jewels in Germany’s crown, this city is one of the most popular destinations in this country and is situated on the banks of the Neckar River. Heidelberg is home to the oldest university in Germany, dating back to 1386 and has over 28,000 students. The city's main attraction is its stunning castle, perched on the hillside overlooking the city.

    Our comprehensive panoramic tour takes us to the Altstadt (historical city centre) and Hauptstrasse (main street), approximately one mile in length, which is reputedly the longest pedestrian shopping street in Germany. We will also explore the Philosophenweg, which provides wonderful views across the oldest part of the city, before we enjoy a leisurely drive along the river Neckar.

    We then head to the castle. Nestled 300 feet above the city, Heidelberg Castle is a combination of several buildings surrounding an inner courtyard, put together with a haphazard look. Each building highlights a different period of German architecture.

    The castle has a history almost as old as the city itself, with the first parts of the castle being constructed around 1300. From the Great Terrace and gardens, enjoy amazing views of Heidelberg, the Neckar River and the Neckar valley, and on a clear day Mannheim is even visible on the horizon.

    Rudesheim and St Hildegard Abbey

    Rudesheim is a famous winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as being one of Germany’s most visited towns. Join us on our guided walking tour of this wonderful town and discover its cosy traditional wine taverns, historical half-timbered houses and the world-famous Drosselgasse. 

    We see the Eagle Tower which was originally part of the city walls and fortifications, and which dates back to the 15th century. We'll also discover the Market Square with St. Jakobus Catholic Parish Church, which also dates back to the 15th-century, and the Klunkardshof - a very impressive half timbered building, the famous Drosselgasse. This street is known for its many restaurants, shops and wine bars. 

    In the beautifully located St. Hildegard convent above Rudesheim, the nuns live according to the rules of St. Benedict. We visit the convent and gain an insight into life there, which follows the tradition of Hildegard of Bingen, and see the picturesque abbey church. This is followed by a conversation with one of the nuns, depending on availability. The visit to the convent is completed with a trip to the popular convent shop. 

Find your perfect getaway

What's included

  • Return travel from the UK by Coach with overnight stays in France
  • Seven nights full-board cruise
  • Service of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • Two included excursions - Obernai and Mont Sainte Odile; and transfer to Heidelberg
  • May departure receives FREE wine, beer and soft drinks served in the bar after dinner until 22:30
  • June and July departures receive FREE beer, wine and soft drinks during lunch and dinner (two drinks per person)
MV Virginia

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.

Learn more about the ship
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