Please Wait

Enjoy the

Rhine in Flames


  • Overview


    • Experience the superb Rhine in Flames event
    • See Koblenz and the beautiful Rhine Gorge
    • Admire pretty Boppard
    • Discover captivating Cologne

    Come and enjoy the spectacle of the Rhine in Flames, an annual event when the countryside is illuminated with fireworks soaring into the dark nocturnal sky. Explore pretty riverside villages and historical towns, while absorbing the sights of the Rhine Valley.

    Great for:

    • Great for - City
    • Great for - Culture
    • Great for - Food & Drink
    • Great for - History
    • Great for - Nature
    • Great for - Scenery
    • 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


    Panoramic Cologne

    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).

    Bonn, Rhine in Flames
    Rhine in Flames (Bonn)
    The highlight of our cruise is the spectacular Rhine in Flames extravaganza. A huge fleet of dazzling ships cruise down the Rhine between Linz am Rhein and Bonn. Admire around 800 Bengali lights and other fireworks illuminating the night skies of the Rhine. This stunning pyrotechnic display is an experience not to be missed, which has enthralled visitors in their thousands for more than 50 years. 


    Boppard on the Rhine
    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.

    Beethoven statue, Bonn
    Bonn & Beethoven House

    Once the capital of West Germany, Bonn lies on the banks of the river Rhine. The city is best known culturally as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and is often referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Romantic Rhine’. Bonn is very much an atmospheric city with a rich culture. We explore this magnificent city on foot with our expert guide as we walk along Poppelsdorf to Bonn University, the former residence of the electors of Cologne. We see the Minster cathedral, the Beethoven Monument, the market place and the old town hall.

    At the end of our guided walk we head to the birth place of Ludwig van Beethoven – Bonngasse 18 – 26. Germany’s greatest composer was born in December 1770 and at the tender age of 12 he was already creating sonatas and symphonies which to this day form the basis of every good musical education. The Museum displays a representative selection from the trust’s collections, the largest privately-owned Beethoven collection in the world. Portraits, original manuscripts, instruments and everyday objects convey a lively and authentic glimpse into the life and work of the composer.

    Evening Wine Tasting & 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 winegrowing 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 neutralize 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. 
    Vulkan Express
    Maria Laach & Vulkan Express
    The Benedictine abbey Maria Laach was founded in 1093 and is widely considered a masterpiece of German Romanesque architecture. Though relatively short in length, the abbey boasts a multitude of towers and turrets, giving it the appearance of a fairy-tale fortress, which is further accentuated by its scenic lakeside setting.
    We then enjoy a journey on the wonderful Vulkan Express, a narrow-gauge railway that will take us on a scenic trip through the Brohl Valley, passing interesting slate and volcanic rock formations. This steam and diesel train will give us the experience of riding on a historical railway line, and we’ll get to take in the exquisite views while on-board.
    Rudesheim Drosselgasse
    Romantic Rudesheim & Asbach
    Join us on our guided walking tour of this wonderful town and discover its cosy traditional with taverns and historic half-timbered houses. We see Eagle Tower which was originally part of the city walls and fortifications dating back the 15th century; the market square with St Jakobus Catholic Parish Church which was reconstructed in 1953 after being almost completely destroyed in World War II; the Klunkhardshof – a very impressive half-timbered building.
    We then board a tourist train to visit the Asbach Distillery, meeting the experts to learn about the history of distilling the perfect German brandy before sampling it for yourself.  

Find your perfect getaway

What's included

  • Return travel from the UK by Coach with overnight stays including dinner and breakfast in France; by Air to Cologne/Dusseldorf; or by Rail from London St Pancras via Brussels
  • Seven nights full-board cruise
  • Service of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • Two included excursions
  • FREE wine, beer and soft drinks during your 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
  • 2
  • 3
  • British Travel Awards
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10