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Strasbourg and Rhine Highlights

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Overview

2 Included Excursions
  • Discover picturesque Strasbourg
  • Explore the sights of Rudesheim
  • Visit pretty Koblenz
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Speyer, one of Germany’s most beautiful cities

A wealth of history, culture, traditions and breathtaking views await you on this cruise as you travel from Germany to France. Where the two countries meet in the Upper Rhine there is a natural fusion resulting in a unique identity.

This Holiday is Great For

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Itinerary

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

Day Two - Embark in Mainz
We join the MV Virginia in Mainz. (B,L,D)

Day Three - Mainz – Mannheim – Speyer
We begin our cruise early morning arriving in Mannheim after lunch. This afternoon we depart Mannheim by coach to enjoy an included excursion to Heidelberg. We take a guided tour of what is considered to be one of Germany’s most beautiful cities.  We visit castle, situated above the city, with a rich history and consisting of several buildings surrounding an inner courtyard. Later we rejoin the ship in Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities. (B,L,D)

Day Four - Speyer to Strasbourg
Leaving Speyer mid morning, spend the rest the day at leisure on board as we continue our cruise along the Rhine to reach Strasbourg. (B,L,D)

Day Five - Strasbourg
Spend a day at leisure in Strasbourg. There is an included transfer in and out of Strasbourg to allow you time to explore at leisure. Picturesque 'Petite France' has a fairy-tale quality; with timbered buildings adorned with colourful flowers. The stunning pink sandstone of Strasbourg Cathedral is quite unique and the intricate interior carvings are captivating. We have also included a canal cruise to complete your day. We moor overnight in Strasbourg. (B,L,D)

Day Six - Strasbourg to Rudesheim
We depart Strasbourg early this morning and admire the passing scenery. Rudesheim is reached by early evening. (B,L,D)

Day Seven - Rudesheim to Koblenz
We spend the morning in Rudesheim, situated in the heart of the Rheingau wine producing region. A popular attraction is the Drosselgasse – a charming 15th century cobblestone street lined with shops, taverns and restaurants. Impressive views of the vineyards and river can be seen by taking the cable car to the Germania monument. At lunchtime we continue our cruise to Koblenz, arriving mid afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day Eight - Koblenz to Cologne
A morning departure from Koblenz and our final destination is Cologne arriving early afternoon. Enjoy a stroll along the river, visit the stunning gothic cathedral or simply relax and try the local beer ‘Kolsch’. (B,L,D)

Day Nine - Cologne
We bid farewell to the MV Virginia in Cologne and travel to Northern France for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,D)

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

Extras included on this holiday

FREE wine, beer and soft drinks (May Departures Only)

FREE wine, beer and soft drinks served in the bar after dinner until 22.30

 

FREE wine, beer and soft drinks (June and July Only)

FREE wine, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner (2 drinks per person)

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.

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Cabins


Ship Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

Heidelberg Transfer

Join us in beautiful Heidelberg as we enjoy an included transfer into this splendid city during our holiday. Heidelberg is overlooked by its majestic castle - explore at leisure to discover the city's many sights and attractions.

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Strasbourg with canal cruise

We take a guided tour of Strasbourg by boat cruise and to admire this beautiful city from the water.
The city of Strasbourg is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral, with its famous astronomical clock, and for its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings. These are particularly known for the Petite-France district, and also in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral, where the renowned Maison Kammerzsell stands out.
On our boat cruise we gently glide past the must-see attractions of the Alsatian capital, such as the famous Petite France and tanners’ quarter, the Covered Bridges and the Vauban dam, the Neustadt imperial quarter, and the European institutions. A truly beautiful city!

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Optional Excursions

Discover Alsace

The Alsace region has changed hands between Germany and France on several occasions throughout its history. The local culture is distinct and has some of the most beautiful cathedrals and churches in Western Europe. 

We drive along the famous Alsace wine route, passing many beautiful towns and villages, such as Rosheim. This beautiful Alsatian town is home to some of the oldest civilian buildings in the Alsace, including the Romanesque House.

We continue past the pretty village of Boersch, with its winding narrow streets and beautiful houses, before passing Ottrott, a picturesque village situated in the foothills of the Vosges mountains. This village is known for its castles and the monastery of Mont Sainte-Odile.

We finally head to Obernai, the birthplace of St Odile. Obernai is one of the remaining Alsace towns to have retained its traditional character and charm, with its medieval defences, fortified towers, half-timbered houses and narrow lanes.

During our walking tour we see St Odile’s fountain, Saint Pierre and Paul Church, the impressive belfry rising up to 59.6 metres, and the Six Bucket Well. We conclude our tour with a wine tasting at a traditional Alsatian winery to sample three of the local wines of this region.

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Discover Rudesheim

One of Germany’s most-visited towns, Rudesheim is famous for its winemaking. Join us on our guided walking tour of this wonderful UNESCO town as we see Eagle Tower, which dates back to the 15th century, the Market Square with St Jakobus Catholic Parish, the impressive Klunkardshof building, and the famous Drosselgasse, with its many restaurants, shops and wine bars.
We also see Bromserburg Castle, Bosenburg Castle and the Bromserhof. We then make our way to the cable car station as we glide over the hillside vineyards, before reaching the Niederwald summit.
The famous monument here was erected in the years 1877-1883 and symbolizes the re-establishment of the German Empire after the Franco-German War 1870-1871. Here we enjoy the magnificent panoramic views over Rudesheim’s old town and the Rhine Valley, with its many green isles dotted along the silvery Rhine.

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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.

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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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Wine Tasting and Siegfried's

The region around Rudesheim is famous for its wine production and attracts three million tourists a year who are looking to enjoy the rich wine tradition of the area. One of the main grapes here is Riesling and you’ll have an opportunity to try this wine as well as many others on our tour of a local vineyard. We’ll then visit Siegfried’s, which is famous for its collection of music boxes some of which date back to the 16th century.

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