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The Classic Rhine & Alsace


Castle Stahleck, Rhineland
  • Overview


    • Explore the city of Strasbourg
    • Visit pretty Koblenz and Rudesheim
    • Enjoy the scenery along the Rhine
    • Discover Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities

    Take in the magical scenery as we cruise along the beautiful Rhine, down into the Alsace region of France, passing stunning riverside views as we go. With the chance to explore some of Germany’s historical cities and beautiful countryside along the way, as well as enjoying the wonderful hospitality on board our ship, this is a perfect way to relax and discover this popular region. Read More

    Great for:

    • Great for - Food & Drink
    • Great for - History
    • Great for - Scenery


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    Must See: Strasbourg
    The beautiful city of Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region. The entire town centre has the rare distinction of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the richness of its architectural heritage.

    Enjoy a stroll around the pretty streets and you will see sights including the cathedral of Notre Dame, a masterpiece of Gothic art. Visitors can enjoy a stroll along the banks of the River Ill, particularly the ‘Petit France’ quarter, a picturesque district where the streets were built level with the waterways and are lined with magnificent timbered houses.

    Strasbourg is also famous as home to the seats of several major political bodies, including the European Parliament.


    Enjoy complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks during lunch and dinner (two drinks per person). What’s more, tea and coffee are free of charge at all times.
  • 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


    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.

    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.


    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 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!

    Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
    Historical Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
    Get to know one of the oldest towns of 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, our 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. 

    We then ascend by cable car from Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer to the impressive Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which rises 118 meters above the Rhine River, offering fantastic views over Koblenz and the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle at Deutsches Eck. The Fortress is Europe’s second largest preserved fortress - behind Gibraltar - and was constructed by the Prussians between 1817 and 1828. However, its origins date back to the first century AD. 

    The fortress is home to the Rhineland-Palatinate State Museum, with its permanent exhibition on photography, the ‘Greif’ cannon - once the largest in the world, and an exciting collection of technical relics. The small climb to the top of the new observation platform is rewarded with breath-taking views of the distant Eifel Mountains on a clear day. We descend by cable car.
    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 & Hapsburg dynasties.

    During our guided walking tour we visit the stunning cathedral (entrance included) - a UNESCO Heritage Site and the largest of Germany's three Imperial Romanesque Cathedrals. Building began in 1030 under Emperor Konrad II; 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.

    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 also see the impressive Town Hall with its red baroque facade and rococo interior.

    We continue to Trinity Church, constructed in memory of the protest that took place at the Diet of Speyer by the protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire in 1529, before exploring the famous Jewish quarter to learn about the history of Jews in 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.

    Waterways of Strasbourg

    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!


    Added Value!
    For June sailings only, FREE wine, beer and soft drinks (local brands) served in the bar after dinner until 22.30!

What's included

  • Return flights and transfers 
  • Seven nights full-board cruise
  • Services of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • Enjoy a Captain’s dinner
  • On-board evening entertainment programme
  • Expertly-planned optional shore excursions to help you make the most of your time away
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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