The Magical Rhine and Moselle

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2 Included Excursions
  • Take a scenic tour of the Rhine Valley
  • Admire Bernkastel-Kues’ medieval market square
  • Spend time in Alken and discover its valleys and vineyards
  • Sample wonderful Moselle wines

Step aboard the friendly MV Virginia for a relaxing cruise, uncovering the best of the Rhine and Moselle Valleys. Take in quaint villages, scenic rolling hills and picturesque sloping vineyards, as we sail through Germany’s famous wine country.

This Holiday is Great For

  • 46x44-icon-culture
  • 46x44-icon-history
  • 46x44-icon-nature
  • 46x44-icon-scenery
  • 46x44-icon-walking


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

Day Two: Northern France to Cologne, cruise to Koblenz 
Join the MV Virginia in Cologne, with time to relax before dinner. We sail to Koblenz overnight. (B,L,D)

Day Three: Koblenz 
A morning at leisure or why not join our optional tour of Kobelnz and the Romanticum? This afternoon we enjoy an included excursion along the scenic Rhine Valley. (B,L,D)

Day Four: Koblenz to Cochem 
This morning, we cruise to Cochem, known as the ‘Pearl of the Moselle’. We spend the rest of the day here and moor overnight. (B,L,D)

Day Five: Cochem to Traben-Trarbach 
From Cochem, we sail to Traben-Trarbach, arriving by early afternoon. Enjoy an included excursion to medieval Bernakstel -Kues. (B,L,D)

Day Six: Traben-Trarbach to Zell 
We depart Traben-Trarbach and sail onwards to Zell: be sure to visit one of the many wine taverns here to sample the town’s famous wine. We have an optional excursion to Beilstein, known as the Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle. (B,L,D)

Day Seven: Zell to Alken
This morning, we sail to Alken, one of the oldest Moselle towns, boasting cobbled streets and captivating architecture. Join our optional excursion to medieval Eltz Castle. We moor in Alken overnight.  (B,L,D)

Day Eight: Alken to Cologne 
Wake to mesmerising scenery as we cruise back to Cologne. Discover this vibrant city’s splendid sights, including its famous cathedral, which we can visit with our optional excursion. We’ll enjoy a gala dinner on board this evening. (B,L,D)

Day Nine: Cologne to Northern France 
Following breakfast, we’ll disembark the MV Virginia 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 Drinks during Lunch and Dinner (June, July and August Departures)

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

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

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


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

Scenic Rhine Valley

Join us for a scenic drive today, as we explore the beautiful Rhine Valley and make our way to Boppard. Known as the 'Pearl of the Rhine’ for its wonderful scenery, we’ll take in this charming town’s medieval architecture, before continuing our journey to St Goar, located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rhine Gorge. 


Visit to Bernkastel-Kues

Explore the small town of Bernkastel today, taking in this charming town’s beautiful sights. Offering up some of the best scenery along the Moselle River, Bernkastel boasts beautiful buildings, and is watched over by the ruins of Landshut Castle. Enjoy time at leisure here to take in its medieval architecture and quaint setting. 


Optional Excursions

Beilstein - Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle

The small village of Beilstein is famous for its classic appearance, which seems almost fairytale-like against the beautiful setting on the banks of the Moselle. The town is one of the best preserved historically along the entire river and every building seems as though it is packed with history. The walk from the village centre down to the waterfront on the Moselle feels like a trip through time with almost every building seeming to have been there, unchanged for hundreds of years. Of particular note are the ruins of Castle Metternich, which sits high above the town and Saint Joseph's church and monastery, dating from the 17thcentury and ornately decorated on both the inside and outside.


Bernkastel and the Wine Doctor

According to Legend, back in the 14th century, the Elector of Trier – Boemund II fell seriously ill with fever during a stay at Landshut Castle. Remedies were prescribed with no effect, so an old winegrower came to see the Elector with a keg of his finest wine, declaring it to be the best medicine. 

The Elector drank the wine and was miraculously cured. So join us and the Wine Doctor as we explore Bernkastel’s winding cobbled streets and half-timbered houses. We see the medieval Market Square, renaissance-style Town Hall, charming St Michael’s Fountain and Bear Fountain. 

We head to Graacher Gate, the only remaining medieval town gate, Heinz’sche House -one of the oldest buildings in the town and of course the much photographed 'pointed house'. During the tour we enjoy a glass of the famous wine.  


Cochem and Imperial Reichsburg

Join us on our guided walking tour as we explore the pretty little Moselle town of Cochem. The old quarter is dominated by the late-Gothic imperial castle and is dotted with medieval squares and lovingly restored timber-framed houses – architectural gems typical of the Moselle region.

We see the market square, the baroque town hall, the Martinsbrunnen (a feature of the town's historical water supply), St. Martin's Church, the former Capuchin monastery (now an arts centre) and sections of the old town walls, including the town gates.

We then continue to the mighty Reichsburg Castle. The castle perches on a rock 100 metres above the town of Cochem. Originally dating from the year 1,000, from 1868 to 1877 it was completely reconstructed and, since then, it has become the most-visited monument in the valley of the River Moselle.

There are many impressive things to see inside the Castle, including the Knights' Hall, the Weapon Room, the Hunting Room and the medieval ladies' rooms. The castle is well-equipped with Renaissance and Baroque furniture, weapons, armours, crockery and all kinds of beautiful decorations, including mural paintings.


Evening Cochem Wine Tasting

Join us for a visit to a local wine cellar in Cochem this evening, as we taste and sample some of the town’s locally produced wines. These include the famous and traditional Riesling, which is grown on the sloping hills of the Moselle Valley. Come and compare the different quality levels, colours, grape varieties, and characteristics, and learn how the different wines of this region are produced.


Medieval Eltz Castle

We visit medieval Eltz Castle in the hills above the Moselle River. A superb example of a Rhineland medieval castle and one of the few in this area that has never been destroyed, these magnificent buildings seem as though they has been lifted straight from a fairytale. The castle has been owned by 33 generations of the same family from its construction up until the present day. Inside, the treasury houses gold and silver artifacts as well as suits of armour. The castle is one of the most famous in Germany, having been on the 500 Deutsche Mark note for 30 years and welcoming historical guests including Victor Hugo. Inside the Rubenach house, you can see the Lower Hall and Bedchamber which are opulently decorated in the same way they have been for more than 500 years. 


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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