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|2 Included Excursions|
The Rhine is the second longest river in Europe and has shaped the history and culture of the region for millennia. The beautiful backdrops you will see on this fantastic cruise will last a lifetime in the memory and include some of the most idyllic towns and cities in Europe.
You’ll have the opportunity to explore the beautiful and historic cities of Strasbourg and Koblenz on included excursions. On our optional excursions you can explore Strasbourg’s scenic waterways and the incredible city of Mainz, to learn about the impact of the printing press at the Gutenburg museum.
You'll be staying on the A-ROSA Aqua ship with a number of fantastic amenities including, a sun deck, restaurant, lounge bar and dance floor and a whirlpool and outdoor spa area.
Day One: UK to Northern France/Belgium border
We travel across to Calais then on to the Northern France/Belgium border where we’ll check into a hotel before enjoying dinner and an overnight stay. (D)
Day Two: Embark in Cologne cruise to Mainz
We travel onto the city of Cologne, just across the border in Germany. Cologne is known for its incredible Gothic architecture, the most impressive sights being the immense cathedral and the huge number of fantastic churches that dot the city. There we will embark onto the A-ROSA AQUA before sailing overnight to Mainz. (B,D)
Day Three: Mainz to Speyer/Germersheim*
Arriving in Mainz in the late morning you’ll have plenty of time to explore this quaint town. The old town area takes you back to a time when the city was an important part of the Holy Roman Empire. The area has a number of half-timbered medieval houses, a beautiful Baroque church and of course Mainz’s world famous cathedral. Join our optional tour of this historic city, famous as birthplace of the printing press and home to the Gutenberg Museum. We’ll depart from Mainz in the evening to sail overnight onto Speyer. (B,L,D)
Day Four: Speyer/Germersheim* to Kehl (for Strasbourg)
We’ll arrive at Speyer in the morning; the city has a fabulous medieval old town, dominated by the Altportel, one of the largest and most significant remaining city gates in Germany the foundations of which are almost 800 years old. Another highlight is its Romanesque Cathedral, resting place of eight medieval emperors and kings of the Salian, Staufer and Hapsburg dynasties. We’ll depart from Speyer in the evening and cruise overnight onto Kehl. (B,L,D)
Day Five: Kehl (for Strasbourg) to Koblenz
We will arrive in Kehl in the morning, from where you will be able to take a transfer into the city of Strasbourg, located just over the river. 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. Located between two rivers the traditional way to get around Strasbourg was along the many waterways that link them, take an optional guided tour of Strasbourg by boat cruise to see these beautiful waterways up close. We depart Kehl in the evening and make our way to Koblenz overnight. (B,L,D)
Day Six: Koblenz to Cologne
Today we’ll sail through the absolutely stunning UNESCO world heritage site of the Rhine gorge during the late morning and early afternoon. We’ll then visit the city of Koblenz in the afternoon and evening set at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Our included guided walking tour takes us around the historic Old Town seeing the charming and romantic streets between the St. Castor’s Basilica and Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Beloved Lady) as well as a visit to the Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I at Deutsches Eck (German Corner), and the Schangel Fountain in the courtyard of the present Town Hall.
We then ascend by cable car 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. The Fortress, Europe’s second largest preserved fortress, was constructed by the Prussians between 1817 and 1828. We depart Koblenz late evening and head back along the river to our final port of call at Cologne. (B,L,D)
Day Seven: Disembark in Cologne and travel to France
We arrive in Cologne in the early morning, where we’ll disembark from the ship and travel home, staying at a hotel in France. (B,D)
Day Eight: France to UK
After breakfast, we travel from our overnight hotel to home. (B)
* In the case of Germersheim an included transfer to Speyer will be provided.
FREE drinks on board
FREE drinks on board including beer, fine wine, spirits, mineral bottled water, fruit juice, soft drinks, speciality coffee and teas.
MS A-ROSA AQUA
Full day Strasbourg
Soak up the views today as we cross the border travelling into the Alsace region of France, to visit the beautiful city of Strasbourg. Admire the wonderful Gothic cathedral and enjoy a stroll around the old town’s charming alleyways, overlooked by the traditional half-timbered houses.
Historic Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Get to know one of the oldest towns of Germany on our guided walking tour around the historical Old Town. Koblenz has a long history that spans some 2,000 years, it owes its name to the Romans, who settled here and called it ‘castellum apud confluentes’ which roughly translates as ‘castle at the confluence of the rivers’. Join us as we explore the charming and romantic streets between the St. Castor’s Basilica and "Liebfrauenkirche" (Church of Our Beloved Lady). Of course, the sightseeing tour would not be complete without a visit to the Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I at "Deutsches Eck" (German Corner), in 1945 damage was caused to the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I, which had stood here since 1897. It wasn’t until 1993 that a new statue was inaugurated and today it is a popular viewing platform for tourists. We also see the town’s landmark, the "Schängel" 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" (German Corner). The Fortress is Europe’s second largest preserved fortress behind Gibraltar and was constructed by the Prussians between 1817 and 1828, however, its origin dates 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 breathtaking views of the distant Eifel Mountains on a clear day.
Mainz and the Gutenburg Museum
We’ll take a guided walking tour of this incredibly historic city. The symbol of Mainz is the Mainzer Dom, an imposing Romanesque cathedral, more than 1000 years old that dominates the skyline of the city. Just behind the cathedral is the old town which has a beautiful Baroque church and a number of well-preserved medieval houses. Mainz’s most famous son is Johannes Gutenberg, who was named as one of TIME’s people of the millennium in 1992 for inventing the moveable type printing press. Our tour will end with a visit to the museum honoring his life and work. Here you’ll be able to learn about the printing process and 500 years of the history of print as well as viewing two original copies of the Gutenberg bible, the first mass produced printed book, of which only 49 copies remain.
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!