Europe's Rivers and Castles

7 Nights Among the Castles of Europe

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Travel 3 of Europe’s legendary rivers (Main, Upper Middle Rhine, and Moselle) bookended by an optional (highly recommended!) 3 nights Prague pre-cruise and 3 nights Paris post-cruise.
Petite-France in Strasbourg is known for its cobblestone streets, canals, Alsatian eateries, and lively shops.

Cultural

& Romantic Wonders

Two iconic cities, Prague and Paris, bookend this perfect journey that combines three beautiful rivers, each of which is striking in its own unique way. From the meandering Main to the UNESCO-designated Upper Middle Rhine Valley with its multitude of castles dotting its shores to the vineyard-clad hills of the Moselle, enjoy Europe at its most picturesque. Let the storybook villages—Bernkastel, Cochem and Wertheim—captivate you; and Rothenburg, located on the Romantic Road enchant you. Marvel at the world’s largest ceiling fresco in the Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and the beautiful Chagall windows while in Mainz. Savor the many flavors of Germany with a chance to sample the world-famous wines of the Rheingau, the hearty smoked beer of Bamberg and Rüdesheim’s famed coffee. All along the way, gain an intimate understanding of the history and culture of the places you visit.
The medieval walls of Reichsburg Cochem’s Imperial Castle overlook a mighty crag over the Moselle River Valley.

Daily Itinerary

This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
Day 1 - Nuremberg
 

Located 103 mi/166 km northwest of Munich, Nuremberg, Germany, is an interesting mix of the quaint and the cosmopolitan. Once dubbed “the most German of German cities” by a former mayor, it has a dark history as the former seat of the Nazi party. Today, it’s a city that has worked hard to overcome its past, but also to remember it through museums and historic sites.

Day 2 - Bamberg & Volkach
 

Bamberg, 39 mi/63 km north of Nuremberg, is one of the prettiest towns in Germany. It was founded in the 10th century but didn’t come to prominence until the 11th century, when the Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich II built his imperial cathedral there.

Volkach is a town that enjoys its festivals; and the biggest one in town is the annual Wine Festival (called Weinfest here), with all sorts of varieties made within the Franconian Wine Region.

Day 3 - Volkach & Würzburg
 

From Volkach, go on a full-day excursion to Rothenburg, Germany’s best-preserved walled town located on the Romantic Road. Later in the day, and for those not going to Rothenburg, enjoy a city tour of Wurzburg.

Located 60 mi/95 km southeast of Frankfurt, Wurzburg is dominated by the Marienberg Fortress, the home of the powerful Prince-Bishops of Wurzburg, who transformed the city into one of the 17th century’s finest. Inside the fortress are a museum and an eighth-century church. Catch the bus or climb the fortress’ steep vine-covered hill for a magnificent view of the city.

 

Day 4 - Wertheim
 

Located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers, Wertheim is a picturesque medieval German town with half-timbered houses and small streets that is a lovely half-day stop on river cruises.

The town is known for its glasswork and wine, as well as the 12th-century castle, Burg Wertheim, that overlooks the river junction.

Day 5 - Rudesheim, Rhine Gorge & Lahnstein
 

Ruedesheim is a lively winemaking town on the Rhine River. It is tourist friendly and is a popular stop for Rhine River cruises. Visitors are usually transported into town on a small train, given a tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum—a collection of music boxes—and a taste of traditional Ruedesheim coffee, and then have the chance to explore the town on their own.

Later in the day, set sail for Lahnstein in the Rhine River Gorge, famous for its beautiful and imposing castles. Cap the day off with a visit to Lahneck Castle.

Day 6 - Cochem & Zell
 

Nestled between a beautifully restored castle and the scenic Mosel River, Cochem is exceptionally charming. The town is surrounded by steep vineyards and is the center of the area’s wine trade. Many local businesses offer tastings throughout the day.

Zell is best known for its excellent wine, Schwarze Katze (“Black Cat”). The grape is king here, as you’ll quickly realize if you visit during the annual autumn wine festival. Nearby, on the left bank of the Mosel, 8km (5 miles) from Zell, stands the little wine village of Alf. The surroundings are idyllic, especially if you climb up to the Marienburg, which has a fine view over the Mosel and the vineyards of Zell.

Day 7 - Trier
 

Trier, Germany, is a 2,000-year-old Roman city near Luxembourg. It was home to six Roman emperors and has many ruins, including the impressive Porta Nigra, a four-story stone gate that was once part of the city’s walls. It is also the birthplace of Karl Marx (Bruckenstrasse 10) and is a university town with a lively nightlife and interesting Franco-German cuisine.

Day 8 - Remich
 

Remich, Luxembourg, located 25 mi/40 km southeast of Luxembourg City in the Moselle Valley wine region, is home to the State Viticulture Institute. Take motorboat tours on the Moselle River, and then see some of the interesting wine caves nearby. A motor-powered “train on wheels” tours the Luxembourg wine route between Remich and Remerschen every Saturday and Sunday.

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