Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
Cruise two of Europe's greatest rivers on this journey along the Rhine and Rhône, sailing through the magnificent Rhine Gorge, exploring historic cities and absorbing the gentle charms of Provence. Meandering between hillside castles, the romantic Rhine will take you through idyllic wine-tasting valleys and steep fields full of beauty and legends. The Rhone forges past picturesque hilltop villages, modern architecture and rugged landscapes.
Travel to Amsterdam where you will be met and transferred to your cruise ship, MS Monet, for embarkation. This evening you are welcomed on board by your crew at a reception. After dinner, perhaps take an optional riverboat cruise along Amsterdam's charming and picturesque canals.
Take an optional excursion this morning to discover the creative city of Amsterdam, know for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses. This afternoon is at leisure to explore further or to join the optional excursion to Haarlem. This charming town is steeped in heritage and testifies to the glory of the Netherlands' 17th century Golden Age.
Admire the scenery as you cruise the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to join the main artery of the Rhine River. This afternoon, arrive in Wesel for an optional excursion to Aachen. Germany's westernmost city began life 2,000 years ago and was home to Emperor Charlemagne, making it a treasure box for history lovers. Enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town and visit the 9th-century cathedral, scene of the coronations of more than 30 German kings, and the Treasury, the Sanctuary where Charlemagne is buried, crammed with religious art. After some free time, rejoin your ship in Düsseldorf.
Arrive in the city of Cologne, the cultural hub of the region and an impressive 2,000-years-old. Dominating Cologne's skyline is the remarkable twin-spired church of Cologne Cathedral, one of the most visited landmarks in Germany. Take an optional walking tour to the heart of the Old Town to admire the exterior of this UNESCO-protected masterpiece, which took 500 years to complete. Later, cruise to the ancient city of Koblenz, the gateway to the terraced vineyards and ruined castles of the Rhine Gorge.
This morning, your ship sails through the stunning UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge, a land of rolling vineyards, hilltop castles and the legendary Lorelei Rock. Your destination is Mainz, a beautiful city that was the birthplace of Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Join an optional tour of its medieval centre and the Gutenberg Museum, home to fascinating displays and two Gutenberg bibles, the world's oldest printed books. Rejoin your ship at Worms this evening and enjoy a gala dinner.
Disembark in Strasbourg and drive to Chalon-Sur-Saône. En-route, there's an opportunity to visit the historical city of Besançon. Explore the Cathedral of St Jean and its fortified Citadel before continuing to your destination to board your next cruise ship, MS Van Gogh.
Reaching Lyon early morning, discover this impressive city independently or on an optional guided visit that includes a panoramic tour of its highlights and time in the picture-postcard Old Town. See the medieval 'traboules', covered passageways used by silk tradesmen to protect their wares against rain, and the fresco-covered St Jean quarter. This afternoon, cruise the scenic Rhône Valley towards Tournon passing numerous legendary Côtes du Rhône vineyards.
This morning take an optional guided tour of the attractive village of Tournon, travelling by tourist train through the quaint alleyways of its historic quarter and visiting the imposing castle, built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Tournon has plenty of spectacular views for you to enjoy. After free time and a chance to sample local produce and wines, cruise to Arles.
Today's optional morning tour takes in delightful Arles, the Roman town that went on to inspire Vincent Van Gogh with its enchanting light. Marvel at its Roman-era relics and amphitheatre, built in the 1st century BC. Learn how Provencal olive oil is made as you head to the countryside, then cruise on to Avignon. An optional excursion encompasses its crowning glory: the fortified Palais des Papes, home to seven successive popes in the 14th century, which overlooks the town's fabled bridge. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner on board followed by entertainment.
After breakfast, disembark your ship and transfer to the airport in Lyon for your return journey back to the UK or perhaps extend your stay in Lyon with a two-night stay at the Hotel Globe et Cecil.
The first five nights of your cruise on the Rhine will be on MS Monet. On day 6, you will disembark in Strasbourg and drive to Chalon-Sur-Saône to board your next cruise ship, the MS Van Gogh for your four night cruise on the Rhone.
The following cruise optional excursion package can be purchased at the time of booking from £302 per person and includes:
Day 1 & 2: Riverboat cruise & city tour
Day 2: City tour
Day 3: City tour
Day 4: City tour
Day 5: City tour
Day 7: City tour
Day 8: City tour & wine tasting
Day 9: City tour
Day 9: City tour and Palace of the Popes tour
Note: All optional excursions are subject to change and a minimum number of participants are required for them to operate.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an optional excursion package.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.