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Romance on the Rhine & Moselle

From $2299 (was $4598)

13 Days

Includes all meals on cruise

Passport Required

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Romance on the Rhine & Moselle - Spring

Tour Starts: Düsseldorf, Germany

Tour Ends: Berlin, Germany

Day 1 & 2

Fly to Düsseldorf, Germany

After an overnight flight, arrive in Düsseldorf, the “City of Fashion” in Germany. The Rhine Tower that thrones over the Rhine river here is not only the city’s landmark but also the world’s largest digital clock. Guests who have booked their air with YMT Vacations will be met by a local YMT representative at the airport and transferred to the hotel. In the evening, meet your fellow travelers for an included welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)

✦Leonardo Royal Hotel or similar

Day 3

Düsseldorf to Cologne and Embarkation

This morning enjoy a city tour of Düsseldorf before you have some time for lunch on your own in old town. Small cobblestone streets lined with breweries invite you to enjoy a cool, dark beer in outdoor beer gardens with a simple hardy meal. The famed local beer is called the “Alt” and is enjoyed from small 7 oz tubular glasses. After lunch, continue to Cologne for a city tour. Highlights include the grand cathedral in the center where supposedly the remains of the 3 Wisemen are kept, a German chocolate museum, a vibrant art scene, and of course, plenty of shopping. In the afternoon, the crew of the A-ROSA Flora will greet you aboard with roses in hand, in keeping with A-ROSA tradition, before you sail south. (B, D)

Day 4

Koblenz (6:00 AM–1:00 PM) and Loreley Passage to Mainz (Arrive 10:00 PM)

Koblenz is located at the famous “German Corner,” where the Rhine and Moselle converge, and watched over by a massive statue of Germany’s Emperor Wilhelm. UNESCO has recognized the area’s outstanding beauty by awarding it world heritage status. Towering on the opposite side of the Rhine is Ehrenbreitstein, Europe’s second-largest preserved fortress dating back to 1,000 BC. At nearly 120 meters (131 yards) above the river, this is the perhaps the best place to enjoy views of Koblenz. Just beyond the fortress, a cable car transports visitors to the western bank of the Rhine and back – the perfect place to begin a leisurely stroll through the beautiful old quarter. In the afternoon, the first highlight awaits - the River Rhine Valley, one of Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 60 medieval castles overlooking its winding banks. The riverbanks where medieval knights once roamed have inspired literary legends and romantic poets throughout the millennium, and can’t fail to captivate its visitors today. Along the way, cruise the Loreley Passage, famous for its rock wall towering over the river and the beautiful castles along the banks. The Flora docks tonight in Mainz, where the illuminated Cathedral will welcome you. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Mainz (Depart 1:00 PM) and Rüdesheim (Arrive 3:00 PM)

Mainz is famous for its university, its Roman heritage, and its three most defining features: the Romanesque cathedral, the Gutenberg printing press, and the Rhineland carnival. The people of Mainz have good reason to be proud of their city’s history, which spans almost 2,000 years. This rich cultural heritage incorporates a well-established wine growing tradition, which only adds to Mainz’s appeal. You may like to stroll or bike through town. At the Gutenberg Museum you can experience the history of printing, books, and writing up-close and also see two original Gutenberg Bibles. Then it is off to Rüdesheim for the night. It is surrounded by gently sloping vineyards and famous for its local wine, brandy, and specialty coffee (careful — the local coffee and brandy are married in the “Rüdesheimer Kaffee” concoction!). Enjoy your time here by strolling through the small cobblestone streets or wandering through the vineyards, which you can also visit by small train. Tonight the Drosselgasse with its taverns and restaurants should be lively, a good opportunity to enjoy the local goods. Upon arrival, perhaps visit the enchanting Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet that exhibits a curious collection of automated musical instruments. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Rüdesheim (Depart 8:00 AM) and Moselle Valley to Bernkastel (Arrive 11:30 PM)

This morning return to the Rhine Valley with another opportunity to take those pictures that you missed on your first go around. Then it is time for the Flora to make the turn into the Moselle by Koblenz for one of the most stunning scenic routes in all of Europe, the Moselle Valley. Winding between vine-covered slopes, the Moselle is narrower than the Rhine, and has a more intimate charm. It flows on a slow, winding course, with entrancing scenery around every hairpin bend: brightly colored, half-timbered medieval villages, crumbling hilltop castles, elegant art nouveau villas, and ancient wine warehouses. Just before tonight’s destination of Bernkastel, you will see the world’s steepest vineyard. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Bernkastel (Depart at midnight)

Explore Bernkastel on your own or with a guided tour. A local small train offers inexpensive tours through town, giving you a great overview of the attractions, such as the Moselle Wine Museum and Vinotheque, St. Nicholas’ Hospital, the parish church of St. Michael with its imposing tower, the Doctorbrunnen (“Doctor’s fountain”), and the historical market square with its centuries old half-timbered houses in the old town of Bernkastel. Explore the wineries of the Moselle Valley from here, an ideal way to get to know German culture, interact with locals and, of course, sample some truly exceptional wines. An optional excursion to nearby Idar Oberstein, with its famed chapel in the rocks and Gemstone Museum, might also interest you. (B, L, D)

Day 8

Trier, Mehring (6:00 AM–6:30 PM)

Trier is the oldest city in Germany. Situated on the Moselle (Mosel) River, not far from Luxembourg, the city is a treasure trove of Roman ruins. Known as the “Rome of the North,” Trier served as the key city of the Roman northern territories and was founded around 16 BC by Emperor Augustus. Here, you will find numerous architectural monuments from this period. In the footsteps of the Romans, you can explore the amphitheater, the ruins of Barbara thermal baths, as well as the throne room of Emperor Constantine the Great. See the Palace of the Electorate from the 18th century and the city’s main landmark, the Porta Nigra, the Roman city gate. Trier is well worth an in-depth visit, though you might also be interested in an optional excursion to nearby Luxembourg to add another European country to your collector’s map. Tonight as you leave the docking location of Mehring, enjoy the Moselle Valley in the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Cochem (7:00 AM–5:00 PM)

Perhaps the most iconic picture of the Moselle Valley stems from Cochem, and its Reichsburg Castle. Situated on a precipitous rock high above the town, the castle dominates the landscape. The many delicate pointed towers, battlements, and oriels give the impression of a typical fairy tale castle. As impressive as the castle itself is, the view of the Moselle Valley with its beautiful forests, meadows, fields and vineyards, as well as the old part of the town is just as glorious. The town of Cochem is a sight worth seeing, not only because of its narrow streets and twisty alleys, the lovingly restored half timbered houses with the typical slate roofs, and the historical market-place, but also because of its medieval town gates, churches, and walls. Allow the local wine growers and restaurant owners to introduce you to the variety of their excellent Riesling wines. You can enjoy another facet of the town walking along the Mosel promenade, which is decorated with flowers and where many benches invite you to a quiet break. (B, L, D)

Day 10

Cologne (Arrive 6:00 AM) and Disembark to Weimar and Erfurt

Overnight and with plenty of evening scenery to marvel at, the Flora has brought you back to Cologne, where the river portion of your European vacation will come to an end and where you will be greeted by your Tour Director once again. Continue by motor coach eastbound on the German Autobahn. Your main stop today will be Weimar, the classical city of poets and thinkers. A walking tour with a local guide will give you an overview of this Thuringian jewel where the famous poets Goethe and Schiller resided and wrote classical pieces. You will surely be enchanted! Then we drive a short distance to Erfurt, Thuringia’s capital, where you will want to see the magnificent Cathedral Plaza with its cathedral and neighboring St. Severin’s church, perched together atop a hill. You will have the opportunity for dinner on your own; for a lighter, traditional fare, sample the famous “Thuringian Bratwurst” from one of the many kiosks that sell them along the street. (B)

✦Radisson Blue Erfurt or similar

Day 11

Via Dresden to Potsdam and Berlin

This morning leave for Dresden, the capital of Saxony. Upon arrival you will see all major sites of this beautiful city in an orientation city tour with a local guide. The Zwinger and the Frauenkirche (women’s church) are most impressive buildings, especially since the Frauenkirche was restored to its former glory after having been completely destroyed in the war. The restoration has been made possible by a massive effort of the German people, and the church has become a symbol of resilience and rebirth. After lunch on your own, head to Germany’s once divided capital, Berlin. En route visit nearby Potsdam and the famed Tudor style Castle Cecilienhof. Because the Potsdam Conference negotiations after WWII were held here, Cecilienhof plays a big role in German/American history. (B, D)

✦Abba Berlin Hotel or similar

Day 12

Berlin

Today, your Tour Director will lead you on a comprehensive half-day city tour of this once divided city. You will get a feel for the varied history of Berlin: see the Brandenburg Gate; the German Reichstag with its beautiful glass structure (now the capitol building where the German parliament meets); Checkpoint Charlie, once the main border crossing for east/west exchanges, and much more. (B)

✦Abba Berlin Hotel or similar

Day 13

Depart for Home

It’s time to travel back home with plenty of memories from your European river cruise and tour. If you have booked your air through YMT, you will be transferred to Berlin Airport to catch your return flight to the US.

✦Radisson Blue Erfurt or similar

Note: Some of the sightseeing and visits included in this tour require up to 2 hours of walking and some periods of standing. Steps, stairs, and uneven ground will also be encountered on occasion. This does not pose a challenge to most guests, but should be considered when booking.

Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tour vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.