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Rhine Cruise to Switzerland with Glacier Express Extension 2019
(Basel to Cologne)

11 days with Riviera River Cruises  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Receive a FREE drinks package that includes beer, wine and soft drinks during lunch and dinner. Package normally costs $159 per person. Expires December 28. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on this sailing. Expires December 31. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Zermatt
Arrive in picturesque Zermatt, surrounded by Alpine summits including the Matterhorn. Stay two nights at the Hotel Simi.

Day 2 Zermatt
Spend the day exploring Zermatt with an option to ride the highest open-air cog railway to the Gornergrat.
 
Day 3 Glacier Express 
Board the legendary Glacier Express to Chur and experience one of the world's greatest rail journeys. Stay one night at the historic Hotel Stern.

Day 4  Chur & Basel
Enjoy free time in Chur before taking an InterCity train to Basel, where you will join your ship.

Day 5 Bernese Oberland & Lucerne
Arrive in Bernese Oberland where the views become ever more breathtaking. The dedicated English-speaking crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your luxurious, well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

This is the grand alpine heart of Europe with some of the finest mountain scenery on earth, described by the composer Mendelssohn as ‘the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country’. On viewing the legendary snow-capped peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau you’ll be quite simply awestruck. We then ascend by mountain railway for more extraordinary vistas, with the crystal-clear lakes reflecting the grassy meadows and lush forests below. This truly magical landscape is sure to enchant you. Please note, temperatures will be significantly lower at altitude, even during the summer months, so it’s advisable to pack suitable clothing. Lunch is not included on this full day excursion; however the ship will offer a packed lunch.

For many today will be the highlight of the cruise. You first take the short drive to Lucerne, often considered Switzerland’s most beautiful city, spectacularly situated among stunning mountain views. It has been attracting well-heeled visitors for two centuries, including our very own Queen Victoria. Highly recommended is an invigorating stroll along the Chapel Bridge, a unique covered wooden walkway crossing the lake, supported by stilts and lined with colourful flower-filled window boxes. Not only is it the city’s most iconic structure, it’s a superb way to absorb Lucerne’s regal atmosphere.

Day 6 Black Forest & Breisach
Your second day cruising is spent gliding through the dramatic scenery of the rift valley separating the Vosges and Black Forest mountains. This afternoon you drive through some of Central Europe’s most stunning scenery – the Black Forest Mountains. This is a fabled landscape of rugged valleys, white-water rivers, cascading waterfalls and rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees – exactly as you expect it to be. Our destination is the idyllic village of Titisee, nestling on the shores of its crystal-clear lake.

We arrive at the ancient town of Breisach, whose historic heart is surrounded by stone ramparts and dominated by the impressive Saint Stephan’s Cathedral.

Rejoining the ship, we resume our stately passage upriver. As the sun sets and the riverside lights begin to twinkle there are wonderful views over the imposing Vosges massif. You enjoy this evening’s dinner en route to France.

Day 7 Strasbourg
This morning we cruise gently upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, whose elaborate engineering never ceases to fascinate. Why not find a comfortable chair and catch up on some reading, play chess or watch the rolling kaleidoscope of scenery from the Sun Deck?

We soon arrive in France and moor in Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. This afternoon we have a walking tour of its picturesque Old Town, bisected by canals and made up of a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals. Unforgettable sites include the stupendous Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, multi-towered Ponts Couverts – covered bridges – and the pretty Petite France quarter of pastel-coloured former artisans’ houses lining the canals. Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to linger a while in a typical Alsatian café to sample some of the region’s world-famous wines – a crisp Riesling or that particular speciality of Alsace, spicy Gewürztraminer. Back on board this evening there’s a truly memorable occasion – the ‘Captain’s Dinner’, featuring delicious specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise.

Day 8 Speyer
Slipping our mooring at Koblenz we proceed upstream on the Rhine and soon encounter the impressive Marksburg Castle, a fortress dating back to the 13th century. We then weave through the huge looping bend – one of the most impressive on the river – at Boppard, a wonderfully picturesque town known as the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’.

Journeying further, you explore the most famous of all the river’s reaches and a real highlight of the cruise, the dramatic Rhine Gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops towering more than 600 feet above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past Saint Goar and the many ruined castles, there’s a real sense of the myths surrounding this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that of the Lorelei – or ‘murmuring rock’ – where beautiful nymphs distracted sailors and lured them to their deaths in the treacherous waters.

After lunch we moor in Rüdesheim, a classic Rhine wine village with crooked houses sloping down from wooded hillsides and terraced vineyards. The afternoon is free to relax in its bustling cafés, find a traditional Weinstube to enjoy a glass of excellent local wine, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a gondola ride to the striking statue of Germania overlooking the river’s exit from the Gorge. After dinner this evening, another sumptuous affair prepared by your chef, maybe sample a small Asbach – the famous brandy distilled in Rüdesheim – while watching the last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.

Day 9 Rudesheim & Rhine Gorge
Moor in Rüdesheim, a classic Rhine wine village with crooked houses sloping down from wooded hillsides and terraced vineyards. The afternoon is free to relax in its bustling cafés, find a traditional Weinstube to enjoy a glass of excellent local wine, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a gondola ride to the striking statue of Germania overlooking the river’s exit from the Gorge. After dinner this evening, another sumptuous affair prepared by your chef, maybe sample a small Asbach – the famous brandy distilled in Rüdesheim – while watching the last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.

Slipping our mooring at Koblenz we proceed upstream on the Rhine and soon encounter the impressive Marksburg Castle, a fortress dating back to the 13th century. We then weave through the huge looping bend – one of the most impressive on the river – at Boppard, a wonderfully picturesque town known as the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’.

Journeying further, you explore the most famous of all the river’s reaches and a real highlight of the cruise, the dramatic Rhine Gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops towering more than 600 feet above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past Saint Goar and the many ruined castles, there’s a real sense of the myths surrounding this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that of the Lorelei – or ‘murmuring rock’ – where beautiful nymphs distracted sailors and lured them to their deaths in the treacherous waters.

Day 10 Koblenz
As you wake and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, the delights of this river cruise begin to emerge as we drift past the first rolling hills of the Rhine Valley. The forested Siebengebirge – Seven Mountains – a cluster of ancient volcanic hills that inspired many of the Brothers Grimm’s legends, including ‘Snow White’, act as the overture for even more dramatic scenery upstream. We cruise past the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, which was captured intact by the Allies towards the end of the Second World War, allowing thousands of troops to cross into Germany’s heartland. Pretty waterfront towns and carefully tended vineyards come into view as we glide gently into our mooring to visit delightful Koblenz.

Founded by the Romans, this historic city is beautifully located at the confluence of the Rhine and its sister river the Moselle. Your afternoon is free to explore Koblenz’s maze of medieval buildings in the Altstadt – Old Town – which is studded with a fine array of traditional shops and classic Rhineland cafés. As you wander, historic buildings appear seemingly at every turn; see a former mint, the Four Towers – 17th-century houses with striking turrets set at a crossroads – and many fascinating squares and churches, including the 9th-century Basilica of Saint Kastor.

Wherever you wander you’re never far from a riverbank, and it’s worth crossing the 14th-century stone Balduin Bridge across the Moselle for fine views back across the spires of the Altstadt. If you can resist the many tempting cakes on offer from beckoning pavement cafés you’ll be ready for your meticulously prepared dinner on board, and afterwards perhaps a quiet stroll along the riverside promenade to the Deutsches Eck – ‘German Corner’ – where the great rivers Rhine and Moselle meet.

Day 11 Disembark Cologne
This morning after breakfast, the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the ship.

River Cruise Highlights
  •    Explore medieval Koblenz
  • Visit to the pretty, romantic town of Rüdesheim - centre of the Rhineland wine trade
  • Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge
  • An evening in Speyer - dominated by the imposing basilica
  • Guided tour of Strasbourg - amazingly rich in a wealth of sights
  • Visit to the old walled town of Breisach
  • Tour of the beautiful Black Forest and lakeside town of Titisee
  • Tour of some of the finest Swiss Alpine scenery, seeing the Jungfrau and the Eiger, Interlaken and the stunning lakeside town of Lucerne
  • Price includes full-board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day
  • A further three nights in charming hotels with breakfast
  • Visit to historic Chur – spectacularly located at the very heart of this magical Alpine landscape
  • Experience one of Europe’s most scenic rail journeys on board the legendary Glacier Express
  • Visit world famous Zermatt – home to the iconic Matterhorn – symbol of Switzerland
  • Opportunity to ride the famous cog railway to the Gornergrat and experience some of the most breath taking Alpine scenery in the world
  • Services of a cruise director and tour manager

All This Included

Journey into the very heart of this spectacular Alpine landscape on the legendary Glacier Express, enjoy iconically Swiss Zermatt in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn and the Mediterranean ambience of historic Chur.

Welcome aboard the first class river cruise ship, your luxury, floating hotel for the next seven nights. From the exceptional full-board cuisine to the luxurious cabins and suites you will very soon relax on this journey.

PGlacier Express Pre-Extension: 

  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at Hotel Stern in Chur and Hotel Simi in Zermatt
  • Train transfer from Chur to Basel
  • Standard class journey on Glacier Express
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person
  • Services of a Riviera tour manager
River Cruise
  • 7 nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river views
  • All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival to breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captain’s Dinner
  • 7 visits and tours including a guided tour of Strasbourg, a drive through the Black Forest to Titisee, and a full-day excursion to Lucerne and the Bernese Oberland. Plus visits to Koblenz,
    Rüdesheim, Breisach and Speyer
  • Complimentary coffee and tea on board all day
  • Complimentary water in your cabin replenished daily
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • 5-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
  • Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager
  • All port charges
  • No surcharges guaranteed
Accommodations on this Tour
Zermatt: Hotel Simi
Chur: Hotel Stern
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS George Eliot, MS Emily Bronte, MS Jane Austen
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • 7 night drinks package available at $159 per person.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.

Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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