Enchanted castles, impressive rock formations and historical monuments – whenever you think you have already reached the climax of this journey, the UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley will surprise you with new wonders after every bend. In between, you will travel along the Moselle with its vineyards, visit the old imperial city of Trier, stroll through idyllic Cochem and decide between Cologne and Düsseldorf for Kölsch, Alt – or simply for both.
Düsseldorf, the capital and second-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a mix of old and new Germany. The Altstadt, or Old Town, is centrally located behind the Rhine Embankment Promenade and has been dubbed “the longest bar in the world” due to the estimated 300 bars and discos in the area. Shopping aficionados will be more than pleased with the variety of shops and interesting boutiques on Königsallee and Schadowstraße while fans of history and culture will not want to miss visiting St. Lambertus Church, the Rathaus (Town Hall) or the 13th century Schlossturm (Castle Tower) which houses the nautical museum. Those with more time on their hands may also consider short trips to visit the Baroque-style 18th century mansion of Schloss Benrath or the 12th century ruins of Kaiserpfalz in the picturesque town of Kaiserswerth.
Morning spent in the city of Koblenz. The German city of Koblenz enjoys a fabulous geographical setting. It lies at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers (what a treat for riverboat cruise trips) and the convergence of three low mountain ranges, the Westerwald, Hunsrück, and the Eifel (great photo opportunities). It is a popular destination for exploring the romantic Rhine Valley. It is a rather unimposing town mostly visited because of its strategic position but it is welcoming and pleasant with a good range of bars and restaurants in a pedestrianised centre. There are some interesting attractions, a major one being the Deutsches Eck, a park with a huge statue of Kaiser Wilhelm who base provides a great position to view the point where the Rhine and Moselle meet. The best time to visit Koblenz is in August during the festival Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames) when there is a splendid fireworks display.
Afternoon departure of the ship along the Moselle and the charming town of Bernkastel.
Arrive in Bernkastel early morning. This lovely city is home to lots of cute shops and architecture. Situated in the Moselle Valley of Germany, Bernkastel is a small town that is famous for its Renaissance Town Hall established in 1608, the Graach Gate, and cultivating and harvesting grapes used to create some of the finest wine in Europe. With a population of approximately 1,087 people, the town strives off of the wine-growing industry. Although the town has undergone some renovations to make it modernized, you can still find sturdy, pointed timber-frame buildings dating back to the 17th century in its medieval marketplace. Festivals and celebrations such as the Wine Festival of the Middle Moselle, International Rowing Regatta on the Moselle, annual horse shows, along with street fairs and Christmas markets bring to life unique cultural traditions. The town once had two railway stations that have since been dismantled and converted to cycling trails, limiting the town's main source of transportation to automobiles, bikes, and water vehicles. Bernkastel is also the birthplace of Nikolaus von Kues, a famous German philosopher and mathematician.
There are 2 optional excursions available.
Moselle Bulli Tour through the Zeltinger vineyards with wine tasting: Let yourself be chauffeured through the vineyards in unique restored VW Bulli's and enjoy the wines where they have grown. The driver will explain the wines and cultural landscape and there is a sample of every wine area that is passed through. Enjoy the moment and be surprised.
The trip is weather dependent! In case of rain the tour will not take place !! About 1 1/2 - 2 hours. About $55
Bernkastel: Walking Tour with Wine tasting: Beginning from your river ship, take a guided stroll through this quintessential German wine town. Brimming with medieval charm and an abundance of Weinstuben or wine bars, Bernkastel offers many enriching discoveries for the curious traveler, history buff or wine lover. Acquaint yourself with such places as the Graach Gate, the town's last surviving gate, and the Gothic St. Michael's Church, with its distinctive spire. In the cobbled market square is the Renaissance-style Town Hall, which stands nestled among a charming bevy of gabled, half-timbered buildings. Another must-see attraction is the unusual 16th-century Spitzhäuschen or Pointed House, renowned for its quirky architecture. Before walking back to your Viva river ship, cap off your town tour on the riverfront with a delectable wine tasting at the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler wine estate. About 2 1/2 hours of walking. About $45
Ship departs Bernkastel in the afternoon for Trier. Arriving about 7:30pm
Day spent in Trier - Trier is the oldest city in Germany, nestling in the west on the banks of the Moselle. The city has been inhabited since Roman times, and some huge remains are still standing, including the stunning Porta Nigra gate. With multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, Trier offers much more for the visitor, ranging from other Roman remains such as the imperial throne room to the oldest Gothic church in Germany. Karl Marx was born here, and there's a museum in the Baroque-style house where he grew up. The city offers lovely waterfront views, and it's also the home of some of the country's best wines with which you can accompany the tasty local cuisine. The city's lively university gives the place a youthful, energetic vibe that continues after dark.
The offered excursion is: Trier: The Secrets of Porta Negra - The Porta Negra gate dates back to a time (about A.D. 180) when the Romans often erected public buildings of huge stone blocks (here, the biggest weigh up to six metric tons), here will a Roman centurion show you the Secrets of the Porta Negra.
The Centurion – in the splendor of his parade armament – will abduct us into a time when Rome ruled the world – and the Emperor in Trier decided the fate of the Empire. Suddenly the audience is standing in the midst of that eventful time – and not just as passive observers! In his thrilling, entertaining, and humorous manner, the centurion takes us on an eventful journey back in time. He wrests the many different secrets from the walls of the Porta Negra: priceless and puzzling, delightful and dismal. Suddenly, all those people come to life who have gone in and out through this gate: Emperor and warrior, bishops and barbarians, those walled up alive, and devilish demons. And little by little, the suspicion arises that not only does the Porta Negra have a great surprising secret – so does the centurion ...
You will be delighted with this eventful journey through the centuries: sometimes haunting, often pleasurable – and always thrilling. About 3 hours of walking. About $30
*The town of Trier also has a mini train tour put on by the tourist office (located behind the Porta Negra gates) that takes you around the town as well.
The fairytale appearance of the city of Cochem located in German is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. It lies on the banks of the Moselle and has been inhabited since the early Romans. The surrounding valleys and hills are home to many beautiful vineyards, the majority of which offer extensive tastings and tours. In mid-June, the city offers a week of wine tasting with more than three hundred different wines. Cochem has existed for almost a thousand years. It was founded by King Conrad III in 1130 and twenty-one years later it was occupied. The king declared it a grand castle. Louis XIV's troops attacked the castle in 1688. Today the castle is a great example of an impressive medieval fortress and a must-see. The city, with its picturesque landscape and cobblestone streets, is ideal for cycling. Many bike rental locations are available all through the city.
The optional excursions offered is - Cochem: Bundesbank bunker --- experience a Bank secret back in time! - Begin the tour from the ship, with an escorted transfer to the Bunker. You will visit the secret treasury of the old federal republic hidden in the midst of a residential area, underground bank vault, kitchen, dormitory, workspace bags of money with old surrogate currency. After the tour you will be escorted back to the ship by bus. About 1 1/2 hour walking. About $52.
*Time to explore this charming town on your own and maybe check out the Cochem Castle on the hill. This is a walk able hike (but there is a bit of an incline up the hill) or there is a city bus that picks up in the town square to run you up to the castle.
Cochem during the evening toward Rudesheim
This beautiful city is part of the Rhine Gorge UNESCO World Heritage Site situated alongside the River Rhine in Germany. There have been vineyards on the steep slopes of Rüdesheim since the first century when the Romans occupied the site. There are several ancient castles within the confines of the city including the ruined Burg Ehrehfels and the atmospheric twelfth century fortress, the Boosenburg which often hosts many popular live concerts. The stone castle of Brömserburg which dates back to the tenth century is the location of a museum dedicated to wine. Near the city's Market Square is the beautiful church of St. Jakobus which was largely constructed in the early fourteenth century. It is now a venue for the Rheingau Musik Festival of classical and choral music. The city hosts many other festivals including a summertime firework display, a wine festival and a Christmas market.
*Time to explore this charming town on your own. There are shops, the Musical Instrument Museum and wine shops. The Musical Museum is well worth a visit.
Depart Rudesheim during the afternoon to Bonn, arriving early evening.
Prior to German reunification, the city of Bonn was the capital of the Federal State of West Germany. The city is located on the River Rhine within the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Of interest to visitors is the Beethoven House. The museum is dedicated to the life and works of the world famous classical music composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven. A major landmark within the city is the Roman Catholic cathedral known as Bonn Minster. The structure of this building was developed during the period between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The Market Square is a magnet for architecture fans who love to marvel at the Rococo buildings. The old City Hall is found in this area and is a popular venue for tourists. The city's University is home to the Poppelsdorf Palace. This 18th century building houses natural science artefacts and is close to the city's botanical gardens
*Time to explore this charming town on your own this morning
Depart Bonn for Cologne early afternoon.
Arrive Cologne mid afternoon.
Cologne is a Gothic masterpiece, anchored by its world-famous cathedral whose twin spires dominate the city skyline. Founded by the Romans in 38 BC, it grew as an important trading town to become the fourth largest city in Germany. A popular stopping off point on Rhine river cruises, the city is a charm to walk round to explore antique streets full of interesting architecture which besides the cathedral includes a number of splendid churches and medieval buildings (such as City Hall which dating from the 12th century is the oldest in Germany). Modern day Cologne has a liberal joie de vivre with an appreciation for culture from both ends of the spectrum. Visitors can enjoy the avant-garde and postmodern alongside the antique splendour and enjoy diverse pursuits from a visit to a chocolate museum to a lively night out on the tiles in the beer halls of the Altstadt district.
Behind the train station, there is a pickup point for a mini train for sightseeing the area. It has a drop off at the Chocolate Museum. There is also a hop on-hop off tour bus available to see the city.
Departure early hours toward Dusseldorf
Ship arrive about 7am. Disembark after breakfast.
|1||Dusseldorf (Germany)||4:30pm||Embarkation 1:00pm|
|3||Trier (Germany)||7:30pm||4:00pm||Optional tour or Free Time|
|6||Rudesheim (Germany)||7:00am||2:00pm||Free Time|
|8||Dusseldorf (Germany)||6:00am||Disembarkation 09:00|
- subject to changes -
REGULAR Rate includes: cruise and port taxes, GRATUITIES, all meals, wine, and a beverage package - Soft Drinks, as well as tea and coffee, Beer, wine, throughout the day and evening between 10am and midnight. Sightseeing excursions are not included and can be booked onboard.