Sail along the Rhine, the natural border between France and Germany, with wonderful vineyards and half-timbered towns of Alsace on one side, and beautiful Lake Titisee and the mystical Black Forest on the other. Our journey, however, starts in the country that this river springs from, with opportunities to explore Switzerland’s Lake Geneva and taste true Swiss chocolate and Gruyère; and it ends as the river ends, in the Netherlands, where time is available to explore Amsterdam and tempt your sweet tooth with waffles and poffertjes.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Geneva. On arrival, transfer to Montreux and our hotel for two nights, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4T).
Today is free for you to explore Montreux at your own pace. Your included Riviera Card allows unlimited free travel on local trains and buses, and a discount on boat cruises on Lake Geneva and on some museums and attractions, making it easier for you to enjoy this lovely city and its beautiful surroundings. A visit to Château de Chillon is highly recommended. This majestic castle on the shore of Lake Geneva contains formal great halls, a bedroom preserved in its original, subdued Bernese style, and underground rooms which inspired Lord Byron to write ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’.
Today starts with a visit to Broc and a grand chocolate factory - Maison Cailler, home of the oldest Swiss chocolate brand still in existence. Discover the story of the company and how chocolate is produced, from the journey of cocoa to the creation of the company’s trademark flavours, before tasting some of their exquisite chocolate. We then head to medieval Gruyères, where we enjoy a short orientation tour of the picturesque town before enjoying a delicious cheese fondue in a local restaurant. Our journey then continues to Basel Port, where we embark MS Serenade 1 (4T).
Settle into life on the river as we sail along the border of France and Germany, a scenic route that takes us to Breisach, where we spend time in the dense Black Forest, land of the cuckoo clock and dark fairytales, with a boat trip on beautiful Lake Titisee.
This morning we arrive in Kehl for an excursion to Colmar, a beautifully preserved Alsatian town full of crooked, half-timbered houses on cobbled streets and pretty, flora-lined canals. Our guided tour takes in the wealth of historical, architectural and gastronomic heritage in this exceptional country town, nestled amongst the famous vineyards of Alsace.
During Roman rule, Mainz was the capital of Germania Superior, however little remains from this era and it is Mainz Cathedral that has dominated the city’s skyline for the last millennium. Spend your morning strolling through Mainz to discover the variety of architecture here, including the half-timbered buildings of the Altstadt, or enter the Gutenberg Museum, which commemorates Johannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing methods and holds three of the extremely rare 42-line Gutenberg Bible. At lunchtime our cruise continues through the Lorelei Passage, passing the fabled Lorelei Rock, to Koblenz where we dock overnight.
After breakfast we explore picturesque Koblenz on a walking tour. This 2,000-year-old town has an abundance of cultural monuments and historical buildings, however Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the second largest fortress in Europe after Gibraltar, is the most eye-catching, and we take a cable car to the fortress for magnificent views over the Rhine and Moselle. We sail to Bonn, arriving late this afternoon.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in the Roman city of Bonn, or take an optional walking tour to discover its tumultuous and cultural history. An important centre of trade and religion since the Middle Ages, it became the capital and residence of electors and archbishops in the 16th century, who left a legacy of magnificent Baroque palaces and buildings. Its importance rose once more as the temporary capital of West Germany in 1949. The optional tour also includes entrance to Beethoven’s House, the first home of Bonn’s most famous son. Our voyage then continues to Cologne, where the rest of the day is at leisure. The magnificent medieval cathedral is worth a visit and its spires provide a useful point for orientation as they soar above the city’s rooftops.
This morning we make our final journey to Amsterdam. After lunch, you have the choice of exploring this fascinating city at leisure or on a guided tour that includes a boat tour along its famous canals. There is plenty to see here, with numerous museums including Anne Frank House, the Tulip Museum, the Heineken Experience, the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House. Return to the port where we remain overnight, and enjoy the Captain’s farewell gala dinner on board.
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Why Titan Travel?
Scooping 21 awards at the 2016 British Travel Awards, you can be sure that a touring holiday with Titan Travel will be something special. Among others, Titan received gold awards for Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company and Best Special Interest Holiday Company, so they are perfectly placed to provide that exceptionally epic tour to any corner of the globe.
A Titan holiday begins and ends at your front door with chauffeur-driven transfers, scheduled international flights and the most memorable form of touring transport. Where this is a coach, they provide the best available. Titan pride themselves in providing tours that enable you to see all the sights of the area you visit as well as giving you the option for plenty of free time, optional excursions and extra nights here and there to tailor-make your holiday and make it extra special. The choice of destinations and interests are extensive including gems such as a wildlife tour of Sri Lanka, exploring the musical history of the Deep South, grand tours of North America, China, South America, Italy, Asia and Kenya, searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland and Norway, and a cruise to discover Japan and Russia.
Escorted tours are not simply limited to coaches. Titan is also one of the UK’s leading rail specialists and a number of their holidays incorporate journeys on iconic trains that transport you not only through some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in the world, but also back in time to a nostalgic ‘golden age’ of luxurious and stylish travel. If you are undecided between the elegance and relaxation of a cruise and the enthralling insight of an escorted tour, Titan’s Cruise & Tour holidays could be the perfect choice. You can cruise with some of the most respected names in the industry, including Fred.Olsen and Holland America, around regions of awe-inspiring beauty and then head ashore for an extra land-based touring adventure. The waterways of Europe, Egypt and China link the most spectacular cultural gems in picturesque fashion and a river cruise is an excellent way to appreciate wonderful destinations from a different and more relaxed perspective.