Titan‘s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Amsterdam. Upon arrival, embark MS Serenade 1 (4T) where light refreshments are available. A welcome cocktail and Captain‘s gala dinner are served this evening.
Our exploration starts today with a tour of Amsterdam. The Dutch capital has a lot for you to discover, from the rows of unique merchants houses to the elegant Royal Palace and homes of revered 17th century artists. We discover the highlights by foot and on a cruise along Amsterdam‘s famous canals. We return to our ship for lunch, as she sets course for Cologne.
Arrive after lunch in Cologne, one of Germany‘s most important cities for trade and culture. The country‘s single most popular tourist attraction is unmissable - the 157m-tall spires of Cologne Cathedral soar above the rooftops - two magnificent embellishments to a glorious Gothic icon. A walking tour shows many sites of interest, and free time afterwards allows you to discover more.
After a gentle morning on the Rhine, we arrive in Koblenz for a tour. This attractive city holds millennia of history, and our exploration includes Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the last of several castles that have guarded the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. It has felt the force of many armies, including Napoleon‘s, and once guarded the Holy Tunic, the robe said to have been worn by Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
Sit on deck or by a window this morning, as we sail through some of the most beautiful scenes along the Rhine. Watch out for the legendary Lorelei Rock and the numerous castles and quaint villages that decorate the banks. We reach Rüdesheim just after lunch, and you are free to explore this pretty town. Spend time in the lanes of Drosselgasse, where historic half-timbered buildings are filled with charming shops and bars selling local goods, including the wines for which this area is renowned. A connoisseur may like to visit the Rheingau Wine Museum in the ruins of Brömserburg Castle.
Spend today in Frankfurt, an international city which has embraced new cultures from centuries of life as a trading centre. Our city tour takes us around a centre full of historical sites, including the Kaiserdom (Emperor‘s Cathedral) and the Paulskirche, the church used for Germany‘s first national assembly in 1848. Afterwards, you may like to spend your free time in Old Sachsenhausen, an area full of fountains, timber-framed houses and Epelwoi pubs which serve local food and apple wine.
Early this morning we dock in Miltenberg, ready to explore this medieval town where over 100 listed timber-framed houses add colour and character to beautiful pedestrian streets. The most notable is Zum Reisen, one of the world‘s oldest hotels with a varied list of guests from the Holy Roman Emperors Frederick I and Charles IV to Napoleon and Elvis Presley. The area also has a long legacy of beer production, and you have the opportunity to taste some local creations on an optional excursion. Sail towards Würzburg after lunch.
Würzburg was a glorious pilgrimage city, where prince-bishops lavished their wealth to create a place of exceptional interest. On our walking tour of the city, we visit the pinnacle of their legacy - the Würzburg Residence Palace. This huge baroque palace won its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the most brilliant courts in Europe in the 18th century, created by an international team of exceptional architects, painters, sculptors and stucco-workers, beautifully restored and filled with treasures. We sail towards Bamberg after lunch.
A morning of cruising is followed by an afternoon in Bamberg. This town became important in the 10th century, and shortly after the German king wanted to make this a ‘second Rome‘. The beautiful medieval and baroque architecture had a huge influence on central Europe, and still impresses visitors today. Explore independently or take an optional walking tour to discover the town‘s story and visit the Rose Gardens, where around 4,500 roses fill the inner courtyard of the New Residenz.
Spend this morning on a city tour of Nuremberg. This undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire was a leader in Germany‘s industrial revolution, a stage for Nazi party rallies, and the site of the WWII war crimes tribunal - the Nuremburg Trials. The city‘s darkest hours have not been entirely concealed in the following decades, however many of its most important buildings have been returned to pre-war glory. We enjoy scenic sailing this afternoon.
Spend today discovering the first capital of Bavaria independently. There are many fine sights to see in the best preserved medieval city in Germany. Head into the UNESCO-listed old town to find the majority of the 1,500 listed buildings, including the castle-like patrician town house 'Heuport' and the Old Town Hall which served as a seat of parliament for 200 years, and sits over a torture chamber from the Middle Ages. Alternatively, take an optional excursion to Weltenburg Abbey. The oldest monastery in Bavaria, still home to Benedictine monks after 1,400 years, is beautifully decorated with ceiling frescoes and statues.
You may like to take an optional excursion to find your way around Passau this morning. Amongst the colourful and unregimented rows, squeezed between river banks, stands wonderfully preserved baroque architecture, plus traditional Bavarian beerhalls and a 13th century hilltop fortress, which now holds a city museum and art gallery. This afternoon we cruise to Linz, where we dock for the evening.
After breakfast, perhaps take a stroll around the quiet town of Melk, easily small enough to cross by foot. A glorious Benedictine abbey, created from the town‘s 10th century residence of Babenberg rulers, dominates the skyline. You have the opportunity to see this fortified, baroque landmark today on an optional excursion. We sail this afternoon to dock overnight in Vienna.
Austria‘s capital is a city of baroque masterpieces. On our tour we explore Ringstrasse, the beautiful boulevard which holds many of Vienna‘s best known sites including the Imperial Palace, the Vienna State Opera and Parliament, as well as numerous monuments to Austria‘s great warlords, rulers, composers and poets. We set sail mid-afternoon and enjoy the Captain‘s farewell gala dinner this evening.
We arrive in Budapest early this morning, ready for a tour of a capital of fine culture, cuisine and thermal baths from the Ottoman era. Its treasures also include the magnificent Parliament building, St Stephen‘s Basilica, the renovated Jewish Quarter, which includes the world‘s second largest synagogue, and the Palace District, full of stunning aristocratic palaces. The rest of the day is free for you to explore.
We transfer to Budapest 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.