Discover the hidden gems of Alsace-Lorraine as we sail along the canals of this delightful French-German region.
About the Tour
On this all-inclusive cruise, explore the towns throughout Alsace and Lorraine, discovering many sights that lie off the beaten path. We travel on board the MS Madeleine, and along these scenic waterways, highlights include visits to the medieval towns of Saverne and Sarrebourg.
- 6-night cruise aboard MS Madeline
- Standard Class rail travel onboard Eurostar
- 17 meals, including a gala dinner
- Nighttime river cruise of Strasbourg (subject to availability)
- Wingersheim hops path guided tour with a beer tasting
- Guided tours of Saverne and Sarrebourg
- Haut-Barr Castle excursion
- Visit to Lutzelbourg Castle
- Trip to the Inclined Plane at Arzviller
- Visit to the Crystal Works
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
- Transportation by deluxe motor coach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 – To Strasbourg and boarding The Madeleine
After meeting the rest of your group and Tour Manager at our St Pancras Departure Office, board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Strasbourg - the capital of the historical region of Alsace. This area is one of France's best-kept secrets, by-passed by sun-seekers who race to the Côte d'Azur. To the delight of gourmands across the country, other than Paris, there are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Alsace than anywhere else in France. The region is famous for its cuisine and world-renowned wines from vineyards along the 'Route des Vins', making it a delightful vacation destination. We transfer to our hotel barge, the Madeleine, home for the next seven days. We then get the chance to take a separate panoramic boat-ride through the city at night (subject to availability). Overnight ship. (D)
Day 2 – Wingersheim
Take time to relax on board this morning before we set off by coach for a tranquil walking tour of the Wingersheim hops path. Beautiful Alsace is famed for its beer production and we get the opportunity to try some at a special tasting. Back on board tonight, there is a celebratory gala dinner. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Haut-Barr Castle
We begin day 3 by sailing to Saverne. On arrival, we enjoy a visit to the towering Haut-Barr Castle. Strategically positioned at 470m above sea level, it is also known as 'the Eye of Alsace' for the views it offers out over the Alsace Plain. Haut-Barr Castle is also home to the 'devil's bridge', a walkway suspended between two seemingly perilously perched rocks - a unique experience not for the faint of heart! On our return to the boat, we stop briefly at the Chappe Tower. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Saverne
This morning includes a guided tour of Saverne, discovering the town's main street, with its unicorn fountain (Saverne's emblem), and Katz house, a tavern adorned with beautifully decorated, half-timbered sculpturing that dates to 1605. We also visit the church of Notre Dame and the surviving 12th century porch tower. This afternoon we take a leisurely stroll to Lutzelbourg Castle, before dinner at a local restaurant. Here, you have the chance to experience a local delicacy - tarte flambée. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – The Inclined Plane
This morning is spent aboard the Madeleine with a candlelit lunch as we pass through the Arzviller and Niderviller Tunnels. We make our way closer towards the remarkable Arzviller Inclined Plane. The only one of its kind in Europe, it was designed to replace over 4km of locks that used to take a whole day to navigate. It is essentially a boat lift that traverses a 41% incline in only four minutes, a unique and unforgettable experience. At the foot of the incline, we find the Inclined Plane Crystal Workshop that has been preserving the art of blowing, carving and etching crystal for the past 25 years. Here we learn about these age-old methods and receive a demonstration before continuing along the canal through the Vosges mountain range to Lutzelbourg, where we moor for the night. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Sarrebourg
We arrive back in Lagarde this morning. After lunch, we depart the boat and transfer by motor coach to Sarrebourg which sits on the banks of the River Saar, the waterway from which the city gets its name. Here we enjoy a guided tour of this cultural destination and discover many of its hidden historical gems. The 13th century chapel of Cordeliers can be found in Sarrebourg: the original Marc Chagall stained glass window here, 'Peace', is the largest piece of its kind that the artist ever created and takes pride of place in the heart of the church. We'll also see the Art Nouveau architecture on display and wander the 18th century Grand'rue. Ovenright ship. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Homeward Bound
Following a buffet breakfast, we transfer to the railroad station in Strasbourg. Here we catch the train to Paris for our onward journey to London St Pancras. (B)
The high-speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers traveling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The contemporary and stylish Madeleine hotel barge offers its passengers the best in modern river cruising. Purpose-built, this intimate boat allows you to discover the hidden gems of a French canal cruise as we sail right into the heart of the charming towns and historical cities on our tour. We receive a first-class service from the dedicated on board crew who are on hand to help wherever possible.
Tour Dates & Prices
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