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The Rhine Valley in Flames

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20252026
8 days From $3,195 per person
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Discover the magical Rhine on a spectacular cruise and witness the sensational colors of the Rhine in Flames celebration

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
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Offer ends July 9th: Save 5% on the entire package when you book an A1 - Deluxe Stateroom or a Deluxe Suite for River Cruises from November 2024 to October 2025. Only available by phone - call to book today.

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2025 Tour code: FRR25

About the tour

Sail along the enchanting River Rhine on a luxury river cruise which includes the spectacular Rhine in Flames celebration. From the cultured streets of Cologne to the picturesque landscapes of the Middle Rhine, each day unfolds with beautiful passing scenery, historic towns, unspoilt villages, and timeless traditions.

Drift through the enchanting Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with stunning castles, lush forests, and sprawling vineyards. Discover the sights of enchanting Strasbourg, the magical allure of the Black Forest, and the elegance of Heidelberg.

The highlight of our cruise awaits in Oberwesel, where the Rhine comes alive with the spectacular Rhine in Flames procession. Amidst illuminated boats and fireworks, experience a celebration of color and wonder. Indulge in luxury on this cruise where every bend offers an inspiring moment, as the Rhine reveals the wonderful treasures along its banks.

Unforgettable Experiences

Experience the Rhine in Flames
Experience the Rhine in Flames
Experience the incredible Rhine in Flames procession, an annual spectacle along the Rhine River where the night sky lights up with sensational fireworks and the river shimmers with reflections of vibrant colors.
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Romantic Rhine Gorge
Sail through this enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site where spellbinding castles emerge, verdant forests stretch as far as the eye can see, and vineyard-clad slopes cascade down to the water's edge. We also drift by the dramatic Lorelei Rock, steeped in myth and legend.
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Drachenfelsbahn Cog Railway
Reach the summit of the majestic Drachenfels on the exhilarating Drachenfelsbahn cog railway. A journey of unparalleled beauty, we wind gracefully up the rolling slopes as the majestic panorama of the Rhine Valley gradually unfolds.
Historic Heidelberg
Historic Heidelberg
Visit the ‘Jewel of Germany’ on a guided tour, delving into the highlights of this picturesque riverside city as we stroll through the historic Altstadt and visit the imposing Heidelberg Castle, perched majestically atop the verdant hills overlooking the city.
Discover Rüdesheim
Discover Rüdesheim
Explore this charming town and the famous Drosselgasse, a quaint narrow alleyway lined with traditional pubs and wine cellars. While here, choose between a fabulous wine tasting or visit the marvelous Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet.
Enchanting Strasbourg
Enchanting Strasbourg
Venture into the Black Forest, an ancient woodland where towering trees shrouded in mist create an otherworldly atmosphere and discover Strasbourg’s grand architecture, cobblestone streets, and meandering canals.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Cologne where we board our luxurious ship

Our vacation begins this morning as we meet at London St Pancras before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. From here, we journey by rail to the city of Cologne where we board our magnificent ship, the luxurious Amadeus Imperial, and settle into our home on the river. Our friendly crew warmly greet us with a welcome cocktail as we get ready to immerse ourselves in the wonders of the Rhine. We then gather for our first dinner onboard, savoring the beginning of our cruise experience.

Day 2 - Exploring Cologne

After breakfast, we enjoy a leisurely tour of Cologne and wander through its cheerful streets and squares. We admire the Romanesque townhouses before visiting the city's impressive Gothic cathedral which is the largest in Northern Europe. The intricate spires and magnificent stained-glass windows of this UNESCO-listed landmark are captivating as we marvel at the grand architecture.

Later this morning, we set off on our first sail. Drifting upstream past Bonn, we begin to see the first signs of lush green hills as we arrive in the enchanting town of Königswinter. Here, we journey on the Drachenfelsbahn railway.

This fabulous cog railway rises high into the forests, passing the fairytale Drachenfels castle - whose name translates as 'Dragon's Rock', inspiring many of the dragon-related legends still heard today. We experience wonderful views across the Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany as we climb higher. We then head back to our cruise ship for dinner onboard.

Day 3 - Picturesque Koblenz and the Rhine in Flames

There's time at leisure this morning to explore Koblenz, once a Roman stronghold. We recommend strolling to Deutsches Eck at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. We then begin sailing again after lunch, pausing in the picturesque town of Boppard later this afternoon. From here, we continue cruising to Oberwesel, where we drop anchor this evening for the spectacular Rhine in Flames procession.

This event is a stunning procession of illuminated boats, fireworks and music along the Rhine River. It's a breathtaking display of colors, lights and sounds that brings together locals and visitors alike to celebrate summer nights with a sense of magic, romance and community. We have a great vantage point from our ship, and we celebrate as the sky lights up, the city is illuminated, and the river shimmers with vibrant colors. At the end of the procession, we return to Boppard where we dock for the night.

Day 4 - The enchanting Rhine Gorge and charming Rüdesheim

Our morning is spent leisurely onboard, sailing through delightful river landscapes including a highlight of our cruising experience - the romantic Rhine gorge. This section of the Rhine is renowned for its spectacular views and the best place to witness them is from the top deck of our ship. The riverbanks plunge deeper here, and we wind around bends surrounded by endless miles of lush green vineyards, ancient castles, and picturesque riverside towns. As we sail, we hear the fascinating story of the legendary Lorelei Rock which soars almost 500 feet out of the water.

Later this afternoon, we dock in captivating Rüdesheim where we travel through steeped vineyards aboard a land train, arriving in the center of the renowned wine town. Here there's a choice of excursions, each promising a delightful insight into the town. You could experience why the town is famous with a fantastic wine tasting, savoring the finest local varieties. Alternatively, you could visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet and discover Europe's largest collection of finely tuned mechanical instruments.

After dinner this evening there's time to explore the town's cobbled streets at your own pace and see the charming half-timbered houses, quaint shops, and enticing wine bars in the Drosselgasse alley.

Day 5 - Traditional Heidelberg and lovely Speyer

After a morning of relaxed cruising and lunch onboard, we arrive in the city of Mannheim. From here we journey by coach to charming Heidelberg for a guided tour. The picturesque university town is known for its lovely Old Town and stunning riverfront which is perfect for a relaxing stroll. Our tour includes a visit to the magnificent ruined, red sandstone castle that towers over the city, providing amazing views of the surrounding forests, river, and cityscape.

Alternatively, you could stay onboard and later, take in the sights of the historic city of Speyer and its cathedral at leisure before dinner this evening.

Day 6 - A scenic sail to Strasbourg

Today we enjoy a full day cruise to the French city of Strasbourg. Relax onboard as we pass diverse landscapes and fantastic natural beauty along the Rhine. We arrive in Strasbourg later this afternoon and after dinner, you can experience the city's unique character at leisure. Sitting near the border, Strasbourg perfectly represents the blending of French and German cultures. The enchanting old town is well worth a visit in your own free time, and you'll discover timber-framed houses, cobbled streets, and the iconic Cathedral, all creating a fairytale ambience.

Day 7 - The enchanting Black Forest or striking Strasbourg

After breakfast, you have a choice of two wonderful excursions. The first is a magical trip into the Black Forest, to witness stunning fairytale panoramas. Experience the beauty of Germany's largest nature park filled with rolling hills, picturesque villages, dense forests, and meadows dotted with wildflowers. As you explore this fairytale setting, you'll learn about the enchanting history and folklore of the region.

Alternatively, you could enjoy a city tour of Strasbourg, where you'll discover its fascinating history, admire its grand architecture and experience its unique character. The city sits on the French-German border and blends the best of the two cultures, with colorful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. On our tour, we visit the UNESCO-listed cathedral and the quaint La Petite France district.

Following your excursion, we return to our ship for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to discover more of Strasbourg, and you could join our coach into the old town. The picturesque capital of France's Alsace region offers a captivating evening of history and culture, whether you choose to wander the charming streets or relax with a beverage at one of the inviting cafés or wine bars.

Day 8 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, it's time to disembark and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. We head to the railway station and catch our train to London. Here, we say goodbye to new friends and fellow travelers. As you make your way home, look back on the beautiful moments we shared along the Rhine - amazing views in Koblenz and the spectacular Rhine in Flames show, the fairytale scenes along the Rhine Gorge, timeless culture in Rüdesheim, and renowned architecture in Heidelberg, Speyer and Strasbourg.

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Trains

Drachenfels Railway
Eurostar

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial