Europe & Baltic Cruises
Explore, Paris and Alsace & Lorraine area, a unique corner of France, created by the German Empire in 1871. For centuries, the great empires of Europe confronted one another at this strategic military crossroads. Discover a land of storybook castles, rolling vineyards of Alsatian wines, and Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture, as your barge navigates the rivers and canals of the Alsace-Lorraine. The area's unique blend of French and German influences are strongly evident in its customs, cuisine, wines, architecture and language. This river cruise will guide you to wonderful discoveries of Mittersheim, Nancy, Lutzelbourg, Hochfelden and Strasbourg. Each six-night cruise includes all meals, selected domaine and chateau wines, an open bar, daily escorted excursions, local transfers and the use of all barge facilities such as bicycles and spa pools.
2014: Cruise departure every Sunday from Jun 22 - Oct 26.
Available by individual cabins, or private charter.
You will be picked up from the airport this morning for your private transfer to the Westminster Hotel.
Hotel Londres & New York (3*) situated at Saint Lazare in Paris, ideally located, in the heart of Paris, near Opera and Madeleine, a short walk from the main department stores and the famous Louvre Museum. All guest rooms at the Londres et New York hotel are soundproofed and feature satellite TV, a work desk and tea and coffee making facilities; as well, all rooms are serviced by an elevator and some have a balcony. A varied buffet breakfast is served every morning in the Londres et New York breakfast room, or in guests’ rooms upon request. There is also a lounge bar where guests are invited to relax with a drink. The Hotel Londres et New York is perfect for business or holidays.
After being picked up at your hotel, enjoy exploring Paris with your private vehicle - a comfortable sedan for groups of 2 and a minivan for a group size up to 7, and English speaking Driver. Your driver will be knowledgeable about Paris, but is not a certified Guide so cannot enter into the sites with you as a Guide - If you would like to have a Guide this can easily be arranged - please speak to your Sales Advisor. Your driver will however, be a great source of general information about Paris and drive you from site to site as you explore the city. Paris was created 2000 years ago and began at the Cite Island (Ile de la Cite). The driver is at your disposal for 3/12 hours but here is a suggestion on how to spend the time; Discover the Marais District and the Latin Quarter before heading to the Notre Dame Cathedral with your driver. Then discover Place de la Concorde, Avenue des Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe amongst other main sites within the city. At the end of your tour you will be either dropped back to your hotel or left in a central place within the city, depending on your schedule. If you would like to have a certified Guide accompany you on this tour, please just ask your Sales Advisor and this can be arranged for you.
Take a private train station transfer with a private vehicle and driver. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
Enjoy the direct train ride from Paris to Strasbourg. The ride is approximately 2.5 hours in length.
Meet your private English speaking driver for a train station transfer.
Chateau de l'Ile (4*) part of the Grandes Etapes de France group, is located in a gorgeous park near Strasbourg, making it the perfect location to discover the region. With its elegant style and flowery balconies the Chateau de l'Ile reflects traditional Alsatian architecture. The hotel has a traditional brasserie and gastronomic restaurant as well as the Ile Spa for guests to enjoy. The 62 rooms are decorated with elegance in the spirit of the 18th and 19th centuries and offer pleasant views over the Ill River or the typical village of Ostwald.
Meet your driver and transportation at the designated pick-up location, and transfer to your awaiting barge.
A Champagne reception welcomes you on board today, and provides you with a chance to meet the crew.
The 12 passenger Panache is of classic Dutch design. It is traditionally furnished in an old ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience. The saloon and dining room feature comfortable sofas, books and music, and an always open inclusive bar. The sun deck is spacious and has a heated spa pool, a perfect place to watch the sun set after dinner. Panache's highly professional crew of five is comprised of Master Chef, Deck Hand, Tour guide and Housekeeper, led by a knowledgeable and experienced Captain who will ensure your cruise is memorable and more. Their knowledge of the region, combined with fascinating chauffeur driven private excursions and the 12 bikes we provide will allow you to explore the areas you cruise through in as much detail as you desire.
Descend the Arzviller boat lift, a unique elevator system for barges allowing your vessel to effortlessly glide down the mountainside in minutes, thus avoiding 17 traditional locks and an additional day's navigation. This is followed by a visit to Fusion Libre. After lunch you visit the mountain top village of La Petite Pierre with its medieval castle fortified by the personal architect of Louis XIV, Sebastien Le Prestre Vauban. After a short drive, you tour the outstanding René Lalique collection and see over 500 exceptional examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glassware, chandelier and designs depicting the Belle Epoque era. in nearby Wingen-sur-Moder is also the World War II battleground where American infantry confronted some of Germany’s most seasoned veterans. Before dinner, enjoy the outstanding views along the Zorn valley from the nearby 12th century castle ruins. Dinner ashore at Restaurant des Vosges.
Start the day with a visit to one of the local bakeries to watch skilled bread makers and patissiers at work preparing their delicious creations. Enjoy a morning cruise through the Valley of the Zorn and forest, to the enchanting village of Saverne, where history traces back over 20 centuries to the Gallo-Roman times. You moor at the foot of the Chateau de Rohan, also known as the Versailles of the Alsace with its monumental classicistic façade. Depart the barge and transfer to the hilltop 11th century Château du Haut Barr, a former residence of the bishops of Strasbourg with its Roman chapel and Gothic choir, before strolling the narrow streets of Saverne.
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Saverne, and visit the 11th century hilltop Château de Haut Barr, a former residence of the bishops of Strasbourg with its Roman chapel. Before you return to your barge, you'll drive through the scenic Vosges hills on the Route des Grands Crus and stop to admire the vineyards. This afternoon you cruise to Hochfelden followed by a Tarte Flambee and a local beer at a typical Hansel and Gretel Alsatian Inn. Dinner on board.
Enjoy a morning cruise to the stunning Brumath Forest. After lunch you'll set out on a tour of the village of Wingersheim and visit the Alsace hops region situated between the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest. The climate is continental with hot summers that perfectly suit the hops plants. From a view point above the village, you'll hear about growing hops and the history of the hops culture, before enjoying a tour and tasting of locally brewed beer at the Holtzmann Brewery. Dinner on board.
Today you will finish the cruise at Parc de l’Etoile in the heart of Strasbourg. After lunch, enjoy a tour of this beautiful capital city of Europe including, of course, a visit to the 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral, home to an astronomical Renaissance clock and impressive spire. You'll then visit Place Gutenberg and explore La Petite France, a pedestrian area brimming with half-timbered houses, boutique shops and cafes. Later, enjoy an exclusive wine and kouglof tasting at the Cave Historique des Hospices de Strasbourg, which dates from 1394 and still stores a barrel of wine from 1472 that was last tasted by De Gaulle’s liberating French army in 1944. Return to your barge for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, disembark the barge and transfer to your hotel.
Once again, you'll be met by a driver and transfered out of the ship mooring area.
Aiport transfer in private vehicle with English speaking Driver.
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