Europe & Baltic
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.
2013: Cruise departure every Sunday from Jun 16 - Oct 27.
Available by individual cabins, or private charter.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Paris in a private vehicle with a professional driver.
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. 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 English speaking driver.
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, the wonderful Chateau is situated 6 km from Strasbourg, ideally located in a 4 hectare park within a tree-lined bend in the Ill River. With its half-timbered style and flowery balconies, it reflects traditional Alsatian architecture and is ideally suited to discover the region. The hotel has a traditional brasserie and gastronomic restaurant as well as the Ile Spa. 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.
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.
You will enjoy a morning cruise to Einville and then to Nancy for a walking tour of the city beginning at the elegant “Place Stanislas”. Flanked by handsome Baroque palaces and enclosed by ornate gold and wrought iron entry gates, the square is considered one of the grandest in all of France. The Art Nouveau movement originated in Nancy, and you may choose to visit the Ecole de Nancy to see its fine collection.
After a morning cruise past tidy farms and pasturelands, you will drive to the privately owned Chateau de Fleville. This graceful Renaissance residence adjoins a 14th century castle keep. The interiors are richly furnished with 18th century antiques. You then return to the barge, moored in the peaceful village of Schneckenbusch for the night.
Each day you travel on the canal, you've been gradually climbing to the crest of the Vosges Mountains. After navigating two tunnels carved into the mountaintop, you will encounter the Inclined Plane at Arzviller. This unique lock allows a barge to glide effortlessly up or down the mountainside using a sophisticated system of weights and balances. A short drive along the way will take you to the Christallerig of Harz village where fine crystal is still hand blown. You continue the cruise through the Zorn Valley where the surrounding hilltops are dotted with ruins of feudal castles. Your overnight stay will be in Lutzelbourg.
Today you wind through the heart of Saverne, past the regal 18th century Bishop’s Palace (Chateau de Rohan). From Saverne, you'll take an afternoon drive along the Route du Vin d’ Alsace to the old fortified town of Obernai where you will visit the Market Square and the 14th century ramparts that surround the city. Stop along the way at Winegrower to taste some of the best Alcasian wines.
Today you will finish the cruise in the busy port of Strasbourg. Your afternoon tour of Strasbourg includes the folk museum and the 11th century gothic cathedral, leaving enough time to stroll around to explore the fine shops. Returning to the barge you'll celebrate your cruise with a lovely farewell dinner.
After breakfast, disembark the barge and transfer to your hotel.
Aiport transfer in private vehicle with English speaking Driver.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of France for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/france.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Paris. Government: Republic since 1792. Language: French is the official language. Many people speak at least some English. Religion: Approximately 83% Roman Catholic; Protestant 2%; Muslim 5% Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used. Telephone: Country code +33. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent. Internet: Public access is available at Internet cafes in most cities.
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