Sail along the Rhine aboard the exclusively chartered MS Serenade 1 to visit some of Europe’s oldest towns and cities, each with delightful haphazard alleys to explore. Starting and finishing in Cologne, we take in Bonn, the former capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the former Roman capital of Mainz. The Romans founded many of the destinations on this cruise, leaving fortresses and amphitheatres for us to enjoy, as well as initiating the growth of vineyards which decorate the valleys through which we sail. In addition to included city tours, you may like to visit Beethoven’s House Museum and Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to the Grand Hotel, Folkestone (or similar stop), where you will be greeted by Titan staff and meet your fellow travellers. Board your coaches for the journey by Eurotunnel or ferry to Calais and onward to Cologne. Upon arrival, embark MS Serenade 1 (4T), where light refreshments will be available before a welcome cocktail and Captain’s gala dinner this evening.
Day 2 - Bonn - Alken
Wake this morning in Bonn and choose to take an optional walking tour of the old city, or explore independently. A tumultuous history led to the city’s fortification in 1244 and then in 1949 it became the capital of West Germany, for the 41 years of the Cold War - just two events that have created an intriguing city over the last two millennia. The optional tour includes entrance to Beethoven’s House, the birthplace of Bonn’s most famous son. It holds many exhibits of his life and work including scores and musical instruments. We depart Bonn this afternoon and sail to Alken, where we moor overnight.
Day 3 - Alken - Cochem
Take the morning to discover Alken, one of the oldest towns along the Moselle, with old castles to explore. Our journey continues over lunch to Cochem, arriving mid-afternoon. Whilst here we have the option to take a sightseeing tour of the Imperial Cochem Castle, with beautiful medieval towers and fairytale turrets soaring high over beautiful scenes of the charming town and sloping vine-clad banks of the river. The manually harvested crops make the most prestigious of German wines.
Day 4 - Cochem - Boppard
We continue down the Rhine, navigating the locks on our way to beautiful Boppard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has evolved since its Roman settlement. Arriving this afternoon and docking overnight, the rest of the day is open for you to explore Boppard. The area is renowned for a long history influenced by several royal families, electors and bishops, although none possibly as important as the Romans. The fortress and 28 of the vast Roman camp’s defence towers are still standing.
Day 5 - Boppard - Lorelei Rock - Rüdesheim
This morning we sail the beautiful, winding Lorelei Passage and pass the legendary Lorelei Rock. Disembark in Rüdesheim after lunch for an optional visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum which holds an impressive collection of automated musical instruments, from delicate musical boxes to a gigantic piano-orchestrion. Alternatively, explore the historic city of winegrowers, to find parts of the city’s fortifications including the Romanesque Brömserburg Castle, now home to Rheingauer Wine Museum, and delightful half-timbered houses of Drosselgasse. We depart late this evening.
Day 6 - Mannheim - Heidelberg - Speyer
This morning we dock in Mannheim for a transfer to Heidelberg, where we take a walking tour through Gothic streets full of historic sites and attractions. The ruins of the Renaissance castle dominate the city, providing a stunning city backdrop and a wonderful place to visit. We return to our vessel in Speyer.
Day 7 - Strasbourg
We have an entire day to explore the grand city of Strasbourg. Begin with an included tour of the city centre, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and a cruise along the city’s canal for some fantastic views. The afternoon is at leisure for you to return to the twisting alleys lined with crooked houses and to its monumental cathedral featuring carvings as delicate as any piece of lacework.
Day 8 - Mainz - Andernach
Awake in Mainz for an included tour of the Roman capital. Its history is visible through the various architectural styles dotted across the city, from the ruins of a Roman theatre and aqueduct to the unusual modern synagogue. One of the city’s best known establishments is the Gutenberg Museum named after Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the revolutionary moveable metal type printing equipment that reproduced the famous Gutenberg Bible. We return to our ship this afternoon to continue to Andernach through the Lorelei Passage.
Day 9 - Andernach - Cologne
Spend your morning exploring the ancient town of Andernach before a lunchtime cruise to Cologne, where we remain docked overnight. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this Roman city with its famous Gothic cathedral which is said to house the remains of the Three Wise Men, and a plethora of museums covering everything from sport to chocolate and perfume. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s farewell gala dinner on board.
Day 10 Cologne - Folkestone
After breakfast we disembark and board our waiting coaches, to take us on the return journey to Calais and a Eurotunnel or ferry crossing to Folkestone. Upon arrival at The Grand Hotel (or similar stop), you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.