Day 1 - London - Amsterdam
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Amsterdam. Upon arrival we transfer to MS Bellejour (4T), where you will be welcomed on board. You may like to spend your evening relaxing on board or exploring the city, or you can book an evening cruise excursion to sail along Amsterdam’s famous canals - an ideal introduction to your holiday.
Day 2 - Amsterdam - Cruising the Rhine
We remain in Amsterdam this morning, for time to explore this exciting city independently or to venture into its surrounds on an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans. This village of traditional wooden windmills offers a glimpse into village life in the 18th and 19th centuries, and shows how these iconic buildings helped the production of linseed oil, paint, snuff and mustard. Spend the rest of day enjoying the views from deck as we follow the Rhine across the German border to Cologne. Tonight we enjoy a welcome reception followed by dinner.
Day 3 - Cologne
Enjoy further views as the MS Bellejour weaves her way along the meandering river towards Cologne. After lunch, we disembark in this city where over 2,000 years of history are displayed through the array of architecture, from Roman gates to the historical Town Hall, nondescript post-war buildings and remarkably modern developments. Fill your day with independent exploration, taking in the many museums including House of Fragrances and the Chocolate Museum, or intersperse this with an optional excursion or two - a guided tour will show many of Cologne’s cultural and historical sites including Great St Martin Church and the magnificent, Gothic cathedral, where you can find the Shrine of the Magi, the fabled Three Kings. You may also enjoy an optional evening excursion to experience German pubs and breweries, learning their traditions, tasting the beer and trying traditional German food such as bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Day 4 - Cochem
After a relaxing morning and delicious lunch on board, we arrive in Cochem. Spend your day discovering this beautiful town and you will find lovingly kept gabled houses and numerous Roman remains, but the grandest attraction of all is the breathtaking neo-gothic castle which dominates its surroundings. You have the option to take a walking tour of the turret-topped Reichsburg Castle to hear historical tales as you wonder through the beautiful chambers.
Day 5 - Lorelei Rock - Rüdesheim
After lunch, board the wine-grower-express mini-train from the banks of the Rhine, to meander through idyllic vineyards, into the heart of Rüdesheim. The mix of beautifully kept half-timbered dwellings, Gothic towers and the impenetrable Brömserburg Castle create a gorgeous town. You may also like to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum, where 350 self-playing mechanical music boxes can be seen and heard; and taste delicious wines at a local winery - the town has a long tradition of producing acclaimed Riesling and pinot noir wines from the surrounding, UNESCO protected, vine-covered valley.
Day 6 - Mannheim (Heidelberg) - Speyer
We make an early stop in Mannheim for an included tour through the Gothic streets of Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town. The Baroque centre and beautiful riverside setting of this small, yet impressive city has inspired many 18th and 19th century romantics, most notably the poet Goethe. Our tour includes a guided tour of Heidelberg Castle, considered the most impressive castle ruins in Germany. We re-join our ship in Speyer for lunch. This afternoon, you are free to explore Speyer, an ancient city which is easy to explore by foot; the vibrant Jewish community and seat of the Imperial Chamber Court are worth seeing, as are the selection of outstanding museums. Alternatively you may wish to take an additional optional tour which includes the Cathedral of the Salian Emperors, considered the most beautiful Romanesque building in Europe.
Day 7 - Strasbourg
fter breakfast, we take an excursion to the charismatic city of Strasbourg, radiating both German and French heritage. Walk through the picturesque old town to discover the magnificent Gothic cathedral, many cafés, antique stores, boutiques and typical Alsatian architecture, before boarding a boat to experience an alternative view of the pretty half-timbered houses in Petite France. Enjoy some time at leisure in the city before we return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon you may wish to do some further independent exploration, or take this opportunity to delve into the French wine region of Alsace. During a drive through the ‘Route du Vin’, we see lush vineyards and flower-decked villages; and take guided tours through the quaint streets of the medieval town centres of Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé, before visiting a local winery for a wine tasting.
Day 8 Basel - Bern - Interlaken
Early this morning we cross the border into Switzerland and dock in Basel. We disembark after breakfast and take a coach further south for a walking tour of the medieval Swiss capital. Bern has successfully retained its historic features, with unique towers, sandstone façades, cobbled alleys and many fountains decorating the city. See sights such as the Zytglogge Clock Tower and Parliament Square before you have time for some independent exploration, maybe along Lauben, one of the longest covered shopping arcades in Europe. We continue to Interlaken and the Grand Hotel Beau Rivage (4T+) or Hotel Metropole (4T), both with beautiful views of the Jungfrau Mountain. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 9 Schilthorn
After breakfast we take a coach to the idyllic mountain village of Stechelberg, where we board a cable car to ascend the Schilthorn, stopping at Birg for a photo opportunity. Continuing up this magnificent mountainside, we reach the summit, nearly 3,000m above sea level, from where you can take in incredible panoramic views of over 200 peaks which fill the mountainscape. We take lunch at the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant and have time to visit the Bond World 007 exhibition, displaying clips and insights into the film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ which was filmed here in part; or visit the 007 Walk of Fame, which honours the celebrities who have worked on James Bond films, both in front of and behind the camera. We then return to the cable car for our journey back to Stechelberg and on to our hotel.
Day 10 Interlaken - Basel - London
We make our way back to Basel Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.