On this all inclusive cruise, explore the hidden gems of Alsace
and Lorraine, discovering many sights that lie off the beaten path.
With visits to the medieval towns of Saverne and Sarrebourg, we
travel on board the MS Madeleine, along these scenic waterways.
Night time river cruise of Strasbourg (subject to availability)
Guided tour of Wingersheim hops path with a beer tasting
After meeting your the rest of your group and Tour Manager at
our St Pancras Departure Office, board the Eurostar to Paris,
continuing to Strasbourg - the capital of the historical region of
Alsace. This area is one of France's best-kept secrets, by-passed
by sun-seekers who race to the Côte d'Azur. But to the delight of
gourmets across the country other than Paris, there are more
Michelin-starred restaurants in Alsace than anywhere else in
France. The region is famous for its cuisine and the world-renowned
wines from vineyards along the 'Route des Vins', making it a
delightful tour destination. We transfer by to our hotel barge,
the Madeleine, home for the next seven days. We then get the chance
to take a separate panoramic boat-ride through the city at night
(subject to availability).
Days 2-3 - Wingersheim and Haut-Barr Castle
Take time to relax on board this morning before we set off by
coach for a tranquil walking tour of the Wingersheim hops path.
Beautiful Alsace is famed for its beer production and we get the
opportunity to try some at a special tasting. Back on board
tonight, there is a celebratory gala dinner.
Begin Day 3 sailing to Saverne. On
arrival, we enjoy a visit to the towering Haut-Barr Castle.
Strategically positioned at 470m above sea level, it is also known
as 'the Eye of Alsace' for the views it offers out over the Alsace
Plain. Haut-Barr Castle is also home to the 'devil's bridge', a
walkway suspended between two seemingly perilously perched rocks -
a unique experience not for the faint of heart! On our return to
the boat, we stop briefly at the Chappe Tower.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Saverne
This morning includes a guided tour of Saverne, discovering the
town's main street, with its unicorn fountain (Saverne's emblem),
and Katz house, a tavern adorned with beautifully decorated,
halftimbered sculpturing that dates back to 1605. We also visit the
church of Notre Dame and the surviving 12th century porch tower.
This afternoon we take a leisurely stroll to Lutzelbourg Castle,
before dinner at a local restaurant. Here, you have the chance to
experience a local delicacy - tarte flambée.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - The Inclined Plane
This morning is spent aboard the Madeleine with a candlelit
lunch as we pass through the Arzviller and Niderviller Tunnels. We
make our way closer towards the remarkable Arzviller Inclined
Plane. The only one of its kind in Europe, it was designed to
replace over 4km of locks that used to take a whole day to
navigate. It is essentially a boat lift that traverses a 41%
incline in only four minutes, a unique and unforgettable
experience. At the foot of the incline, we find the Inclined Plane
Crystal Workshop that has been preserving the art of blowing,
carving and etching crystal for the past 25 years. Here we learn
about these age-old methods and receive a demonstration before
continuing along the canal through the Vosges mountain range to
Lutzelbourg, where we moor for the night.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 6-7 – Sarrebourg and homeward bound
Arriving back in Lagarde this morning. After lunch, we depart
the boat and transfer by coach to Sarrebourg which sits on the
banks of the River Saar, the waterway from which the city gets its
name. Here we enjoy a guided tour of this cultural destination and
discover many of its hidden historical gems. The 13th century
chapel of Cordeliers can be found in Sarrebourg: the original Marc
Chagall stained glass window here, 'Peace', is the largest piece of
its kind that the artist ever created and takes pride of place in
the heart of the church. We'll also see the Art Nouveau
architecture on display and wander the 18th century Grand'rue.
Following a buffet breakfast on Day 7, transfer
to the railway station in Strasbourg. Here we catch the train to
Paris for our onward journey to London St Pancras.
Discover the cultural and historical background of this
industrial town located at the edge of the Vosges mountains on a
The Inclined Plane and Crystal Works
Your passage through the Inclined Plane is a highlight of the
cruise and afterwards enjoy an informative demonstration of local
The size of The Madeleine allows you to reach this town that
lies off the beaten tourist path for a fascinating guided tour.
Set high in the Alsatian hills, this 12th century castle offers
stunning views. Perhaps brave the devil's footbridge.
This excursion immerses you straight into the traditions of
Alsace as you take a delightful stroll through a working hops field
and see first hand how these plants are grown and cultivated. This
is followed by a welldeserved tasting of the local brew.
River boat tour of Strasbourg
Take a river boat ride through Strasbourg (subject to
availability). The Old Town by night is truly spectacular and the
cruise takes you past important monuments such as the European
Court of Human Rights.
Please note that while every departure of this tour features the
same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from,
London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London
Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point,
and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport,
visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your
itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot
travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with
any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses
which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any
passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be
found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices
& Availability' button. We write to all booked customers
approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise
the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
93% of travellers would recommend this tour
Based on 14 verified reviews
Mr A Gander
Submitted Sep 21, 2019
An excellent tour in terms of restfullness, good food and wine, plus some very interesting visits.
Submitted Jul 14, 2019
The tour was well organised, the little boat was nd the food and drink excellent. We enjoyed the organised visits and all the staff were charming.
Submitted Oct 27, 2018
Excellent barge with good facilities, superb food, charming, excellent crew.
Mrs S Ganley
Submitted Oct 20, 2018
The Madelaine barge was very comfortable and the staff were lovely. The itinerary was also really good with beautiful scenery and interesting places to visit.
First class Barge Cruise! Not sure what to expect, but comfortable cabins, excellent food and service, good company- only 22 like-minded fellow travellers, and interesting visits.
Who could ask for more to celebrate a'mature' birthday!
Submitted Jul 07, 2018
A relaxing gem with helpful, friendly staff and good food.