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Glacier Express & The Romantic Rhine

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20242025
11 days From £3,295 £3,145 per person
4.5 stars(8 reviews)
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Tour & Cruise

Discover the iconic Glacier Express and enjoy an enchanting cruise on the Romantic Rhine.

Save up to £150pp

Save up to £150pp on selected 2024 Europe, British Isles and Cruise holidays, when you book by 10th May 2024.

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2024 Tour code: EGR24

About the tour

Experience one of the world's finest rail adventures aboard the legendary Glacier Express before descending the valley for a luxury cruise on the spectacular Rhine. Sail into the picturesque Rhine Gorge, visiting medieval cities, charming riverside towns, and much more.

Interested in this tour but haven't found a date that works for you?
You might also like our similar tour Glacier Express and The Majestic Rhine!

Unforgettable experiences

Glacier Express
Glacier Express
Journey through stunning mountain scenery on the renowned Glacier Express and enjoy some of the most sensational views of the Matterhorn on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway.
Rhine Gorge
Rhine Gorge
Sail into the UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge - a magical area of castles, forests and the mythical Lorelei Rock.
Zermatt
Zermatt
Stay in idyllic Zermatt, waking to views of the mighty Matterhorn mountain.
Heidelberg
Heidelberg
Explore the beautiful riverside city of Heidelberg on a guided tour, seeing wonderful medieval buildings and its fabulous ruined castle.
Rüdesheim
Rüdesheim
Wander Rüdesheim’s cobbled streets, admire its half-timbered buildings, and experience the famous Drosselgasse alley bursting with life, cosy pubs and inviting wine cellars.
Drachenfels Railway
Drachenfels Railway
Climb to the top of the Drachenfels on the Drachenfelsbahn cog railway, with wonderful views across the shimmering river and beyond.
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Explore the canals, parks and art galleries of Amsterdam on a city tour or ride the Medemblik Steam Train through charming Dutch scenery.
Cologne
Cologne
Tour the vibrant streets of bustling Cologne and visit its impressive Gothic cathedral.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Amsterdam where we board our luxurious ship

Our holiday begins this morning as we meet at London St Pancras. Aboard the Eurostar we head to Amsterdam, where our magnificent ship awaits us.

After a welcome cocktail this evening, we enjoy dinner accompanied by a wonderful performance from a traditional Dutch Sea Shanty choir - the perfect start to our cruise.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Vibrant Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train

This morning you have the choice of two exciting excursions. The first is a city tour of Amsterdam, a vibrant city that's as modern as it is historic. On the tour, you'll see some of the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Rijksmuseum and Dam Square. You'll also get to explore the famous Flower Market and enjoy a canal boat cruise, soaking up stunning views of the city's picturesque canals and architecture.

Alternatively, you could journey through the enchanting Hoorn countryside aboard the Medemblik Steam Train. Admire the picturesque landscape of tulip fields, windmills, and charming villages - the epitome of Dutch culture.

During a delightful lunch on board, we begin sailing to Cologne, embarking on our first relaxing cruise of the holiday.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Lively Cologne

As we approach Cologne this afternoon, we see the magnificent bridges that span the river and the imposing Cathedral. We enjoy a walking tour of the city and, as we explore its vibrant streets and lively squares, we admire the Romanesque townhouses before visiting the city's impressive Gothic cathedral which is the largest in Northern Europe. The intricate spires and magnificent stained glass windows of this UNESCO-listed landmark are captivating as we marvel at the grand architecture.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - The magical Middle Rhine and the wonderful Drachenfelsbahn

We bid farewell to Cologne this morning, setting off on our journey upstream. After breakfast, we head to the top deck as we sail by the historic city of Bonn, once a proud Roman settlement and the illustrious birthplace of the legendary composer, Beethoven.

Continuing upstream, we begin to see the first signs of lush green hills as we arrive in the enchanting town of Königswinter. We enjoy lunch onboard before our journey on the Drachenfelsbahn railway.

This fabulous cog railway rises high into the forests, passing the fairytale Drachenfels castle - which is said to have been the inspiration for the castle in Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty'. We experience wonderful views across the Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany as we climb higher. During lunch onboard our ship in the late afternoon, we set sail. Look out for the impressive Deutsches Eck monument as we approach Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. We moor within easy walking distance for you to explore the beautifully illuminated riverside at leisure before dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Picturesque Koblenz, the enchanting Rhine Gorge, and charming Rüdesheim

There's time at leisure this morning to explore Koblenz, once a Roman stronghold. We recommend strolling to Deutsches Eck where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. After lunch, we commence a highlight of our cruising experience - sailing through the romantic Rhine Gorge.

This section of the Rhine is renowned for its spectacular views and the best place to witness them is from the top deck of our ship. The riverbanks plunge deeper here, and we wind around bends surrounded by endless miles of lush green vineyards, ancient castles, and picturesque riverside towns. It's also one of the narrowest points of the river with one of the strongest currents. As we sail, we hear the fascinating story of the legendary Lorelei Rock which soars almost 500 feet out of the water. This monument has been the inspiration for countless myths and legends, and we hear of them as we sail by.

We then arrive into the captivating town of Rüdesheim, famous for its delicious white wine, especially the dry Riesling variety. Wander its cobbled streets at your own pace and see the charming half-timbered houses, quaint shops, and enticing wine bars in the Drosselgasse alley before dinner back onboard our ship.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Lovely Speyer and traditional Heidelberg

After breakfast, we step ashore in Speyer this morning and take in the sight of this historic German city and its cathedral. In the afternoon, we journey to the picturesque university town of Heidelberg, known for its lovely Old Town and stunning riverfront which is perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Here, we enjoy a guided tour including a visit to the magnificent ruined, red sandstone castle that towers over the city, providing amazing views of the surrounding forests, river, and cityscape. We return to our ship later for dinner and a restful overnight sailing.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - The enchanting Black Forest or delightful Strasbourg

Today, there's a choice of two wonderful excursions. The first is a magical trip into the Black Forest, to witness stunning fairytale panoramas. Experience the beauty of Germany's largest nature park filled with rolling hills, picturesque villages, dense forests, and meadows dotted with wildflowers. As you explore this fairytale setting, you'll learn about the enchanting history and folklore of the region.

Alternatively, you could enjoy a city tour of Strasbourg, where you'll discover its fascinating history, admire its grand architecture and experience its unique character. The city sits on the French-German border and blends the best of the two cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. On our tour, we visit the cathedral and the quaint La Petite France district.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - To wonderful Zermatt

We enjoy our last breakfast onboard this morning before we disembark in Strasbourg. From here, we journey the scenic rail route to Zermatt. Here, we check into our wonderful hotel for two nights in this stunning, car-free mountain village. Sitting at the heart of the Swiss Alps, it has wonderful views of the surrounding alpine peaks including the mighty, Matterhorn mountain.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - The beautiful Gornergrat Mountain Railway

A journey on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway awaits us today. This cog railway trip ascends the Gornergrat, to its summit - the second-highest railway in Europe. As we reach the top, stunning views of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and valleys below are revealed. From here, we enjoy magical views of the surrounding mountains including the imposing Matterhorn.

After lunch surrounded by the views of Gornergrat, we return to Zermatt and discover more of this wonderful resort on a guided tour. Strolling through the traditional streets we're surrounded by wooden chalets and shops selling traditional Swiss products as our guide shares the history of Zermatt giving us a deeper understanding of the beautiful resort. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the scenery and tranquillity.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - The iconic Glacier Express and charming Chur

Today, we board the magnificent Glacier Express. Our panoramic journey takes us through undeniably Swiss scenes of green meadows, dense, evergreen forests and snow-capped mountains, ambling along the beautiful Rhine Valley aboard 'The Slowest Express Train in the World'. We spiral up the mountains, crossing vast viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on our way to Chur.

As we arrive and check into our hotel, you can explore the rich history, culture, and sights of Switzerland's oldest village , before dinner this evening. Wander the Altstadt - the Old Town - to discover the authentic restaurants and relaxed bars that add to the town's lovely atmosphere.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to lovely Chur. We make our way to the railway station and head towards Paris where we catch Eurostar bound for London St Pancras. Here, we say goodbye to new friends and fellow travellers.

Includes
  • Dinner

Additional information

The Rhine in Flames

The Rhine in Flames is a magnificent procession that takes place every year on the majestic Rhine River in Germany. The river is set ablaze with an incredible display of fireworks and flares, illuminating the entire area with vibrant colours. Crowds line the riverbanks for the spectacle, gasping and cheering. But we have the best seat in the house on our luxury boat which is part of the wonderful display!

Book in May to join the spectacular celebrations - click here to view The Rhine in Flames

Info - Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid. (Look for S - Standard Class and F - First Class)

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Hotel National, Zermatt

Hotel National, Zermatt

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Hotel Schweizerhof

Hotel Schweizerhof, Zermatt

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Hotel Simi

Hotel Simi, Zermatt

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Hotel Sonne

Hotel Sonne, Zermatt

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Trains

Eurostar
The Glacier Express
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
TGV

Ships

MS Amadeus Imperial
MS Amadeus Star

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 8 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (5)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Archie Westwood

5 stars

Submitted 12 Aug 2023

A great relaxing and interesting tour, with excellent food, accommodation and service throughout. The scenery from the Glacier Express was stunning.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Michael Coyne

4 stars

Submitted 10 Aug 2023

River cruising is about cruising during the day and docking at night - not the other way round as happened too many times (possibly for economic reasons). Also too many early starts for a relaxing’ break. Food excellent and accommodation good. The ship’s crew were also extremely professional and helpful. The rail element was fascinating and beautiful but far, far too rushed and intensive with early morning starts and multiple changes of train making the experience tiring and difficult to appreciate. Given the beauty of the scenery we were privileged to see this detracted significantly from the experience. Our tour manager Stephen mitigated this as much as possible but could not, of course, overcome the restrictions of the schedule. Travelled previously with GRD and enjoyed the experience but found this less enjoyable. (Maybe stick with title?)

Collected by Trustpilot

Bill Scott

5 stars

Submitted 10 Aug 2023

One fantastic adventure! Amadeus Imperial Captain and crew were excellent. Swiss adventure to view Matterhorn was amazing!

Collected by Trustpilot

Duncan McCosh

5 stars

Submitted 09 Aug 2023

Cruise accommodation was excellent as well as the staff, nothing was too much bother.The rail part of the trip was even better particularly the stay in Zermatt.

Collected by Trustpilot

JACQUELINE

4 stars

Submitted 09 Aug 2023

A really lovely river boat (Amadeus Imperial) without doubt the best we have been on. The first part of the cruise was somewhat pretty mundane with very little different scenery from Amsterdam to Cologne. (Many river cruises start from Cologne and that would the best option) The weather was disappointing for the first week but could not fault the boat with its cuisine and excursions. The second leg of the trip was four days crossing Switzerland by rail with two hotel stays of standard value but the trains included the Glacier Express, the Gornagrat cog wheel track to within touching distance of the Matterhorn and we were blessed with lovely clear blue skies for these four days. The train journey home was long with four train changes but with the company we had it was interesting. The cruise director Kate was superb in keeping us all informed in a light hearted way and was always there to ask if we needed to. The train tour guide Stephen was also superb in keeping us all together during some quick train changes and had to be very aware of timings. Also having been with train industry in the past he was very knowledgeable. The whole trip was very well organised and we would thoroughly recommend it.

Collected by Trustpilot

Chris Read

5 stars

Submitted 17 Jul 2023

Brilliant combination of relaxing cruise from Amsterdam to Basle and stunningly scenic Swiss railway journeys. Great Rail Journeys charter these ships so everyone is a Great Rail customer and they have their own Cruise Managers to supplement the ship's own staff. The cabins are spacious, the beds comfortable, the food is brilliant and the numerous excursions are all included. The journeys on the Gornergrat Railway and Glacier Express offer great views. A most enjoyable holiday

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