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Glacier Express & The Rhine Valley in Flames

11 days From £3,795 £3,495 per person

Experience the sensational Rhine in Flames display on a luxurious cruise along the Rhine before boarding the iconic Glacier Express for incredible alpine views in the Swiss Alps.

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Save up to £300pp on selected River Cruise 2024 holidays when you book by 31st October 2023.

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2024 Tour code: FGR24

About the tour

Showcasing the enchanting landscapes of the Rhine, the spectacular Rhine in Flames display, and the incredible panoramic views that the Glacier Express is famed for, this is a rail and cruise holiday that combines the amazing sights from both river and land.

Experience the spectacular scenery of the UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge and sail through charming riverside towns as you explore the renowned beauty of the Rhine region. Explore timeless Heidelberg and visit idyllic Strasbourg before staying in the alpine cities of Zermatt and Chur. Round off your holiday with unrivalled views of the majestic Swiss Alps aboard the legendary Glacier Express.


What’s included


Day 1 – To Amsterdam where we board our luxurious ship

Today we meet at London St Pancras. Our holiday begins as we board the Eurostar to Amsterdam, where our magnificent ship awaits us.

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

  • Dinner
Day 2 – Discover vibrant Amsterdam

We head into Amsterdam for a guided tour this morning. From idyllic canals and large parks to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a lively 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.

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

  • 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 detail of this UNESCO-listed landmark are captivating as we marvel at the grand architecture.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – The magical Middle Rhine the wonderful Drachenfelsbahn

Leaving Cologne this morning, we head to Königswinter where we 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'. The viewing platform at the top provides wonderful vistas, across the evergreen hills and meadows, to the meandering Rhine in the distance.

Drifting away from Königswinter after lunch, we soak up the enchanting Middle Rhine. As we sail through this captivating stretch of river towards Koblenz - characterised by lush green meadows and postcard villages - our Cruise Director narrates its intriguing history and highlights.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 – Picturesque Koblenz, the enchanting Rhine Gorge, and the spectacular Rhine in Flames

Waking up in Koblenz this morning, we head out to explore this historic city. On a guided tour, we see the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and the Deutsches Eck monument at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. From the viewing point, we enjoy breathtaking views in every direction including the two rivers and the Roman cityscape.

After lunch back on board, 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.

This evening, we dock in Oberwesel for the spectacular Rhine in Flames procession. This event is a stunning procession of illuminated boats, fireworks and music along the Rhine River. It's a breathtaking display of colours, lights and sounds that brings together locals and visitors alike to celebrate summer nights with a sense of magic, romance and community.

We have a great vantage point from our ship and we celebrate as the sky lights up, the city is illuminated, and the river shimmers with vibrant colours. At the end of the procession, we begin sailing overnight.

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

Sailing to charming Speyer in the afternoon, we step ashore and take in the sights of this historic German city and its cathedral. We then 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – The enchanting Black Forest or historic Strasbourg

Today, we sail into the charming German city of Strasbourg, where you have a choice between two fantastic excursions.

Your first option is a city tour of beautiful Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. The striking city is positioned on the German-French border and has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history, resulting in a unique representation of both cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets.

Your second choice is a journey into the fabulous Black Forest, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas. Deep valleys, dense woodlands, verdant meadows, and whimsical waterfalls lie along the magical trails here.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, 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.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.


Drachenfels Railway
The Glacier Express


MS Amadeus Imperial

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Cruise in Europe 2024

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