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The Waterways of Alsace and Lorraine by Barge

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4.6 stars(28 reviews)
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Explore the hidden gems of Alsace and Lorraine by barge

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
7 days From £2,495 per person

2023 Tour code: CAR23

About the tour

On this all inclusive barge 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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Strasbourg and embarkation

After meeting 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 holiday 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).

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Truchtersheim and Hochfelden

Today we travel to Truchtersheim where we delve into local heritage at the Maison du Kochersberg museum. We continue to Hochfelden and the Villa Meteor, where we learn about the beer-making Meteor family and their brewery, and enjoy a tasting of their famous products.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Haut-Barr Castle

Today we begin 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.

Includes
  • 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, half-timbered 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - The Inclined Plane

This morning is spent aboard the Madeleine as we pass through the Arzviller and Niderviller Tunnels. We make our way towards the remarkable Arzviller Inclined Plane and from our position on the ship, enjoy a unique view. 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 4 minutes, a unique and unforgettable experience. At the foot of the incline, we find the Inclined Plane Crystal Workshop which 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Sarrebourg

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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - London

Following a buffet breakfast, we transfer to the railway station in Strasbourg. Here we catch the train to Paris for our onward journey to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Shore Excursions - Included in your Tour

Sarrebourg

Discover the cultural and historical background of this industrial town located at the edge of the Vosges mountains on a guided tour.

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 crystal production.

Saverne

The size of The Madeleine allows you to reach this town that lies off the beaten tourist path for a fascinating guided tour.

Haut-Barr Castle

Set high in the Alsatian hills, this 12th century castle offers stunning views. Perhaps brave the devil's footbridge.

Wingersheim

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.

Shore Excursions
Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

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.

Trains

Eurostar
TGV

Ship

MS Madeleine

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Door to door luggage from £180
Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 28 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (20)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr richard garrard

4 stars

Submitted 15/Sep

Actual cruising was brilliant - excellent food, first class & personal service. Very relaxing pace, interesting towns & countryside plus the amazing inclined plane. Highly recommended. Journey from Paris to Strasbourg & return left a lot to be desired. One coach did not turn up, waited for almost an hour in the wrong place for another coach & had reserved tickets on a rail coach that did not run! Took almost 7 hours to get from Paris North to our boat, most of the time hanging around waiting.

Collected by Trustpilot

Peter Oxley

5 stars

Submitted 15/Sep

Excellent in all respects--boat/food/staff

Collected by Trustpilot

M Jewitt

5 stars

Submitted 23/Aug

Only complaint, we were not allocated the cabin we had booked.

Collected by Trustpilot

bernadette

4 stars

Submitted 19/Aug

The barge facilitie and food were excellent. all the staff were great, all very helpful

Collected by Trustpilot

Susan Mason

4 stars

Submitted 26/Jul

We enjoyed the holiday, although we did find the cabin rather exceptionally small. The crew were very good and nothing was too much trouble for them. Very relaxing holiday apart from the very early start for the return journey. Yasmin O,Hara our escort to the the barge was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Colin

5 stars

Submitted 12/Jul

One of the best in all departments: Crew, trips out and guides, food, staff, barge, fellow travellers. Need to mention a noisy pump/generator that after early mornings of initial traveling, led to several uncomfortable nights.

Collected by Trustpilot

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