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All-inclusive Waterways of Alsace and Lorraine

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20242025
7 days From £2,495 £2,395 per person
4.6 stars(49 reviews)
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Barge Cruise

Explore the hidden gems of Alsace and Lorraine by barge, discovering charming towns along scenic waterways where wonderful French memories await around every bend.

Save up to £300pp

Save up to £300pp on selected 2024 River Cruise holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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2024 Tour code: CAR24

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 sail along these scenic waterways.

Starting in the charming city of Strasbourg, we set sail on a panoramic boat tour by historic districts draped in the soft glow of night. Each day brings new discoveries, from exploring the rich heritage of Truchtersheim to indulging in beer tasting at Villa Meteor.

Each day brings new discoveries, from exploring the rich heritage of Truchtersheim to indulging in beer tasting at Villa Meteor. Marvel at the medieval Haut-Barr Castle, perched high above the Alsace Plain, and experience the thrill of the "devil's bridge. Uncover a new Alsace treasure every day on this unforgettable French barge cruise.

Unforgettable Experiences

Hochfelden Brewery
Hochfelden Brewery
Discover local heritage in Truchtersheim followed by a delicious local beer tasting in a Hochfelden brewery.
Haut-Barr Castle
Haut-Barr Castle
Visit the Haut-Barr Castle, known as 'the Eye of Alsace' for its magnificent views over the Alsace Plain and home to 'devil's bridge'.
Saverne
Saverne
Enjoy a guided tour of charming Saverne, admiring its unicorn fountain, beautiful half-timbered tavern, and church of Notre Dame.
Arzviller Incllined Plane
Arzviller Incllined Plane
From a unique view aboard our ship, marvel at the remarkable Arzviller Inclined Plane, the only boat lift of its kind in Europe.
Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
Explore fascinating, historical architecture on a guided tour of Sarrebourg which sits on the banks of the River Saar.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Enchanting Strasbourg

We meet our Tour Manager and the rest of our group at London St Pancras where our holiday begins. Aboard the Eurostar, we head to Paris and continue by rail to Strasbourg - the capital of the historical region of Alsace. 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. From here, our coach takes us to our barge ship, home for the next seven days.

After dinner, we get the chance to take a panoramic boat ride through the city at night (subject to availability). Sailing through the famous district of Petite France, winding canals, charming houses with coloured, half-timbered walls and narrow alleyways float by. From the river, we see the Tanners Quarter, the Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts) and the Panoramic Terrace on the Vauban Dam before continuing through the German Quarter.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Charming Truchtersheim and beer tasting at the Villa Meteor

After breakfast, our coach takes us to Truchtersheim this morning where we delve into local heritage at the Maison du Kochersberg museum. The interactive displays, artefacts, and insightful narratives bring the rich history and culture of the Kochersberg region to life. Explore exhibits showcasing the agrarian heritage, traditional crafts, and local life. We then 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. Returning to our barge, we enjoy dinner this evening.

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

We begin a relaxing sail to Saverne this morning. Arriving this afternoon, we visit 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. Returning to our barge for dinner, we stop briefly on the way at the unique Chappe Tower, a restored 18th-century telegraph tower.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – Historic Saverne

This morning we enjoy a tour of Saverne. With our guide, we discover 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 exciting Inclined Plane

Our morning is spent aboard 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, we 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's 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 watch a demonstration, before continuing along the canal through the Vosges mountain range to Lutzelbourg.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – Quaint Sarrebourg

We enjoy a morning of delightful, scenic sailing and arrive in Lagarde after lunch. Stepping ashore, our coach takes us 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, '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 – Home

Following breakfast, it's time to disembark and head home. We transfer to the railway station in Strasbourg and catch the train to Paris for our onward journey to London St Pancras. Here, we say goodbye to new friends and fellow travellers, leaving with fantastic French memories.

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 · 49 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (34)
  2. 4 stars
    (13)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

GFS

5 stars

Submitted 23 Sep 2023

It was as I expected

Collected by Trustpilot

Judith M

4 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2023

Very relaxing, enjoyable holiday. Food, prepared by the resident chef, was superb. Very interesting part of France with fascinating history and culture. Pootling along the canal through lovely countryside with a cocktail in hand will be an abiding memory. Highlight for me was the Chagall stained glass window. Not so great was the local restaurant where we had tarte flambé, a local specialty - very underwhelming. All in all, highly recommended.

Collected by Trustpilot

Anthony Trigg

4 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2023

Barge trip was great, especially the food. The chef was fantantic! Weather was hot and sunny; not sure how enjoyable it would have been in the rain, as half the enjoyment was from walking along the towpath. Boat crew were friendly and helpful, although a couple of them seemed a little distracted with other issues at times. The train journeys all went to plan, despite some confusion at the start with seat reservations. The walk between the French stations was not much fun, lugging cases through rather unsalubrious Paris streets in hot weather.. We went for an upgrade on the Eurostar - that was good. Having not done this sort of journey before, I found the the customs check quite intimidating, particulrly with the large number of people. I am used to airports but this seemed to be even more confusing at times. Overall, a gret trip

Collected by Trustpilot

Peter

4 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2023

Interesting and enjoyable holiday with excellent food

Collected by Trustpilot

John

5 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2023

The boat was excellent, very comfortable and relaxing. The onboard service was 5 star, the crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. The onboard meals were unbelievably good and the chef was incredibly talented. The prearranged excursions were all very good, interesting and not overly taxing - local guides were brilliant. Only two poor issues, which throw doubt on the ‘All Inclusive’ tag. Transfers between stations in Paris were done on the cheap, they were chaotic and unsafe. We ended up paying for our own taxi on the return trip. The only prearranged dinner off the boat was at a local restaurant in Saverne and it was appalling, literally four slices of cheese on toast and one glass of cheap plonk. In the end we paid for our own drinks. Good thing lunch was filling.

Collected by Trustpilot

Customer Judith Mccarty

4 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2023

Brilliant holiday. The barge, the food, the scenery and the weather were wonderful.

Collected by Trustpilot

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