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The Waterways of Alsace & Lorraine

(14 reviews)
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Explore the hidden gems of Alsace and Lorraine

7 daysFrom £2,345 per person
Low Deposit

Take advantage of our low deposit offer of £99pp on all 2020 tours when you book on or before 15/02/2020.

Terms & Conditions

2020 Tour code: CAR20

About the tour

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.

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
Strasbourg
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.

Includes
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Marne-Rhine Canal
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Saverne
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. After some time here, our ship continues down the Marne-Rhine canal towards Xouaxange.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Inclined plane
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.

Includes
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
The Madeleine

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

Madeleine

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Door to door luggage from £130
Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

93% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 14 verified reviews

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Mr A Gander

Submitted 21/09/2019

An excellent holiday in terms of restfullness, good food and wine, plus some very interesting visits.

Anonymous

Submitted 14/07/2019

The holiday was well organised, the little boat was nd the food and drink excellent. We enjoyed the organised visits and all the staff were charming.

Anonymous

Submitted 27/10/2018

Excellent barge with good facilities, superb food, charming, excellent crew.

Mrs S Ganley

Submitted 20/10/2018

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.

Mrs P Brown

Submitted 14/07/2018

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!

Anonymous

Submitted 07/07/2018

A relaxing gem with helpful, friendly staff and good food.

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

The Waterways of Alsace & Lorraine

Strasbourg to Lagarde, off the beaten path

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Luke Simpson
Luke
Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne