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The Waterways of Alsace & Lorraine

(Tour code: CAR17)Strasbourg to Lagarde, off the beaten path

On this all inclusive cruise we explore the hidden gems of Alsace and Lorraine, discovering many sights that lie off the beaten tourist path. With visits to the medieval towns of Saverne and Sarrebourg and tastings of the best local produce available, join us as we travel in style down the most scenic of French waterways.


Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £75 per person when booking your 2017 Cruising by Rail holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions 

Tour Highlights
  • The Madeleine Barge
  • Strasbourg by night
  • Peaceful Wingersheim including walking tour
  • Beer tasting
  • Haut-Barr Castle
  • Guided tour of Saverne
  • The ingenious Inclined plane
  • Sarrebourg
  • All inclusive meals and drinks on board, Gala Dinner
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • All Transfers Included
    Optional Bag Concierge
  • All-Inclusive Board Basis
    The Madeleine

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Day 1

To Strasbourg and boarding The Madeleine

We meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras International then leave by Eurostar to Paris, where we change trains and continue by TGV to Strasbourg. We then transfer to our hotel barge for the next seven days, the Madeleine. On arrival, the crew present us with a welcome cocktail and after dinner, there is the opportunity for a night-time boat ride through Strasbourg. Here we see many of the sights the city has to offer including Strasbourg's charming Old Town, dominated by the Notre Dame Cathedral. Featuring its famous astronomical clock, it has remained unchanged since the middle ages. We also see The Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Set in the midst of the River III, it is the ancient soul of the city. There are many pretty medieval timbered houses as we sail by.

  • Dinner
  • Boat cruise through Strasbourg’s Old Town at night
Marne-Rhine Canal
Day 2


This morning we enjoy breakfast on board as we cruise down the Marne-Rhine canal. Take time to relax on board and soak up the picturesque scenery of wooded valleys and traditional French countryside. This afternoon's included tour is to Wingersheim. We set off by coach from Waltenheim for a tranquil walking tour of the hops path. Beautiful Alsace is famed for its beer production and we get the opportunity to try some at a special tasting. This evening there is an optional dinner served in a local restaurant and giving you the chance to experience a local delicacy - tarte flambée.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Walking tour of the Wingersheim hops path with local guide
Haut-Barr Castle
Day 3

Haut-Barr Castle

As we leave Waltenheim and begin cruising towards Saverne, you may like to go for a walk or bike ride alongside the water. There are bicycles on board and you have access to the boat at all times. After lunch, we arrive into Saverne where you have some free time to explore. The Musée du Château des Rohan is well worth a visit, with its collection tracing the town's long history. Otherwise there is the delightful Saverne rose garden. With over 550 varieties, it is the second largest of its kind in France. Later we make a visit to the towering Haut- Barr Castle. Strategically positioned at 470m above sea level, it is also known as 'the Eye of Alsace'. Here we are rewarded with unparalleled views over the Alsace plain. On our return to the boat, we stop briefly at the Chappe Tower - an ancient telegraph boasting an interactive display of communication through the ages.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Haut-Barr Castle
Day 4


This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Saverne discovering many of the sites not usually seen by tourists including the town's main street with its unicorn fountain (Saverne's emblem) and Katz house, adorned with beautifully decorated, half-timbered sculpturing. We also visit the church of Notre Dame and the surviving 12th century porch tower. During our tour we observe many examples of the town's historical architecture, with buildings dating from the 14th and 18th centuries. We continue our cruise this afternoon to Lutzelbourg, where we enjoy a walk to the castle, originally built in the 12th century.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Guided tour of Saverne with local guide
Inclined plane
Day 5

The Inclined Plane

Today we reach Arzviller where we get to travel on the wonderful 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 before continuing along the canal to Xouaxange where we moor for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Inclined plane crystal workshop
The Madeleine
Day 6


With a morning spent cruising to Lagarde, you might like to make the most of the on board facilities, including the Jacuzzi, and sun deck equipped with loungers and parasols for perfect relaxation. After lunch, we depart the boat and transfer by coach to Sarrebourg. Here we enjoy a guided tour of this cultural town and discover many of its hidden historical gems. These include the chapel of Cordeliers, where we discover an original Marc Chagall stained glass window. It is the largest piece of its kind that the artist ever created and takes pride of place in the heart of the church. Tonight we enjoy a final, gala dinner on board the Madeleine.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Guided tour of Sarrebourg with a local guide
Day 7

The journey home

After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the barge for the last time and transfer to the railway station in Strasbourg. Here we catch the train to Paris for our onward journey to London. On arrival our tour concludes.

  • Breakfast
Shore Excursions
Shore Excursions

Included in your Tour

River boat tour of Strasbourg

On our first evening we 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.


This excursion immerses us straight into the traditions of Alsace as we take a delightful stroll through a working hops field and see first hand how these plants are grown and cultivated. We follow this with a welldeserved tasting of the local brew.

Haut-Barr Castle

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


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

The Inclined Plane and Crystal Works

Our passage through the inclined plane is a highlight of the cruise and we follow this with an informative demonstration of crystal production.


We discover the cultural and historical background of this industrial town located at the edge of the Vosges mountains.

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.


Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Lynne Broadley
Julie Longfield
Phil Conde
James Eaton



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