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The Waterways of Alsace and Lorraine

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Strasbourg to Lagarde, off the beaten path

7 days From £2,295 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 18th December and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: CAR21

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 boarding The Madeleine

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 - Haut-Barr Castle

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.

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
Haut-Barr Castle
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
Saverne
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
Arzviller
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
Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour 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
The TGV

Ship

MS Madeleine

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The Waterways of Alsace and Lorraine

Strasbourg to Lagarde, off the beaten path

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
Helen Laverack
Helen