The Great European Trifecta - Departs 18th July 2018

An amazing three river discovery of Europe from Portugal in the west to Hungary in the east and the Danube in-between... 28 nights from $14,995*pp

Date: 18 Jul–18 Aug 2018

Ship: Douro Elegance

BONUS DRINKS PACKAGE! Our gift to you on ALL THREE CRUISES - This includes the following with lunch and dinner whilst cruising: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu.

This package is valued at $507 per person and is FREE* in the package below

SINGLES - Fantastic sole use occupancy priced from $21,985*

THE GREAT EUROPEAN TRIFECTA Fly, Triple-Cruise & Stay package includes:

  • Return economy airfare** from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Porto (Portugal) and ex Cologne on return inc taxes
  • Return Airport - Hotel - Port transfers, Porto
  • 1 nights pre-cruise accommodation in Porto, Portugal including breakfast
  • 7 night `The Douro, Oporto & Salamanca River Cruise` aboard ms Douro Elegance round trip from Porto. River Cruise includes: 7 nights accommodation | Guided tour of Oporto with visit to Port Wine cellars | Scenic cruising through the picturesque Douro Valley with its dramatic cliffs and vineyards | Enjoy a full day excursion to Salamanca with guided tour and Flamenco show | Tour to the castle and medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo | Traditional music recital with dance display | Guided tour of Mateus Gardens | Experience dinner at a typical Portuguese quinta | Visit to the picturesque town of Lamego and its Sanctuary of Our Ladies of Remedy church | Price includes full-board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day | Services of a cruise director
  • Return Port - Hotel - Airport transfers, Porto
  • 1 nights post-cruise accommodation in Porto, Portugal including breakfast
  • One way economy class airfare** from Porto, Portugal to Budapest, Hungary
  • Return Airport - Hotel - Port transfers, Budapest
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 4-star hotel, Budapest including breakfast
  • 7 night `The Blue Danube` river cruise round trip from Budapest aboard ms Charles Dickens including: All meals from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure including Welcome Cocktails & Dinner plus Captain`s Dinner | Complimentary onboard tea & coffee | Five star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides | Complimentary onboard Wi-Fi | The services of a Riviera Travel River Cruises cruise director and tour manager | 7 included visits and shore tours including: Guided tour of Vienna, city of Strauss and home of the Hapsburgs | Live classical quartet recital on board | Tour of baroque Bratislava, capital of Slovakia | Cruise through the scenic Wachau, Austria`s premier wine region | Visit to Melk Abbey, central Europe`s most spectacular baroque monastery, and one of its premier academic institutions | Visit to medieval Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned whilst returning from the Crusades | Tour of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and one of Austria`s most beautiful cities | Explore the amazing basilica at Esztergom, Hungary`s oldest cathedral | Tour of Budapest, Pearl of the Danube
  • One way transfer from Budapest port to airport
  • One way economy airfare** from Budapest, Hungary to Zurich, Switzerland
  • One way transfer from Zurich airport to Basel hotel
  • 2 nights accommodation in Basel with breakfast
  • One way transfer from Basel hotel to port
  • 7 night `Rhine Cruise frp, Switzerland River Cruise` aboard ms William Shakespeare from Basel Switzerland to Cologne Germany. River Cruise includes: All meals from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure including Welcome Cocktails & Dinner plus Captain`s Dinner | Complimentary onboard tea & coffee | Five star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides | Complimentary onboard Wi-Fi | The services of a Riviera Travel River Cruises cruise director and tour manager | Included visits and shore tours as follows: Explore medieval Koblenz | Visit to the pretty, romantic town of Ridesheim - centre of the Rhineland wine trade | Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge | An evening in Speyer - dominated by the imposing basilica | Guided tour of Strasbourg - amazingly rich in a wealth of sights | Visit to the old walled town of Breisach | Tour of the beautiful Black Forest and lakeside town of Titisee | Tour of some of the finest Swiss Alpine scenery, seeing the Jungfrau and the Eiger and the stunning lakeside town of Lucerne
  • One way transfer from port to airport in Cologne

____________________________

RIVER CRUISE DAY TO DAY ITINERARIES

(subject to change by cruise line without notice)

CRUISE ONE - ms Douro Elegance

The Douro, Oporto & Salamanca River Cruise

20Jul - 27Jul, 2018

Day 1 - OPORTO

Moored in Oporto, the attentive crew will welcome you aboard ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, your first-class floating hotel.

Day 2 - OPORTO - PESO DA REGUA

As dawn breaks the ship slips quietly away from Oporto and you will awake to the gentle sound of water lapping against the sleek hull and that most relaxing of travellers` joys as you witness the ship`s stately progress upstream. Your first breakfast, you will be welcomed in the restaurant and immediately spoilt for choice, with the omelette station being a real favourite of many! Even on the first day it is so apparent that the Douro is one of Europe`s most photogenic river valleys with tourism being almost completely undeveloped. Late morning, the ship approaches its first port of call at one of the river`s few small towns, Peso da Regua. The observant will have already noticed that the lush covered hillsides have largely given way to an intricate patterned landscape of steeply terraced vine covered slopes, as we enter port wine territory. The climate has evolved too; leaving the Atlantic behind it is noticeably warmer and dryer. The topography has a much more Mediterranean appearance with browns and ochres replacing verdant greens. This afternoon, we take a short drive along sinuous roads to historic Lamego, home of Portugal`s sparkling wine Raposeira and one of the first places to be re-conquered from the Moors in the 12th century. Situated on top of the hill overlooking this lovely town is the ancient Sanctuary of our Lady of Remedies church, its stairways adorned with attractive azulejos, the country’s famous painted tile-work. We then enjoy a little indulgence as we visit one of the region`s best quintas (vineyards) learning how legendary port is produced – culminating in a tasting of the delicious final product!

Day 3 - PESO DA REGUA

The Douro was once a precariously wild river, rendering navigation extremely tricky for the traditional flat bottomed boats which often foundered. Today the river has been tamed by a series of locks and we navigate several of them; always intensely fascinating, the resultant almost loch-like river topography really enhances the valley`s charm. Cruising into evermore rural territory towards the Spanish border, the river here is at its most peaceful, a perfect time to take a refreshing dip in the pool, or catch up on some reading perhaps with a cool pre-lunch glass of local vinho verde white wine. It`s worth mentioning Portuguese wine is really outstanding but as the production is not huge, the higher quality wines tend to be consumed locally, so if you are a wine aficionado, experiment a little – you are in for a real treat! We are now on the River Duero, as we have crossed into Spain, however the northern bank remains in Portugal!

This afternoon we visit Castelo Rodrigo, a delightful 12th century walled village tucked away in the peaceful border hills, whose church was a resting place on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela – indeed it is said that St Francis himself stayed here. Perched on a hill, the views are simply stupendous - stretching across almost deserted ochre-coloured hillsides. This evening we have a delicious, typically Portuguese barbecue, served on the sundeck (weather permitting) as the unmistakable sound of crickets and scents from the surrounding hillsides pervade the warm evening air.

Day 4 - SALAMANCA

Today we visit historic Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, acknowledged by many Spaniards as one of the country`s most beautiful cities and once seen it really is difficult to disagree. Renowned for the gorgeous rose-coloured hue emanating from almost universal use of local sandstone for its construction, the city appears to glow. Perched on a small hill on a bend in the serene River Tormes, it is a picture of tranquillity but, founded by the Romans, who built the still used 400 yard long bridge, Salamanca was repeatedly fought over by Hannibal, the Moors then the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon.

Salamanca is dominated by its two cathedrals and Spain`s oldest university founded in 1215, which for four centuries was one of the civilised world`s most important seats of study. The Spanish Inquisition`s records are still kept here, and as early as the sixteenth century it boasted some twelve thousand students. You can see beautifully preserved lecture halls with their vaulted ceilings and you can imagine Christopher Columbus addressing the most learned men of the day or legal experts constructing the international laws originating here.

Over lunch you enjoy a traditional flamenco show, then explore as you wish. Whilst the buildings themselves dominate the skyline, their internal decoration is just as exceptional. Visit the two cathedrals – the more recent dates from the 16th century! Salamanca is a wonderful place to just wander through: tiny streets, medieval squares, traditional shops, gardens and marketplaces all add to its atmosphere. The main square, the Plaza Mayor, is widely acknowledged as Spain`s finest and the hub of Salamantine life, with plenty of cafes and places to sit and watch the locals go by whilst absorbing the lovely atmosphere.

Day 5 - PESO DA REGUA

During breakfast, the ship slips its moorings, cruising towards Peso da Regua. One of the benefits of life aboard a river cruiser is the sheer sense of relaxation it brings: time to catch up on some reading on the sun deck, perhaps enjoy a dip in the pool or simply sit and watch the ever changing scenery gently pass by from the comfort of the lounge, drink in hand! Late afternoon there is time to wander along the quayside, watching the occasional river traffic or enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes. This evening we drive through the heart of this stunning wine-producing landscape, the steeply terraced vine covered slopes creating an intricately patterned and breathtaking vista. We enjoy a delicious dinner at Quinta da Pacheca, an 18th century manor house with spectacular views overlooking the serene waters of the mighty Douro. The Quinta, dating back to the 1700s, is one of the most famous and beautiful properties in the region. It was named after its aristocratic owner, Mariana Pacheca Pereira and was the first quinta to bottle wine under the owner`s name in April 1738. At one time the vineyards belonged to an order of monks and there is time to wander through some of the 51 hectares of this fertile estate before sampling some of their excellent produce over a delectable dinner.

Day 6 - ENTRE OS RIOS

This morning after a leisurely breakfast we visit the magnificent Mateus Palace. Anyone familiar with Mateus Rose, the wine with its characteristic `squashed` bottle shape, will have seen the palace featured on the label. Whatever your opinion of the wine, the palace is an impressive 18th century Baroque edifice beautifully mirrored in the stunning `reflecting pond`, and the extensive `French` gardens are beautifully landscaped and decorated with elegant statues. We return to the ship for another superb lunch on board and the ship departs towards Entre-os-Rios. This afternoon is spent cruising so there`s the opportunity to truly unwind whilst the skilful captain and his crew navigate the ship effortlessly through the winding bends of this truly magnificent hilly hinterland. Head up on to the Sun Deck for spectacular viewing; as the invigorating river breeze revives you, you`ll be captivated by the ever-changing riverbank scenery slipping past – it really doesn`t get more relaxing than this! This evening is the Captain`s Dinner, hosted of course by the Captain himself, a delightful experience featuring some superb local specialities. After dinner, we are entertained by a cultural group performing traditional Portuguese folk music.

Day 7 - OPORTO

This morning we arrive in Oporto, on quite a spectacular passage which takes us under many of the city`s famous bridges. Originally Roman, Oporto`s wealth derived from its knowledge of the sea routes to India. Spices, silks and other fine goods made the fortunes used to build Portugal`s second largest city. The city is obviously synonymous with Port wine and we will be guests of Cálem – one of the best known port brands in Portugal, learning the fascinating history of port wine and its close British connections. The wine is made from grapes still staggeringly trod by foot, then lovingly tended, sometimes for decades, before you can enjoy its subtle flavours. Of course you`ll get the chance at the end of a fascinating visit to sample various styles. We enjoy lunch on board before starting our sightseeing tour which unveils some of the city`s major and more surprising sights. You’ll experience the tangled lanes of the medieval quarter, the splendid Praça da Ribeira square, with its characteristic tiled town houses and fine views to the wine lodges across the river. One of the river`s bridges was designed by Gustav Eiffel – and you can immediately see the connection with his more famous Parisian creation! You`ll gaze up at the city`s imposing fortress, its fine cathedral and baroque Clerigos Tower. Wonderfully free of the chain shops dominating other countries, enjoy the tiny antiquated shops specialising in fine art, antiques, ceramics and some of the most wonderful cakes you`ll ever taste. This evening and after a final delectable dinner then perhaps the bar beckons and a chat into the evening with new-found, like minded friends, reflecting on the splendours of the remarkable River Douro, from its busy lower reaches to those beautifully peaceful terraced hillsides and the tiny unspoilt villages of the river`s delightful heartlands - over a glass of port of course!

Day 8 - OPORTO

After a final breakfast you will disembark the ship, refreshed and revitalised, with memories of one of the most unspoilt corners of Europe to savour for a long time to come.

_________________

CRUISE TWO - ms Charles Dickens

The Blue Danube

31Jul - 07Aug, 2018

Day 1 - BUDAPEST

Moored in Budapest, the dedicated crew will welcome you on board, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, your first-class floating hotel. There’s always a sense of expectancy and excitement on the eve of a cruise and after an excellent dinner in the stylish restaurant, conversation is sure to revolve around the delights ahead of you.

Day 2 - Esztergom

Experience one of the great delights of cruising as you awake in a completely different location. Overnight you have slipped upstream to Esztergom, Hungary`s capital during medieval times and today the seat of the country`s Archbishop. The town is internationally famed for its great Renaissance basilica, Hungary`s largest church, standing sentinel over the Danube and boasting one of the world`s largest altars plus a wealth of gold artefacts. You can explore the castle too, seat of the government until the 16th century Ottoman invasion. Nestling below, there are a myriad of exquisite baroque masterpieces of churches from which resonate the enchanting sound of talented choirs, adding to the unmistakable central- European atmosphere. This is the best of provincial Hungary and little changed since Hapsburg times. As you enjoy your first lunch on board, you gently leave Esztergom in your wake, affording a fascinating opportunity to compare the landscape, towns and villages of Hungary and Slovakia on either bank.

Day 3 - Bratislava

This morning, you explore Slovakia`s fast emerging capital city, Bratislava, on a guided tour. Until recently swathed in the drab uniformity of communism, the city has shrugged off its greyness, rekindling the splendour of its imperial past, so evident in its beautifully restored baroque old town. Equally impressive is the great 17th century fortress commanding expansive views across the Danube. This afternoon you cruise into Lower Austria, a peaceful, bucolic region and home to some of the country’s best wines. By now, the stresses of everyday life seem very distant as you absorb life on the river, children playing on the banks, young couples strolling arm-in-arm like generations before them, vignerons carefully pruning their vines, cobbled quaysides lined by half-timbered buildings teem with life - with no one giving you a second glance. You will marvel as the captain skillfully navigates the ship with such easy confidence along the serene river and into the fascinating locks as we cruise towards Dürnstein whilst enjoying another superb dinner.

Day 4 - Durnstein & Melk

Nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of this extraordinary, honey-coloured building, an enormous abbey standing resplendent above the surrounding countryside. Originally a palace it was gifted to the Benedictine Order in the 11th century and although reconstructed in baroque style it has remained a monastic school and monastery ever since. It is famed for its 200m long Empero`’s Gallery lined with portraits of Austrian emperors, plus many fine rooms and a large library containing a unique medieval collection of manuscripts. Rejoining the ship, dinner is served during the last upstream cruise, through the pretty Nibelungengau, now immortalised in the music of Wagner

Day 5 - Salzburg

Reaching Linz, you take the drive to Salzburg, once an independent state whose Archbishops turned it into one of the most sophisticated cities north of the Alps. The old town is delightful, displaying wonderful architecture dating from the medieval to 18th century, whilst one of Europe`s largest stone fortresses, the Hohensalzburg dominates the skyline. Spread below is a maze of tiny streets lined with the exquisite shops that make window-shopping so satisfying. Then there is the wonderful Hellbrunn Palace with its famous trick fountains and the natural beauty of the Mirabell Gardens is a must for the fan of things horticultural. With its genteel atmosphere of bygone times, surrounded by a magnificent Alpine backdrop, Salzburg is a superb spot to relax and explore at your leisure. Salzburg`s most famous citizen was Mozart, one of the greatest musical geniuses to have ever lived. He played the piano at three; could compose rudimentary music at five and wrote his first opera at fourteen. This morning, you have a guided tour seeing all the principal places of interest then you are free to enjoy the afternoon exploring the city as you wish, before returning to the ship for dinner.

By now you will have completely immersed yourself in life aboard ship, the gentility of it all, the peacefulness, the observation of the wildlife constantly surrounding you, the ever-changing shoreline of the variety of countries through which we pass and the stimulating conversation of your like-minded travelling companions – home will seem a very long way away.

Day 6 - Vienna

Today will probably bring one of the highlights of the cruise – Vienna , whose very name provokes images of elegance, fine music, sumptuous baroque palaces, grand boulevards, noble architecture and a rich tapestry of peoples from all corners of Europe drawn to the city`s magnificent cultural heart. For two hundred years until the First World War, Vienna was the cultural centre of Europe and the huge array of showpiece buildings, galleries, aristocratic palaces and baroque churches you see today were built. Dominated by the striking multicoloured roofed St Stephen`s cathedral, you have the Hofburg, the former royal court now a collection of museums, home to the Vienna Boys` Choir, the Spanish Riding School, the crown jewels and the world`s fourth largest art collection. Then there are the Emperor`s apartments and outstanding medieval craftsmanship in the relics of the Holy Roman Empire including allegedly, the crown of Charlemagne himself. This morning, your sightseeing tour offers an insight into why this can truly be described as one of Europe`s great capitals, seat of the Hapsburg Emperors and home to some of the world’s finest classical composers at the peak of their influence, including Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and of course a whole family of Strausses. During the afternoon you are free to explore as you wish. Take a stroll in the Stadtpark, with its huge Ferris wheel and the backdrop to many a `cold war` spy thriller. Or for something quite different, visit the Schonbrunn former royal palace and now a world-class range of outstanding museums and galleries. Perhaps though, just take a stroll through the fascinating side streets, enjoy a coffee and a slice of delicious sachertorte in one of the renowned pavement cafés, or admire the skill of the street entertainers and even the occasional opera singer. This evening, we have arranged truly the `icing on the cake`: no visit to Vienna is truly complete without a live musical experience so after dinner, we have arranged for a recital on board. To hear this exquisite music whilst in the city of its creation makes a wonderful finale to the day.

Day 7 - Budapest

Dawn breaks and a glance along the shore as it slips gently past reveals Hungary’s peaceful pastoral landscape, as you majestically cruise to Budapest. After lunch, you enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. The twin cities of Buda, built around the hilltop fortress and Pest, were fought over through the centuries until the 17th century ousting of the Ottomans. A lasting legacy of Turkish rule is the plethora of thermal baths utilising the hot springs giving rise to the sobriquet `City of the Spas`. Subsequently becoming an imperial city of the Hapsburg Empire, it attracted great cultural and commercial wealth. Explore Castle Hill, the city in microcosm: three churches, five museums and a theatre amongst streets and squares with their own special atmosphere and a dramatic view over the river, its banks dominated by the impressive neo-gothic Parliament building. Endless galleries, museums, outstanding art nouveau architecture and excellent shopping offer a fittingly elegant end to your Danube cruise. At this evening`s gala dinner you sadly bid farewell to your travelling companions and reflect on all the inspirational places, sights and sounds you have experienced on a truly `imperial` cruise.

Day 8 - BUDAPEST

After breakfast this morning your friendly crew bid you farewell before you disembark the ship.

__________________

CRUISE THREE - ms William Shakespeare

Rhine Cruise from Switzerland

09Aug - 16Aug, 2018

*** note - this cruise operates in reverse to the itinerary shown below ****

Day 1 - Cologne

Moored in Cologne`s Picturesque historic centre, the dedicated crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

Day 2 - Koblenz

As you wake and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, the real delights of this river cruise begin to unveil as the first rolling hills of the Rhine Valley drift silently past. Firstly you see the forested Siebengebirge (seven mountains), the inspiration for the Grimm`s many legends including `Snow White`, just the overture for even more dramatic scenery as we head upstream. We pass the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, captured intact by the allies in a bold action towards the end of WWII, before finally crumbling into the waters below. The pretty waterfronts of riverside towns come into view and the first of the Rhine’s vineyards shimmer in the morning sun as we glide gently into our mooring to visit picturesque Koblenz. Founded by the Romans, the city is beautifully located at the confluence of the Rhine and its sister, the Moselle. Your afternoon is free to wander ashore and explore the many medieval buildings, housing a fine array of traditional shops and classic Rhineland cafés. There is much for the student of historic buildings to admire: the former mint, the Four Towers with their ornamental 17th century turrets and several fascinating squares and churches, including the 9th century Basilica of St Kastor. The waterfront along the Moselle is stunning too, with the medieval Balduin bridge, staggeringly still in use. If you managed to resist the luscious cakes on offer from the beckoning pavement cafés then you’ll be ready for your meticulously prepared dinner on board your ship, and afterwards perhaps a quiet stroll along the riverside promenade to the Deutsches Eck, `German Corner`, where the great rivers Rhine and Moselle meet.

Day 3 - Rudesheim

Amongst the many twists and turns along its course, one of the most impressive and memorable on the Rhine is surely the huge looping `S` bend at Boppard. This morning`s cruise weaves around this long meander, guarded by the mighty Marksburg Castle. Journeying further, you explore the most famous of all the river`s reaches and a real highlight of the cruise, the dramatic Rhine Gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops, towering over 200 metres above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past St Goar and the many ruined castles, you get a real sense of the myths of this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that surrounding the Loreley rock, where beautiful nymphs distracted hapless sailors luring them to their deaths in the treacherous waters. After lunch you berth and visit Rudesheim. The afternoon is free to relax in its bustling cafes, take a quiet stroll through the vineyards or maybe a cable car ride to the great statue of Germania, strikingly overlooking the river`s exit from the gorge. There are some delightful corners in what is a classic Rhine wine village and the connoisseur of the grape will find some genuinely top class produce in the area. After dinner this evening, why not end the day with a small Asbach - the brandy locally distilled here in Rüdesheim – as you watch the last of the ferries crossing the river in the moonlight glow.

Day 4 - Speyer

Still sailing upstream, the Rhine is much wider and flatter now, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the Liebfraumilch wines. The river is much more gentle here and Oxbow lakes, long deserted by the river flow, are a haven for over one hundred species of bird life in one of Germany’s largest nature reserves. Today the ship berths in delightfully medieval Speyer, which you are sure to just love. During the 16th century in nearby Worms, Martin Luther was excommunicated for his religious beliefs and banished from the Holy Roman Empire. His followers in Speyer protested at this and for the first time were called `Protestants`. You can visit the neo-gothic Gedachtniskirche, built to commemorate this event and the huge, richly decorated Basilica, one of the finest Romanesque buildings in existence which when it was built was widely acclaimed as one of the finest in Christendom. Its crypt alone is the largest in Germany, with its pastel coloured sandstone pillars and striking marble floors is probably the most beautiful in the world and is the final resting place of several emperors and kings from Speyer’s illustrious past. You also have some free time to explore as you wish before rejoining the ship.

Day 5 - Strasbourg

This morning, you gently cruise upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, which never cease to fascinate. Why not catch up on some reading in the ship`s library, play chess or watch the scenery from the Sun Deck: relax and enjoy your well-earned break. You soon arrive in France and Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region, now one of the centres of the European Union. This afternoon, we will have a walking tour of its unique and picturesque 16th century old town, bisected by canals and a maze of narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals plus the superb cathedral. Don’t be surprised if, as the shadows lengthen, you’re tempted to linger a while in a typical Alsatian cafe to sample some of the world famous wine for which the region is rightly renowned - maybe a Riesling or that particular speciality of Alsace, the spicy Gewurztraminer. This evening, the `Captain’s Dinner` will take place on board, serving delicious specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise, hosted of course by the Captain himself.

Day 6 - Titisee

Your final day`s cruising is spent gliding majestically between the ancient forested outcrops of the Vosges and the Black Forest, through the great rift valley, formed many millennia ago by massive geological forces. We arrive at the ancient town of Breisach whose historic heart is surrounded by immense stone ramparts. This afternoon, you drive amidst some of central Europe`s most stunning scenery. Rugged valleys full of white-water rivers and cascading waterfalls, rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees: this is the Black Forest at its best and exactly as you expect it to be. You visit the archetypical town of Titisee, nestling on the shores of its crystal clear lake. Having rejoined the ship, the crew slip moorings, the sun sets over the imposing massif of the Vosges mountains and the riverside lights begin to twinkle as you restart our stately passage up river. You enjoy this evening`s dinner cruise en-route to Switzerland and our next mooring at Basel.

Day 7 - Lucerne & Bernese Oberland (from Basel)

For many today will be the highlight of the cruise. You firstly take the short drive to Lucerne; spectacularly nestled among stunning mountain views, it is by far Switzerland`s most beautiful city and has been attracting well-heeled visitors for two centuries, one of the most famous being our very own Queen Victoria. You must take an invigorating stroll along the Chapel Bridge – symbol of the city, a unique covered wooden walkway crossing the lake supported by stilts, lined with colourful, flower-filled window boxes and a superb way to absorb Lucerne`s rather regal atmosphere. The scenery becomes ever more dramatic and then as you enter the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland, it becomes quite literally breathtaking! This is the grand Alpine heart of Europe and amongst the finest mountain scenery on earth, described by the composer Mendelssohn as ‘the most wonderful of all in this unbelievably beautiful country’. On viewing the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau you will be quite simply awestruck. We then ascend into the lofty scenery on the most scenic journey by mountain railway for more breathtaking vistas with the crystal-clear shimmering lakes reflecting the alpine meadows and lush forests below. This truly magical landscape will enchant you. Please note temperatures will be significantly lower at altitude even in summer months so it is advised that you pack suitable clothing.

Day 8 - Basel

This morning your friendly crew bid you farewell before you return disembark the ship.

__________________

*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (06Jul17). Lower deck cabins have smaller windows. All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. ** All airfares/taxes are based on 2017 rates/schedules and subject to change until bookable approx 10 months from departure date. Once booked, all airfares/taxes are due in full 24 hours from reservation and strict cancellation/change fees apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the prices in our booking system at time of reservation. Offer ends 30Sep17 or until sold out/withdrawn and is subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Travel insurance is not included but highly recommended at time of deposit. Single prices quoted here are using a middle deck cabin on the first cruise and lower deck cabins on the 2nd and 3rd cruises as this reflected the best availability at time of package creation. Should lower deck cabins not be available at time of booking - prices for single will increase. Bonus onboard cruise beverage package applies for all three cruises included in package price for the first 2 guests in any stateroom - note that this is not refundable, not redeemable as cash and may not be transferred to any other offer.

31 nights From AU $14,995 per person, twin share