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    The Dahlia flower parade
  • *
    The floral displays of the Floride Expo

Flowers of Floriade and the Zundert Dahlia flower parade

The Rhine and her Tributaries

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Admire the floral displays of Floriade and Zundert

Explore Germany’s oldest city Trier before cruising the Moselle to the ‘twin towns’ of Traben-Trarbach where you can sample locally produced wine on an included excursion. Continue to vineyard clad Cochem, backed by the neo-Gothic Reichsburg Castle, and Koblenz where a panoramic cable car trip precedes a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on an optional excursion.

Then sail the Rhine to Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven, and Cologne, where the twin spires of its UNESCO-listed cathedral dominate the skyline. Two days in Lelystad gives you time to explore the city and spend a day at the Floriade Expo in Almere, where you’ll see a vast collection of flora from around the world. The last port on your itinerary is Dordrecht, from here an included excursion takes you to Zundert to admire the incredible floral displays of the annual Dahlia Flower Parade.

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

PersonCruise Host

Plus...

  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return flights and transfers

MapIncluded excursions

  • Trier
  • Traben-Trarbach wine tasting
  • Flowers of Floriade Expo
  • Zundert flower parade

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

Celebrity guest

You will be joined on board by renowned horticulturist Tom Hart Dyke, who first shot to international prominence in March 2000 when he and his travelling companion Paul Winder were on a plant hunting expedition in the Colombian jungle. They were captured by warring guerrilla factions while trekking through ‘The Darien Gap’, and he was held captive for nine months. Since his release, he has been busy building the ‘World Garden’ at his home in Lullingstone Castle, Kent.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Trier

An aerial view of Trier on a sunny day

Travel to Trier and embark Spirit of the Rhine.

Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board as you remain moored here overnight.

Trier Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 2 Trier to Bernkastel-Kues

The historic Roman city gates, Porta Nigra, in Trier

Spend the morning in Germany’s oldest city, Trier, founded in 16BC by Emperor Augustus.

Trier lies in the heart of Germany’s oldest wine region, the Moselle, which is home to many fine white wines and its location close to the steep banks of the Moselle River was the location the Romans first chose to plant their vines. Trier retains many relics of its illustrious past, as you will discover on an included tour to see the Porta Nigra, one of the best-preserved Roman city gates in the world, the city walls and cathedral.

You’ll rejoin your ship in Issel before cruising through the afternoon to Bernkastel-Kues for an overnight mooring.

Bernkastel-Kues Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 3 Bernkastel-Kues to Traben-Trarbach

Beautiful Bernkastel Kues on the Moselle River in Germany

Spend the morning in Bernkastel-Kues where you may like to take an optional ride on the panorama train.

Sail on late this afternoon to the ‘twin towns’ of Traben-Trarbach, which straddle the Moselle and are linked by a bridge. This was once the second-largest wine-trading centre in Europe, after the French city of Bordeaux, and you can sample the local produce on an included wine tasting excursion. The steep slate slopes around Traben-Trarbach produce exquisite wines and the town itself is home to a number of grand villas by the Berlin architect Bruno Möhring built for the wealthy wine merchants who prospered from the vines.

Traben-Trarbach Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 4 Traben-Trarbach to Cochem 🎧

Old Town Cochem and the Reichsburg Castle

Sail from Traben-Trarbach this morning, to arrive in the picturesque wine town of Cochem this afternoon.

With the backdrop of neo-Gothic Reichsburg Castle, which sits atop a hill cloaked entirely in vines, Cochem is understandably one of the most visited places on the Moselle River. This afternoon a choice of optional excursions includes a ride aboard the Noddy Train or a visit to the castle. Although most of the castle was rebuilt in the 19th century, the original 11th-century keep still survives. The excursion will also visit a local vineyard for a wine tasting. Another optional tour explores the town by land train.

Your ship remains moored here overnight.

Cochem Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 5 Cochem to Koblenz 🎧

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and Cable Car in Koblenz

Depart Cochem this morning and sail on to Koblenz, arriving this afternoon. Koblenz is nestled at the point where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet, in between the famous wine regions of the Moselle and the Middle Rhine – renowned for their Rieslings.

Perhaps enjoy a panoramic cable car ride from Koblenz up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on an optional excursion. The fortress houses a museum dedicated to the wines of the region and the 2,000 year heritage of winemaking in the Rhineland Pfalz.

Koblenz Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 6 Koblenz to Bonn 🎧

View across Bon from  Drachenburg Castle

Sail through the morning to Bonn, arriving at lunchtime. An optional walking tour will reveal some of the main sights such as the Electoral Palace and the baroque City Hall. Entrance to Beethoven's former home, now a museum dedicated to his life and work, is also included in the excursion.

Your ship remains moored in Bonn overnight.

Bonn North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 7 Bonn to Cologne 🎧

Views across Cologne with Cologne Cathedral and the Rhine

Following an early departure from Bonn you’ll arrive this morning in Cologne, Germany's cultural capital where you can see some of the city’s attractions during an optional sightseeing coach tour.

The Gothic cathedral, started in 1248 to house the relics of the three Magi, wasn’t completed until 1880! It houses the shrine to Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – now among the patron saints of Cologne – behind its high altar.

Depart this afternoon and cruise overnight to Lelystad.

Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 8 Lelystad 🎧

Spring Crocuses in flower

This morning, step on the shuttle bus for your included full-day visit to the Floriade Expo held in Almere.

This world horticultural exhibition will last six months, and the theme for the 2022 Expo will be ‘Growing Green Cities’, focusing on how nature can be better incorporated into cities in innovative and sustainable ways. As well as hundreds of species of flowers, plants and vegetables, there will be 40 country presentations, a greenhouse complex and a cable car providing views across the site. A ride on the cable car will be included with your ticket.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 9 Lelystad 🎧

An aerial view of the manmade dyke to Lelystad, Flevoland.

This morning an optional excursion visits the lake town of Giethoorn, alternatively spend the day exploring Lelystad, a city built on land reclaimed from the inland sea, the Zuiderzee, in 1967.

It’s the capital of the province of Flevoland which is essentially a man-made island joined to the mainland by bridges. This land wasn't always under water, but gradually the peat was washed away creating the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). Making the best of the situation, the Dutch traders of the time used this as a route between Amsterdam and the cities of the Hanseatic League which dominated trade between the 13th and 15th centuries. Perhaps visit Bataviawerf to learn more about wooden ships, spices and the long trade missions to ‘The East’ on an optional afternoon excursion.

Depart for Dordrecht this evening.

Lelystad Netherlands Europe

Day 10 Dordrecht

Waiters in purple waistcoats made of dahlias as the Dahlia Flower Parade in Zundert

This morning you’ll travel by shuttle bus to Zundert where you’ll spend the day at the Dahlia Flower Parade.

This annual Bloemencorso, which has been running for over 70 years, features colossal displays created from millions of locally grown dahlias. Local communities compete to create the most impressive display and each year the floral dioramas become more and more ambitious.

You’ll return to Spirit of the Rhine by shuttle bus for dinner on board and she will remain moored here overnight.

Dordrecht Netherlands Europe

Day 11 Dordrecht to UK

Disembark Spirit of the Rhine after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return journey to the UK.

Bernkastel panorama train

Relax on board the Bernkastel panorama train as it passes sights such as the wine museum, St Nikolaus Hospital, the parish church of St Michael and the historic market square with its centuries-old half-timbered houses.

Walking Grade 1

Two hours
Half-timbered houses of Bernkastel-Kues
Bernkastel-Kues Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Cochem, Reichsburg Castle and Wine tasting

Visit fairy-tale Reichsburg Castle to learn about its colourful history and see magnificent views of the Moselle. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle, which was rescued and restored in the 19th century in neo-Gothic style. Today it is a fabulous showcase for Renaissance and baroque furniture. Later head to a local vineyard and winery for an introductory talk, and a tasting of four regional white Rieslings. There'll be the chance to purchase some wine before returning to the ship.

Walking Grade 3

Three-and-a-half hours
Winetasting
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Cochem Noddy Train

From the pier you'll be met by the Cochem land train, which will take you on a 25-minute guided tour around the town. Starting at the old Mosel Bridge, you'll be taken through the old town and will then cross the new bridge into the Cond district, from where you'll have great views of Cochem and Reichsburg. The land train then takes you to the Moselstrabe and alongside the vineyards which ascend up the valley. After your sightseeing tour you'll have some free time to spend in Cochem, before being collected by the land train and taken back to the ship.

Walking Grade 2

Two-and-a-half hours
Explore Cochem by land train
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

Immortalised by Byron and Herman Melville, lofty fortifications have glowered over Koblenz since 1,000AD and changed faces over the centuries. The Prussians constructed Festung Ehrenbreitstein in the early 19th century, when Rhineland became a Prussian province. Despite being Europe’s second largest fortress, after Gibraltar, it played no part in either WWI or WWII. Enjoy a panoramic cable car ride from Koblenz up to the fortress, the views are astounding and you’ll learn about the history of the site. There will be a guided walk around the historic city of Koblenz, and you can admire the elegant architecture.

Walking Grade 4

Three hours
Fortress Ehrenbreitstein
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Bonn: Birthplace of Beethoven

The centre of Bonn has more than 2,000 years of history. This tour will encompass some of the spectacular highlights of this town, visiting such places as the Beethoven monument, the Romanesque Minster Cathedral, the University of Bonn, which was formerly the Electoral Palace – with its elegant Hofgarten – and the grand City Hall. The tour takes you to the banks of the Rhine near the Bonn Opera House to see the imposing view of Germany‘s oldest nature park, Siebengebirge and seven hills.

Walking grade 3

Two hours
Bonn
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Cologne city tour

Discover the city’s historic attractions on this optional excursion which begins with a scenic coach trip in the company of a knowledgeable guide who will point out the highlights. See the pretty Altstadt, or old town, which has been sensitively restored to it's pre-World War II glory, the awe-inspiring towers of Gross St Martin, the elaborate town hall and mighty Gothic cathedral. Then set off on foot to get a closer look as you stroll along the cobbled lanes and lively squares, such as the Alter Markt.

Walking Grade 4

Three hours
Great St Martin Church, Cologne
Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Giethoorn

Travel through the village of Staphorst to the lake town of Giethoorn – named after the large number of goat horns found here by 12th-century settlers. It was these men who built the canals on which you’ll cruise by motorised punt. Float beneath a series of narrow arched bridges to Giethoorn’s central island, now a nature reserve. Here a shallow lake is inhabited by many rare birds. There are no roads in the centre of the village, so locals use punts to get around and cars remain outside the village. After your punt excursion you can look forward to refreshments served with a slice of delicious Dutch apple cake. 

Walking Grade 1

Four hours
Giethoorn
Giethoorn Netherlands Europe
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary

Bataviawerf

At the Bataviawerf shipyard you can discover the secret of wooden ships, spices and long trade missions to ‘The East’. Thanks to the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602, Holland profited for nearly two centuries from a trade monopoly with Asia and had one of the most powerful sea fleets in the world. At the shipyard you will find two replicas of famous VOC ships, the ‘Batavia’ and the ‘Zeven Provinciën’ (Seven Provinces). The Batavia was a ship built in 1628 but which sank off the coast of Western Australia on its maiden voyage. The replica, made from Danish oak, is complete with authentic hand-carved decoration, rigging and artillery. Both ships are full-size and built using the same materials as the original. Experience what life was like on board these ships and, if you’re lucky, you’ll even witness the firing of the cannons.

Walking Grade 4

One-and-a-half hours
Lelystad shipyard
  • Optional on 10 nights itinerary
Flowers of Floriade and the Zundert Dahlia flower parade

The Rhine and her Tributaries