- Vibrant Amsterdam
Cosmopolitan Amsterdam, with its famous canals, also has dozens of fascinating museums including the Rijksmuseum.
- Medieval Bamberg
Bamberg is home to no less than eight traditional breweries.
- Picturesque Miltenberg
Sitting on the banks of the river Main, Miltenberg has a historic old town and delightful marketplace.
- Cologne's Gothic cathedral
Cologne's cathedral was, from 1880 to 1884, the world’s tallest building.
- VIP on selected river cruises
- Full board
Cruise back in time along the Rhine...
Explore capital cities and medieval towns on this fascinating voyage along the Middle Rhine and Main which includes selected drinks with lunch and dinner on board MS Serenade.
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga Cruise Host
- Saga Cruise Assistant on board
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
- Amsterdam coach tour and canal cruise
- Würzburg tour and visit to the Residenz Palace
- Bamberg walking tour
Fly to Amsterdam and journey by coach to your ship. Enjoy a welcome dinner on board this evening as MS Serenade remains moored overnight in Amsterdam.
Look forward to an included excursion which highlights the vivid history of the city and includes a canal cruise to view such treasures as the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter, where Anne Frank’s house can be seen. Your ship departs Amsterdam after lunch and cruises south along the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal, through the flat polder landscape of South Holland, reaching the Rhine overnight en route for Cologne.
Enjoy an afternoon exploring some of the city’s many highlights. You may like to discover the history at the Roman Germanic Museum, or admire the impressive Gothic cathedral. Building started in 1248 to house the relics of the three Magi but was not finally completed until 1880! You can see the magnificent shrine to Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – now among the patron saints of Cologne – behind the high altar. Cologne has also given its name to the world’s most famous toilet water – Eau de Cologne – manufactured here since the 18th century. Depart Cologne late tonight.
11/08/2020 Koblenz to Rüdesheim
You'll have a couple of hours to explore Koblenz this morning, why not join an optional tour? The city is situated at the point where the Rhine meets the Moselle and it's one of Germany's oldest towns with a history spanning 2,000 years. Discover the attractive riverside promenade and several historic churches, all set beneath the Festung Ehrenbreitstein citadel on top of the hill, which your excursion visits via cable car. Later this morning, you'll sail along what is probably the most famous and scenic stretch of the Rhine Valley. Look out for the castles on both banks, including Stolzenfels, Marksburg and the ‘Enemy Brothers’ castles of Sterrenberg and Liebenstein. Further south, the ruined fortress of Rheinfels, captured by Napoleon’s troops in 1797, dominates the wine-growing village of St Goar. Another highlight is passing Lorelei Rock. It was inspiration for a famous poem by Heinrich Heine, which described how the singing of the nymph Lorelei here lured passing sailors to a watery death on the submerged rocks… Continue to the wine town of Rüdesheim, famous for the 'olde-worlde' taverns of the famed Drosselgasse which you might like to visit. Or you can join an optional excursion to either a local winery, including a tasting, or to Siegfried's Museum of Mechanical Music. Your ship sails overnight towards Miltenburg.
Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as you cruise to Miltenberg, set in the attractive Main valley, between the Odenwald and the Spessart. The oldest part of the city lies on the left bank of the Main below a steep wooded hill, crowned by a 13th-century castle. The old town, enclosed within ancient walls and gates, is home to charming streets of half-timbered houses and old wine taverns which you'll no doubt discover this afternoon as you explore independently. If beer is more your thing then why not opt to join a tour of the local brewery. Depart early this evening.
Spend the afternoon in Würzburg, set among vineyards on the banks of the River Main. It was an important city in the Middle Ages, but owes its present appearance to the prince-bishops of the Schönborn family, who erected a large number of wonderful baroque buildings in the 17th and 18th centuries. Enjoy an included guided tour of one of Europe’s most splendid baroque palaces, the Residenz, dating back to the 18th century. Admire the famous grand staircase and Imperial Hall with frescoes by Tiepolo and the extensive gardens, then continue into the picturesque Bavarian town to see the 13th-century Fortress of Marienberg, the cathedral and old Main Bridge. MS Serenade leaves Würzburg early this evening and continues past the vineyards of Franconia towards Bamberg.
Today you pass from the Main into the Main-Danube Canal, the idea for which originated in 793AD with Charlemagne, although the canal wasn’t finally completed until 1992! This vast civil engineering project includes no fewer than 16 locks. Your ship moors in Bamberg, renowned as one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany, after lunch. Founded in 973, this enchanting Bavarian cathedral city sits on seven hills overlooking the Regnitz River Valley. An included walking tour of the old city, nestled beneath the stunning Michaelsberg Monastery, will reveal its cobbled streets and quaint thoroughfares lined with interesting buildings, timber-framed houses and historic museums. Visit the cathedral, a fine representation of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture, and walk through the historic streets to discover the old Town Hall, the magnificent Renaissance building of Alte Hofhaltung and the quaint fisherman’s houses of ‘Little Venice’. Back on board ship you can look forward to tonight's farewell dinner as you sail overnight to Nuremberg.
15/08/2020 Nuremberg to UK
Disembark MS Serenade after breakfast and travel to Munich airport for your return flight to the UK.
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
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Miltenberg beer tasting
A short walk from the ship’s berth in the heart of Miltenberg’s old town is the Brauhaus Faust, the only remaining independent brewery in the city founded in 1654. You’ll be taken on a tour and gain behind-the-scenes insights into a working brewery, and learn about the history and heritage of Bavarian beer making. Of course, the visit wouldn’t be complete without sampling a couple of beers with a typically Bavarian pretzel! Walking Grade 3
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Rudesheim Wine Tasting
Board a tourist train and travel into the centre of Rudesheim to Weingut Adolf Storzel. Located just a few steps from the famous Drosselgasse, this family owned winery dates back to the 16th century. Your knowledgeable host will introduce you to 3 different white wines from the winery. A pretzel is served alongside to neutralise the taste of the different wines. After the wine tasting you will have the possibility to taste and purchase other white and red wines and different liquors and brandies. A small glass decorated with the coat of arms of the family is yours to take away as a souvenir. Afterwards, the tourist train will take you back to your ship, unless you decide to stroll back at your leisure; perhaps via the Drosselgasse! Walking Grade 1
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Siegfried's Museum of Mechanical Music
Siegfried Wendel’s eccentric collection of 350 self-playing instruments is a veritable treat for eyes and ears. In this whimsical museum you’ll find a fantastical, nostalgic and joyous cacophony of beautiful music boxes, barrel organs, hand-cranked carnival machines and early jukeboxes, all in full working order. High points include the ‘Puppet Orchestrion’, a huge cabinet containing puppet musicians (1888) and the later ‘Phonoliszt Violina’ a blend of piano and violins that plays in perfect harmony. Walking Grade 2
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently. Optional excursions are at an additional cost and all excursions are subject to availability and change.