- Raise a glass
Wine critic Jilly Goolden will join you on board for a tasting as you cruise.
Perhaps use our interactive map and headset to explore the town independently.
- Going underground
The steep slate slopes around Traben-Trarbach produce exquisite wines.
- The heart of the Moselle
Join the festivities in the twin towns of Traben-Trarbach.
Wine Festivals of the Rhine and Moselle
The Rhine and Her Tributariesfrom £2,449 per person 13 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
- VIP on selected river cruises
- Full board
Discover the true Spirit of the Rhine
Join Saga’s brand new luxury ship, Spirit of the Rhine, for a very special 13-night cruise along the idyllic Moselle and Rhine rivers, timed to coincide with some of Europe’s biggest and most vibrant wine festivals.
It’s been more than 2,000 years since the Romans discovered the mineral-rich and fertile German landscape was perfect for growing grapes and laid the foundations for the vineyards which cover a quarter of a million acres of the country today. Our expert cruise creators have a nose for picking out the best annual celebrations in atmospheric towns and villages along the riverbanks of the Middle Rhine and Moselle – two of the most prominent among the 13 official wine-growing regions in Germany. In addition to enjoying these Unique Experiences, they have also arranged some on-board tastings for you too!
In addition to an abundance of wine, this full-bodied cruise promises to be packed with music, food and laughter, plus plenty of local pageantry and tradition at annual celebrations in Kröv, Boppard and Königswinter.
Your cruise begins in historic Trier - where Germany’s wine heritage began - where you can enjoy an included tour revealing its Roman heritage, and enjoy an overnight mooring in Piesport. Your next night is spent in Bernkastel before a two-night mooring in Traben-Trarbach from where you can make two trips to the annual wine festival in Kröv. Cruise on to Cochem, from where you can explore iconic Reichsburg Castle and enjoy a wine tasting. Alken and Winningen are your next stops while you’ll spend two nights moored in Koblenz, where the two stately rivers converge. You might like to explore the town and the looming Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on an optional excursion before cruising on to Oberwesel and then sampling the atmosphere at the annual wine festivals in Boppard and Königswinter. An afternoon and evening in Amsterdam, where you can choose between an included tour of the city and its canals and a food-themed walking tour, is a fitting finale to a holiday which promises to be a treat for all of your senses.
35 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return coach travel via Eurotunnel or ferry*
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- All Gratuities on board
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Saga Cruise Host
- Saga Cruise Assistant on board
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Tour of Trier
- Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise or Unique Experience: Amsterdam Culinary Walking Tour
Unique Included Celebration Experiences
- Two wine festivals, plus tastings on board
*Return flights or direct Eurostar train from Amsterdam for a supplement.
Day 1 UK to Trier
Travel to Trier and embark Spirit of the Rhine.
Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board as you remain moored here overnight.
Day 2 Trier to Piesport
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 spectacular Porta Nigra, one of the best-preserved Roman city gates in the world, the city walls and cathedral.
Your cruise begins early this afternoon but should you wish to explore independently before you depart, the oldest winery is the Vereinigte Hospitien, which still features one of the original Roman walls, while the wine cellar of the renowned producer Bischoefliche Weingueter is located under the pedestrianised area of the city centre. Set sail again at lunchtime, arriving in the historic village of Piesport, on the north bank of the river, later this afternoon.
You remain moored here overnight so perhaps seek out a tavern after dinner and sample an authentic Piesporter light white wine.
Day 3 Piesport to Bernkastel 🎧
Enjoy time at leisure in Piesport this morning before making the short journey to Bernkastel.
Which is one of the most prominent wine-growing towns in the Moselle. Though the Mosel Wine Festival, with its vintners parade, fireworks and Wine Queen pageant, take place at the start of September in Bernkastel, the whole region remains in festive mode throughout the month so be sure to seek out a dash of the local riesling as you remain moored here overnight.
Day 4 Bernkastel to Traben-Trarbach
After a few hours at leisure in Bernkastel this morning, sail on to reach the ‘twin towns’ of Traben-Trarbach, which straddle the Moselle and are linked by a bridge.
Arrive at lunchtime and spend the next two nights moored in what was once the second-largest wine-trading centre in Europe, after the French city of Bordeaux. You will be struck by Traben-Trarbach’s contrast with the half-timbered architecture of other Moselle wine villages. Many of its buildings are in a smart art nouveau style, known in Germany as Jugendstil. These include a number of grand villas built for wealthy wine merchants by the Berlin architect Bruno Möhring.
The steep slate slopes around Traben-Trarbach produce exquisite wines which are celebrated each year in a series of festivals. Your cruise has been timed so you can look forward to making the short transfer to the neighbouring town of Kröv this evening to attend the opening of this year’s popular Weinesefest vintage festival.
Look forward to live music and a buzzing atmosphere all washed down with excellent wines from the Kröver winemakers before transferring back to your ship tonight.
Day 5 Traben-Trarbach
Look forward to a full-day packed with fun, food, music and of course, more wine. The festivities will continue in Kröv throughout the day and you can transfer back to enjoy them.
Alternatively spend the day in Traben-Trarbach. Perhaps spend your free time exploring the interesting Mittelmosel Museum – a stately Baroque villa in Trarbach built for the merchant family Böcking. The house was built around 1755 and escaped the great fire which swept through the town 102 years later. It features more than 20 showrooms of art, furniture and an extensive collection on the history of Traben-Trarbach including Roman relics.
Day 6 Traben-Trarbach to Cochem 🎧
You’ll have until late morning to explore Traben-Trarbach independently before sailing through the afternoon past the glorious sweeping forest and vineyard-clad bends of the Moselle to reach the picturesque wine town of Cochem.
With the romantic 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. Perhaps grab an interactive map to conduct a self-guided tour of the town this afternoon and sample some of the local delights this evening as you remain moored here overnight.
Day 7 Cochem to Alken 🎧
Enjoy a morning at leisure – perfect for self-guided tour if you haven’t yet picked up an interactive map.
This afternoon an optional excursion is available to the castle, which sits atop a hill cloaked entirely in vines. 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.
Later re-board your ship and cruise on to Alken, where you moor overnight.
Day 8 Alken to Winningen to Koblenz 🎧
Spend a free morning in Alken before cruising on to Winningen at lunchtime.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in another picture postcard small town, with quiet lanes packed with Tudor architecture. Perhaps stroll on the riverside promenade before returning to your ship for dinner. Make the short journey to Koblenz this evening, mooring after dinner.
Day 9 Koblenz 🎧
Spend the whole day in Koblenz, nestled at the point where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and inbetween the famous wine regions of the Moselle and the Middle Rhine – renowned for their Rieslings and among the oldest in Germany.
Discover the attractive riverside promenade and several historic churches, all set beneath the gaze of the looming Festung Ehrenbreitstein citadel on top of the hill, which you can visit on an optional excursion this morning. The fortress also houses a museum dedicated to the wines of the region and the 2,000 year heritage of winemaking in the Rhineland Pfalz.
Day 10 Koblenz to Oberwesel
After breakfast cruise on to Oberwesel, where you will arrive late morning.
Best known for the production of Reisling, the town is surrounded by a medieval wall and defence towers with the dramatic Schönburg Castle perched high above it. It was built in the 12th century by the Dukes of Schönburg who ruled Oberwesel and collected customs fees from ships passing through on the Rhine. The castle was burned down in 1689 and remained in ruins for 200 years before it was bought and restored by a German-American family.
You will moor here overnight so this evening perhaps seek out a tasty slice of Zwiebelkuchen – a traditional savoury onion tart – and wash it down with some local Federweisser (new wine).
Day 11 Oberwesel to Boppard
Set sail over breakfast and enjoy a leisurely morning cruising along the beautiful Moselle to the picturesque town of Boppard.
Boasting more than 2,000 years of history, this picturesque town is located in the valley of the mythical Lorelei. You have the rest of the day to go ashore and explore the town. The Rheinallee along the waterfront is an attractive promenade, and the Gothic Carmelite Church is famous for its 15th-century choir stalls. This evening the town’s Market Square promised to come alive as the Boppard Wine festival gets into full swing. The wine stalls will open around 6pm and you can look forward to an evening packed with fun, laughter, live music and of course the local Bopparder Hamm wine!
Day 12 Boppard to Königswinter
Set sail before breakfast and cruise through the morning.
If you need to clear your head after last night’s festivities then perhaps head to the sundeck for a spot of fresh air while you watch the scenery glide by. You will arrive in picturesque Königswinter before lunch. The Market Square in the Old Town plays host to the traditional Winzerfest with the wine stalls open from 11am and an eye-catching wine fountain in the middle of the square. Live music will be performed and there will be entertainment throughout the afternoon.
Return to your ship in time for dinner and cruise through the night bound for the Dutch border.
Day 13 Amsterdam 🎧
Cruise through the morning to reach the Dutch capital which is rightly popular for its friendly welcome, picturesque canals, world-class museums and galleries and laid-back cafes and bars.
This afternoon you can join one of our Unique Experiences which are designed to give you the chance to get under the skin of a destination by enjoying the local food and culture. After disembarking your ship and meeting your guide, take a tram to Central Station from where you will begin a walking tour of the Dutch capital. Along the way look forward to tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes and rounding it off with a sweet treat from a bakery.
Alternatively you could join an included tour of Amsterdam by coach and see the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station, which is built on thousands of wooden piles, and the grand 19th-century Rijksmuseum. Afterwards, enjoy a canal cruise to see the city centre with its pretty bridges and attractive gabled houses up close and view such treasures as the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter.
Day 14 Amsterdam to UK
Disembark Spirit of the Rhine after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return journey to the UK.
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
Optional on 13 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
Optional on 13 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
Optional on 13 nights itinerary
Post-holiday extension with breakfasts
After your cruise stay two nights at a locally rated 4-star Westcord Fashion Hotel with breakfasts included. The hotel is located within walking distance of the Vondelpark and has great links to be able to explore the capital at your leisure. Available only when you fly or travel by Eurostar.
🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours available for exploring independently in Bernkastel, Cochem, Koblenz and Amsterdam.
Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.