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European Rivers of Music & Gardens

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Europe Rivers, Alps and Gardens.

Visit Cologne's renowned private gardens on your Botanica World Discoveries tour of Europe.

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20 Days including a 12 night cruise along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers from Amsterdam to Basel followed by a tour, with a Botanical Guide, through the Swiss Alps from Zurich through to the southern French countryside and finishing in Nice. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTRMZN20
Duration: 20 days
Accommodation: Luxury River Ship and Comfortable Hotels
Journey: Amsterdam to Nice
Meals included: 45

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Amsterdam, Netherlands

Arrive into Amsterdam and transfer to the MS Royal Crown for embarkation after 4pm. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner to meet your fellow travellers.
Stay: Twelve Nights: MS Royal Crown with classic ‘old world’ charm
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Keukenhof Garden

From Amsterdam, drive to nearby Keukenhof Garden for a morning in this extraordinary horticultural haven. With 32 hectares of flowers, more than 7 million bulbs in bloom and 800 varieties of tulips. In the early evening attend a classical performance on board the MS Royal Crown.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Arnhem, Freedom of Choice

Visit De Wiersse, a moated manor estate in the woods, which has been remarkable maintained since 1678. This afternoon you may choose to visit the Airborne Museum in Hartenstein which pays tribute to the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major tragedies of World War II. Alternatively visit Middachten Castle which dates from the early Middle Ages. Spend time exploring the “neo” baroque gardens before returning to the ship.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Cologne, Germany, Freedom of Choice

This morning cruise the legendary Rhine River. Pass Duisburg and Dusseldorf before arriving in Cologne. Choose between a visit to a wonderful private roomed garden in the heart of Cologne and meet the owner, or a visit to the Cologne Cathedral. Return to the ship and sail in the evening.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Cochem

Relax this morning and enjoy the fairytale scenery of the Moselle Valley as we make our way to Cochem. The town is famous for its 11th century Reichsburg Imperial Castle, set on a tree-clad hill above a bend of the river. On a guided tour, walk along Cochem’s winding medieval streets and see the baroque town hall.
Stay: Two Nights: Bled, Hotel Toplice
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Bernkastel

Arrive this morning at Bernkastel, situated in the heart of the Moselle Valley. On our morning ashore
we will explore this lovely town and sample some of its locally produced wine. After lunch on board, we will drive to nearby Kloster Machern for an Opera Gala performance by London Festival Opera, featuring the works of great German, French and Italian composers. Return to the ship and sail in the afternoon, enjoying the views along the meandering valley.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Rüdesheim, Freedom of Choice


After breakfast today, you can choose to depart on a tour to explore the cobblestone streets of the town’s vibrant Drosselgasse and take a mini-train to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum or visit two gardens. Darmstadt Botanic Gardens houses over 9,000 plant species, whilst Prinz-Georgs Garden is described as a jewel of baroque gardening art. After lunch, enjoy a recital by London Festival Opera. Return to the ship and sail in the evening past the city of Mainz where the Rhine meets the Main.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Mannheim for Heidelberg


From our berth in Mannheim, we set off after breakfast for an excursion to the University City of Heidelberg, with its baroque-style old town and castle. Return to the vessel for lunch and some free time. This evening we will depart for Mannheim Castle for London Festival Opera’s classical soirée, featuring celebrated arias and ensembles from the operas of Haydn and Mozart, performed in period costume.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Speyer, Freedom of Choice

Arrive this morning in the handsome city of Speyer. Choose from two touring options, a visit to the Technik Museum with its amazing collection of aircraft, classic cars, locomotives, fire engines and even a space shuttle. Alternatively take a tour of the city including the mighty cathedral. This afternoon enjoy a visit to Schwetzingen Palace and Gardens where more than 100 sculptures are scattered throughout this wonderful, and at times surprising, landscape. This evening enjoy a string quartet performance on board the ship.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Strasbourg, France. Freedom of Choice

Enjoy a morning’s cruise as we head towards the French town of Strasbourg, arriving in the early afternoon. Choose to visit the town of Colmar with its cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. Alternatively take a tour of Strasbourg, including the fascinating old quarter including the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the tallest medieval building in Europe. This evening sail towards Breisach.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Breisach & The Black Forest, Germany

This morning we arrive in Breisach, gateway to the Black Forest. After breakfast we depart for a scenic excursion through the area’s landscape of mountains, meadows and dense forest. During our tour we will ensure there is time to sample some delicious Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon is at leisure in the town of Breisach. There will be an afternoon tour to the Freiburg Botanic Gardens with its series of glasshouses. Sail this evening towards Basel.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Basel, Switzerland

After breakfast, depart for a guided walking tour of Basel, Switzerland’s third most populous city, which borders France and Germany. Tour the historic quarter including the cathedral, the glorious guildhalls, manor houses, and enjoy breathtaking views from the top of Münster Hill. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 13. Insel Mainau to Zurich

This morning we disembark and travel to the shores of Lake Constance to see the floral paradise of Insel Mainau, known as the ‘flower island’. The island’s arboretum contains 500 species of deciduous and coniferous trees, many exotic and valuable. There are acres of floral displays, including tulips and other bulbs in bloom.
Stay: Two Nights: Zurich, Romantik Hotel Europe
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 14. Zurich & Wildegg Castle & Gardens


This morning visit Wildegg, a castle in the midst of gardens, meadows and vineyards. The kitchen and pleasure garden displays rare garden and field plants as well as berries from the ProSpecieRara Foundation. This afternoon enjoy some free time to explore Zurich, with many fine museums and galleries to discover.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 15. Lucerne Sightseeing & Oberhofen Schloss


Depart Zurich for Lucerne, known for its preserved medieval architecture, which sits amidst snow-capped mountains on Lake Lucerne. Enjoy a cruise on the lake and some free time to explore the town before departing to Oberhofen Schloss. Built as a summer residence for nobility, its garden is one of the most beautiful of the alpine region due to the mild climate. Continue on to the picturesque resort town of Montreux.
Stay: Two Nights: Montreux, Hotel Victoria Glion in a lake view room
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 16. Montreux & Alpine Garden

This morning head into the Alps to Thomasia Alpine Garden, to see the stunning array of wildflowers in a spectacular setting, then enjoy time to explore Montreux.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 17. Yvoire, Garden of the Five Senses & Annecy, France

Enjoy the spectacular drive along the lake from Montreux to the medieval village of Yvoire. Upon arrival visit the Garden of Five Senses where you are invited to explore different roomed gardens including; the garden of smell, cloister of medicinal herbs and garden of touch. Continue on to Annecy set on Lake Annecy where you will have time to explore this quaint French village.
Stay: Annecy, Imperial Palace
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 18. Château de Vizille to Provence

Travel through stunning scenery to Château de Vizille near Grenoble to explore the gardens and Château which house the Museum of the French revolution. Continue onto our boutique hotel located in the heart of Provence countryside.
Stay: Two Nights: Gargas, Coquillade Village
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 19. French Gardens & Provence Landscapes

Explore La Louve Garden today, a private French contemporary garden designed by the late Nicole de Vésian, former textile designer for Hermès. This afternoon enjoy time to relax and explore your iconic surroundings.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 20. Villa Ephrussi, Nice

Travel along the French Riviera to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, once home to Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild. Tour the extensive villa with its collections of art, porcelain and stunning views over the garden. Perhaps explore the nine themed gardens with the Botanical Guide. The tour will finish at the Nice hotel at 3pm or Nice Airport at 4pm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Visit Keukenhof Garden
  • Travel through the Rhine Valley with its spectacular hilltop castles
  • Visit a private garden in Cologne
  • Explore the palace & gardens of Schwetzingen
  • Tour Insel Mainau, the ‘flower island’ on the shores of Lake Constance
  • Travel through the Black Forest
  • Visit the Speyer Technik & the Airborne museums
  • Enjoy musical performances along the journey
  • Explore the Swiss castle gardens of Wildegg & Oberhofen 
  • View Swiss alpine plants in a picturesque setting
  • Tour the Garden of the Five Senses in Yvoire
  • Explore the private garden of La Louve
  • Explore the Rothschild’s Villa Ephrussi

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Cruise/Tour Director, local guides & Botanical Guide
  • Airport transfers on first & last day, tipping & port taxes
  • 45 Meals – 19 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches & 16 Dinners

Additional Information

This tour can be combined with:

  • Private Gardens of Devon, Somerset & Cornwall Including Chelsea Flower Show - BTCFDC8

 

Fitness Level

  • This tour requires a medium level of fitness – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two night stay in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries

 

Botanical Guide – Anthea Guthrie

  • Anthea is a multi-award winning British horticulturalist

 

Keukenhof Garden

  • See seven million examples of nature’s finest handiwork at the famous Keukenhof Garden in the Netherlands. The 32-hectare landscape becomes a spectacular sea of colour as the early spring blooms, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths emerge from their wintry bulbs

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included

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