Follow the ‘Great Canal Journey’ of Timothy West and Prunella Scales on the Marne-Rhine Canal travelling past fairy-tale castles through wonderful forests, mountains and valleys
Day 1 - Basel / Strasbourg
Day 2 - Strasbourg / Waltenheim
Day 3 - Waltenheim / Saverne
Day 4 - Saverne / Lutzelbourg
Day 5 - Lutzelbourg / Arzviller Plane
Day 6 - Sarrebourg / Lagarde
Day 7 - Return Flight
The ‘Great Canal Journey’ TV programme of Prunella Scales and Timothy West revealed a fascinating journey through the beautiful scenery of the Marne-Rhine Canal. This inspired us to offer a barge cruise through the scenic heart of Alsace from Lagarde to Strasbourg. Cruise for up to six hours per day through small villages, traversing 40 locks with the opportunity to walk or cycle between some locks. A unique highlight will be the Péniche traversing the Arzviller inclined plane which in 1969 replaced 17 locks and functions according to the Archimedes principle!
The historic town of Strasbourg, capital of Alsace is criss-crossed by canals of the Ill river and the impressive Gothic cathedral was once described by Goethe as ‘a most sublime wide-arching tree of God’ – the portals, rose window and astronomical clock repay detailed study.
The Alsace ‘Route du Vin’ is a good preview to the cruise which will also showcase the fine food and wine of the region at Riquewihr, a well-preserved village of medieval and renaissance houses, surrounded by vineyards.
Exclusive Small Ship Cruise
Free Cabin Selection
UNESCO Site: Strasbourg
Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow to Basel. Transfer to Strasbourg, calling in at Riquewihr on the Alsace wine road and embark your vessel for a six-night cruise. Welcome cocktail and enjoy a small boat cruise around Strasbourg by night. (D)
Day 2 A walking tour of historic Strasbourg. Afternoon cruising towards Waltenheim. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Cruise to Saverne passing the charming villages of Hochfelden and Schwindratzheim. Afternoon visit to the Château du Haut Barr often called ‘the Eye of Alsace’ for panoramic views over the Alsatian plains. Free time to explore Saverne. Dinner at a local restaurant with the opportunity to enjoy “tarte flambée”, a local speciality. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Sightseeing of Saverne including the Grand Rue, Katz House, the Notre Dame Church with its 12th-century steeple and the 14th-century Récollets Monastery. Continue to Lutzelbourg through the Vosges Mountains. Afternoon excursion by foot to its Castle (approx. 30 min steep walk uphill), perched over 980 feet above sea level in the Zorn Valley. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cruise towards the Arzviller inclined plane to experience this unique feat of engineering, passing through the Arzviller and Niderviller tunnels. Visit the local crystal workshop, specialising in crystal blowing and cutting. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Cruise towards Lagarde passing through Réchicourt lock, one of the largest in France before continuing through the lakes. Afternoon visit to Sarrebourg located at the foot of the Vosges mountains and the Alsace region. Take the Chagall trail and view his dramatic stained glass windows. Arrive at the quiet, charming village of Lagarde. Gala dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Disembark and transfer to Luxembourg for the return flight. (B)
Cabins are available from 5pm on arrival and until 9am on departure (before/after this, luggage storage on board and access to the public lounge).
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
Launched in 2014, Péniche Madeleine is a surprisingly spacious barge registered in France with a mainly European crew. For 20 years Jules Verne has been the main UK partner of the innovative French cruise company, CroisiEurope, established 40 years ago, now boasting the largest European river and barge fleet (over 40 ships), yet still operated by the same family.
All drinks, except premium brands are included throughout the cruise. Enjoy International and French cuisine with a choice of wines in an elegant one-sitting dining room. Breakfast is a buffet, lunch and dinner waiter service. Reception, lounge bar, sun terrace with Jacuzzi and Sun Deck, WiFi (free/limited). Bicycles are available for use when the vessel is moored. The vessel does not sail at night.
10 air-conditioned Lower Deck cabins (96 sq. ft.) with picture window, hairdryer, safe and satellite TV. 1 air-conditioned Upper Deck double cabin (118 sq. ft.) with picture window, hairdryer, safe and satellite TV.
per person in a twin Lower Deck cabin
British Airways from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £995
Upper Deck £145
Upper Deck Single supplement £995
British Airways Club Europe - On request
Arrival and departure transfers with group included
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 6-night cruise, full board and drinks on cruise vessel, excursions, local expert guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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