Glacier Express and Rhine Cruise

***SPECIAL OFFER*** Early Booking saving of up to £150pp on specific dates, if booked before the 31st October 2018  

With this excellent tour you will discover one of Switzerland’s most impressive railways and sail on the mighty Rhine. You will experience one of the finest rail adventures aboard the Glacier Express before descending down the valley for a cruise on the majestic Rhine. Switzerland’s incredible natural beauty is on full display on this panoramic rail journey through mountain passes and lush valleys.

Itinerary

Day 1: London to Chur 
Meet your Tour Manager at their dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras to board the Eurostar service to Paris. You continue by train through France across to Chur in Switzerland.

Meals: Dinner Included

Day 2: The Glacier Express
Departing Chur today, you board the magnificent Glacier Express for a spectacular journey offering unparalleled views of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges in the world. You spiral up the mountains, crossing enormous viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on our way to Zermatt, under the Matterhorn staying at the 4-Star Hotel National.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Gornegrat Mountain Railway 
You will enjoy another mountain railway journey today, venturing forth on the Gornegrat Mountain Railway. This cog rail trip covers 1,469m in its ascent of the Gornegrat, arriving at its summit where you can enjoy magical views of the surrounding mountains including the imposing, indomitable Matterhorn. You then return later to Zermatt for a guided tour.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Boarding Your Ship
Today, you travel from Zermatt to Basel by rail, where you’ll be met by a local tour guide who will escort you to the ship, the Amadeus Silver II or III. This evening, you enjoy a welcome cocktail before a delicious Swiss themed first meal.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5: Strasbourg 
Your vessel sails into the charming German town of Kehl today. Sat across the Rhine from Kehl is the beautiful city of Strasbourg, whose position on the German-French border has seen it change hands between the two nations frequently throughout history. Because of this, Strasbourg represents the best of both cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. You have two choices here. Your first option is a city tour of Strasbourg, uncovering its charm and history. Your second alternative sees you travel along the Schwarzwaldhochstraße into the famous Black Forest of Germany, passing through stunning fairytale panoramas and enjoying free time in the charming spa town of Baden Baden.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Speyer and Heildeberg 
You arrive into Speyer this morning, where you have free time to explore. This town is home to one of the largest privately owned collections of vehicles in the world, the Technik Museum Speyer. Featuring an entire jumbo jet, army vehicles, emergency vehicles, a submarine and much more, this museum is a treasure trove of vehicular delights and is well worth a visit. Later in the afternoon, you have an excursion to the delightful academic town of Heidelberg where we are treated to a guided tour. Heidelberg is famous for a magnificent ruined castle, proudly stood high above the town below, gazing down onto the river and the attractive town houses.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Rudesheim and Rhine Gorge 
You sail into the classic German town of Rüdesheim am Rhein, known for its formidable wine production especially of the dry Riesling variety. Perhaps walk along the river during your free time here this morning, before your ship departs for Koblenz. This afternoon includes one of the highlights of the tour as you pass through the glorious Rhine Gorge, one of the most beautiful sections of the river and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sheer river banks rise up, towering over the river below, covered in deep forests and miles of green vineyards, lending an almost ethereal feel to the waterway. You will enjoy a commentary from the knowledgeable Cruise Director during this passage. Your lunch today is a wonderful themed buffet with a suckling pig as the striking centrepiece, and several smaller dishes from this part of the world making up the rest of the offerings. Weather permitting you can enjoy your lunch on the sun deck as you take in the majesty of the glorious Rhine Gorge. You sail this evening into the enchanting city of Koblenz, you may wish to visit one of the famous wine taverns here.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: Upper Rhine & Drachensfelbahn
You will depart from Koblenz this morning and discover the marvellous Upper Rhine, a stretch of river characterised by lush green meadows and postcard villages. Your Cruise Director is able to provide the history of this area, and highlights points of interest. In the afternoon, you dock in Koenigswinter, where you embark on a journey on the Drachensfelbahn railway. This rack railway rises into the mountains and high into the forests for wonderful views across the Rhine- Westphalia region of Germany. In the evening, you indulge with a traditional gourmet dinner which features Spargelzeit, a kind of white asparagus which is famous in this area. (Please note, Spargelzeit depends on seasonal availability).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Cologne
Arriving into Cologne this morning, you venture forth into this vibrant German city on a walking tour. Visit the resplendent cathedral, a centuries-year-old building which survived 14 aerial hits during bombing across the Second World War. Then wander through the many bustling squares, labyrinthine streets and see Romanesque town-houses. Tonight is an opportunity to dress up in your finest and enjoy a Gala dinner with the captain and crew.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Amsterdam and Medemblik Steam Railway
You arrive into Amsterdam this morning where you have a choice of two excursions, the first of which is a city tour of Amsterdam. One of the most popular of all the European cities, Amsterdam is as modern as it is historic, as young as it is old. From idyllic canals and large parks, to contemporary art galleries and futuristic architecture, this is a city that boasts something for everyone. The second option is an excursion to Hoorn where we board the splendid Medemblik Steam Train and enjoy a nostalgic trip through splendid Dutch scenery.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: To London
After a buffet breakfast, you disembark the ship and here your cruise concludes. Make your way back to the railway station with your Tour Manager to board your train back to London St Pancras.

Accommodation Options 

MS Amadeus Silver II
Designed with the express purpose of navigating Europe’s finest waterways, the MS Amadeus Silver II offers a superb cruising experience. In many ways a floating hotel, the Amadeus Silver II truly makes the most of the rivers it sails upon, combining comfortable and tasteful interiors, with the tranquil beauty of the scenery outside. Run by a friendly crew who place your requirements above all else, your time aboard this special vessel should be as carefree and relaxed as possible.

This ship is made up of 4 decks, and features a number of facilities including an international restaurant, a panoramic bar, a quiet lounge area, a fitness suite and a salon. On the Sun Deck, there are loungers and deck chairs, perfect for sitting and socialising with fellow passengers. Each well- appointed cabin features a television, a walk-in wardrobe, an en-suite toilet, a hairdryer and a minibar.

 

MS Amadeus Sliver III
The MS Amadeus Silver III is an enchanting vessel and excellent floating hotel, cruising along the rivers of northern Europe. Charming interiors, impeccable service and 5-star catering make this ship one of the finest ways to experience the natural and human beauty of the European rivers as you relax, sleep and dine against spectacular backdrops and wonderful scenery. Enjoy the serene tranquillity that only river cruising can bring on board the MS Amadeus Silver III.

Amenities on board include a restaurant serving international and domestic food, a panoramic bar with specially designed windows, a fitness suite and a hair salon. On top of the ship is the Sun Deck with deck games, loungers and deck chairs. Each cabin has a television, an en-suite bathroom, a walk in wardrobe and a minibar. The suites all have walk-out exterior balconies.

 

The Glacier Express 
The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland’s best known train. The 181 mile (290km) trip from Zermatt to St Moritz lasts around eight hours winding its way through some of Europe’s most dramatic and beautiful scenery. Beginning in Zermatt, a pretty Alpine resort close to the Matterhorn, the Glacier Express glides northwards from under the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn and follows the Matter Vispa River and the Rhône Valley to Visp. The train then heads east to Brig, before climbing through Betten, Grengiols and Oberwald on its journey to the 9¼ mile (15km) long Furka Base Tunnel.

The train emerges and makes its way to the village of Andermatt, before beginning its ascent towards the Oberalp Pass which at 6,670 feet (2,033m) is the highest point on the line. It then makes the steep descent towards Disentis, where the train is attached to an RHB locomotive. From here we pass the historic town of Ilanz, descending to the stunning Rhine Gorge where we continue on to the attractive cantonal capital of Chur.

Hotel National, Zermatt
The 4-Star Hotel National is located in the very centre of Zermatt, only five minutes’ walk from the railway station. The hotel has a superb spa including a 360 metre-square indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym, as well as other facilities including a restaurant, bar and garden terrace. All rooms are south facing with balconies and include a mini bar, bath robes and slippers, a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi internet access and tea/coffee making facilities.

Gornergrat Mountain Railway
The Gornergrat Mountain Railway runs for just less than six miles from the pretty town of Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat some 10,135ft above sea level. It is the highest railway in Europe to run and mostly in the open air (the Jungfrau Railway runs to a higher point but is predominantly in a tunnel).

***SPECIAL OFFER*** Early Booking saving of up to £150pp on specific dates, if booked before the 31st October 2018 

Departure Dates and Costs per Person
14 May 2019:  £2,095
28 May 2019: £ on request, last spaces available – Call us for further information
1 Jun 2019: £ on request, last spaces available-  Call us for further information
15 Jun 2019: £ on request, last spaces available- Call us for further information
21 Sep 2019:  £2,195 £2,095

Departure Dates & Cost per Person – First Class Rail Travel 
14 May 2019: £2,395
7 Sep 2019: £ on request, last spaces available- Call us for further information
21 Sep 2019:  £2,495