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Where France and Germany Meet: Alsace, the Rhine and Paris

Program Number: 19358RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/16/2013 - 5/29/2013; 6/26/2015 - 7/11/2015; 8/31/2015 - 9/15/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Germany/France
Price starting at: $3,850.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; History & Culture
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Dotted with hilltop castles and carpeted by Riesling-growing vineyards, the Rhine Valley’s beauty can sometimes overshadow its vital role in understanding the complex, often confrontational relationship between Germany and France. In the Alsatian capital of Strasbourg, on a voyage along the Rhine and in Paris, come to understand how the interactions of two great European powers have shaped the history of the continent.




Activity Particulars

Extensive walking along unpaved lanes and cobblestoned streets; some stairs without railings and/or uneven. Participants should be able to stand for at least one hour.



September 27 date operates from Paris to Strasbourg.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Strasbourg (France), 3 nights; aboard vessel, 6 nights; Paris, 3 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.




Days 2-4: Arrival Strasbourg (France):

Explore the Grande Île, Strasbourg’s medieval city center. Learn about the governance of modern Europe during an expert-led visit to the European Parliament or the Council of Europe. Lodging: Comfortable hotel in historic center.



Days 5-6: Embark vessel / Heidelberg (Germany):

Meet with local faculty at the University of Heidelberg, one of the oldest universities in Europe, and examine the Renaissance ruins of Heidelberg Castle.



Day 7: Rüdesheim:

Learn about the 1,000- year history of viticulture in the Rhine Gorge at the Rheingau Wine Museum.



Day 8: Cochem:

Sail past the legendary Lorelei Rock to the town of Cochem, where a local expert discusses medieval history in Rhineland-Palatinate.



Day 9: Bernkastel:

In Bernkastel, visit a local vineyard and sample some of the much-celebrated Riesling wines from the Moselle valley region.



Day 10: Trier:

Learn about the legacy of the Roman Empire in the Rhine region during a field trip to Trier, one of the oldest cities in Germany and the birthplace of Karl Marx.



Days 11-14: Saarbrücken / disembark / coach to Paris (France) / departure:

En route to Paris, delve into the story of the devastating Battle of Verdun and pay your respects at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. Explore Paris, including the Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, the Île de la Cite and a boat excursion on the Seine.
Lodging: Comfortable hotel on the Left Bank.



MS Sainte Odile

This deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 1992 and completely refurbished in 2006. The ship's facilities include a restaurant, lounge, bar and sun deck, and all cabins have an outside window. It can carry up to 131 passengers in its 64 cabins.


Accommodations
Comfortable, well-located hotels; comfortable cabins aboard deluxe two-deck river ships.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Hannong
  Strasbourg, France 3 nights
   MS Sainte Odile
  Strasbourg, France
Cruising the Rhine and its Tributaries, Germany
6 nights
   Villa Montparnasse
  Paris, France 3 nights
 Hotel Hannong
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Hannong is located in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, within a 10 minute walk of la Petite France, Place Kleber and Strasbourg Cathedral. The hotel has modern furnishings throughout with charming public spaces decorated with an ecclectic mix of fine art.
  Contact info: 15, rue du 22 Novembre
Strasbourg,   France
phone: +33 3 88 22 63 87
web: www.hotel-hannong.com
  Room amenities: Rooms features a safe, cable TV, desser and closet, bathrooms have hair dryer and soap and shampoo.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour reception desk staff with fluent English. The hotel has a wine bar where participants can relax and talk about the day's activities. High speed Internet WIFI is free of charge throughout the hotel. Room-service and laundry service are available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for reservations.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MS Sainte Odile
Type: Barge
  Ship Information: This deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 1992 and completely refurbished in 2006. The ship’s facilities include a restaurant, lounge, bar and sun deck, and all cabins have an outside window. It can carry up to 131 passengers in its 64 cabins.
  Contact info: 12 rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,  67080 France
phone: +33 825 33 37 77
web: cruise.croisieurope.com/cruise/ships/rhine/ships.html
  Room amenities: All cabins have a large picture window and are air conditioned. They are fitted with a bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC. For your comfort, cabins have satellite television, radio, a hairdryer and a safe. The majority of the cabins have twin beds. The voltage on board is 220V. A telephone allows you to call other cabins, reach reception or programme your wake-up call, but you cannot call or be called from outside the boat. Cabins are equipped with towels but washcloths are not provided. Participants may also wish to bring soap and shampoo.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, lounge/bar with dance floor, TV and video in the lounge, shop, radiophone, radar, large sun deck, air-conditioning throughout the ship.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Villa Montparnasse
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Villa Montparnasse is a quaint hotel on the left bank of the Seine. The colonial-style residence is located in the 19th century intellectual elite neighborhood opposite the famed Montparnasse Cemetery and next to the apartment where Simone de Beauvoir lived. This hotel is both charming and comfortable and is one block from a pedestrian street featuring restaurants and shops. It is within walking distance of two different metro lines both with direct access to the main monuments of Paris.
  Contact info: 2, rue Boulard
Paris,  75014 France
phone: +33 (0)1 56 80 34 34
web: www.villa-montparnasse.com/Villa_Montparnasse/Accueil.html
  Room amenities: In each room there is satellite TV, air conditioning, a mini-bar and a safe.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour front desk with English-speaking staff, bar / lounge, laundry service, smoke-free environment. Wifi is available in the lobby. Participants should be aware that hotel rooms in Paris are often considerably smaller than hotel rooms in the United States.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at 6:00 p.m. with an orientation meeting at the program hotel in Strasbourg. You will be staying at Hotel Hannong that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the program hotel in Paris. You will be staying at Villa Montparnasse the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Buses, taxis, and trains are available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Strasbourg
  Transportation to site: Independent travelers may take a shuttle train from the Strasbourg Airport into the city. Trains run approximately every 15 minutes, and the cost is 3.90 euros. From the city center train station, it is a 10 minute walk or a short taxi ride to the Hotel Hannong. Alternatively, you may take a taxi from the airport. There is also a designated group transfer available to independent travelers at no additional cost.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest city or town:  Gonesse
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle Airport
  Transportation from site: Independent travelers can take a taxi from the hotel to the airport or can ask the hotel for assistance in arranging a shuttle transfer. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. By using the web link below, you can take advantage of these rates and book your transfer for departure in Paris. Shared shuttle rates start at 18 euros and private shuttle rates start at 75 euros. (Please note that the website does not indicate that this is a discounted rate for Road Scholar.) You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher. www.parishuttle.com/index.php?partner=P60WEN
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure from the U.S.
(Thursday, May 16)
   
 Depart From: International flights to France

Day 2: Group Arrival and Welcome in Strasbourg
(Friday, May 17)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Strasbourg in the late morning and early afternoon.
 Afternoon: Check-in at hotel and have time to freshen up and relax before meeting for a welcome orientation and program briefing.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner with an introduction to Alsatian cuisine at a restaurant near the hotel in Strasbourg.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: History of Franco-German Relations & Strasbourg's La Petite France
(Saturday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel
 Morning: Attend a morning discussion focused on France, Germany and the Rhine from ancient times to the European Union.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Strasbourg
 Afternoon: Walk with your local expert to Strasbourg's la Petite France, a corner of the Grand Île (the Main Island) where the Île river splits up into a number of canals, and cascades through a small area of half-timbered houses. Learn about medieval life in the UNESCO World Heritage city as you stroll this historic quarter and view the magnificent Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in Strasbourg
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Colmar and the Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg
(Sunday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel
 Morning: This morning travel a short distance from Strasbourg along the Alsatian Wine Route to Haut Koenigsbourg Castle. The chateau, which was built during the 15th century and restored at the beginning of the 20th century, offers insight into clashes between empires and the unique heritage of Alsace-Lorraine.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Colmar
 Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led walk around the cobblestone streets of Colmar, the "Alsatian Wine Capital." Founded in the 9th century, this canal town features beautiful well-preserved architecture and is the birthplace of the sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the cuisine of Alsace-Lorraine.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: The European Parliament and the Palais de Rohan
(Monday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel
 Morning: Learn about the role of the EU in modern Europe during an expert-led visit to the European Parliament, one of several EU institutions based in this historic city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Strasbourg
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided introduction to the Palais Rohan followed by time for individual exploration. This historic building houses three of Strasbourg's greatest collections in the Fine Arts Museum, the Decorative Arts Museum and the Archaeological Museum. In the late afternoon you will board the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Heidelberg University and Castle
(Tuesday, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: Travel to the city of Heidelberg in Germany's Baden-Württemberg region, where you will visit one of the oldest universities in Europe. Following this enjoy a field trip to the picturesque ruins of Heidelberg Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the city, and learn about Renaissance architecture and the historical importance of this defensive structure.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: As the boat cruises toward Eberbach, meet for a discussion of towns, printing and Protestantism in the Holy Roman Empire. The boat arrives in Eberbach in the early evening and you may take time to individually explore the medieval city.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Rhine Gorge and Rüdesheim
(Wednesday, May 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: As the boat cruises toward Rüdesheim, meet for a discussion focused on the Rhine in the imagination of artists and tourists.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: After arrival in Rüdesheim explore the Rheingauer Weinmuseum Brömserburg; delve into the Rüdesheim area’s 1,000-year winegrowing history in the oldest castle in the Rhine Gorge World Heritage Site.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
 Evening: This evening you may choose to individually explore Drosselgasse, the heart of Rüdesheim's old town.
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Romantic Rhine: From the Rock of the Lorelei to Cochem
(Thursday, May 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: Savor this morning's voyage along the most scenic part of the river, sailing past the legendary Rock of the Lorelei.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: In Cochem trace the medieval history of the region's small riverside towns as you walk through the historic streets with a local expert. Discover the remains of the old town wall, the Endert Gate Tower and Martin's Fountain in the old market square.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Viticulture in the Moselle Valley
(Friday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: As the ship cruises toward Bernkastel, meet for a discussion of the Roman Empire and its borders.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: This morning explore viticulture in the Moselle Valley with a field trip to a local vineyard. Savor the taste of Reisling as a wine expert explains the unique aspects of this region's wines and lends insight into the daily lives of local vintners.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trier and the Roman Empire
(Saturday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: A local expert will guide your discovery of Trier, focused on the cathedral, imperial baths and the amphitheater. This area comprised the center of power for the Western Roman Empire, which extended from Scotland across Western Europe as far as Spain and into North Africa.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: With your lecturer, discuss Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I.
 Dinner: Gala farewell dinner onboard
   
Accommodations: MS Sainte Odile
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: The Battle of Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
(Sunday, May 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard
 Morning: This morning disembark from the ship and travel to Paris, stopping en route at site of the Battle of Verdun which was fought between French and German armies in from February to December of 1916. The Ossuaire de Douaumont serves as a sobering reminder of the huge losses during one of the most pivotal battles of the First World War on the Western Front. Then travel to Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, which covers 130.5 acres and serves as the final resting place of 14,246 American soldiers - the largest American cemetery in Europe. With a local expert from the memorial, learn about the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I, during which most of those buried lost their lives.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in an inn along the way.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Paris in the early evening and check in at your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the hotel in Paris.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: The Occupation and Liberation of Paris / The Louvre
(Monday, May 27)

Note: This day includes use of the Paris metro. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: This morning a local expert will guide your discovery of the areas of Paris under German occupation. Examine the key figures and events during the resistance and eventual liberation of the city. Begin at the Hotel Meurice, once the German Headquarters, and end at the statue of Charles de Gaulle on the Champs Elysées.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Paris.
 Afternoon: Free time to continue your explorations of Paris or join the group for a self-guided visit of the Louvre using an audioguide created exclusively for Road Scholar participants, containing informative commentary by lecturers sharing their passion for highlights of the Louvre.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in Paris.
 Evening: View the City of Lights from the water during a night cruise through the heart of Paris along the Seine.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Paris: Île de la Cité
(Tuesday, May 28)

Note: This day includes use of the Paris metro. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Accompanied by an expert lecturer and Paris resident, walk through medieval Paris and the Île de la Cité and explore the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own to sample Parisian cuisine.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon, and take the opportunity to explore one of the city's many great museums, beautiful gardens or historic squares. Wander through the Marais district and discover beautiful Place des Vosges and the city's Jewish quarter, or perhaps climb the hill of Montmartre to visit the Sacre Coeur and have your portrait painted in the Place du Tertre.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a restaurant in Paris.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure from Paris
(Wednesday, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel
 In Transit: Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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