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

Program Number: 19358RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/7/2014 - 6/20/2014; 6/26/2015 - 7/11/2015; 8/31/2015 - 9/15/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Germany/France
Price starting at: $3,888.00 - 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 Leonardo da Vinci

This deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 2003. It can carry up to 144 passengers in its 72 cabins, all of which have an outside window. The ship's facilities include a restaurant, lounge, bar and sun deck.


Accommodations
Comfortable, well-located hotels; comfortable cabins aboard deluxe two-deck river ships.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Hannong
  Strasbourg, France 3 nights
   MS Leonard de Vinci
  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 Leonard de Vinci
Type: Riverboat
  Ship Information: The MS Léonard de Vinci is a deluxe two-deck river ship that was built in 2003 and refurbished in 2011. It is 105 meters long and can accommodate 144 passengers in its 72 cabins, all of which have windows.
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,  67080 France
phone: +33 (0)3 88 76 44 44
web: www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/ships/ms-leonard-de-vinci-2013
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a shower and toilet, hairdryer, satellite TV, and safe.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, lounge, bar and dance floor, central heating, gift shop, radiophone, radar, large sun deck with deckchairs, fully air-conditioned.
  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. The transfer time will be confirmed in the final participant mailing approximately 5 weeks prior to departure.
  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: Departures from the U.S.
(Saturday, June 7)
   
 Depart From: International flights to France.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation in Strasbourg
(Sunday, June 8)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Strasbourg in the late morning and early afternoon. Transfer by coach from the airport to the Strasbourg hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take time to freshen up and relax before meeting for a welcome orientation and program briefing. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: History of Franco-German Relations / Strasbourg Museums
(Monday, June 9)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: There will be a presentation led by the guide on France, Germany, and the Rhine from ancient times up to the European Union.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to the Palais Rohan. There will be a guided introduction and then you will have time for individual exploration of the Strasbourg City Museums: Fine Arts Museum, Decorative Arts Museum, and Archeological Museum.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: City Walk / Palais de l'Europe
(Tuesday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a Strasbourg city walk that will take us to La Petite-France, a historic area, and to the Notre Dame cathedral.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for a tour of the Palais de l'Europe. You must bring your passport in order to enter. First, enjoy a visit of the Parliamentary Assembly's debating chamber. Next, there will be a conference discussing the Council of Europe's role in the European political arena. After our visit, you may enjoy some free time in Strasbourg or take the coach back to the hotel.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Haut Koenigsbourg
(Wednesday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for a field trip to the château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, a castle constructed strategically into the rocks and perched atop of the Vosges Mountains. We will then depart for Colmar.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Colmar.
 Afternoon: We will explore Colmar, a charming town with half-timbered houses. After our visit, we will then depart by coach to board the ship in Strasbourg.
 Dinner: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Heidelberg University and Castle
(Thursday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: We will travel by bus to the city of Heidelberg in Germany's Baden-Württemberg region. We will begin with a guided walking exploration of Heidelberg's old town, followed by a funicular ride up to the castle with admission to the castleyard. We will end with a walk around Heidelberg University and a guided visit of the student prison before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Afternoon: There will be a lecture titled, "Towns, Printing and Protestantism in the Holy Roman Empire." Following this, enjoy a short walk in Eberbach before dinner.
 Dinner: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Rüdesheim
(Friday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: Enjoy a lecture titled, "The Rhine in the Imagination of Artists and Tourists."
 Lunch: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Afternoon: We will take the Winzerexpress for a field trip to Rüdesheim. The Rheingauer Weinmuseum Brömserburg tells about the Rüdesheim area's 1,000 year wine growing history in the oldest castle in the Rhine Gorge. Later, enjoy a walking tour of Rüdesheim.
 Dinner: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Evening: Take some free time to explore Drosselgasse, the heart of Rüdesheim's old town.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Romantic Rhine: From the Rock of the Lorelei to Cochem
(Saturday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: We will begin with the Rock of the Lorelei. Lorelei is also the name of one of the beautiful Rhine Maidens who, legend has it, lured navigators of this river to their dooms with their alluring singing, much like the sirens of ancient Greek myth. Most famous is the poem, "Die Lore-ley" by Heinrich Heine, which tells of the titular female as a siren distracting shipmen with her singing, who then crash on the rocks in the riverbed. Heine's poem was labelled as "written by an unknown writer" during the Third Reich, because it was too popular to ban completely for its Jewish authorship.
 Lunch: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to Cochem. The 1,000 year old castle is Cochem's famous landmark. The historical mustard mill, built around 1810, is the last one of its kind in Europe. Other places to see are the market square, the baroque town hall, the Martinsbrunnen, St. Martin's Church, the former Capuchin monastery, and sections of the old town's walls.
 Dinner: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Viticulture in the Moselle Valley
(Sunday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: There will be a lecture titled, "The Roman Empire and its Borders."
 Lunch: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Afternoon: We will 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: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trier and the Roman Empire
(Monday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for a guided tour of Trier. Roman emperors have left us with considerable evidence of their occupation of this strategic site on the banks of the Moselle. Discover the Amphitheater, the Imperial Thermal Baths, and the Roman Basilica. You will also be able to admire the imposing Porta Nigra, the market place, the Dom, and numerous other marvels that the town of Trier has to offer. You will then have some free time to explore before returning to the ship by coach.
 Lunch: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture titled, "Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I."
 Dinner: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
   
Accommodations: MS Leonard de Vinci
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Oussaire de Douaumont / Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
(Tuesday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the MS Léonard De Vinci.
 Morning: We will disembark from the ship and travel to Paris by coach, stopping en route at the site of the Battle of Verdun, which was fought between French and German armies between February and December of 1916. We will then have a field trip to the Ossuaire de Douaumont, which 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. There will be a presentation titled, "The Heroism of a Verdun Warrior," which speaks of the life of Poilu during the battle.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will travel by coach to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. There will be an on-site lecture. We will then take the coach to Paris to check in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: The Occupation and Liberation of Paris / The Louvre
(Wednesday, June 18)

Note: Today's activities include 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: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take the Paris metro for an Occupation and Liberation tour.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue on for a field trip to 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: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a Seine river cruise.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Île de la Cité
(Thursday, June 19)

Note: Today's activities include 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: At the hotel.
 Morning: Accompanied by an expert lecturer and Paris resident, walk through medieval Paris and the Île de la Cité to explore the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time 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.
 Evening: Admire Paris through a city lights tour via coach.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departures from Paris
(Friday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 In Transit: Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
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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