11951
Germany/Luxembourg

Moselle River Valley: Vineyards, Castles & Culture by Barge

By private barge, voyage the Saar and Mosel rivers for an in-depth perspective on the timeless villages, medieval castles, ancient vineyards and Old World traditions of Western Germany.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11951RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,699
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10 days
9 nights
18 meals
8 B 2 L 8 D
DAY
1
In Transit
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Frankfurt, Transfer to Koblenz, Orientation
Koblenz
L,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: The transfer from the airport to Koblenz and the barge is approximately 75 miles; about 1.5 hours.

Morning: Join the Group Leader and your fellow Road Scholars at Frankfurt Airport to board the motorcoach and transfer to Koblenz. Located at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, the city’s name was derived from the Latin word for confluence. Founded by Nero’s grandfather Nero Claudius Drusus, Koblenz celebrated its 2,000th anniversary in 1992. The picturesque, historical timber-framed houses are representative of this region’s wine-growers’ homesteads. On arrival in Koblenz, we will drop our luggage on the Allure before continuing by motorcoach to a local restaurant.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in the historic Weindorf (Wine Village) of Koblenz, enjoy a plated meal featuring local specialties, plus a soft drink, mineral water, beer, or wine.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader, barge captain and crew will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and canal/river conditions may affect the itinerary. Canal/river conditions could affect the progress of the barge, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. All barging during this program takes place during the day with the barge moored at port during the night. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle into your cabin and relax or explore independently.

Dinner: Aboard the barge, enjoy a three-course set menu featuring tasty local cuisine with coffee, tea or water. Other beverages are available for purchase that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash (in Euros only) or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) on the last night on board. Dinners aboard the barge will fit this description.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Koblenz, Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, Mustard Mill, Reichsburg
Cochem
B,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Walk up to 1 mile and stand for up to 1 hour on flat terrain in Koblenz. Ride to Cochem is approximately 1 hour. Stand for up to 1 hour at the mill.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, we will have a buffet offering a variable hot entrée each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, plus coffee, water, tea, and juices. Breakfasts aboard the barge will fit this description.

Morning: Disembarking the barge, we will join a local historian on a walking field trip of Koblenz for an introduction to one of the oldest towns in Germany. As we walk through the historic quarter, discover the charming and romantic streets and their rich history. Hop aboard a cable car to cross the river to Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to enjoy panoramic views of Koblenz, as well as the Rhine and Mosel Rivers from the fortification. Though the current fortress was built between 1817 and 1828, the site has been fortified since the 9th century BCE. Transfer to Cochem via motorcoach.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Cochem. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Choose from one of the many local restaurants to sample some sausages and sauerkraut.

Afternoon: Visit a historic Cochem mustard mill where an expert mustard miller will provide insight into the production of his gourmet mustard, a family recipe that has been passed down through generations. Our exploration continues with a shuttle ride to Reichsburg Castle, a fairy tale castle sitting above the town where we will enjoy an introduction by a local expert. Dating to the 12th century, the castle was almost leveled by Sun King Louis XIV during the Nine Years' War but was purchased by a wealthy Berlin businessman in 1868 who financed the castle’s reconstruction. Following the visit to the castle, board the shuttle train to return to the barge, which will be docked in Cochem for the night.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Aboard the Allure and under the illuminated castle, learn more about your fellow participants at group introductions.

DAY
4
Beilstein, Zell's Black Cat Wine
Zell
B,L,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Barging time is approximately 5 hours throughout the day. Walk up to one mile on cobblestone streets; stand for up to 1 hour.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: As we barge along the winding Mosel River, admire the forested and castle-laden riverbanks, with historic ruins, small villages, and Germany’s most prestigious vineyards. Disembark the barge in Beilstein for an opportunity for independent exploration of one of the best preserved towns on the Mosel. This idyllic town with a population of less than 200 is known for its narrow streets, the ruins of Castle Metternich, and ancient wine cellars. Returning to the barge, we will barge to Zell, home of the Zeller Schwarze Katz (Zell Black Cat) wine.

Lunch: Aboard the barge, a light lunch will be served consisting of soup and a salad or a sandwich, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arriving in Zell, we will learn about the regions famous Riesling wine and the legend of the Schwarze Katz from a local expert during a visit to a local vineyard. Return to the barge in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Enjoy your meal aboard the barge while listening to a lively local music performer.

DAY
5
Traben-Trarbach, Jugendstil, Wine Cellar Visit
Bernkastel-Kues
B,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Ride to Traben-Trarbach is approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Board the motorcoach in Zell and travel to the Traben-Trarbach, which was once the second largest wine-trading city in Europe after Bordeaux, France. Using this wealth, wine merchants built in the style of Art Nouveau to display their wealth. Attend an introduction to the town's Jugendstil architecture before setting out with a local historian on a walking field trip. With a local expert, delve further into the town’s winemaking history by discovering the underground resources that allowed a small town of about 5,000 to become one of the largest wine-trading cities in Europe.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Traben-Trarbach.

Afternoon: Board the barge to motor to the historic town of Bernkastel-Kues.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Enjoy an excursion to a local vintner for a wine tasting.

DAY
6
Bernkastel-Kues, Trier, Mosel Valley History
Trier
B,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Ride to Trier is approximately 1 hour. Walk up to 1 mile; climb steps; stand for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Disembarking the barge, we will have an expert-led walk though Bernkastel’s old town, located in the heart of the Mosel River Valley. We will then board the motorcoach to transfer to Trier, one of the oldest cities in Germany and the oldest seat of a Bishop north of the Alps.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Trier.

Afternoon: Established by the Romans in 16 BCE, join a local historian for a walk through the city from the viewpoint of a Roman patrician. We will visit the Church of Our Lady, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built to celebrate Constantine’s twentieth year as emperor. Following the walk, return by taxi to the barge. A lecture aboard the barge before dinner will enlighten you on the history of the Mosel River Valley.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: Relax aboard the barge while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the Mosel River.

DAY
7
Barge to Saarburg, Economics Lecture, Historical Walk
Saarburg
B,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Barging time is approximately 3.5 hours. Walk up to 1 mile; climb steps; stand for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: From Trier, we will barge a short distance and divert into the Saar River, barging between forested cliffs and quaint villages. En route to Saarburg, enjoy a lecture on German Economics. Located in the hilly country on the banks of the Saar River, Saarburg grew from the castle of Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes and the first person to rule Luxembourg. Taking advantage of the city’s natural hills, a roaring waterfall powered three separate water mills as early as 1657 and still provides some power to the city. A wide variety of skilled workers and craftsman settled in Saarburg and their quarters can still be found in the lower town.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Saarburg.

Afternoon: Join a local historian for a walk through historic Saarburg and a visit to a bell foundry. Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Saarburg. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets teaming, or hike up to the castle ruins which offer wonderful scenic views of this charming town.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure to continue enjoying Saarburg.

DAY
8
Barge to Mettlach, Villeroy & Boch, Merzig
Merzig
B,D
Barge Allure

Activity note: Barging time is approximately 2.5 hours. Walk up to 1 mile; climb steps; stand for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: At leisure while we barge up the Saar to the village of Mettlach. Disembarking, we will visit the discovery center of Villeroy & Boch, located in an old abbey on the riverbanks. Here, a docent will offer insight into one of the oldest porcelain manufacturers in Europe. Founded in 1748, we will be introduced to the 250 years of history and marvel at the largest ceramic puzzle ever made: The World Map of Life by Stefan Szczesny.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Mettlach.

Afternoon: We will board the motorcoach and transfer to Merzig, the final destination of the Allure.

Dinner: Celebrate the end of your barging excursion aboard the Allure tonight with your fellow travelers and the crew at dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
9
Transfer, Luxembourg City, City Walk & Tram Excursion
Luxembourg City
B,D
Grand Hotel Cravat

Activity note: Ride to Luxembourg City is approximately 1 hour. Walk up to 1 mile; climb steps; stand for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Saying goodbye to the captain and the crew, we will board the motorcoach and transfer to Luxembourg City, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. When we arrive, we will drop our luggage at the hotel and return to the coach to meet with a local historian for a walk though the old town of Luxembourg.

Lunch: On your own in one of the charming cafés where there are plenty of local delicacies: try the kachkéis (soft cheese melted and served on bread), or a gromperekichelcher (a fried, shredded potato cake containing onions, shallots, and parsley), or a tarte aux quetsches (a plum tart).

Afternoon: Rest your feet aboard a tram excursion through the Pétrusse Valley. We will be provided with audio guide headsets describing points of interest along the excursion.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three-course set menu consisting of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, water and a glass of wine; other beverages available for purchase. Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out time is 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. Transfer from the hotel to the airport is about 5 miles; approximately 20 minutes.

Breakfast: In hotel dining room, we will have a buffet featuring meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, and breads, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: From the hotel, we will transfer to Luxembourg Findel Airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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