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21158
France

French Canal Voyage by Barge: Discover Alsace-Lorraine

Immerse yourself in culture as you sail the Marne-Rhine Canal on a modern river barge, discovering grand Châteaux, picturesque vineyards, cathedrals and world-class cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21158RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,199
Flights start at
850
France

French Canal Voyage by Barge: Discover Alsace-Lorraine

Immerse yourself in culture as you sail the Marne-Rhine Canal on a modern river barge, discovering grand Châteaux, picturesque vineyards, cathedrals and world-class cuisine.
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,199
Flights start at
850
Length
10 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
4,199
Flights start at
850
Program No. 21158RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

Sep 20 - Sep 29, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 4,199
Oct 4 - Oct 13, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 4,199
May 6 - May 15, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 4,699
Oct 7 - Oct 16, 2023
Ship Outside 4,699
Itinerary Note

GROUP - Friends of Larry and Sherry Kuntz

DATES & PRICES

Ship Outside
Accommodation Details

A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.

Sep 20 - Sep 29, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,199
Oct 4 - Oct 13, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,199
Oct 18 - Oct 27, 2022
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,199
Apr 8 - Apr 17, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,699
Apr 22 - May 1, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,699
May 6 - May 15, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,699
Jun 3 - Jun 12, 2023
SOLD OUT
Ship Outside 6,699
Oct 7 - Oct 16, 2023
Ship Outside 6,699
Itinerary Note

GROUP - Friends of Larry and Sherry Kuntz

At a Glance

The region of Grand-Est, formerly Alsace- Lorraine, borders Germany and the proximity shows in its culture. But this area is also deeply, proudly French. Beginning and ending in medieval Strasbourg, this voyage on the Marne-Rhine Canal introduces you to Alsace-Lorraine’s spectacular landscapes, magnificent castles and unique customs and cuisine.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to two miles per day; uneven terrain and cobblestones common. Embark and disembark the ship via ramp. Please note on day three there will be walking up to three miles in the morning in Strasbourg in addition to the afternoon activities.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Navigate the Marne-Rhine Canal’s tunnels and watch as your ship is lifted 144 feet by the Saint-Louis-Arzviller inclined plane.
  • Learn about the arts of wine and beer making in Alsace.
  • Explore medieval Strasbourg including its famed Romanesque and high Gothic cathedral and the Palais Rohan.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Dominique Monteil
Dominique Monteil was born in southwest France, near Toulouse, and currently resides in Paris. In between, she has lived in Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland and Cyprus. During her 20 years in the tourism industry, she has gained experience working on ocean cruise ships and most recently on riverboats traveling along the Seine and the Rhone. On a personal note, she grew up on a farm and is very fond of horses. She spends her free time hiking.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Dominique Monteil
Dominique Monteil View biography
Dominique Monteil was born in southwest France, near Toulouse, and currently resides in Paris. In between, she has lived in Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland and Cyprus. During her 20 years in the tourism industry, she has gained experience working on ocean cruise ships and most recently on riverboats traveling along the Seine and the Rhone. On a personal note, she grew up on a farm and is very fond of horses. She spends her free time hiking.
Profile Image of Alexandra Chambon
Alexandra Chambon View biography
Alexandra Chambon has been working in the river/canal cruise field since the early 2000s. She likes to share her passion and enthusiasm about her homeland of France and its culture, traditions, history, art and architecture, and she strives to make it come alive for the participants. Outside of being a Group Leader, Alexandra is a foodie and wine connoisseur, and she enjoys playing sports. She loves having convivial moments with a good glass of wine and music.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Strasbourg Map
by IGN
A city map of Strasbourg at a scale of 1:10,000.
The Age of the Cathedrals, Art and Society 980-1420
by Georges Duby
French scholar Duby, writing very accessibly, describes both the great cathedrals and the philosophical, religious, and political climate that enabled them to be built in this classic.
The Food of France
by Waverly Root
An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).
A Traveller's History of France
by Robert Cole
This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.
Corkscrewed, Adventures in the New French Wine Country
by Robert V. Camuto
An American journalist living in the south of France, Camuto travels far afield from Bordeaux visiting new winemakers from the Alsace to Mayonnaise, Corsica and Burgundy for this celebration of the culture and diversity of French wine.
A World Lit Only By Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance, Portrait of an Age
by William Manchester
Organized into sections on the Renaissance, Reformation and Discovery, Manchester's popular history evokes in vivid detail the great figures and daily life of the 16th century, including Henry VIII, Magellan, Borgia, da Vinci and Martin Luther.
Michelin Green Guide Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne
by Michelin Travel Publications
A guide to Alsace, Champagne and Vosges in the classic Michelin style.
Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France
by Kermit Lynch
A delightful and warmly anecdotal book, highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life, and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless.
Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg
This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.
Alsace, Lorraine Map 516
by Michelin Travel Publications
An up-to-date regional map at the very good scale of 1:200,000 published by Michelin.
Wine and War, The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure
by Donald Kladstrup
This thrilling account of how the vintners of France saved their crops -- and their bottles -- as the Nazis approached, focuses on the activities of five winemaking families in Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.
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10 days
9 nights
22 meals
8 B 6 L 8 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Strasbourg, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Strasbourg
D
Hotel de l’Europe

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After you check in to the hotel and get your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader 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. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. This is a Chartered Exclusively for Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. Port stops and field trips are subject to change as weather and river conditions could affect the progress of the vessel, making it run late and possibly miss ports if it is not safe to dock. The cruise itinerary should therefore be regarded as provisional. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line, which may mean free time in port is limited. The cruise line reserves the right change the itinerary without prior notice. When possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times. Our knowledgeable Group Leader will give lectures and provide expert commentary throughout the program. Periods in the 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. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant. In France, restaurants take pride in creating a relaxed atmosphere where patrons can take their time and enjoy every bite. It is customary for servers to wait until everyone has finished their dish before clearing the table and bringing out the next course. Meals are accompanied by complimentary bread (“pain”) and water (“eau” or “l’eau”) so you need not ask for them. It is customary to fill wine glasses no more than half full to allow the wine room to breathe. When you have finished your meal, you may indicate to the server by placing your utensils together on the right hand side of your plate.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is 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
Strasbourg Walking Field Trip, Palais Rohan & Museums
Strasbourg
B,L,D
Hotel de l’Europe

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles, standing up to 2 hours; cobbled stone streets, inclined terrain, even and uneven ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will head out with a local expert on a walking field trip to explore this place where people have lived for thousands of years. We will focus on the section of Strasbourg called “La Petite France” and visit the cathedral famed for its beauty.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue our exploration and walk to the Palais Rohan, former residence of the Prince-Bishops of Strasbourg. It was designed by the principal architect to the king of France and is regarded as one of the finest structures of the 18th century, virtually unchanged since its completion in 1742. Today, it houses the Archaeological Museum, Decorative Arts Museum, and Fine Arts Museum. After an introduction by our Group Leader, we will have time for a self-directed study to see what interests each of us most. We will return to the hotel with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
4
Strasbourg Field Trip, Transfer to Lagarde, Embark Barge
Lagarde
B,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 67 miles, approximately 1.5 hours riding time. Walking up to 2 miles during scheduled activities; cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will check out and store our luggage at the hotel in a safe room (porterage service will be provided by the hotel). We’ll then meet a local expert who will lead us on another walking field trip to learn more about the city of Strasbourg.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will have some time for independent exploration before transferring to the barge. You might like to see more museums, or simply sit at a café, sip a beverage, and watch the passing people parade. We will regroup at a designated time and place, board a motorcoach, and ride to Lagarde where the barge is docked. After boarding and getting your cabin, take some time to freshen up and relax. We will gather when announced for the crew’s orientation on safety and ship regulations.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. The barge will remain docked in Largarde overnight.

DAY
5
Lagarde to Xouaxange, Sarrebourg
Xouaxange
B,L,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Stepping on/off the barge. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day, standing up to 2 hours; cobblestone streets, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: We will gather aboard the barge for a lecture by Group Leader on navigation and the history of the Alsace-Lorraine canal. As we continue our journey towards Xouaxange, we will pass through the Réchicourt lock, one of the largest in France, and on into lakes.

Lunch: Aboard the barge.

Afternoon: We will stop en route to Xouaxange for a walking field trip with our Group Leader in Sarrebourg at the foot of the Vosges Mountains. It was once an imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire and has rich historical diversity. We will visit its church that features unique stained glass windows by Marc Chagall.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. The barge is scheduled to arrive in Xouaxange and dock after midnight.

DAY
6
Xouaxange to Lutzelbourg, Inclined Plane, Glass Works
Lutzelbourg
B,L,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day, standing up to 2 hours at a time; cobblestone streets, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: As we glide towards Lutzelbourg, the Group Leader will give us a lecture on the people and history of Alsace-Lorraine that was settled thousands of years ago by Celts. It was later taken by the Romans who prized its agriculture. After the Roman Empire, the area was controlled by Germanic and Frankish tribes, then the Holy Roman Empire, then the Habsburgs, then France. After the Franco-Prussian war of 1871, the German empire annexed the region. It reverted to France after World War I, but Germany took control again during World War II before it was finally returned to the French fold. While such tumult was at times calamitous for the people who lived here, it resulted in a richly distinctive cultural heritage that lives on today.

Lunch: Aboard the barge.

Afternoon: We will encounter the Saint-Louis-Arzviller “inclined plane” — a lift built in 1969 that moves boating traffic nearly 150 feet (45 meters) up or down the hill, thereby avoiding a series of 17 locks. This remarkable feat of engineering is the only transverse boat lift of its kind in Europe. We will step off the barge in Arzviller for a field trip to a local “cristallerie” — a crystal workshop specializing in the art of hand blowing and cutting crystal. This business, located at the foot of the incline, has been family operated for more than 25 years. The tradition of glass works in the region goes back to the medieval period.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. The barge will remain docked in Lutzelbourg overnight.

DAY
7
Lutzelbourg to Saverne, Châteaux de Lutzelbourg & Haut Barr
Saverne
B,L,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, standing up to 2 hours at a time; cobblestone streets, uneven and slightly inclined terrain, unavoidable steps at castle.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: After arriving in Lutzelbourg, we will set out on a walking field trip to see the partly reclaimed ruins of a castle originally built in the 11th century. At an elevation of 980 feet, it has views of villages in the Zorn Valley.

Lunch: Aboard the barge.

Afternoon: For our next field trip, we will visit the Château de Haut-Barr (Hohbarr in German), situated at an altitude of more than 1,500 feet (460 meters). For this reason, it has often been called “the eye of Alsace.” The original structure dates from c. 1000 CE, but was abandoned in 1770.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. The barge will remain docked in Saverne overnight.

DAY
8
Saverne to Waltenheim, Kochersberg, Alsatian Wines & Beers
Waltenheim
B,L,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Walking up to 2.5 miles, standing up to 2 hours at a time; cobblestone streets, uneven and slightly inclined terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: We will step off the barge for a walking field trip with a local expert to explore Savern, a relatively unknown and charming town. Among its highlights are the Grand Rue and Place de la Licorne (Place of the Unicorn) — the town’s emblem — as well as Taverne Katz dating from 1605 with its façade of sculpted timbers, the 12th-century Notre Dame Church, and the Récollets Monastery founded in the 14th century.

Lunch: Aboard the barge.

Afternoon: Free time. As the barge moves along, we will see the charming villages of Hochfelden and Schwindratzheim.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure. The barge will remain docked in Waltenheim overnight.

DAY
9
Waltenheim to Strasbourg, Free Time
Strasbourg
B,L,D
CroisiEurope’s Madeleine

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to 1 hour at a time; uneven and inclined paths.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: We will step off the barge, board a motorcoach, and ride through the beautiful Kochersberg region with its rolling hills, lush fields, and quaint villages with half-timbered homes. With an expert, we will explore the Maison du Kocherberg museum, where we will learn about local history and traditions, and have an opportunity to see antique and modern objects from the area. Next, we will ride to Hochfelden to explore the Villa Meteor, the oldest brewery in France. With an expert, we will hear the family history of the Meteors and their brewery from 1640 to the present day. We’ll also learn about beer making and be able to taste some local brews.

Lunch: Aboard the barge.

Afternoon: We will gather with our Group Leader for a lecture on the four different appellations of Alsatian wines and the vineyards they come from. Our lecture will culminate in an opportunity to taste the wines and learn how to differentiate among them.

Dinner: Aboard the barge, share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We will float through Strasbourg’s old town, centerpiece of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site known as the Grande-Île. At its heart is the renowned Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, more than a thousand years old. Prepare for disembarkation and departure in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation by 9:00 a.m. See your program’s “Getting There” information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.