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An enchanting German voyage
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This picturesque journey on board Olympia sails through the heart of the Rhine and three of its tributaries. Beginning in Andernach, gateway to the enchanting Middle Rhine, you'll sail into the meandering Moselle to attractive Cochem, before returning through the majestic Rhine Gorge to explore the beautiful wine-making towns of Boppard and Rudesheim. Discover historic Mainz and cosmopolitan Mannheim at the mouth of the River Neckar - where there's a chance to visit the enthralling 'Student Prince' town of Heidelberg - before concluding your journey in glittering Frankfurt.
Meet the coach in Dover (or Ashford - see below) and board the ferry for the Channel crossing, before continuing on to the ancient Rhine town of Andernach - one of Germany's oldest towns - to join Olympia for dinner and a first evening on board.
Olympia leaves Andernach early this morning, drifting upstream past Koblenz - an ancient town dating back to Roman times - and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which occupies a commanding position above the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. Here, Olympia heads into the winding Moselle, reaching the town of Cochem around lunchtime. Nestled in a valley on the banks of a river bend, this attractive town is a maze of half-timbered houses and cottages, and is renowned for delicious wines from its surrounding vineyards. An optional tour this afternoon introduces striking Reichsburg Castle, overlooking the attractive town.
This morning, a leisurely cruise sees Olympia drift back up to Koblenz, where she'll re-join the Middle Rhine. This afternoon, we'll reach Boppard, the 'Pearl of the Rhine', famous for its locally-produced wines. Join our Cruise Manager for an included walking tour of the town, and spend the rest of the day exploring its charismatic streets packed with Baroque architecture, historic buildings and Roman ruins.
Olympia sails into the most beautiful stretch of the Middle Rhine this morning, passing ancient villages such as Bad Salzig and Sankt Goar, as well as the legendary Lorelei: the rock from which sirens were said to have lured passing sailors to their deaths on the rocks.
This afternoon you'll reach Rudesheim, the most popular of the Rhineland wine towns. Wander the narrow streets, stopping for a glass of the local tipple at a weinstube (tavern) on the pretty Drosselgasse. This afternoon's optional excursion gives you the chance to explore Siegfried's Musikkabinett, which houses musical instruments from the last 300 years.
Olympia sails overnight to arrive this morning in Mannheim, where the Rhine and the River Neckar meet. From here, join an optional excursion to the university town of Heidelberg to see its imposing red castle that drapes over the hillside, before we continue to Mainz for the evening. Enjoy dinner on board and perhaps step ashore to see the city's beautiful Altstadt (old town).
Drift past vineyard-covered hillsides on this morning's scenic cruise to Frankfurt, where an optional guided tour introduces you to the city's historic heart. Peruse the Altstadt, where rows of half-timbered houses line its pretty streets; see Gothic Kaiserdom church, and try locally-pressed ciders at a cosy tavern in the Sachsenhausen.
Tonight, re-board Olympia for the Captain's Farewell Dinner, giving you the chance to share memories of your cruise with fellow passengers.
Bid farewell to Olympia this morning, and begin the coach journey back to Dover (or Ashford), from where you'll make your own way home.