Make your own way to Dover (or Ashford - see below) and join our coach before it boards the ferry to cross the Channel, breaking your journey with a night at a convenient hotel in the Cologne area
Continue your coach journey to join Sound of Music in Basel. Enjoy a first dinner aboard the ship as she begins her way downriver.
Sound of Music's first call sees her moored a short coach ride from Strasbourg. Head into the city to wander the maze of narrow medieval streets and criss-crossing canals of the Petite France quarter. Sound of Music stays here overnight, giving you the choice of an evening on board or spent in the city.
After a morning on the river, Sound of Music arrives in Speyer. Join our Cruise Manager to explore what was once among the most important cities in the Holy Roman Empire on an optional walking tour, visit the vast cathedral or relax in one of the many bars and cafes.
Another morning cruise brings Sound of Music to Mannheim. Here you'll be able to board the coach for our included excursion to Heidelberg. The 'Student Prince' city nestles beneath the famous red Schloss castle on a forested stretch of the River Neckar, after time to explore you'll return to Sound of Music and enjoy dinner on board as she sails towards Mainz.
Spend the morning discovering Mainz - its cathedral, its altstadt and its historic associations with Johannes Gutenburg and the printing press - on an optional walking tour, then return to Sound of Music for the short lunchtime cruise to Rudesheim.
Enjoy the afternoon and evening in this relaxed town. Visit one of the lively, traditional Weinstuben that line the Drosselgasse, or join our optional excursion to see some of the world's most unusual music instruments at Siegfried's Musikkabinett and sample fruity Rieslings and late-havested sweet wines from the surrounding vineyards.
One of the highlights of your cruise is this morning's passage through the Rhine Gorge, beneath the legendary Lorelei and into the Middle Rhine's landscape of villages, vineyards and castles. Step ashore in Boppard to explore or take an optional excursion to nearby Rheinfels Castle.
Slipping away from Boppard, early this morning Sound of Music heads to Koblenz. Join the Cruise Director for a stroll through the pretty altstadt or along the riverfront promenade, then return to the ship for a final cruise upriver.
Pass Konigswinter in the shadow of the Siebengebirge (Seven Hills) and the former capital, Bonn, to arrive in Cologne in the early afternoon. Explore the cobbled altstadt in the shadow of the city's mighty Gothic cathedral, and later enjoy a special Farewell Dinner on board.
Bid farewell to Sound of Music and her crew, this morning, and begin your journey back to the UK.
Our flexible joining options allow you to travel on any date, and as an added convenience we've arranged two possible pre-departure options for you. Make your own way to the Holiday Inn Ashford North and stay the night (car parking is included), and our coach will call for you at the hotel on the way to the Channel.
Flexible joining options
Alternatively, make your own way to the Stop 24 Services in Kent (M20, Junction 11), and board the coach there. Parking is available (payable locally), and we'll confirm the exact meeting point and time in your Joining Instructions.
Optional excursions are available on all cruises, and we recommend that you book now to secure your place. If the number of bookings needed to operate any excursion is not reached, the excursion may be cancelled. In this case your payment will be refunded in full.
Optional shore excursions
The September 24th sailing will operate in reverse, from Cologne to Basel. All included calls and highlights remain the same.
Tipping is not compulsory, but from experience we know that many passengers like to leave gratuities for the crew. An envelope will be left in your cabin for this purpose.
The dress code on board and ashore is casual. After 7pm, in the lounge and restaurant, shorts are not permitted, and footwear and a shirt or T-shirt must be worn.
Where possible, non-rigid suitcases are easier to store within your cabin.
The tap water on board is safe to drink, but may not be to your taste due to the purification system.
The majority of cabins on board are 15.3m square. Single cabins are approximately 11.9m square. (These measurements include the bathroom.) Rhine Deck Suites are 18.11m square.
On rare occasions, the Captain may need to alter the Cruise Itinerary. If this happens, the Cruise Manager will keep passengers informed.