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River Castles Tour – 2010 and 2011

 

 

The German Rivers Rhine, Moselle, Neckar and Main and their Castles

 

 

Burg Eltz

Heidelberg

Rothenburg

 

For hundreds of years the Rhine has ranked as one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, and now this region – truly one of the most beautiful in Germany – has been recognized with the title "World Heritage Upper Rhine Valley" by UNESCO.

Spend plenty of time discovering the river, its castles and ruins, tales and legends and also those of its tributaries Moselle, Neckar and Main.  The days are planned to offer you many highlights, but they are leisurely paced with time for you to explore on your own.

Enjoy, relax and let us take care of the details for you.

 

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Map

 

 

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Itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday

Board your flight from your home destination to Frankfurt, Germany.

This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight. 

Air fare independently arranged.

Day 2 – Sunday – WELCOME TO THE RHINE

Arrival in Frankfurt, Germany.  Your flight should arrive at the Frankfurt Airport by 11:15 a.m. at the latest for the complimentary transfer at noon.

When the group is complete we drive directly to the RHINE for lunch in one of the charming villages on the River.

Transfer to the four-star Bellevue Rheinhotel in Boppard, one of the best hotels in the Rhine area.  This Art Nouveau style hotel is situated directly on the river, with a dock at its front door, and has welcomed guests since 1877.  We will spend the next five nights here.

You can spend some relaxing moments at the on-site swimming pool and sauna.  Health conscious guests can work out at the fitness centre.

Tonight we meet for a welcome drink followed by dinner at the hotel.

>  Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to hotel, welcome drink, three-course dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after, Bellevue Rheinhotel in Boppard

Bellevue Rheinhotel

Day 3 – Monday – CASTLES, CASTLES, CASTLES – RUDESHEIM

Cruising all day on the Rhine on the most beautiful stretch of the river, the part recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.  We travel upstream past the Loreley Rock and lots of medieval castles on both sides of the river to most charming RUDESHEIM (Rüdesheim or Ruedesheim in German).

Time for lunch and souvenirs in famous Drosselgasse, and afterwards we take a cable car uphill through the vineyards to Niederwald Monument.  Be prepared for incredible views over the valley.

We re-board our Rhinesteamer back and later have a great dinner in a typical Rheinkeller with wine tasting.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Rhine cruises from and to St. Goar, tickets for cable car, three-course dinner with choices and wine tasting, Bellevue Rheinhotel


 

Rudesheim from above

Day 4 – Tuesday – MARKSBURG, KOBLENZ, EHRENBREITSTEIN

Today we cross the river by ferry to Braubach, the Town of Roses where we take a guided tour of the MARKSBURG, an 11th century castle, the only one on the Rhine that was never destroyed.

We continue to KOBLENZ, meaning confluence, where the Moselle joins the Rhine at the Deutsches Eck (the German Corner).  Admire the equestrian statue of Wilhelm I.  Time to explore Koblenz on you own, before we take a cable car up to EHRENBREITSTEIN Fortress for an inside visit at the Museum of the Rhine.

From Koblenz we take a boat back, have dinner on board, and dock in front of our hotel.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees to Marksburg and Ehrenbreitstein, Rhine cruise from Koblenz to Boppard, three-course dinner on board, Bellevue Rheinhotel

Marksburg

Day 5 – Wednesday – REMAGEN, COLOGNE

Morning stop at the Peace Museum of REMAGEN, located in the only surviving tower of the former railway bridge which fell into the American hands almost intact on March 7, 1945, but collapsed ten days later under the weight of armored vehicles.

We continue to COLOGNE (Köln in German), the biggest city on our tour and on the Rhine.  See the famous gothic Cathedral, and join the locals in one of Germany's longest pedestrian zones for a Koelsch or a cup of coffee.

Late afternoon arrival back at your hotel.  Dinner.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, guided walking tour of Cologne, entrance to Peace Museum, three-course dinner, Bellevue Rheinhotel


 

Cologne

Day 6 – Thursday – MOSELLE RIVER, BURG ELTZ, COCHEM, TRIER

Today we drive upstream along the MOSELLE River, which in scenery, castles and vineyards does not stand in the shadow of its big brother, the Rhine.

Our first stop is the twelfth century BURG ELTZ, rising majestically above the rear end of the wild Eltz Valley, one of Germany's most beautiful castles, surrounded by the river on three sides.  Inside visit.

We continue to COCHEM, located on an idyllic bend on the river, where you have time for lunch on the Moselle Promenade.

Then on to TRIER, Germany's oldest city, with lots of Roman sights.  We get a deeper insight into this place with a guided walking tour, which takes you inside the Porta Nigra, a roman fortress from the second century, and the best preserved roman construction north of the Alps.  The tour also includes the Cathedral, one of Germany's oldest churches with foundations dating from the fourth century, and the Church of our Dear Lady, the oldest purely gothic church in Germany.  All three sights are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Time for dinner on your own in Trier tonight before we return to the hotel.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees for Burg Eltz, Porta Nigra, Cathedral, Church of our Dear Lady, local guide in Trier, Bellevue Rheinhotel

Burg Eltz

Day 7 – Friday – RHEINFELS, HEIDELBERG, BURGENSTRASSE

Today say goodbye to the Rhine after your visit to Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar and head south to HEIDELBERG, on the banks of the Neckar river.  In medieval times the Electoral Palatinate with Heidelberg as the political centre was one of the most advanced European States.

See the beautiful red-walled Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss in German) including the great vat with a guided tour.  Afterwards we take a cogwheel train down into the city where you have more time for sightseeing, shopping and postcards.

Tonight we are staying in a typical country hotel in the Neckar valley on the BURGENSTRASSE (Castle Road).

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Heidelberg Castle Tour, Cogwheel Train, three-course, hotel in Neckar valley

Heidelberg

Day 8 – Saturday – ROTHENBURG, THE ROMANTIC ROAD, WURZBURG

Our last traveling day takes us to medieval ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER in Frankonia where you feel like you just jumped back into the 16th century. Completely surrounded by its medieval ramparts with countless towers, Rothenburg is famous for its ancient houses, fountains, cobbled lanes, hidden corners and street signs.  Also famous for the Meistertrunk, in which -- according to legend -- the burgomeister saved the town by emptying a 6-pint tankard in one single draught.

After lunch we take the ROMANTIC ROAD all the way to where it starts, to WURZBURG (Würzburg or Wuerzburg in German) on the Main River.  Take a guided tour of Wurzburg Residenz (Residence), this superb baroque palace, one of the biggest in Germany, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Admire the staircase, the frescoes by Tiepolo, the Hofkirche and the Gardens.

Afterwards you have time to see more of Wurzburg on your own and get your final shopping done.

Back to Frankfurt for overnight.

Farewell dinner tonight at our hotel.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees and tour of Residence, three-course dinner with choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea, hotel in Frankfurt

Rothenburg

Day 9 – Sunday

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".

Transfer to Frankfurt Airport for your return flight home.


>  Buffet breakfast, transfer to airport

 

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Tour Features 

bulletDoor-to-door transportation on a 47-seat coach
bullet7 breakfast buffets and 6 three-course dinners with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after dinner
bullet7 nights accommodation
bulletAll entrance fees and local guides
bulletNo hidden extras
bulletMaximum group size of 30 people
Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >
Itinerary

Welcome

Tour Director

Astrid Baur is a German native who has successfully conducted over 200 tours throughout Europe and Germany for thousands of happy clients.  Astrid will take you along the rivers, which she knows by heart.

The tour language is English only.

Astrid organizes the tour personally, and you can contact her directly as explained in the Contact Information section below.

 

 

Castles Intro Video Astrid has posted a short video clip on YouTube introducing herself and her tours.
           >  Castles Intro Video
 

Astrid Baur

 

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Images

Boppard

Drosselgasse, Rudesheim

Mouse Tower

Burg Rheinstein

Marksburg armour collection

Heidelberg Castle

At Heidelberg Castle

Burg Eltz

Porta Nigra, Trier

Rothenburg

Wurzburg Residence

October 2008 Tour farewell dinner

There are more pictures in the In Depth section below.  The Gallery has larger images of tour destinations, and Groups has photos of participants in past tours.

 

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River Castles Tour  In Depth

Gallery
Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of River Castles Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources
Maps
Detailed Itinerary Destination Maps
5-page printer-friendly PDF including:
-  River Castles Tour Destinations map from the top of this page,
-  Detailed maps with River Castles destinations marked by day (2 pages),
-  Close-up map of the Rhine Valley, focused on the Rhine Gorge between Rudesheim and Koblenz, and
-  Pictorial map of castles along the Rhine Gorge from Rudesheim to Boppard.
Research
Links to Sources of More Detailed Information
Clickable links to detailed articles on major River Castles Tour itinerary features and information for those with extra time in Frankfurt
Groups
Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year River Castles Tours

horizontal rule

Four other website pages, shared with other tours, also provide in depth information and travel services.

Tours
Tours Characteristics
Notes on the distinguishing features of the various tours offered.
What's so special about these tours?  How do they differ from each other?
References
References
Comments from participants in this and other Castles tours.
Travel
Travel Info
Clickable links to air and rail travel resources, currency and time conversion, etc.
Book Travel
Book Travel - Flights, Hotels, Packages, Cars, Cruises, Activities
Through a partnership with Expedia.com we are pleased to offer self-service travel search and booking services.

 

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References

To anyone who is considering taking the Rhine Area River Castle tour, this trip surpassed other tours we have taken around the world.   Each day was a highlight when one enjoys living a bit of History, visiting and touching Roman walls, Medieval Castles, and quaint European villages.  And while Ms. Baur offers excellent and interesting commentary, one also has time to explore the sights at their leisure.    We could not be more pleased with our visit.
-  Bob and Jeanne Lawler, Illinois, July 2007
I have participated in two Astrid Baur tours.  Both tours exceeded my expectations. These were exceptionally well-designed and flawlessly executed adventures that constantly interested, surprised, and delighted me.  Astrid passed on her encyclopaedic knowledge of the history and background of the featured sites and areas in a professional but relaxed manner best described as genuine “sharing”.  She is knowledgeable, well-organized, sensitive to people's interests and wishes, and fun.
-  Bruce McKay, Ontario, July 2007     Read more ...
For castle buffs, a tour with Astrid is a must.  We took both the Bavarian tour and the Rhine River tour, and enjoyed them both.   Her selection of castles, hotels, restaurants, and city tours was superb.   She created a wonderfully enjoyable time for all of us with her warmth, her flexibility, and her graciousness.
-  Pat and Lee Flocke, Florida, July 2007   Read more ...
Astrid Baur in my opinion is without a doubt the best Tour Director to be found anywhere.  She demonstrates professionalism in conducting the tour, while maintaining a very personal relationship with her clients.  She responds to the needs and concerns of her group in a prompt and efficient manner. I plan on joining Astrid on another tour in the future.
-  Richard Smith, Illinois, July 2007

Additional comments on this and other Castles Tours are provided on a separate References Page .

Comments, experiences and recommendations from guests on the May and June 2009 Bavarian Castles and July 2009 Kids and Castles Tours are featured in the European Castles Tours  References Video .

 

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Cost and Date Information

Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >
Itinerary

The 2010 and 2011 River Castles Tours listed below are offered on the following basis:

Tour prices are for the land segment only.  Air fare is not included.

Prices are per person, in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy is available for a Single Supplement charge of US $ 250.
Three adults sharing one room each receive a Triple Occupancy reduction of US $ 150.
A child 8 to 16 years old sharing a room with two adults receives a 30% reduction on this tour.

Guaranteed Departure:  These 2010 and 2011 River Castles Tours are guaranteed to operate as scheduled and will not be cancelled due to a low level of participation.

A deposit of US $ 300 per person is required to secure a reservation.

 

        River Castles Tour – 2010

 

 

Your overnight
flight leaves ...

Status

Double
Occupancy

Single
Occupancy

Triple
Occupancy

Child 8-16
with 2 Adults

 

September 4, 2010

Available - Book now

US $ 2,399

2,649

2,249

1,679

 

Private Tour Option

Do our dates not work for you?  We can arrange the tour for you or your party as a private tour.  Same itinerary as above in a private limousine or van, with bilingual, professional private guide / chauffeur.  With 4 people in a group, for example, the price per person is typically EUR 1,900.  Please send an e-mail to get a quote for your specific situation.

 

 

        River Castles Tour – 2011 Departures

 

 

Your overnight
flight leaves ...

Status

Double
Occupancy

Single
Occupancy

Triple
Occupancy

Child 8-16
with 2 Adults

 

July 9, 2011

Available - Book now

US $ 2,499

2,749

2,349

1,749

 

September 3, 2011

Available - Book now

US $ 2,499

2,749

2,349

1,749

 

  Save 2011 Early Bird Special

Book a 2011 River Castles Tour by August 31, 2010 and save US $ 100 per person from the above prices.

 

Reservation details and materials >

Reservations

 

Dates for all current European Castles Tours >
Tour Dates

 

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Contact Information

Contact the Tour Director, Astrid Baur, in Germany (Eastern Time + 6 Hours)

Email:   astrid.baur@t-online.de

U.S. Phone:  (202) 580 - 8732  /  German Phone:  011 - 49 - 171 - 546 68 39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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