River Castles Tour – 2015

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

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Burg Eltz

Heidelberg

Rothenburg

 

For hundreds of years the Rhine has ranked as one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe.  This region, truly one of the most beautiful in Germany, was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002.

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 – DEPARTURE

 

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 – 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 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, Boppard

Day 3 – CASTLES, CASTLES, CASTLES – RUDESHEIM

 

Cruising all day on the Rhine on the most beautiful stretch of the river, the part added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites 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 the 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 – 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 – REMAGEN, COLOGNE

 

Morning stop at the Peace Museum of REMAGEN, located in surviving towers 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), 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 – 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 –  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 –  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 – RETUURN

 

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 

  • All features as per itinerary, departure guaranteed
  • Door-to-door transportation (all modes).  Leave the navigating to us.
  • 7 breakfast buffets
  • 6 three-course dinners with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after dinner
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and local guide fees paid
  • No hidden extras, no optional excursions – already included
  • Maximum group size of 30 people, fewer on most tours
  • The tour language is English only.
  • Packing and unpacking is minimized.
    First five nights at the Bellevue Rheinhotel in the Rhine town of Boppard.
  • The days are well planned to offer you many highlights, but you are never rushed.
    Ideal combination of free time and planned activities.
  • Skip the lines at must-see attractions.
  • All visits are inside, not drive-by.  Learn the stories that bring old buildings to life.
  • You will see not only the highlights but also the spots where only the locals go.
  • Tour director – Let our experts make every day and destination fascinating!
  • Satisfaction assured – backed up by our money-back guarantee.

 

Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >   River Castles Tour Itinerary

 


Rhine Valley

 


Burg Rheinfels tour

 

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Images


Boppard

Drosselgasse, Rudesheim

Mouse Tower

Burg Rheinstein

Marksburg armour collection

Heidelberg Castle

Inside Burg Eltz

Porta Nigra, Trier

Rothenburg

Wurzburg Residence

Wurzburg Residence Gardens

Relaxing at Ehrenbreitstein

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

Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of River Castles Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources

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.

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

Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year River Castles Tours

 

Other website pages, shared with other tours, also provide in depth information.

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
Comments from participants in this and other Castles tours.

Travel Info
Clickable links to air and rail travel resources, currency and time conversion, etc.

 

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References

I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful time my sister and I had on our third tour with you….  As always, your schedule was well organized and gave us time to see all the sights without feeling rushed.  I don't know why other tour companies do not follow your example.  Touring with you is a true vacation.  We have no worries and feel relaxed when on one of your tours knowing that you will deliver everything you promised.  Excellent hotels, good food, wonderful company and knowledgeable tour guides, who could ask for more.... 

- Christine Knox & Diane Jurand,       
Kentucky, July 2014  
Read more ...

Hi,
I just got back from the rest of my trip ... and wanted to say I loved the tour! 

I didn't know what to expect so this turned out beyond what I had hoped for.  It was all so well done and laid
out with lots of extra time and sightseeing. 

The trip was one of my best if not the best, took over 900 photos, I must have every rock on a picture. 

So thanks again for a wonderful tour and good luck in the future.

- Gary Linn, South Dakota, July 2013

 

We add our voices to the choir singing the praises of Astrid Baur.  We have participated in two of her tours, Bavarian Castles Tour in 2009 and River Castles Tour in 2010.  She fulfilled every promise in her tour literature and more.  Each day she brought insight to the region and memories that we will carry with us for years.  We "got inside" each venue. Time to see, visit, learn and all at an appropriately leisure pace.  Castles, churches, gardens, palaces, shopping and even a few surprises are all on the agenda.  Astrid Baur made sure our tours were hassle free and pleasurable.

- Bob and Sue Martensen, Illinois,
September 2010

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

Comments, experiences and recommendations from guests on past tours are featured in our  References Video .

 

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Dates and Prices

 

Complete printable itinerary in PDF format >

Itinerary

 

The 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:  The River Castles Tour is 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 – 2015 Departures

 

 

Your international overnight
flight leaves ...

Status

Double
Occupancy

Single
Occupancy

Triple
Occupancy

Child 8-16
with 2 Adults

 

July 3, 2015

Available - Book now

US $ 2,729

2,979

2,579

1,910

 

August 29, 2015

Available - Book now

US $ 2,729

2,979

2,579

1,910

 

Early Bird Special

Book this tour for 2015 by September 30, 2014 and save US $ 100 off the posted regular price per person.

 

Possible Accommodation Upgrade

For the five nights at the Bellevue Rheinhotel in Boppard it is possible to upgrade to a River View room or a River View Residence suite.
Please send an e-mail for a quotation for your tour.

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.  Prices per individual are the same as for the regular group tour, plus a US $ 200 per day
private tour premium for the group.  Please send an e-mail to confirm availability.

 

Reservation details and materials  >

Reservations

 

 

Dates for all current multi-day Castles tours >

Tour Dates

 

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Contact Information

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

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

 

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