Day 1: UK to Düsseldorf
Depart London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet in the morning on Eurostar to Brussels arriving in just over 2 hours. Continue by train or coach to Düsseldorf and the MV Esmeralda, with time to settle in before dinner. Alternatively, fly to Düsseldorf by air from regional UK airports – see flight information and options. On arrival transfer to the ship. Overnight in Düsseldorf.
Day 2: Düsseldorf to Königswinter
During the morning we cruise to Königswinter arriving after lunch. Situated at the foot of the Drachenfels Mountain, it is set between the Rhine Valley and Siebengebirge - “Seven Hills”. Our optional excursion takes us by land train and Germany’s oldest cog railway to the top of the mountain with spectacular views of the Rhine valley below. Overnight in Königswinter
Day 3: Königswinter to Koblenz
We depart Königswinter before breakfast and cruise towards Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle. Sit back and enjoy the views as we pass castles, fortresses and riverside town’s. We arrive after lunch with an afternoon free to explore on your own, the cable car over the Rhine takes you to the imposing Ehrenbreitstein fortress - surely one of the area’s greatest attractions. or join our optional walking tour of the town. Overnight in Koblenz.
Day 4: Koblenz to Rüdesheim
This morning we sail through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim, passing the famous Lorelei Rock. We arrive early afternoon with time to take in this gorgeous little town. Our optional tour by land train from the ship takes in the vineyards and the town, including a visit to Seigfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet and the famous Drosselgasse - a unique cobbled lane just 144 metres long, packed with bars, restaurants and live music - where we enjoy a delicious Rüdesheimer Kaffee made with Asbach brandy. Overnight in Rüdesheim.
Day 5: Rüdesheim to Boppard
Depart Rüdesheim after breakfast and cruise again through the Rhine Gorge to Boppard. We arrive in Boppard mid-day to take in its lovely, romantic squares and the riverside Rhine Allee, filled with trees and flowers. Explore on your own, take the land train tour or join our optional guided walk. overnight in Boppard.
Day 6: Boppard to Andernach – Rhine in Flames – Night of Bengal Fire
Early morning we begin our cruise to Andernach, a quiet country town with winding streets and historic architecture, far from the madding crowd. Explore on your own or join our optional guided walking tour. This evening we set sail* to join the Bonn Rhine in Flames Convoy, enjoy dinner on board as well as the best seat in the house for the spectacular fireworks in Linz, Remagen, Bad Honnef and the big finale in Bonn. Overnight in Bonn.
Day 7: Bonn to Cologne
After breakfast we cruise to Cologne where the afternoon is free to explore on your own, the impressive Cathedral is certainly worth a visit. Or, join our optional afternoon guided walk. Farewell dinner on board. Overnight in Cologne.
Day 8: Cologne to UK
After Breakfast we disembark and transfer by coach to Brussels where we take the Eurostar to London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet arriving during the afternoon. Or, transfer to Cologne airport for your flight back to the UK.
*joining of the convoy will be either on the Esmeralda or on one of the public ships depending on the authorities allocation nearer the time. Either way dinner is included on board.