Alsace is a unique corner of France. Discover a land of storybook castles, rolling vineyards of Alsatian wines as well as Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture. For centuries, the great empires of Europe confronted one another at this strategic and military crossroads. The area’s unique blend of French and German influences are strongly evident in its customs, cuisine, wines, architecture and language.
A stylish 12 passenger hotel barge with spacious public areas and 6 comfortable double/twin ensuite cabins lavishly equipped with double hand basins and oversize showers..There are panoramic windows in the saloon, and the barge has been fitted our in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings. A large sundeck and a spa pool complete the picture..
6 Nights accommodation on board in an air-conditioned, en-suite cabin.
The services of an experienced Captain / Host, Chef, Hostess(es), Driver/Tour Guide.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard. A local meal ashore, once per week on most barges.
An excellent selection of fine regional and international wines and spirits, plus an all day open bar, tea and coffee.
Daily excursions by chauffeured minibus and entry fees to castles, vineyards, markets and other local places of interest.
Use of barge facilities such as bicycles, boules, barge library and on certain vessels, a spa pool.
Return transfers to and from the local meeting/drop off point.
Guests are met in Strasbourg and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Panache for a Champagne welcome and the first opportunity to meet your crew. Perhaps there is time for a walk or cycle ride before dinner on board.
Krafft to Strasbourg
Our day starts with a morning cruise, across the Gran Ried wetlands and home to an abundance of birdlife, to arrive at the historic city of Strasbourg. Later, we enjoy a tour of the beautiful ‘capital city of Europe’ including, of course, a visit to the 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral, home to an astronomical Renaissance clock and soaring spire. We visit Place Gutenberg and explore La Petite France, a pedestrian area brimming with half-timbered houses, boutique shops and cafés. Dinner on board.
Strasbourg to Hochfelden
After breakfast, our cruise takes us past the impressive European Parliament building on the outskirts of Strasbourg and on through the Brumath Forest to our picturesque mooring at Hochfelden. This afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive into the rolling Vosges hills on the Route des Grands Vins, where the finest wines of Alsace are produced, and a private tasting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling wines at a long-established winemaker, such as Domaine Pfister. Dinner ashore this evening at a traditional Alsatian restaurant.
Hochfelden to Saverne
This morning we take a guided tour, with an optional beer tasting, at the Meteor Brewery, founded in 1640 and the last privately-owned brewery in Alsace. Returning to Panache, we cruise further along the canal, with good walking and cycling opportunities, to the enchanting town of Saverne where history traces back over 2,000 years to the Gallo-Roman Times, mooring at the foot of the Château de Rohan, also known as the ‘Versailles of Alsace’. Dinner on board.
Saverne to Lutzelbourg
For early risers, there is perhaps an optional visit to a local bakery to watch skilled patissiers preparing their delicious creations, before we enjoy a cruise to our mooring at Lutzelbourg. In the afternoon, we visit the mountaintop village of La Petite Pierre with its medieval castle, then tour the outstanding René Lalique collection and see over 500 exceptional examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glassware. Nearby Wingen-sur-Moder is also the World War Two battleground where American infantry fought with distinction. Dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Lutzelbourg to Niderviller
This morning, we enjoy a cruise through beautiful Alsatian countryside, before visiting the Lehrer Crystal glassworks. We then ascend the unique Arzviller boat elevator that carries Panache 450 feet up the mountainside in minutes. After lunch on board, we enjoy a tour of Sarrebourg, including visits to the 13th century chapel containing Marc Chagall’s remarkable stained-glass window and the impressive museum of Roman and Medieval artefacts. On our return we enjoy a candlelit cruise through the two Arzviller tunnels to our final mooring at Niderviller. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Strasbourg.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
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