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Gastronomy of Switzerland and the Rhine - MS Geoffrey Chaucer

8days from
£2,299*per person


8 Days - River Cruises

We’ve given our popular Rhine Cruise to Switzerland cruise a delicious foodie twist. Scenery and gastronomy are the perfect pairing as you glide along this enchanting river and experience the glorious flavours of the Rhine.  Taste superb Swiss mountain cheeses and indulgent Black Forest treats (perhaps washed down with a delicious glass of Alsace wine or a decadent Rüdesheimer coffee) and take your tastebuds on a sweet adventure at one of Europe’s finest chocolate museums. Meet vintners and artisans who are passionate about the production of the finest food and wine and enjoy authentic culinary experiences in the most traditional of surroundings.  This holiday is ideal for travellers looking for a relaxing way to explore the gastronomy of Switzerland and the Rhine.


  • You have a couple of options for getting to Basel – fly into Basel or Zurich, or opt for train and catch the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Paris then the connecting TGV (France’s famous high-speed train) to Basel and transfer by coach to the ship. Either way, you’ll be met in your destination and transferred by coach to the ship which will be your home for the next seven nights. Our dedicated crew will be there waiting to welcome you on board, and ensure you settle in. There’ll be time to familiarise yourself with this first-class floating hotel before dinner in our stylish restaurant. On the first night, there’s always an exciting sense of expectancy and conversation with your fellow adventurers is sure to revolve around the journey ahead.
  • Stanserhorn Our first stop today is Stanserhorn - one of the mountains near Lucerne - where we’ll take the cable car high up to the peak. This naturally beautiful area is almost 1,900m above sea level, so you’ll be able to enjoy fresh mountain air while you take in the amazing views of the Swiss Alps. Not content with treating just your sight, you’ll also be indulging your tastebuds with a visit to the revolving restaurant that sits atop the mountain. Specialising in Swiss food, you’ll get the chance to sample a local favourite - Älplermagronen, the Swiss Alpine version of macaroni and cheese. This delicious mix of pasta, potatoes, cream, cheese, and onions is a true comfort food! After a mountain-top feast, you’ll make your way back down the mountain and make the short journey by coach to Lucerne.   Lucerne Spectacularly nestled in the mountains, providing epic landscapes, it is by far Switzerland’s most beautiful city and has been attracting well-heeled visitors for two centuries, one of the most famous of which being our own Queen Victoria. We’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the city – including where to get the best local pastries – and, after that, you’re free to explore at leisure. We recommend taking an invigorating stroll along the Chapel Bridge: this symbol of the city is a unique covered wooden walkway crossing the lake, supported by stilts, lined with colourful flower-filled window boxes. It’s a superb way to absorb Lucerne’s rather regal atmosphere.  Arriving back to our ship, you’ll have time to refresh before another splendid dinner in the excellent restaurant as the ship cruises majestically towards our next mooring, Breisach.   + Included experience - Cabrio cable car up Stanserhorn for lunch in its revolving restaurant & a guided tour of Lucerne.
  • We have made steady progress overnight and this morning, after a leisurely breakfast and a morning sailing, we'll berth in the ancient town of Breisach. Here, you can take a stroll ashore to explore this picturesque town’s historic heart, which is surrounded by immense stone ramparts and dominated by the impressive Saint Stephan’s Cathedral. After lunch, we’ll drive through some of Central Europe’s most stunning scenery – the Black Forest mountains. This is a fabled landscape of rugged valleys, white-water rivers, cascading waterfalls and rolling hillsides covered with huge, densely packed pine trees – exactly as you expect it to be. It goes without saying, that this area isn’t just famous for its natural beauty, it also instantly brings to mind a decadent Black Forest gateau! While here, we’ll stop to sample this iconic dish, washed down with some traditional schnapps or a classic coffee.  We re-join the ship and slip our moorings after tonight’s excellent dinner. Satisfied and full, retire to the lounge to enjoy tonight's live performance of popular music spanning the years by highly talented musicians as we commence our cruise towards Strasbourg, arriving later tonight.    + Included experience - Drive through the Black Forest with Black Forest Gateau tasting & on-board live musical performance.
  • This morning, we have crossed over into France to arrive in Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. After breakfast we’ll take a walking tour of this picturesque 16th-century old town – a maze of narrow streets and canals lined with timber-framed houses and sculptured portals. Unforgettable sights include the Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, multi-towered Ponts Couverts – covered bridges – and the pretty Petite France quarter of pastel-coloured former artisans’ houses which line the canals. As we wander Strasbourg, we will also have a chance to enjoy a traditional Alsace treat or two – local delicacies include tarte flambee, Munster cheese and kugelhopf (sweet bun). Enjoy a bite as you explore, and maybe even pick up a treat to enjoy in your cabin this afternoon as we cruise! During lunch, our elegant vessel glides away from our mooring as we commence an afternoon’s scenic cruising. Head up to the sun deck and take in the views from the comfort of a sun lounger or retire to the shady comfort of the lounge to chat over a coffee with newly made friends. As evening falls, thoughts turn to what might be on the menu tonight, so head to the relaxed ambience of the ship’s restaurant as the chef presents another delicious meal inspired by traditional Alsace cuisine to round out the day perfectly. We’ll arrive at Speyer this evening, where we’ll be moored overnight.    + Included experience - Guided tour of Strasbourg including food stops.
  • We remain moored in Speyer this morning but will be venturing out to a nearby vinegar manufacturer. Here, we’ll be able to enjoy a tour of the cellars, learning about the history of vinegar – in particular its use as Posca, an ‘energy drink’ drunk by Roman legionaries. Wandering the herbal chamber and candle-lit cellar rooms, you’ll be reminded of the winemaking processes as you view the centuries-old barrels where the vinegar is fermented. The tour finishes, of course, with a vinegar tasting. See if you can spot the differences! If learning about artisanal vinegar doesn’t tickle your fancy, you have the choice instead to spend the morning exploring Speyer, where you’ll find many historic sites including the imposing Imperial Cathedral and the neo-Gothic Gedächtniskirche. Returning on board for lunch, we commence our cruise once again, so sit back and watch the idyllic scenery slipping past through the panoramic windows: rolling hills and fertile vineyards - home to the Liebfraumilch wines of the region - and oxbow lakes, which are long deserted by the river flow and now havens for bird and wildlife. Back on board this evening there’s a truly memorable occasion – the Captain’s Dinner, featuring delicious specialities of the countries and regions we visit during our cruise. During dinner our vessel arrives in the classic Rhine wine village of Rüdesheim, so you might fancy wandering ashore to enjoy a digestif – perhaps a glass of Asbach, the famous brandy distilled locally.    + Included experience - Tour of vinegar distillery and Captain’s Dinner.
  • Rüdesheim This morning we moor in Rüdesheim, with its crooked houses sloping down from wooded hillsides and terraced vineyards. This pretty town is surrounded by vineyards, and as such is an ideal stop for wine enthusiasts – or oenophiles if you’re feeling fancy – as the vineyards here have been producing the Riesling sold in the local shops and taverns for centuries. During the delightful land train tour, witness the vignerons hard at work in their vineyards, the bustling marketplace, the iconic half-timbered Klunkhardshof building, and Bromserburg Castle, which dates from 1275.   Rhine Gorge This afternoon we’ll experience a real highlight of the cruise, the dramatic Rhine Gorge: steep vineyards give way to almost vertical rocky outcrops, towering over 1,000 feet above the sweeping valley sides. Sailing past Saint Goar and the many ruined castles, you get a real sense of the myths of this historic river coming alive around you. No legend is more famous than that surrounding the Loreley Rock, where beautiful nymphs distracted hapless sailors, luring them to their deaths in the treacherous waters. This experience provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy a famous Rüdesheimer coffee – a sweet brandy coffee topped with whipped cream and chocolate. Relax on the sun deck as our captain skilfully navigates the ship through the huge looping bend at Boppard – one of the most impressive on the river. Keep an eye out for the mighty Marksburg Castle too, an impressive fortress dating back to the 13th century.  Koblenz It’s not long before we arrive in picturesque Koblenz; founded by the Romans, the city is beautifully located at the confluence of the Rhine and its sister, the Moselle.  Here we'll discover Koblenz’s maze of medieval buildings in the Altstadt – old town – which is studded with a fine array of traditional shops and classic Rhineland cafés. On our guided tour of this delightful town, historic buildings appear seemingly at every turn: see the former mint, the Four Towers with their ornamental 17th-century turrets and several fascinating squares and churches, including the 9th-century Basilica of Saint Kastor. The waterfront along the Moselle is stunning too, with the medieval Balduin Bridge, staggeringly still in use. If you manage to resist the tempting cakes on offer from the beckoning pavement cafés, then you’ll be ready for your meticulously prepared dinner on board and afterwards, delight in the upbeat sounds of Rhenish folk music with a live performance of traditional instruments.   + Included experiences - Vineyard tour of Rüdesheim, cruise through the Rhine Gorge, guided tour of Koblenz and a local folk performance after dinner.
  • Early risers will witness our departure from Koblenz as we set sail towards Cologne today. Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as we drift through this lovely Rhineland scenery, past quaint riverside towns with pretty waterfronts and carefully tended vineyards. See the famous ruined bridge at Remagen, which was captured intact by the Allies towards the end of the Second World War, allowing thousands of troops to cross into Germany’s heartland and the forested Siebengebirge - Seven Mountains – a cluster of ancient volcanic hills that inspired many of the Brothers Grimm’s legends, including Snow White. When we arrive in historic Cologne, we’ll embark an indulgent journey of exploration through the world of chocolate at the Schokoladenmuseum, where you can learn about the 5,000-year history of cocoa, from its beginnings in Central America, all the way to the well-loved treat we know today. Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city. Perhaps visit the superb cathedral, the largest Gothic structure on earth. It has Europe’s most stunningly intricate stained glass, which took 600 years to finish and when work was finally complete, it was the largest building on earth, remaining so until eclipsed by the Eiffel Tower.  Tonight is the last night of the cruise, so after you last delicious dinner in our elegant restaurant, why not linger in the ship’s bar to swap stories with your like-minded travel companions or bid a bittersweet farewell to our friendly, five-star crew.   + Included experience - Visit to the Chocolate Museum in Cologne.
  • This morning, you’ll bid a fond farewell to our fantastic crew aboard your luxury river cruise ship and transfer by coach to Brussels station for the Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.   Or, if you’re returning by air, you will transfer to the airport for you flight home – the journey is the perfect time to reflect on the memories of your time away.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a tasting of one of many superb cheese dishes Switzerland is famous for and magnificent alpine views at Stanserhorn.
  • Experience typical flavours of the Black Forest with a glass of fruity schnapps and an indulgent slice of the finest Black Forest gateau.
  • Explore Strasbourg on a walking tour and sample local specialities of the Alsace.
  • Sample the finest vinegars and take your tastebuds to a different level on a unique tasting tour.
  • Marvel at the sights along the Rhine river, including passage through the Rhine Gorge and the river bend outside of Boppard.

Our Price Includes

  • Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of sole occupancy cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement. The price includes: 
  • Full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; if you choose to travel with us on any of the full day excursions by coach, a packed lunch will be provided. Anyone choosing to stay on the ship may of course have lunch in the restaurant
  • Morning/afternoon tea and coffee
  • All visits and excursions as mentioned
  • Airport/station transfers
  • Coach travel as mentioned
  • Travel to and from port of embarkation
  • The services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and concierge
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Dates and Prices

May 2025
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Price from:£2,299
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Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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