Strasbourg to Lagarde, off the beaten path. On this all inclusive cruise we explore the hidden gems of Alsace and Lorraine, discovering many sights that lie off the beaten tourist path. With visits to the medieval towns of Saverne and Sarrebourg and tastings of the best local produce available, join us as we travel in style down the most scenic of French waterways.
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement.
After meeting at our St Pancras Departure Office, board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Strasbourg. Here transfer by coach to the town of Lagarde, where your hotel barge, the Madeleine, awaits – home for the next seven days. On arrival, the crew present you with a welcome cocktail before the first dinner of your cruise is served.
Day 2 - Sarrabourg
Enjoy breakfast on board this morning as you sail down the Marne-Rhine canal towards Xouaxange. Along the way, travel through the Réchicourt lock, one of the largest in France. After lunch, we depart the boat and transfer by coach to Sarrebourg. Here we enjoy a guided tour of this cultural town and discover many of its hidden historical gems. The chapel of Cordeliers can be found in Sarrebourg: the original Marc Chagall stained glass window here is the largest piece of its kind that the artist ever created and takes pride of place in the heart of the church.
Day 3 - The Inclined Plane
This morning is spent aboard the Madeleine with a candlelit lunch as we pass through the Arzviller and Niderviller Tunnels. We make our way closer towards the remarkable Arzviller Inclined Plane. The only one of its kind in Europe, it was designed to replace over 4km of locks that used to take a whole day to navigate. It is essentially a boat lift that traverses a 41% incline in only four minutes, a unique and unforgettable experience. At the foot of the incline, we find the Inclined Plane Crystal Workshop that has been preserving the art of blowing, carving and etching crystal for the past 25 years. Here we learn about these age-old methods and receive a demonstration before continuing along the canal through the Vosges mountain range to Lutzelbourg, where we moor for the night.
Day 4 - Haut-Barr Castle
Our first excursion takes us by foot to Lutzelbourg Castle today, a 12th century fortress built overlooking the Zorn Valley. This afternoon we cruise towards Saverne, enjoying a visit to the towering Haut- Barr Castle. Strategically positioned at 470m above sea level, it is also known as ‘the Eye of Alsace’. Here we are rewarded with unparalleled views over the Alsace plain. On our return to the boat, we stop briefly at the Chappe Tower – an ancient telegraph boasting an interactive display of communication through the ages. You have some free time to explore later in Saverne.
Day 5 - Saverne
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Saverne discovering many of the sites not usually seen by tourists including the town’s main street with its unicorn fountain (Saverne’s emblem) and Katz house, adorned with beautifully decorated, half-timbered sculpturing. We also visit the church of Notre Dame and the surviving 12th century porch tower. During our tour we observe many examples of the town’s historical architecture, with buildings dating from the 14th and 18th centuries. This evening dinner is served in a local restaurant and giving you the chance to experience a local delicacy – tarte flambée.
Day 6 - Wingersheim
Take time to relax on board this morning before we set off by coach for a tranquil walking tour of the Wingersheim hops path. Beautiful Alsace is famed for its beer production and we get the opportunity to try some at a special tasting. Returning to Strasbourg, this evening, there is a gala dinner served on board. We then get the chance to take a separate panoramic boat-ride through the city at night (subject to availability). We see many of the sights including Strasbourg’s charming Old Town, dominated by the Notre Dame Cathedral. Featuring its famous astronomical clock, it has remained unchanged since the middle ages. We also see The Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Set in the midst of the River III, it is the ancient soul of the city.
Day 7 - Journey Home
After a buffet breakfast, we disembark the barge for the last time and transfer to the railway station in Strasbourg. Here we catch the train to Paris for our onward journey to London. On arrival our tour concludes.
Built in 2014, the MS Madeleine is one of CroisiEurope’s Small Barge vessel sailing on the Marne – Rhine Canal. With 11 Double/Twin cabins, she features comfortable accommodation throughout. Cabins are compact and well designed, featuring twin or double beds; an en-suite bathroom with shower, basin and WC, wardrobe, safe and TV, Independent air conditioning & WIFI Meals are served in the main restaurant,all tables take into account the panoramic views with a casual but elegant athmosphere. There is also a lounge which is tastefully decorated, it’s a quiet place where you can spend time with your friends and family. Equipped with sofa and a bar you can relax before and after dinner, serving complimentary drinks. The top deck features a sun deck/ Terrace with tables, chairs and loungers and roof top Jacuzzi.
10 comfortable cabins 86 ft², 1 adapted Double cabin 118 ft² Standard cabins are around 86ft² in size with picture windows and feature twin beds, en-suite bathroom with shower, TV, climate-controlled air conditioning and an in-room safe.
We really like these lovely barges from CroisiEurope. With a capacity of 22 guests they’re just the right size. All cruising tales place during the day, so you can watch the countryside drift past as you relax on the deck. Offering an inclusive package with all meals, drinks and excursions it’s a lovely way to see some of the less travelled waterways of Europe.