Explore the Black Forest from supremely scenic Breisach, visit the spectacular cathedrals in both Speyer and Strasbourg, and enjoy two days in Basel, a medieval city renowned for its progressive architecture.

DATES: Departures on 17th June, 15th July, 12th August, 9th September, 7th October & 4th November
DURATION: 7 Days / 6 Nights
PRICE: From $3,300 per person
STARTING: Mainz, Germany
FINISHING: Frankfurt, Germany
SHIP: Crystal Bach

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Day 0 | Mainz, Germany

With roots as a Roman outpost that helped stand guard over the empire’s far-north territory, Mainz has a rich history. Unfortunately, much of it was obliterated during the bombing of Mainz during World War II, which destroyed most of the city center. What followed, as in much of Germany after the war, was a rebuilding, here relatively slow to allow for considered city planning and the involvement of renowned architects with a vision for urban livability. Today, Mainz is livable indeed, with a pretty location at the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers and pedestrianized areas that invite leisurely strolls and stops to sample local wines. Architectural highlights include the Romanesque cathedral and the city’s remaining half-timbered buildings. Of course, most visitors associate Mainz with its cultural treasure, an original Gutenberg Bible—one of only a few dozen remaining copies—housed at the Gutenberg Museum.

 

Day 1 | Speyer, Germany

Spared the destruction that befell much of Germany during World War II, Speyer is a preserved window on time, looking onto a history that reaches not only to the Roman age but farther back, to the time of settlement by the Celts. Cobbled streets wind through the centuries, passing half-timbered buildings, the remains of a medieval synagogue, fine museums and festive taverns, culminating at the town’s Romanesque cathedral, called Kaiserdom. Enormous both in scale and significance, the UNESCO-listed church dates to 1030 and houses the tombs of eight Holy Roman emperors and German kings. Look at it from any perspective—on the approach to its red sandstone walls, inside its vast interior spaces or within the context of time—and the basilica is a marvel, considered a hallmark of 11th- and 12th-century architecture.

 

Day 2 | Kehl, Germany

When you glimpse the steep-peaked, half-timbered buildings, the placid waters of narrow canals, flowers blooming on balconies and bridges, and old towers standing sentry over the scene, you know you have stepped into Strasbourg—either that, or the very pretty pages of a fairytale. Located just across the Rhine from Strasbourg, Kehl is your access point to the capital of the Alsace region, the seat of the European Parliament and, simply, one of the most photogenic old towns in existence. Strasbourg boasts a breathtakingly gorgeous Gothic cathedral (with the tallest cathedral tower in France), twisting alleyways, a sweet collection of the aforementioned half-timbered buildings and a charm that oozes from virtually every cozy corner of Grande Île, or “Large Island,— the first city center to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Day 3 | Breisach, Germany

Situated along the Rhine about halfway between the supremely scenic towns of Freiburg and Colmar, Breisach is the perfect place from which to launch explorations into the surrounding Black Forest. Yet there is much to keep travelers within the embrace of this lively city, including its Romanesque church with late-Gothic altar and cobbled streets lined by pastel-hued buildings. Just a few miles west of Breisach is the remarkable star-shaped fortress town of Neuf-Brisach, or New Breisach, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Day 4 | Basel, Switzerland

On the three-border intersection of Switzerland, Germany and France and unfolding in two sections from the banks of the Rhine, Basel has an international flair, a cultural vibrancy and is picturesque besides. A medieval town center invites exploration by foot, while an abundance of museums and galleries suggest an indoor stroll amid works of art and relics of history. The Museum of Fine Arts is home to the world’s oldest art collection accessible to the public. The city itself hosts Switzerland’s oldest university, dating to 1460. Antiquity may be Basel’s strong suit, as it is in much of Europe, but this corner of Switzerland also reveals a more modern countenance: Architects Herzog & de Meuron, best known for the design of the Tate Modern in London and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, and Frank Gehry of Bilbao Guggenheim Museum fame have contributed their considerable talents to buildings here.

 

Day 5 | Basel, Switzerland

On the three-border intersection of Switzerland, Germany and France and unfolding in two sections from the banks of the Rhine, Basel has an international flair, a cultural vibrancy and is picturesque besides. A medieval town center invites exploration by foot, while an abundance of museums and galleries suggest an indoor stroll amid works of art and relics of history. The Museum of Fine Arts is home to the world’s oldest art collection accessible to the public. The city itself hosts Switzerland’s oldest university, dating to 1460. Antiquity may be Basel’s strong suit, as it is in much of Europe, but this corner of Switzerland also reveals a more modern countenance: Architects Herzog & de Meuron, best known for the design of the Tate Modern in London and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, and Frank Gehry of Bilbao Guggenheim Museum fame have contributed their considerable talents to buildings here.

 

Day 6 | Daytime Cruising along the Rhine River

Aboard your all-inclusive, all-suite Crystal river yacht, luxury knows no bounds. While cruising from one storied European port to the next, your day’s adventure might include a morning in the Fitness Center using state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a soothing massage. For lunch, dine on Michelin Star-level cuisine while watching the world drift slowly by. Enjoy a mid-afternoon respite on the top deck under the sun, or in cooler climes escape to your well-appointed suite and avail yourself of your attentive butler. Catch up on your reading. Watch a movie. Attend a lecture. As always aboard the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, the choices are yours.

 

Day 7 | Frankfurt, Germany

A high-powered international business hub with a bohemian spirit, Frankfurt is a city of contrasts. Although it’s home to futuristic skyscrapers and one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, it also hosts simpler and more traditional charms, like the famed medieval buildings in the Altstadt, or the old town; lush parks, forest areas, riverside pathways and botanical gardens that encompass more than half the city; a renowned collection of museums and galleries; and vibrant cider pubs where revelers from all over the world gather to raise a glass. In fact, Frankfurt is known for its multicultural diversity, with more than 180 nationalities represented among its residents.

Enjoy complimentary destination focused enrichment & entertainment that include onboard lecture series helmed by renowned destination and regional affairs experts to give you exclusive insights and insider tips, sharing their vast knowledge about each fascinating port of call on your river journey to make each visit even more memorable.

Our enriching collection of Crystal Adventures® shore excursions provides just the inspiration you need to write your next story. All Crystal River Cruises™ itineraries offer a complimentary Crystal Adventures shore excursion in every port.

 

Complimentary All-Inclusive Luxuries Aboard Crystal River Cruises

  • Gratuities included for all shipboard staff throughout the River Ships including housekeeping, bar, dining staff and butlers.
  • All meals included, featuring Crystal's innovative and acclaimed six-star cuisine, highlighted by regional specialties
  • Unlimited soft drinks and premium beverages including champagne, fine wine and spirits throughout the River Ships
  • All soft drinks, beer and bottled water in-suite
  • 24-hour self-service pantry featuring specialty coffees, teas, wines and nonalcoholic beverages
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour Wi-Fi access (via satellite)
  • State-of-the-art interactive TV system including in-suite movies on demand, extensive music library

 

Onboard Entertainment And Enrichment Programs

  • Destination-focused entertainment and enrichment program, including onboard lecture series
  • Destination expert (upon request)
  • Regional affairs experts on many voyages
  • Daily yoga and fitness classes
  • Daily choice of electronic international newspapers
  • Self-service guest laundry
  • Choice of complimentary curated Crystal Adventures shore excursions in every port
  • Complimentary culinary experience at highly renowned local establishments on many sailings
  • Complimentary Nordic walking poles
  • Complimentary audio headphones on all organized Crystal Adventures
  • Complimentary airport transfers to/from river ship to airport
  • Complimentary Michelin-Star Culinary Experience for select room categories (starting in 2018)
  • All transfers will be group transfers by motor coach on embarkation and disembarkation days only: Airport/River Ship - Transfers will operate between 8am and 6pm on embarkation day. River Ship /Airport - Transfers will operate until at least 12noon on the day of disembarkation. Actual service times may vary depending on local traffic conditions and guests' departure schedules.

 

Dining

  • A la carte, buffet and early risers breakfast offerings
  • Multiple dining venues
  • Open seating dining
  • Crystal Casual dress code
  • European sourced and trained chefs and hotel staff

 

Shipboard Public Spaces

  • Hydraulic Sun-Deck Bar (available on Bach, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel only)
  • Fitness Center with state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment and dedicated yoga area
  • Massage services
  • Library
  • Non-smoking environment in all indoor spaces (Except Connoisseur Club on Crystal Mozart)
  • Onboard currency exchange – shipboard currency Euros

 

Suites

  • Twice daily housekeeping services including evening turndown service
  • In-suite hors d'oeuvres
  • Individual climate control
  • Flat-screen TV in each suite
  • English-speaking and international TV stations
  • Butler service for each suite

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