Trip Type : River Cruise
Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden (2021) tour
Bath Bern Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden (2021) Trip

Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden (2021)

Uniworld
4.9 . Excellent
96%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
12 days
From: $ 4,299 $ 358 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

Germany’s spectacular backdrops and breathtaking natural wonders will reveal themselves as you cruise along the alluring Moselle and Rhine rivers. Uncover the best-kept secret in river cruising, the Moselle, as you sail past some of Europe’s most serene, village-dotted and vineyard-lined landscapes.

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Baden-Baden
End City Frankfurt

Destinations

Germany

Attractions & Cities Visited

Bath Bern Frankfurt Luxembourg Strasbourg Trier

Activities & Interests

Culture Historic sightseeing River cruise

N/A
See more

Itinerary

2019 version

Baden-Baden to Frankfurt


Day 1 - Baden-Baden (Arrive)

Port - Baden-Baden

Arrive at Frankfurt Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the Dorint Hotel Maison Messmer Baden-Baden.


Day 2 - Baden-Baden

Port - Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is known as a spa town, and appropriately so. The city’s contemporary flair meshes with hot springs, spas and unspoiled nature, offering a wonderfully diverse collection of relaxing and invigorating experiences. Whether you embark on a tour of the city with a visit to the Festspielhaus or take full advantage of Baden-Baden’s curative powers at the Caracalla Thermal Bath or Sea Salt Grotto, you’ll leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for everything else that’s in store.

Excursion(s) - Baden-Baden city tour with casino
Excursion Price - $70

Join a local guide for a walking tour of enchanting Baden-Baden, which will bring you past two thermal baths and the city’s famous Casino. Gain further appreciation for the Romans and their love of natural spa facilities as you pass by the Fettquelle, a public thermal fountain where it is believed that the water is health-promoting. After learning about the curative powers of Baden-Baden’s water sources, explore the Casino Baden-Baden, and let its ambiance, architecture and atmosphere enthrall you. You’ll enjoy a tour of this grandiose building, complete with a walk through the gambling halls, which offer a look at the casino’s fascinating history dating back to 1855 and Dostoevsky’s novel “The Gambler”—written in Baden-Baden and based on this casino.

Excursion(s) - Festspielhaus guided visit
Excursion Price - $70

Immerse yourself in the melodies of Baden-Baden on a guided visit to the Festspielhaus, the 2,500-seat Opera House. Festspielhaus is Germany’s largest opera house and the largest classical music venue in Europe. Its architecture is particularly unique, as it sits on the trackbed of a former railway station with a neo-classicist structure that serves as the main entrance. The Opera House was reconstructed in the mid-1990s by Viennese architect Wilhelm Holzbauer in accordance with the ideal acoustic values calculated by physicist Karl-Heinz Müller.

Excursion(s) - Caracalla Thermal Bath
Excursion Price - $70

Perhaps Baden-Baden’s most notable attraction, the Caracalla Spa features countless opportunities to enjoy the mineral-rich waters of the thermal baths. This large facility offers a soothing atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world, from its two marble pools and grottos to whirlpools and sun-bathing lawns. It was here that the thermal water’s healing powers were discovered by the Romans some 2,000 years ago, creating a bathing culture for the very first time under Emperor Caracalla. With plenty of room to relax and unwind, your time at the Caracalla Spa will rival experiences at some of the nicest spas in the world.

Excursion(s) - Sea Salt Grotto
Excursion Price - $70

Experience the benefits of Dead Sea and Himalayan salts in the Salina Sea Salt Grotto of Baden-Baden. The grotto’s walls are dressed in all-natural salt bricks, while the floor is blanketed with a thick layer of salt—working together to provide a microclimate that allows you to breathe in valuable materials and trace elements that strengthen the immune system, enhance the ability to concentrate, and provide physical and mental rejuvenation as well as optimal deep relaxation.


Day 3 - Baden-Baden, Strasbourg

Port - Strasbourg

Today, you’ll check out of your hotel in Baden-Baden and head to Strasbourg to board the River Queen, one of our most unique ships on Europe’s waterways, for the cruise portion of your tour.


Day 4 - Strasbourg

Port - Strasbourg

Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, with its cobbled lanes, half timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops. You'll see Strasbourg today, and enjoy an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Excursion(s) - Strasbourg panoramic tour with Cathedral and Old Town walk
Excursion Price - $70

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You’ll see all the highlights on a city tour before venturing inside the cathedral, one of the city’s most famous sites. The same craftsmen who built Chartres worked on it, and the rose window may be Chartres’s equal. Don’t miss the astronomical clock or the truly remarkable statuary and carvings.


Day 5 - Speyer

Port - Speyer

Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously coexist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a mysterious, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious. The ship docks in Speyer, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach for a guided walking tour or taking in a private tasting at a local vinegar estate.

Excursion(s) - Speyer walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the UNESCO-designated Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town just as the medieval bishops dominated the town itself. Though the bishops ruled the town, Speyer also had a special relationship with the Holy Roman emperors: Conrad II ordered the cathedral’s construction around 1030, and eight emperors are interred in its crypts. Your walking tour will take you along the pedestrian-only Maximilian Street—first laid out by Roman soldiers—from the last remaining gate of the medieval wall toward the great church. Near the church you’ll see remnants of a Jewish community established around 1090 under the auspices of the Bishop of Speyer. Though the synagogue is long gone, the vaulted ritual baths have been beautifully preserved. (The area is popularly known as the Jewish Courtyard.) Notice the former mint and the Holy Trinity Church, which were built in the 18th century, following a devastating war, and stand as masterful examples of late-baroque style.

Excursion(s) - Private Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate visit and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience.


Day 6 - Cochem

Port - Cochem

Perhaps one of Germany’s most colorful cities, Cochem feels just like a storybook with its dramatic castle, impressive landscapes and pastel-colored shops, restaurants and buildings lining the banks of the Moselle. Perched high above on a cliff sits the brilliant Cochem Castle, or Reichsburg Cochem, which brings German history and culture to life and provides panoramic views of the Moselle and Cochem below, which you’ll have the chance to see during the nighttime glow.

Excursion(s) - Evening visit to Cochem Castle
Excursion Price - $70

Hovering over the Moselle River, the stunningly medieval Cochem Castle dates back to 1100 and once served to collect tolls from passing ships. Since its construction, it has changed appearance and rulers many times, currently appearing in the then-popular Neo-Gothic architecture style. Now a popular landmark, Cochem Castle has a vast collection of Renaissance and Baroque furniture, which you’ll have the chance to take a peek at. Your nighttime visit allows you to see the castle illuminated in all of its evening glory—a special treat for guests. Some evenings we will be unable to visit the castle, but will visit it the following morning.


Day 7 - Cochem

Port - Cochem

The picturesque town of Cochem is nestled in a particularly scenic area of the Moselle Valley. The Moselle River cuts through the town, leaving Cochem in two distinct halves on two steep hills. Discover Cochem’s perfect quaintness on foot, with stops along the city wall’s medieval gates and Marktplatz. Uncover Cold War secrets in the quiet residential area of Cochem-Cond, the location of a bunker that held replacement currency during the war. Or opt for an active jaunt along the Moselle with a bike tour, mountain golfing or hike.

Excursion(s) - Cochem village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on foot on a delightful walking tour of Cochem, a hilly small town on the riverbanks of both sides of the Moselle. As you walk through the charming town, you’ll pass by half-timbered homes straight from the pages of a storybook, medieval gates, the city’s walls, Imperial Estate and the historical Marktplatz.

Excursion(s) - The secrets of the Cold War
Excursion Price - $70

Today, you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in Germany: a hidden underground bunker where Germany’s Central Bank stored currency worth billions during the Cold War. Disguised by two residential houses, the massive bunker was concealed by heavy steel doors and a corridor that appears to stretch into infinity. Enter the corridor and descend into the vault, where you’ll learn what measures would have been taken during the Cold War in case the East Germans and Russians flooded West Germany with counterfeit Deutsche Marks. Wind your way through former offices, the kitchen and communication quarters, and learn how those working there were prepared to survive for 14 days in case of an emergency.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Active on the Moselle
Excursion Price - $70

Make your choice of one of three equally invigorating ways to explore the Moselle: take part in mountain golfing on the slopes of a former vineyard that has been transformed into a hillside course. Grab a bike and head out on a leisurely ride along the riverbanks; there’s quite the array of routes and courses, which means you’ll have plenty of options on how you want to cycle the Moselle. Or for a particularly active jaunt, enjoy a hike in a vineyard overlooking the river.


Day 8 - Trier

Port - Trier

Trier is no stranger to famous landmarks, stunning cathedrals, natural beauty, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and architectural treasures. See Trier’s Roman heritage and Gallic charm as you stroll to some of the city’s most notable spots. Marvel at the stone Roman gate, Porta Nigra, the Karl Marx house, Imperial Baths and more.

Excursion(s) - Trier panoramic city tour
Excursion Price - $70

In ancient times Trier was the largest Roman settlement north of the Alps, and six emperors ruled the Western Empire from here. Remnants of that Roman city still stand, despite taking part in centuries of warfare, earning it UNESCO protection. It’s easy to see the shape of the ancient Roman city, since the layout of the Old Town still exists. Start your visit at the Basilica of Constantine, one of two basilicas built by Emperor Constantine in AD 306. The throne room is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times in Germany; it features two tiers of windows with high-rising arches that even now show some of the original wall paintings. The other basilica is St. Peter’s Cathedral, home to the Holy Tunic, a sacred relic donated by Constantine’s mother, St. Helena. Your route to Porta Nigra, the great double-arched stone gate that is all that remains of the Roman wall that used to surround Trier, takes you through Market Square.


Day 9 - Trier (Luxembourg)

Port - Trier

Trier is a city encased in stunning ruins and remnants from the Roman Empire, and not to mention neighbor to the small country of Luxembourg. Experience a healthy dose of history with a visit to the expansive Luxembourg American War Cemetery and Memorial, where General George S. Patton is buried.

Excursion(s) - Luxembourg with WWII Cemetery
Excursion Price - $70

Over the course of 900 years, Luxembourg grew into one of the greatest fortified sites in Europe because of its strategic geographical position and ever-changing political affiliations. Your panoramic city tour will introduce you to centuries-old battlements as well as to the gleaming high-rises that denote the city’s status as a 21st-century international financial center. To best discover the heart of Old Town, though, you’ll want to walk with a local expert to Notre Dame Cathedral, a fine example of late-Gothic architecture, and the Grand Ducal Palace, where both Louis XIV and Napoleon resided. It has been the official residence of the reigning Grand Duke since 1890.

Your tour ends at Place d’Armes, “the city’s sitting room.” Surrounded by shops and sidewalk cafés, with frequent free afternoon concerts, this is the lively heart of Luxembourg. You’ll have some free time to enjoy yourself on your own there. Or choose to continue to the WWII Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, which lies just within the limits of Luxembourg City. The 50-acre cemetery was established on December 29, 1944, by General George S. Patton’s Third U.S. Army, which liberated Luxembourg. More than 5,000 U.S. military dead are buried here—many of whom lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge—along with General Patton himself. See the beautiful grounds, white stone chapel and monument honoring the fallen.


Day 10 - Bernkastel

Port - Bernkastel

Bernkastel sits peacefully in the Moselle Valley and is as romantic and picture-perfect as it gets. Explore by foot its scenic streets, taverns and vineyards, and enjoy a tasting of exceptional regional Rieslings. Aside from the medieval marketplace, a must-see is the Graach Gate, the last remaining town gate of Bernkastel-Kues. Its original purpose was that of protection, helping to ward off foreign aggression in the 1300s, but now it’s a museum of local history and a beloved landmark. If a bike is your transportation of choice, cycle along the dreamy paths of the Middle Moselle.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" biking the scenic Middle Moselle
Excursion Price - $70

Follow the serene 14 miles of riverside bike paths along the Moselle. As this gentle pathway twists and turns, you’ll cross over two bridges and enjoy numerous stops for pictures and refreshments. You’ll even enjoy a tasting of three outstanding wines (including the unique Eiswein, a wine produced from grapes frozen while still on the vine) at a wine estate, which boasts immaculately kept vineyards and handpicked grapes.

Excursion(s) - Bernkastel village walk with Riesling tasting
Excursion Price - $70

A leisurely walk around the romantic village of Bernkastel awaits today. Wander through the town’s idyllic cobbled streets that are lined with half-timbered houses and secluded courtyards and pass by beautiful marketplaces and open-air cafés. Stroll through the vineyards of the Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Wine Estate, where intentionally low yields and immaculate care produce outstanding wines, which you’ll have a chance to taste for yourself on this tour.


Day 11 - Boppard, Rüdesheim

Port - Rüdesheim

Wander through Boppard’s stone-paved streets, riverside walking paths and historic center, stopping in for wine at the half-timbered taverns serving up exceptional Riesling from grapes grown on nearby vineyards. In Rüdesheim, make your way up to arguably the best view in the entire region, Rhine Bend, by scenic chairlift ride. See the Rhine River at its most astonishing point and stroll through its vineyard-dotted hillsides before heading back down to its waterfront streets. Enjoy a visit to Rheinstein Castle and learn the history of this long-standing medieval castle, or embark on a walk around town, complete with local treats.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Excursion(s) - Boppard village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine biking
Excursion Price - $70

On today’s outing, you’ll pedal through the incomparable Boppard Hamm, a loop on the Rhine and a famed wine region known for its Riesling, Rivaner and Pinot Noir grapes. The Boppard Hamm is situated between Boppard and Spray in the breathtaking Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a section of the Rhine that’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. As you bike along miles of sprawling vineyards, you’ll enjoy a stop at the Marksburg Castle. Built in the 12th century, this castle is perched high above the river and was once used as a defense fortress. Today, it still retains all of its medieval glory, complete with a drawbridge, batteries, stables, extensive gardens and more.

Your second stop of the day will bring you to Schloss Stolzenfels, another stunning medieval fortress-turned-castle that sits on the Rhine’s Left Bank. You’ll want to make a stop in the castle’s courtyard for an astonishing view of the Rhine River Valley below. As you continue your cycling journey, you’ll end up at Lahneck Castle, a 13th-century fortress that sits above the confluence of the Rhine and Lahn rivers. Your reward for today’s scenic trek? A stop at the Zur Kipp beer garden. Savor a pint (or two) of a regional beer and take in beautiful views of the Rhine and Lahneck Castle. Then, it’s time to hop back on your bike and make your way back to the ship.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine hiking
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on a brisk hike up to the Gedeonseck for unparalleled views of the Rhine River Valley. You’ll want to bring good shoes for this steep hike up to the top, where you can look upon the picture-perfect riverbend below.

Take a break at the restaurant here if you would like to rest and have a bite on your own. Alternatively, you could join your guide on a brief walk to Vierseenblick, a spot where 4 stretches of the Rhine can be seen, each looking like an individual lake.

Conditions permitting, we’ll take the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the hill, so you can relax and enjoy the views a little while longer during the ride.

Excursion(s) - Rheinstein visit
Excursion Price - $70

Perched on a rock high above the Rhine sits the quaint and romantic, Rheinstein Castle. Originally built around 900 A.D. as a customs post for the German Empire, Rheinstein Castle became home to emperors and archbishops over the course of several hundred years. In 1823, the castle ruins were purchased by the Royal Prince of Prussia and the structure was rebuilt under the direction of a famous castle architect. Note the castle’s working drawbridge, gorgeous stained glass windows, Knight’s Hall, panoramic views of the Rhine below and a 500-year-old Burgundy grape vine (that still produces grapes) in the courtyard known as “Burgunder Garden.”

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim walk with local treats
Excursion Price - $70

The winemaking town of Rüdesheim boasts countless delights, especially along the enchanting Drosselgasse alley that runs through the city’s Old Town. Follow your guide through this quaint neighborhood and learn how the famous Rüdesheimer Coffee, a coffee infused with Asbach Uralt (a magnificent German brandy) and topped with whipped cream, is prepared. You’ll also visit a small chocolatier’s shop for a sample of their delicious sweets.

Excursion(s) - Rheinweinwelten visit - The best Rhine Rieslings
Excursion Price - $70

Enjoy a wine tasting at your leisure with a visit to Rheinweinwelten in Rüdesheim. This local treasure trove of wines is sure to impress, with 14 different wine caves to explore. This experience can be enjoyed at your own pace and is not guided. There is, however, ample literature and information in each room about every one of the 160 distinct wines. You’ll receive 10 tokens at the start, with which you can choose to sample whichever vintages appeal to you most. Prost!


Day 12 - Frankfurt (Disembark)

Port - Frankfurt

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group purchase or transfer, you will be transferred to Frankfurt Airport for your flight home.

Frankfurt to Baden-Baden


Day 1 - Frankfurt (Embark)

Port - Frankfurt

Arrive at Frankfurt Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.


Day 2 - Cochem

Port - Cochem

Perhaps one of Germany’s most colorful cities, Cochem feels just like a storybook with its dramatic castle, impressive landscapes and pastel-colored shops, restaurants and buildings lining the banks of the Moselle. Perched high above on a cliff sits the brilliant Cochem Castle, or Reichsburg Cochem, which brings German history and culture to life and provides panoramic views of the Moselle and Cochem below, which you’ll have the chance to see during the nighttime glow.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Excursion(s) - Evening visit to Cochem Castle
Excursion Price - $70

Hovering over the Moselle River, the stunningly medieval Cochem Castle dates back to 1100 and once served to collect tolls from passing ships. Since its construction, it has changed appearance and rulers many times, currently appearing in the then-popular Neo-Gothic architecture style. Now a popular landmark, Cochem Castle has a vast collection of Renaissance and Baroque furniture, which you’ll have the chance to take a peek at. Your nighttime visit allows you to see the castle illuminated in all of its evening glory—a special treat for guests. Some evenings we will be unable to visit the castle, but will visit it the following morning.


Day 3 - Cochem

Port - Cochem

The picturesque town of Cochem is nestled in a particularly scenic area of the Moselle Valley. The Moselle River cuts through the town, leaving Cochem in two distinct halves on two steep hills. Discover Cochem’s perfect quaintness on foot, with stops along the city wall’s medieval gates and Marktplatz. Uncover Cold War secrets in the quiet residential area of Cochem-Cond, the location of a bunker that held replacement currency during the war. Or opt for an active jaunt along the Moselle with a bike tour, mountain golfing or hike.

Excursion(s) - Cochem village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on foot on a delightful walking tour of Cochem, a hilly small town on the riverbanks of both sides of the Moselle. As you walk through the charming town, you’ll pass by half-timbered homes straight from the pages of a storybook, medieval gates, the city’s walls, Imperial Estate and the historical Marktplatz.

Excursion(s) - The secrets of the Cold War
Excursion Price - $70

Today, you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in Germany: a hidden underground bunker where Germany’s Central Bank stored currency worth billions during the Cold War. Disguised by two residential houses, the massive bunker was concealed by heavy steel doors and a corridor that appears to stretch into infinity. Enter the corridor and descend into the vault, where you’ll learn what measures would have been taken during the Cold War in case the East Germans and Russians flooded West Germany with counterfeit Deutsche Marks. Wind your way through former offices, the kitchen and communication quarters, and learn how those working there were prepared to survive for 14 days in case of an emergency.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Active on the Moselle
Excursion Price - $70

Make your choice of one of three equally invigorating ways to explore the Moselle: take part in mountain golfing on the slopes of a former vineyard that has been transformed into a hillside course. Grab a bike and head out on a leisurely ride along the riverbanks; there’s quite the array of routes and courses, which means you’ll have plenty of options on how you want to cycle the Moselle. Or for a particularly active jaunt, enjoy a hike in a vineyard overlooking the river.


Day 4 - Trier

Port - Trier

Trier is no stranger to famous landmarks, stunning cathedrals, natural beauty, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and architectural treasures. See Trier’s Roman heritage and Gallic charm as you stroll to some of the city’s most notable spots. Marvel at the stone Roman gate, Porta Nigra, the Karl Marx house, Imperial Baths and more.

Excursion(s) - Trier panoramic city tour
Excursion Price - $70

In ancient times Trier was the largest Roman settlement north of the Alps, and six emperors ruled the Western Empire from here. Remnants of that Roman city still stand, despite taking part in centuries of warfare, earning it UNESCO protection. It’s easy to see the shape of the ancient Roman city, since the layout of the Old Town still exists. Start your visit at the Basilica of Constantine, one of two basilicas built by Emperor Constantine in AD 306. The throne room is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times in Germany; it features two tiers of windows with high-rising arches that even now show some of the original wall paintings. The other basilica is St. Peter’s Cathedral, home to the Holy Tunic, a sacred relic donated by Constantine’s mother, St. Helena. Your route to Porta Nigra, the great double-arched stone gate that is all that remains of the Roman wall that used to surround Trier, takes you through Market Square.


Day 5 - Trier (Luxembourg)

Port - Trier

Trier is a city encased in stunning ruins and remnants from the Roman Empire, and not to mention neighbor to the small country of Luxembourg. Experience a healthy dose of history with a visit to the expansive Luxembourg American War Cemetery and Memorial, where General George S. Patton is buried.

Excursion(s) - Luxembourg with WWII Cemetery
Excursion Price - $70

Over the course of 900 years, Luxembourg grew into one of the greatest fortified sites in Europe because of its strategic geographical position and ever-changing political affiliations. Your panoramic city tour will introduce you to centuries-old battlements as well as to the gleaming high-rises that denote the city’s status as a 21st-century international financial center. To best discover the heart of Old Town, though, you’ll want to walk with a local expert to Notre Dame Cathedral, a fine example of late-Gothic architecture, and the Grand Ducal Palace, where both Louis XIV and Napoleon resided. It has been the official residence of the reigning Grand Duke since 1890.

Your tour ends at Place d’Armes, “the city’s sitting room.” Surrounded by shops and sidewalk cafés, with frequent free afternoon concerts, this is the lively heart of Luxembourg. You’ll have some free time to enjoy yourself on your own there. Or choose to continue to the WWII Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, which lies just within the limits of Luxembourg City. The 50-acre cemetery was established on December 29, 1944, by General George S. Patton’s Third U.S. Army, which liberated Luxembourg. More than 5,000 U.S. military dead are buried here—many of whom lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge—along with General Patton himself. See the beautiful grounds, white stone chapel and monument honoring the fallen.


Day 6 - Bernkastel

Port - Bernkastel

Bernkastel sits peacefully in the Moselle Valley and is as romantic and picture-perfect as it gets. Explore by foot its scenic streets, taverns and vineyards, and enjoy a tasting of exceptional regional Rieslings. Aside from the medieval marketplace, a must-see is the Graach Gate, the last remaining town gate of Bernkastel-Kues. Its original purpose was that of protection, helping to ward off foreign aggression in the 1300s, but now it’s a museum of local history and a beloved landmark. If a bike is your transportation of choice, cycle along the dreamy paths of the Middle Moselle.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" biking the scenic Middle Moselle
Excursion Price - $70

Follow the serene 14 miles of riverside bike paths along the Moselle. As this gentle pathway twists and turns, you’ll cross over two bridges and enjoy numerous stops for pictures and refreshments. You’ll even enjoy a tasting of three outstanding wines (including the unique Eiswein, a wine produced from grapes frozen while still on the vine) at a wine estate, which boasts immaculately kept vineyards and handpicked grapes.

Excursion(s) - Bernkastel village walk with Riesling tasting
Excursion Price - $70

A leisurely walk around the romantic village of Bernkastel awaits today. Wander through the town’s idyllic cobbled streets that are lined with half-timbered houses and secluded courtyards and pass by beautiful marketplaces and open-air cafés. Stroll through the vineyards of the Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Wine Estate, where intentionally low yields and immaculate care produce outstanding wines, which you’ll have a chance to taste for yourself on this tour.


Day 7 - Boppard, Rüdesheim

Port - Rüdesheim

Wander through Boppard’s stone-paved streets, riverside walking paths and historic center, stopping in for wine at the half-timbered taverns serving up exceptional Riesling from grapes grown on nearby vineyards. In Rüdesheim, make your way up to arguably the best view in the entire region, Rhine Bend, by scenic chairlift ride. See the Rhine River at its most astonishing point and stroll through its vineyard-dotted hillsides before heading back down to its waterfront streets. Enjoy a visit to Rheinstein Castle and learn the history of this long-standing medieval castle, or embark on a walk around town, complete with local treats.

Excursion(s) - Boppard village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine biking
Excursion Price - $70

On today’s outing, you’ll pedal through the incomparable Boppard Hamm, a loop on the Rhine and a famed wine region known for its Riesling, Rivaner and Pinot Noir grapes. The Boppard Hamm is situated between Boppard and Spray in the breathtaking Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a section of the Rhine that’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. As you bike along miles of sprawling vineyards, you’ll enjoy a stop at the Marksburg Castle. Built in the 12th century, this castle is perched high above the river and was once used as a defense fortress. Today, it still retains all of its medieval glory, complete with a drawbridge, batteries, stables, extensive gardens and more.

Your second stop of the day will bring you to Schloss Stolzenfels, another stunning medieval fortress-turned-castle that sits on the Rhine’s Left Bank. You’ll want to make a stop in the castle’s courtyard for an astonishing view of the Rhine River Valley below. As you continue your cycling journey, you’ll end up at Lahneck Castle, a 13th-century fortress that sits above the confluence of the Rhine and Lahn rivers. Your reward for today’s scenic trek? A stop at the Zur Kipp beer garden. Savor a pint (or two) of a regional beer and take in beautiful views of the Rhine and Lahneck Castle. Then, it’s time to hop back on your bike and make your way back to the ship.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine hiking
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on a brisk hike up to the Gedeonseck for unparalleled views of the Rhine River Valley. You’ll want to bring good shoes for this steep hike up to the top, where you can look upon the picture-perfect riverbend below.

Take a break at the restaurant here if you would like to rest and have a bite on your own. Alternatively, you could join your guide on a brief walk to Vierseenblick, a spot where 4 stretches of the Rhine can be seen, each looking like an individual lake.

Conditions permitting, we’ll take the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the hill, so you can relax and enjoy the views a little while longer during the ride.

Excursion(s) - Rheinstein visit
Excursion Price - $70

Perched on a rock high above the Rhine sits the quaint and romantic, Rheinstein Castle. Originally built around 900 A.D. as a customs post for the German Empire, Rheinstein Castle became home to emperors and archbishops over the course of several hundred years. In 1823, the castle ruins were purchased by the Royal Prince of Prussia and the structure was rebuilt under the direction of a famous castle architect. Note the castle’s working drawbridge, gorgeous stained glass windows, Knight’s Hall, panoramic views of the Rhine below and a 500-year-old Burgundy grape vine (that still produces grapes) in the courtyard known as “Burgunder Garden.”

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim walk with local treats
Excursion Price - $70

The winemaking town of Rüdesheim boasts countless delights, especially along the enchanting Drosselgasse alley that runs through the city’s Old Town. Follow your guide through this quaint neighborhood and learn how the famous Rüdesheimer Coffee, a coffee infused with Asbach Uralt (a magnificent German brandy) and topped with whipped cream, is prepared. You’ll also visit a small chocolatier’s shop for a sample of their delicious sweets.

Excursion(s) - Rheinweinwelten visit - The best Rhine Rieslings
Excursion Price - $70

Enjoy a wine tasting at your leisure with a visit to Rheinweinwelten in Rüdesheim. This local treasure trove of wines is sure to impress, with 14 different wine caves to explore. This experience can be enjoyed at your own pace and is not guided. There is, however, ample literature and information in each room about every one of the 160 distinct wines. You’ll receive 10 tokens at the start, with which you can choose to sample whichever vintages appeal to you most. Prost!


Day 8 - Speyer

Port - Speyer

Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously coexist with modern day innovation. For something really unexpected, venture into a mysterious, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and surprisingly delicious. The ship docks in Speyer, where you’ll have to choose between boarding a motorcoach for a guided walking tour or taking in a private tasting at a local vinegar estate.

Excursion(s) - Speyer walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the UNESCO-designated Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town just as the medieval bishops dominated the town itself. Though the bishops ruled the town, Speyer also had a special relationship with the Holy Roman emperors: Conrad II ordered the cathedral’s construction around 1030, and eight emperors are interred in its crypts. Your walking tour will take you along the pedestrian-only Maximilian Street—first laid out by Roman soldiers—from the last remaining gate of the medieval wall toward the great church. Near the church you’ll see remnants of a Jewish community established around 1090 under the auspices of the Bishop of Speyer. Though the synagogue is long gone, the vaulted ritual baths have been beautifully preserved. (The area is popularly known as the Jewish Courtyard.) Notice the former mint and the Holy Trinity Church, which were built in the 18th century, following a devastating war, and stand as masterful examples of late-baroque style.

Excursion(s) - Private Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate visit and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience.


Day 9 - Strasbourg

Port - Strasbourg

Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, with its cobbled lanes, half timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops. You'll see Strasbourg today, and enjoy an enlightening and relaxing overview of this historically important city.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Excursion(s) - Strasbourg panoramic tour with Cathedral and Old Town walk
Excursion Price - $70

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg—cross-cultural and bilingual—offers a delightful combination of old and new, as well as French and German characteristics. You’ll see all the highlights on a city tour before venturing inside the cathedral, one of the city’s most famous sites. The same craftsmen who built Chartres worked on it, and the rose window may be Chartres’s equal. Don’t miss the astronomical clock or the truly remarkable statuary and carvings.


Day 10 - Strasbourg, Baden-Baden (Disembark)

Port - Strasbourg

Today, you’ll disembark the ship and transfer to the Dorint Hotel Maison Messmer Baden-Baden for the tour portion of this itinerary.


Day 11 - Baden-Baden

Port - Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is known as a spa town, and appropriately so. The city’s contemporary flair meshes with hot springs, spas and unspoiled nature, offering a wonderfully diverse collection of relaxing and invigorating experiences. Whether you embark on a tour of the city with a visit to the Festspielhaus or take full advantage of Baden-Baden’s curative powers at the Caracalla Thermal Bath or Sea Salt Grotto, you’ll leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Excursion(s) - Baden-Baden city tour with casino
Excursion Price - $70

Join a local guide for a walking tour of enchanting Baden-Baden, which will bring you past two thermal baths and the city’s famous Casino. Gain further appreciation for the Romans and their love of natural spa facilities as you pass by the Fettquelle, a public thermal fountain where it is believed that the water is health-promoting. After learning about the curative powers of Baden-Baden’s water sources, explore the Casino Baden-Baden, and let its ambiance, architecture and atmosphere enthrall you. You’ll enjoy a tour of this grandiose building, complete with a walk through the gambling halls, which offer a look at the casino’s fascinating history dating back to 1855 and Dostoevsky’s novel “The Gambler”—written in Baden-Baden and based on this casino.

Excursion(s) - Festspielhaus guided visit
Excursion Price - $70

Immerse yourself in the melodies of Baden-Baden on a guided visit to the Festspielhaus, the 2,500-seat Opera House. Festspielhaus is Germany’s largest opera house and the largest classical music venue in Europe. Its architecture is particularly unique, as it sits on the trackbed of a former railway station with a neo-classicist structure that serves as the main entrance. The Opera House was reconstructed in the mid-1990s by Viennese architect Wilhelm Holzbauer in accordance with the ideal acoustic values calculated by physicist Karl-Heinz Müller.

Excursion(s) - Caracalla Thermal Bath
Excursion Price - $70

Perhaps Baden-Baden’s most notable attraction, the Caracalla Spa features countless opportunities to enjoy the mineral-rich waters of the thermal baths. This large facility offers a soothing atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world, from its two marble pools and grottos to whirlpools and sun-bathing lawns. It was here that the thermal water’s healing powers were discovered by the Romans some 2,000 years ago, creating a bathing culture for the very first time under Emperor Caracalla. With plenty of room to relax and unwind, your time at the Caracalla Spa will rival experiences at some of the nicest spas in the world.

Excursion(s) - Sea Salt Grotto
Excursion Price - $70

Experience the benefits of Dead Sea and Himalayan salts in the Salina Sea Salt Grotto of Baden-Baden. The grotto’s walls are dressed in all-natural salt bricks, while the floor is blanketed with a thick layer of salt—working together to provide a microclimate that allows you to breathe in valuable materials and trace elements that strengthen the immune system, enhance the ability to concentrate, and provide physical and mental rejuvenation as well as optimal deep relaxation.


Day 12 - Baden-Baden (Depart)

Port - Baden-Baden

Check out of your hotel and begin your journey home. If your cruise package includes a group purchase or transfer, you will be transferred to Frankfurt Airport for your flight home.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 4,299
Price Per Day: $ 358 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateCategory 5Category 4SuiteCruise DirectionAvailability 
Jun-15-2021Jun-27-2021$ 4,999$ 5,599$ 8,099Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Jun-22-2021Jul-04-2021$ 4,999$ 5,599$ 8,099Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Jul-03-2021Jul-15-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Jul-10-2021Jul-22-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Jul-21-2021Aug-02-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Jul-28-2021Aug-09-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Aug-08-2021Aug-20-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Aug-15-2021Aug-27-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Aug-26-2021Sep-07-2021$ 4,799$ 5,399$ 7,899Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Sep-02-2021Sep-14-2021$ 4,999$ 5,599$ 8,099Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Sep-13-2021Sep-25-2021$ 5,199$ 5,799$ 8,299Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Sep-20-2021Oct-02-2021$ 5,199$ 5,799$ 8,299Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Oct-01-2021Oct-13-2021$ 4,999$ 5,599$ 8,099Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Oct-08-2021Oct-20-2021$ 4,999$ 5,599$ 8,099Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Oct-19-2021Oct-31-2021$ 4,299$ 4,899$ 7,399Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Oct-26-2021Nov-07-2021$ 4,299$ 4,899$ 7,399Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Jun-21-2022Jul-03-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Jul-02-2022Jul-14-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Jul-09-2022Jul-21-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Jul-20-2022Aug-01-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Jul-27-2022Aug-08-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Aug-07-2022Aug-19-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Aug-14-2022Aug-26-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Aug-25-2022Sep-06-2022$ 4,799$ 5,499$ 7,999Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Sep-01-2022Sep-13-2022$ 4,999$ 5,699$ 8,199Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Sep-12-2022Sep-24-2022$ 4,999$ 5,699$ 8,199Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Sep-19-2022Oct-01-2022$ 4,999$ 5,699$ 8,199Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Sep-30-2022Oct-12-2022$ 4,999$ 5,699$ 8,199Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Oct-07-2022Oct-19-2022$ 4,999$ 5,699$ 8,199Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
Oct-18-2022Oct-30-2022$ 4,299$ 4,999$ 7,499Frankfurt to Baden-BadenAvailable Reserve
Oct-25-2022Nov-06-2022$ 4,299$ 4,999$ 7,499Baden-Baden to FrankfurtAvailable Reserve
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26 Uniworld Travel Reviews & Ratings

96%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.9

Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden (2021)

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Company Reviews

better the second time around?

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
This was our 6th Uniworld and 2nd time down part of the Danube.

local guides very good; better than last time. food remains excellent; lunch food choices in particular are better than before. service, in particular Dining room, remains excellent. servers really attempt to learn food and drink preferences. front desk service is excellent. small improvements in room (chocolate jar; audio box chargers in closet; closet hanger rods more like home than ship) appreciated.

the ship is starting to need updating; our shower stall needed to be re-grouted; deck might need to be refinished in areas. elevator never worked during cruise; 24 hr. coffee machine malfunctioned for 3 days. the itinerary itself isn't full of "must-sees" but has has sights and experiences that might be hard for you to do on your own with just a guidebook.

While cruise wasn't perfect, we would travel with Uniworld again; possibly even down the Danube a 3rd time, but on a newer ship.
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Pros, cons and tips

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide3.0
Activities3.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation3.0
Meals4.0
This is a review of the Uniworld China + Tibet + Yangtze tour in June, 2019, taken by my wife (80) and me (77). Since knowledge of a reviewer helps readers to judge the applicability to themselves: we are both former academics, normally spry and immersed in cultural, political, and healthful life activities, but we sometimes found the trip daunting, as discussed below. We resist aging, but not always with full success.

The tour had pluses and minuses.

The biggest minuses:
• My wife’s breathing difficulty in our 3-night stay in Lhasa, Tibet (she spent the whole time breathing oxygen and couldn't go on any outings)
• The (inevitable) problem of touring a totalitarian country where citizens are intimidated from talking honestly about the full scope of their lives

The biggest pluses:
• Our guide, Kevin, who was outstandingly attentive, helpful, supportive and patient. He went out of his way to help in difficult situations (like my wife’s breathing problems in Lhasa).
• We were also quite appreciative of Tiger’s brief stint with us.
• With a few exceptions, our baggage was always handled by others. And the exceptions weren’t overwhelming. Apparently for a group, the weight of any individual bag just gets averaged in with all the other group bags being checked. (Some travelers handled their own carry-ons.)

Most of the other people on the tour were quite amiable and unassuming—not always the case when you travel with people whose financial position has to be pretty good to afford this kind of trip (that financial position too often drives unwarranted expectations of privilege and reverence [if that’s not redundant…]).

The accommodations and included breakfasts (and many other meals) were luxurious, though we ourselves didn’t need them to be THAT nice (in this we’re probably exceptions from other travelers—and in this case, a number of our co-tourists had taken multiple Uniworld tours, so they knew and liked what they'd be getting); indeed, we had to learn to stop tanking up at breakfast just because so many goodies were offered, buffet-style. Had we realized those luxuries were part of what we were paying for (and in retrospect we SHOULD have realized), we might have taken a different, cheaper tour. Ironically, what most drew us to the Uniworld trip were the chance to visit Tibet and the expectation that at such a high cost we’d always be getting outstanding, highly informed guides (which wasn’t always the case; as retired academics, we’re unusually demanding in the critical analysis of what we want to hear).

GENERAL NOTES:

We spent several days on our own before the tour (in Beijing) and at its end (in Shanghai). These were quite valuable to us. Perhaps because of time, the Uniworld tour took us to few museums. We are museum junkies, and visited several during our non-tour times. Among other things, Beijing has a terrific national museum, an interesting (partly because of its political subtext) museum about women and children, and an extensive arts district. Shanghai has its own major museum and a tour of the city’s past relationship with Judaism that gives you a more general sense of the troubling antithesis of glitzy life highlighted elsewhere.

I’ve traveled to many parts of the world, and I’ve always been able to learn at least local alphabets and some minimal language skills. China is the first place I’ve gone where I could do none of the first and only a few words (probably wrongly intoned) of the latter. This was extremely frustrating, especially when we toured on our own. Few people outside the major international emporia (I never quite got used to how many upscale stores were in all places we visited) speak English (why should they?). The one ameliorating factor was that many people (especially store employees) had phone apps that did good to excellent translations between spoken English and spoken Chinese. You should have one for your own use.

In major cities, signs quite often include English, so that you can at least know where to shop and what you're looking at. Prices (which you can often negotiate) are typically typed into a calculator.

Perhaps even more than in the West, people are glued to smart phones. Pretty much everyone, it seems, uses an app that includes texts, phone use, and a payment facility, so that people seem to may carry little or no cash or credit cards. No one seems to care—or maybe everyone is just resigned to—that the government can monitor this app and know a ton of stuff about you. As a foreigner, however, you are unlikely to be able to use this app because you need to have a compatible bank account (probably meaning from a Chinese bank).

No matter how you travel in China, you'll see the amazing efforts to accommodate the expansion cities, so that a “town” of which you've never heard might have a million or more people. On the tour, you'll see almost only architectural and shop glitz that the government and cities bask in. You might get very brief glimpses of poverty.

While on the one hand the Chinese government talks a good game and takes some important steps vis-à-vis the climate crisis, on the other hand they still use an enormous amount of fossil fuel for electricity generation. I was also struck—dismayed—by the fact that from all appearances, people only drink bottled water (Westerners are warned against tap water, but I don’t know if local people build up an immuinity to its problems). Especially in warm weather, I can only guess at the billions of single-use plastic bottles that are used every day by the population of 1.4 billion (plus large numbers of visitors). On rare occasions, like at an airport, you might see a place to refill a water bottle (I assume that water is safe).

Please note that in criticisms like the previous paragraph, I do not intend a holier-than-thou American attitude. I am even more critical of what our government does—or more importantly, doesn’t—do vis-à-vis the climate crisis.

THE PEOPLE

Almost everyone was pleasant and upbeat. We mostly moved among middle- (and presumably upper-)class people; we encountered many others, but they were kind of in the background (just as in capitalist countries), and while we made it a point to notice their existence, we had no meaningful interactions with them.

The westernization of outward behavior was almost palpable. My wife had visited 10 years ago and regularly commented on the difference. My impression is that the young (teen-agers, young adults) are especially into western fashion and culture—and to what to me was a surprising extent, seemed to be able to afford indulging that taste.

For what it’s worth, my observation was that people are quite materialistic, focus their lives on that, and increasingly able to afford to indulge themselves. Outwardly, at least, they have little concern with the strictures of their government. Tiananmen Square seems to be in the distant past. Treatment of Moslems and Uighurs (not unlike our current treatment of immigrants and Moslems or our like history of racial and ethnic conflicts) was far away. So far as I could tell, people like Americans (though we’re also bizarre outsiders—there are occasional instances of Chinese people, especially ones who live far from the cities we visited, walking up to a foreigner and asking to take a photo together (this happened to me on the Great Wall, with some pretty young guys).

SECURITY

This abounds. You need to carry your passport everywhere. You'll encounter frequent security checks where you have to put whatever you're carrying through a scanner and show official IDs. In Lhasa, these checks were even present as you wove your way through street markets.

At every airport check-in, you not only go through a security scanner, but you then step up on s short stool so that someone with a hand scanner can go over every inch of your body. (I have sometimes wondered whether proliferation of security folk, including regular police, in nations like this is a clever device for combining meaningful security with full employment.)

The government must have an incredible volume of disk space and incredibly fast computer programs to be able quickly to access information about any given citizen or visitor. Check-in at airports always includes a live photo of you. I’m sure if anyone in the security services had wanted to track me down at any time, it wouldn't have taken more than a few seconds. (For each accommodation where you stay, you have to register with the police. Hotels typically do that for you.)

IN-COUNTRY TRAVEL

We had 4 in-country flights (part of the reason for what Uniworld charges), and much as we wanted to visit the places to which we flew, the time and effort involved in getting from to shuttle bus (then sometimes a long walk) to hotel to airport to check-in to security to boarding to flying to disembarking to shuttle bus to the next hotel became overwhelming.

The tour included 3 nights in a luxury boat on the Yangtze River. This was quite pleasant and included a night’s visit to a show (I don’t remember exactly which one, but when on our own my wife and I went to a couple of shows in Beijing—well worth it even if they're not something to your normal taste). Here, we had some down time. At our ages, we needed more of that. I got sick while on the boat and got what seemed like pretty good medical care.

(By American standards, medicals for my wife in Lhasa and for me on the Yangtze boat were low but not miniscule.)

By American standards, taxis are cheap. They were pretty easy to find in Beijing. (The “universal” app includes signups with services like Uber.) But in Shanghai, they were extremely rare, and we had to get help from strangers to order one. As you would expect, this is especially hard when it’s raining and you're a very long walk from your hotel. Among maybe a dozen or two cab rides during our entire stay, we had two bad experiences with cabbies; I advise photographing the driver’s information and the meter area. I found that this significantly mitigated the problems.

We took the metro in Beijing. After brief adjustment, it was very easy to use. The main difficulty is that stations are far apart, so on (say) a rainy night, you will still need an umbrella and endurance. Shanghai seems to have an equivalent subway system, but we never used it there.

LHASA

Part of the altitude problem my wife (and a few of our fellow travellers) had appears to be the flight’s forcing a lack of transition from sea level to an altitude over 2 miles. (On the other hand, a slower, staged transfer probably would have added cost to an already expensive trip—and maybe loss of a day’s touring.) Especially for older folk, however, I think this is a relevant concern.

I don’t know why, but although I could feel very mild pressure in my breathing, I was fine for the entire Lhasa visit. I had a different disappointment (perhaps idiosyncratic to myself, an academic and non-religious person): if I remember correctly, our entire stay involved visiting Tibetan religious locations. I quite support SOME such visits—religious history is central to human existence—but I would have liked to see aspects of other Tibetan cultural history.

Because of Beijing political issues with Tibet, filing out your Chinese visa involves the charade of not mentioning you're going there (if you do mention it, your visa apparently will be denied).

And a warning re Lhasa (and at least the Great Wall): there can invite lots of climbing, and a number of us, especially some of the older people (even when altitude wasn’t an issue), chose to climb minimally (just enough to get a sense of where steps were going and what the resulting view would be). Kevin and other guides were totally understanding—indeed, we were offered climbing options.
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Highly recommend

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Me and Nena are in cruise business more than 38 years and booked so many river cruises in Europe and charter ships in Russia, India, Egypt and Ukraine. Uniworld offer excellent cruise and we highly recommend this great company.
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Fantastic

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Fantastic cruising the Nile on MS River Tosca, spacious rooms, super crew, delicious meals, fantastic service, awesome waiters, knowledgeable tour guide Marwa! Would love to go back!
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Professioal, friendly and unforgetable experience for the cruise

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The facility on ship was good. Staff servicing us were very professionally good. For the meals it was indeed very nice especially the kitchen was able to provide some Asian dishes that is fantastically great.
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Amazing time, Amazing ship

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I had never been on a river cruise before and did not know what to expect. After this cruise, I was ready to sail right back with Uniworld. Everything on the ship, from the food and amenities, to the excursions and especially the crew, made the week one of the best I've had.
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Details

Ship Name

River Queen

Deck & Cabin Plans

River Queen


Trip ID#:

Uniworld-247

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