Gastronomy of Switzerland and the Rhine - MS Emily Brontë

Gastronomy of Switzerland and the Rhine - MS Emily Brontë

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8 Days


Gastronomy of Switzerland and the Rhine - MS Emily Brontë

8 Days

Visiting: Basel, Stanserhorn, Lucerne, Breisach, Black Forest, Strasbourg, Speyer, Rüdesheim am Rhein, Koblenz, Cologne

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:


Trip Styles:

River Cruise

$2844 (USD) including Flights from the UK

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Tour Overview

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.


  • Marvel at the sights along the Rhine River, including passage through the Rhine Gorge and the river bend outside of Boppard. 

  • Drive through the folkloric scenery of Black Forest on a visit to the idyllic Titisee.

  • Tour seven historic towns and cities, including Strasbourg, Koblenz, Rudesheim and Speyer.

  • See stunning mountain vistas on a railway journey up the Bernese Oberland Mountain range.

  • Enjoy a live classical quartet recital on board.

  • Click here to see our departures exclusively for solo travellers

  • Experience typical flavours of the Black Forest with a glass of fruity schnapps and an indulgent slice of the finest Black Forest gateau.

  • Enjoy a tasting of one of many superb cheese dishes Switzerland is famous for and magnificent alpine views at Stanserhorn.

  • 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.

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Day 1
Location: Basel

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.

Day 2
Location: Stanserhorn, Lucerne


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.



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.

Day 3
Location: Breisach, Black Forest

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.

Day 4
Location: Strasbourg

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.

Day 5
Location: Speyer

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.

Day 6
Location: Rüdesheim am Rhein, Koblenz


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. 


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.

Day 7
Location: Cologne

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.

Day 8
Location: 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

  • 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 All meals on board (except one lunch) - from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day - including welcome cocktails and the Captain's dinner. Complimentary on-board tea and coffee All visits and excursions as mentioned Airport transfers Coach travel as mentioned Travel to and from port of embarkation The services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and concierge

  • 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

Check out our Q&As

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this Operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...


This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...


I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat


Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...


Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome


Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Barry, GB  

Rhine Christmas markets cruise


Just completed a 5 day trip on the Rhine. Our first river cruise and a tester for future cruises. The boat was well appointed and the cabin and public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were attentive and contributed to the very relaxed atmosphere on the boat. The quality of the food surpassed that which we have experiened on sea cruises in recent years. I have written little because it was a faultless experience. We have booked a further cruise (in France) on the basis of our experience.

Nigel Stewart (Google Reviewer)  

Cruise ship William Wordsworth: A...


Cruise ship William Wordsworth: A cruise ship of excellence, very well appointed, comfortable & indulgent. We departed Budapest and cruised the Blue Danube heading to Vienna. The top deck offers sun loungers, a heated pool, golf and a place to just sit & relax. The cabins have everything you could want for but above all incredible comfortable. The staff are professional, courteous, and attentive and do everything to make your stay a pure pleasure. This is an experience you will remember for many years.

Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...


Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Rob Steele (Google Reviewer)  

My 3rd Riviera trip within...


My 3rd Riviera trip within a year and I wasn't disappointed 😁 This time it was This trip, although not cheap, it really offers exceptional value for money as you see a lot of Tamil Nadu and Kerela, stay in fantastic hotels, excellent breakfasts every day as well as some lunches and dinners also included. George Bareham, our "Tour Manager" was brilliant, very professional, but also friendly and diligent. Satheeshan, our local guide was helpful and picked me up antibiotics when I got ill, he was a nice chap, if (for my taste) went on a bit and used 20 words when 1 would suffice. Mr Sweeny, our coach driver was fantastic,really professional and an exceptionally good driver. His assistant, Murgon wad a delight, always smiling and attentive. This is a full on trip, early morning starts and quite a packed itinerary, but still leaving time to laze around some brilliant hotel swimming pools. Only a couple of suggestions to improve the holiday. More shopping time in Cochin and change carriers from Etihad who, unfortunately aren't the excellent airline they used to be. But, will I use Riviera Travel again - Yes 😁

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...


Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Tuesday

Aug 12, 2025 - Aug 19, 2025
$2844 (USD)

Including UK Flights

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  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 500 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 101 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 101 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 100 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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