Fri 18 (afterwork) to Sun 20 September 2020
2 nights in a nice 4* hotel in Koblenz
Transportation by 4* luxury coach
Another new destination, and not just any one. We are going to make one of the world’s most beautiful river cruises, namely the Rhine river between Mainz and Koblenz along the famous Loreley. This route of about 65km is filled with steep hills, high cliffs, vineyards and many castles, ruins, and stunning villages. We will take an entire day to discover it. The next day we are going to explore the historic city of Koblenz, where the Rhine merges with the Moselle river, and follow the Rhine more North in the direction of Bonn with even more historic sights, such as the Drachenfells castle. With a departure on Friday evening and a return on Sunday evening, you will not even have to take a day off. What a perfect weekend trip.
This trip is on hold until we know more about the current corona situation.
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We would like to know if you are interested in this trip. If yes, please let us know by making a pre-reservation. This is for free and comes without obligation to join. If you are a member, log in and click on the RSVP button. If you are not yet a member, you can either first register as a member, then log in and click on the RSVP on this page, or you can send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people you would like to join.
What is included in the trip fee?
The exact price of this trip is not yet known, but here is a list to give you an idea of what is included.
- Transportation by 4* luxury coach
- 2x hotel accommodation in 4* hotels
- 2x buffet breakfast
- Ferry costs
- Rhine River cruise
- Scenic bus tour
- Entrance fees all castles
- Entrance fees cable car & chair lift
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime memory
What is optional?
- Single room
Who can join?
Expat Club is open to welcome everyone who feels like joining an open-minded international group of expats and Belgians. Most of our participants are 30-65 years old with some younger and some older, and working in a variety of fields (EU, NATO, NGO, diplomacy, corporate, academics).
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children (minimum 8 years advised due to topic)
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
All of us has one way or the other some kind of an international background. Participants work in various sectors:
- EU institutions
- diplomatic services
- multinationals and SMEs
How about families?
Expat Club welcomes families on board of this leisure trip. All destinations are appropriate for children. Please contact us before making a reservation, so we can give you a proper discount and can assign the right rooms for you.
As with all Expat Club trips, our program along the river Rheine trip is carefully designed. However, it may still change depending on, for instance, the traffic conditions, unforeseeable roadworks, cancelled boats, or any other circumstances. It is, for instance, likely that the number of available boats will be decreased due to a lower number of tourists this year. Therefore, the below program is not yet definitive, but will give you a good idea of what the trip entails.
Friday 18 September
17h30 – Departure Place Schuman
19h00 – Dinner at Highway restaurant
23h00 – Arrival hotel
Saturday 19 September
07h00 – Breakfast
08h15 – Departure to Rüdesheim
09h00 – Ascend cable car Rüdesheim am Rhein
10h15 – Final descend chair lift to Assmannshausen
10h45 – Boat departure Assmannshausen
11h15 – Arrival Bacharach (Stop 2)
12h15 – Depature Bacharach
12h35 – Arrival Oberwesel & lunch (Stop 3)
15h35 – Departure Oberwesel to St Goar
15h55 – Arrival St Goar & visit Burg Rheinfels
17h55 – Depature St Goarshausen to Boppard
18h50 – Arrival Boppard
21h30 – Departure Boppard to Koblenz (bus)`
22h00 – Check-in hotel
Sunday 20 September
07h00 – Breakfast
09h30 – Checkout & guided city tour
11h00 – Cable Car to other side Rhine River
11h30 – Guided tour Festung Ehrenbreitstein
12h30 – Lunch
13h30 – Scenic drive along Rhine River
15h30 – Guided tour Drachenfels
17h30 – Departure to Brussels
19h00 – Highway dinner stop
22h00 – Return to Brussels
Both Saturday and Sunday are filled with highlight after highlight, all taking place in a beautiful scenic environment of the Rhine River. On Saturday we wake up in Rhineland-Palatinate, not far from the Rhine River. We start our day in Rüdesheim, not far from the city of Mainz, and travel slowly by boat and bus towards over an incredibly scenic part of the Rhine River. In fact, this part is so special it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers. Source: UNESCO
Our final destination for the day is Koblenz, where we will check-in to another hotel. On Sunday we begin our day with a guided city tour, followed by a cross-river cable car ride to see the Festung Ehrenbreitstein. The afternoon is used for a scenic bus tour along the Rhine River with a few more stops, including a visit to the stunning Drachenfels castle, before returning to Brussels.
Rüdesheim am Rhein
Our first stop on this cruise day is the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Immense vineyards cover the slopes, while the huge Niederwald monument for the German unification and victory in the Franco-Prussian war overlooks the river. Although it’s a great place for some serious hiking, we will take the lazy route by cable car over the fields. On top a spectacular panorama awaits us. We will have some time to enjoy the views while we make our way to another chairlift. This one will bring us down to the village of Assmannshausen, from where we take the boat to a next destination.
This is just a little medieval town, but it definitely requires a short stop to visit. After all, if Victor Hugo describes it as the “one of the world’s prettiest towns”, then we are we not to plan a quick stop? Needless to say the name stems from Bacchus, the god of wine, so also here we will find many vineyards. The village furthermore boasts the beautiful medieval castle Burg Stahleck, a house that dates back to 1368, and a protestant church from the early 12th century.
Our next stop is another medieval town that is especially nice to visit because of its Old Town fortifications. You can even walk part of the medieval wall with its 16 defensive towers! All churches are worth visiting, but especially the 14ht century Church of Our Lady with its beautiful frescos and stained-glass windows. You can even walk up the hills to the Schönburg Castle, which was destroyed in 1689 but redeveloped into a luxury hotel in the 1950’s. We will spend a few hours here, which allows us to also have lunch and have some free time, before we board a boat again to the next destination.
The Lorelei (or Loreley) is most certainly something on the eyes. It is a steep 132m rock on the bank of the river, and probably the most famous riparian site. Its name derives from two words, ‘lureln’, and ‘ley’, which combine to mean ‘murmur rock’. This name was given to the rock due to the old murmuring sounds it created from the current and the small waterfall which was present up until the 19th century. This rock has inspired many tales, one being that dwarfs would live within the rock. This rock is definitely worth a boat trip to see.
Although St Goar is a lovely quaint town, the main reason to halt here is to visit the large and partially ruined Burg Rheinfels that is located not far from the center. The construction of this castle started in the 13th century by Count Diether von Katzenelnbogen, although subsequent rulers expanded on the initial structure. By the end of the 18th century, much of the castle was destroyed during the 30 Years War, so what you can see today is only about 20% of what it used to be.
As if so many wine villages are not enough, we end our tour in the largest of them all… Boppard. In the town itself you can visit the 13th century Alte Burg, the old castle. Its location is unusual since most castles are built away from the town, high up on cliffs mostly. The Roman Ruins are one of the best-preserved ones in Europe, whereas the Severuskirche from the 13th century defines its skyline.
On Sunday we will wake up in Koblenz, where the Rhine welcomes the Moselle river. Today we will drive another amazing stretch of the river in the direction of Bonn were we will end at the Drachenfels castle. Along the way there will be several amazing sites to see and visit, but we start our day in Koblenz.
Originally established as a Roman military post in 8 B.C., the city’s name originates from Latin and means ‘confluence’, the junction of two rivers. Koblenz is where the Rheine and the Mosel river meet. Koblenz is a wonderful destination because from here you can take lovely cruises along the Rheine river and admire a variety of historical building and nature around you. But since we already did this already yesterday downstream, we can focus on the city itself.
Since we stay a few hours in Koblenz, we would like you to join us for a guided tour by a local tour guide. Needless to say we will walk by the Deutsche Eck where the two rivers Rhine and Moselle meet, the Electoral Palace, the Basilica of St. Castor and several of the nicest spots in town. Of course we will also make a reservation for our group in one fo the best local restaurants to enjoy the typical local cuisine and hospitality.
A must-see destination in Koblenz is the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Europe’s second largest! This large 11th century structure towers 118 metres above the Rhine on the opposite river bank. Luckily enough a cool cable car crosses the river and takes us up there in just a few minutes. During a guided tour we will get to know more about its history while we visit many sections.
Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen
Actually, when we write bridge, we really mean whatever is left of it. This former railway and footbridge in Remagen, a town that was founded by the Romans over 2.000 years ago, was built by Russian prisoners of war during the First World War, but was destroyed in the final months of the Second World War.
Drachenburg & Drachenfells
Although very impressive, the Schloss Drachenburg is certainly the odd one out when it comes to Rhine Castles. It was built on the Drachenfels hill in Königswinter between 1882 and 1884, and is “just” a private villa disguised as a palace. Drachenfels directly translates to ‘Dragon’s Rock’. It is a hill off the Rhine and was formed by rising magma that could not break the earth’s surface. It is 321 metres high (1,053 ft) and on top also lies the ruined castle of Burg Drachenfels that was built to protect the region of Cologne form southern invaders.
We will stay in two different hotels, to avoid driving extra kilometers on . At this moment we cannot yet tell which hotels they will be, but for sure very good 3* hotels but more likely good 4* hotels. Breakfast and free wifi are included. In each hotel you can choose between the following room options, all include a private bathroom:
- Single room (normally with 1 large bed, with surcharge)
- Double room (1 large bed, for couples, no surcharge)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 friends travelling together)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 single travellers who would like to avoid the single surcharge)
- Triple / family rooms (double bed + single bed / sofa, upon request only)
Expat Club room sharing for single travellers
If you are joining this trip on your own, you can of course take a single room, but then you pay a surcharge (start the booking process). However, you can also opt for the Expat Club room sharing service. This means you do not pay the single surcharge. During the outbound journey we will introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. We do not assign a room partner, but you can mutually agree to share the room. We only offer female/female and male/male rooms. This is a great way to save some money while you get to know another nice person on this trip.
We will be travelling with a comfortable 4* luxury coach from Lauwers Reizen. The seats are configured in Princess Class, which means you will have extra leg space and can recline your seat. This way you can get some extra rest. All seats have footrests as well. There is a small toilet on-board and a DVD system with three flat screens, so we can show you a nice documentary/ film during our travel.
- The trip will be carried out by Lauwers Reizen, one of our trusted coach partners.
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be responsible for you missing boat or bus connections on both Saturday and Sunday. It is your own responsibility to be on time at the agreed places. If you are late, you have to find the way back to the group.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).
- The cancellation with a refund, as described in the terms & conditions, is 6 weeks. Within this period you cannot cancel the trip and get a refund. You can always find a friend or colleague who will join instead of you without a surcharge.