One of the world's leading wine experts, Oz is known for his accessible, nononsense approach. His tasting skills have won him an international following and he is acknowledged as having one of the finest palates of anyone writing about wine today. Oz presented the long-running BBC series Food And Drink between 1982 and 2002, as well as The Big Wine Adventure with James May, and two series with the comedian Hugh Dennis. His latest book, Oz Clarke's World Of Wine, is published by Pavilion Books.
Festive cruise along the Rhine with Oz Clarke
It is hard to imagine a scene more festive than Place Kleber in Strasbourg as Christmas draws near. You will find a huge fir tree towering over the wooden market chalets as lights twinkle around the grand historic square. Shoppers will be milling around, seeking the perfect gift as the sweet aroma of mulled wine fills the air.
Dating back to 1570, the Strasbourg Christmas market was recently voted the best in Europe for the second consecutive year - and you will discover why on the final stop of this great-value festive cruise along the Rhine later this year. Joining you as you explore the markets and history of this wonderful region is a guest well placed to put you in a festive mood - Oz Clarke, one of Britain's best known wine experts. He will lead exclusive tastings of some of the top vintages of Alsace and beyond during this fourday journey. Travelling aboard the fourstar MS Serenity, this is the ideal way to see some of the world's most charming Christmas markets.
Wine tasting with Oz Clarke
Cruise along the Rhine
The MS Serenity
Mannheim and Heidelberg
Your expert guides
- Three nights' full-board cruise accommodation on board MS Serenity
- Visits to Mannheim, Heidelberg and Strasbourg
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Two wine-tasting sessions with renowned expert Oz Clarke
- Talk and Q&A with Oz
- Services of a cruise manager
- Return flights from Heathrow
- Coach transfers between airport and the cruise ship
Day1Travel to MainzMainz, Germany
You will travel from the UK today to Mainz, where the Rhine and Main rivers meet. Board your home for this festive cruise, the MS Serenity, and enjoy a relaxing evening on-board our ship.
Day2Explore MannheimMannheim, Germany
We reach Mannheim in the early morning, where we will have plenty of free time to enjoy the Christmas market. Located where the Rhine meets the Neckar, there is lots to see: the Mannheim Palace, a beautiful baroque structure which now houses the university; the Luisenpark, noted as one Europe's the most striking parks; and the Fernmeldeturm Mannheim, an impressive telecommunication tower complete with observation deck. Of course, the main attraction during winter is the Christmas market - one of the largest in the region! At lunchtime, head to Heidelberg for more Christmas markets, spread over five historic market squares. We set sail in the early evening, heading towards Strasbourg. Oz Clarke will join you for expert wine tastings during the course of the day.
Day3Strasbourg Christmas marketStrasbourg, France
Enjoy a whole day in the delightful city of Strasbourg, which lies in France but has many German traits. See the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, a gothic masterpiece; the Kammerzell House which dates back to the 15th century; the Petite France district with its beautiful riverside setting; and the Church of Saint-Thomas, an excellent example of Alsatian gothic art. The Strasbourg Christmas Market is said to be the oldest and largest in Europe, dating back to the 1570s. Voted the Best European Christmas Market for the last two years running, it is spread over 11 areas of the city and features a huge Christmas tree standing at around 30 metres high.
Day4Return to the UKStrasbourg, France
fter breakfast, your festive cruise comes to an end and you will bid farewell to the captain and his crew and set off on the return journey to the UK.
This four-star river cruise ship offers guests space, style and outstanding service
With her sleek design and claret-and-cream exterior, MS Serenity is a stylish ship - and she has fantastic cabins and facilities too.
On arrival you will enjoy a welcome drinks reception, after which you can make yourself at home. The cabins are what make this ship stand out: it's a lovely place to start each day, in your own private space with beautiful views of the river.
The panoramic restaurant ensures you miss none of the scenery during breakfast, lunch and dinner - all of which are freshly prepared by the onboard chefs. After a day of exploring, take a seat on the terrace of the Lido bar, or head up to the deck for a game of giant chess before enjoying your dinner and the evening's entertainment.
When you retire to your cabin, take a look at the daily programme to find out what the following day will bring...
- Lounge bar with panoramic windows
- Lido bar with outdoor terrace
- Restaurant with panoramic windows
- Sun deck with loungers and awnings
- Air conditioned cabins
- Gift shop
- Lift serving all areas (except Sun deck)
Panorama deck cabins: These cabins are of the highest standard. They are on the upper deck and have an en suite shower and toilet, air conditioning, twin beds, satellite TV, radio, safe and hairdryer. There's plenty of storage space and they have excellent views of the river with a french balcony.
Middle deck cabins: These cabins are on the middle deck and are the same size and layout as the panorama deck cabins. They have an en suite shower and toilet, air conditioning, twin beds, satellite TV, radio, safe, hairdryer and large sliding windows for you to enjoy the passing scenery.
Main deck cabins: These cabins are on the lower deck and are the same size and layout as the panorama deck cabins, with the same facilities. The only difference is the outside view, which is via two small windows.
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