Basel & the Wine Road of Alsace

This pre-cruise package is not yet available for purchase. Specific details for this program are not yet finalized and the tour elements are subject to change. An email announcement will be sent to all group members when the tour is open for sale

Description of Previous Land Program

Located at the crossroads of France, Germany and Switzerland is Basel, the perfect multi-cultural center to start your adventure up the mighty Rhine River. Its internationally renowned art festival, numerous museums and iconic buildings confirm its reputation as the cultural capital of Switzerland. The town also boasts a charming medieval town center, testimony to its rich history as the Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century and home to the country's oldest university founded in 1460.

If it's great wine that you're after, less than an hour across the French border is arguably France's most unique region and home to some of the world's finest white wines. Alsace is a place that has changed hands five times between France and Germany over the last 150 years. It is now a cultural crossroads where French finesse meets German gusto. Tucked between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine River, the region enjoys a perfect balance between architecture, nature and gastronomy. Traditional 15th century half-timbered homes with ornate facades covered in vibrant flowers are nestled among the vineyards and foothills of the Vosgues Mountains. Alsace's unique history and location have endowed the region not only with its own dialect but also a special climate and soil contributing greatly to the quality of its grapes and wines. The winemakers here are most interested in purity and terroir, the ultimate expression of each grape as it is represented by its land and vintage. It is the only wine region in France with a long tradition of labeling its wine according to grape variety.

DAY 1 | INDEPENDENT ARRIVAL IN BASEL (D) Highlight: Basel Sight-Seeing & Wine-Paired Dinner

Guests will arrive in Basel independently and transfer to the hotel on their own.

After settling into your room, you will join a local wine expert for a short walking tour of historic Basel before returning to the hotel for a special welcome dinner with an introduction to the local wines and pairings with each delicious dish.

DAY 2 | THE ALSACE WINE ROAD (B, L) Highlight: Zind-Humbrecht, Josmeyer & Colmar

Buffet breakfast is included this morning in the hotel restaurant. After checking out of your room, meet your guide in the lobby for a transfer to Alsace, France. Today you will visit two of the regions most reputed wineries.

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht has been helping set the standard for Alsatian wines since its conception and no discussion of Alsace's top producers is complete without mention of Olivier Humbrecht. Olivier was the first Frenchman to obtain the prestigious title Master of Wine. The Humbrechts have been wine growers since 1620. Their current estate run by Olivier has been biodynamic since 1997 and produces rich, powerful wines that have a true sense of place. Their wines regularly receive 95+ point ratings, and one of the very few to receive a perfect 100 point rating from Wine Spectator. The very talented team here will guide you through a tour and tasting of these impressive wines.

Today you will also visit one of the most exciting producers in Alsace, Josmeyer. The Meyer family wine business dates back to 1854, and in 1963 Hubert Meyer created the Josmeyer estate by adding the first three letters of his father's name, Joseph, to the common family name, Meyer. They produce world-class wines of great concentration and complexity. Your tour and tasting here will also include their Grand Cru selections.

This afternoon you will enjoy a traditional lunch in the picturesque village of Kayserberg. Here you will experience how perfectly the wines pair with the local specialties. After lunch take a short stroll through this medieval village with its half-timber homes, ramparts and 16th century town hall. Then a short drive to Colmar will bring you to your 5-star boutique hotel, La Maison des Têtes, housed in one of Colmar's most historic buildings. Centrally located in the pedestrian district you will have the evening free to enjoy the town. The hotel's restaurant Girardin has been awarded a Michelin star. Should you choose to enjoy dinner there, we will be happy to secure a reservation for you in advance.

DAY 3 | COLMAR CITY TOUR / EMBARKATION (B, L) Highlight: Guided Tour of Colmar

Buffet breakfast is included this morning in the hotel restaurant. You will check out of the hotel and meet the group in the lobby for a morning guided tour of Colmar. Perhaps no other town captures more completely classic Alsatian charm than Colmar. Considered to be the capital of Alsatian wine, the town is renowned for its well-preserved medieval buildings, traditional half-timbered houses and remarkable monuments. Your local guide will walk you through Colmar's fairytale setting and fascinating history, leading you through its pedestrian alleys, framer's market and picturesque neighborhoods. After your tour will have free time to continue exploring and do some shopping on your own before meeting the group at a local restaurant for lunch. Here you will have one last opportunity to enjoy the delicious Alsatian cuisine and wine. After lunch your private coach will transfer you to the ship in Basel for embarkation.