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River Cruise in the heart of Alsace
Alsace is an “international” river tourism destination.
Its common borders with Germany and Luxembourg make it, indeed, a privileged region for our close European neighbours, who are tempted by the adventure of a river cruise in Alsace on board a boat without a licence. But boat hire in Alsace also appeals to other enthusiasts because it offers routes between unusual and gourmet cruises.
Used for a long time for the transport of goods and then, for people, rivers were first a network of natural waterways. However, there are also many canals dug by man as early as Roman times.
Although boating has been practised since the 17th century, particularly on the Loire, the first cruises were organised by river transport companies in England as early as the 19th century. It was not until the 1980s that river tourism experienced real growth. Trade by river thus preceded the tourist use of these natural or artificial canals.
This river route in the heart of Alsace will take you to the European capital, Strasbourg. From your stopover at the Bassin de l’Hôpital, you will be able to visit Strasbourg and its typical districts on foot.
Presentation of the river cruise in Alsace
Sailing time: 36h
Points of interest
Strasbourg – Alsace – Castle of Rohan – Medieval Castle of Haut-Barr – La Villa Meteor – Brumath Archaeological Museum – Charming village of Boofzheim – Europa Park
Situated on the banks of the Marne-Rhine canal, Saverne appeals as much to nature lovers as to those who love old stones. From the Château des Rohan, nicknamed “The Little Alsatian Versailles” and located right in the town centre, to the medieval Château du Haut-Barr (known as the “Eye of Alsace”), which offers a view over the entire valley, via the Art Deco facades and half-timbered houses of the Old Town, Saverne’s rich historical past is everywhere. The “City of Roses” also stands out in Alsace for the diversity of its gardens: the Roseraie (which has no less than 550 different varieties!), the Botanical Garden, the Interreligious Public Garden, the Monastic Garden of the Cloister of Récollets, the Alpine Garden of the Grotte Saint-Vit…
Saverne – Dettwiller
Sailing time: 2h30
Then you leave Saverne, to join the small town of Dettwiller along the river. You will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to do some shopping, notably at the market, school yard, and to eat in the town’s restaurants.
Dettwiller – Hochfelden
Sailing time: 2h
You will continue your escapade to Hochfelden. If this charming village, built on a hill overlooking the Zorn valley, is not lacking in heritage assets, it is above all to visit the Meteor Brewery. The first brewery in Alsace and the oldest brewery site in France opens the doors of its magnificent museum, La Villa Meteor, to beer lovers.
Hochfelden – Schwindratzheim
Sailing time: 0h30
Your cruise continues to the charming old village of Schwindratzheim, which has been heard of since the year 737. You will take the opportunity to test its restaurants.
Schwindratzheim – Waltenheim-sur-Zorn
Sailing time: 0h45
Continue your stay in the village of Waltenheim-sur-Zorn, where you can visit its church, but also its old cemetery from the 18th and 19th century, which has become a place of meditation and meditation, in a green and pleasant setting.
Waltenheim-sur-Zorn – Brumath
Sailing time: 1h30
Brumath is one of the few sites in Alsace that have been inhabited and frequented without interruption for more than five thousand years. In Gallo-Roman times, the town was called “Brocomagus”. The town’s Archaeological Museum, housed in the cellar of Hanau-Lichtenberg Castle, bears witness to this rich history!
Brumath – Vendenheim
Sailing time: 1h15
Your cruise will take you to Vendenheim. There you will see Alsatian farms, but also its churches. You will have a short tour near the local market, only on Saturday mornings and the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
Vendenheim – Strasbourg quai des Belges
Sailing time: 3h
Rich in its 2,000 years of history, Strasbourg, European capital at the crossroads of the Latin and Germanic worlds, has a unique cultural and architectural heritage: its entire centre was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
If you moor your boat without a licence at the hospital basin, you are just a stone’s throw away from La Petite France, the most picturesque and charming district of old Strasbourg with its half-timbered houses, reminiscent of the Venice of the North. There are many restaurants serving local cuisine (sauerkraut, baeckeoffe, tarte flambée, spaetzle…).
You can also easily reach on foot the Cathedral, a true masterpiece of Gothic art, as well as the Alsatian Museum or the Rohan Palace, a magnificent building that brings together the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Decorative Arts. And, to take on the dimension of Strasbourg’s status as European capital, discover the Council of Europe and the European Parliament (visits open to groups only).
Strasbourg quai des Belges – Boofzheim
Sailing time: 6h30
Continuing your navigation on the Rhone-Rhine canal south of Strasbourg, you will wait for the charming village of Boofzheim. From there, if you have opted for a combined boat + bike rental, you can reach the huge Europa Park leisure park, located in Germany (10 km).
Your route ends in Boofzheim. You can turn around and enjoy the beauty of the Alsatian landscape once again before returning to your base of departure, Saverne.
Boofzheim – Saverne
Sailing time: 18h
For more information about Alsace, visit the Alsatian Tourism Website.
And find all our trips on our site, including those by motorbike in France.
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