Rhine in Flames - Night of the Bengal Fire

8 Days

30th Apr 2018 - From £899pp


Fireworks Spectacular

Full Board

All Info


Come with us on a relaxing river cruise on the majestic Rhine River in southern Germany joining the season opener and the longest stretch of any Rhine in Flames spectacle with 60 illuminated ships along a 26km stretch being led by the red fluorescent Bengal Fire. Travel by rail or air to join the cruise in Düsseldorf. Relax on board the MV Esmeralda as she glides silkily past romantic hilltop castles, picturesque vineyards and historic riverside towns including Andernach, Boppard, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, and Königswinter. Accommodation is in comfortable twin bedded cabins with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day included as well as morning coffee and afternoon tea.


Day 1: UK to Düsseldorf
Depart London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet in the morning on Eurostar to Brussels arriving in just over 2 hours. Continue by train or coach to Düsseldorf and the MV Esmeralda, with time to settle in before dinner. Alternatively, fly to Düsseldorf by air from regional UK airports – see flight information and options. On arrival transfer to the ship. Overnight in Düsseldorf.
The Rhine

Day 2: Düsseldorf to Königswinter
During the morning we cruise to Königswinter arriving after lunch. Situated at the foot of the Drachenfels Mountain, it is set between the Rhine Valley and Siebengebirge - “Seven Hills”. Our optional excursion takes us by land train and Germany’s oldest cog railway to the top of the mountain with spectacular views of the Rhine valley below. Overnight in Königswinter

Day 3: Königswinter to Koblenz
We depart Königswinter before breakfast and cruise towards Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle. Sit back and enjoy the views as we pass castles, fortresses and riverside town’s. We arrive after lunch with an afternoon free to explore on your own, the cable car over the Rhine takes you to the imposing Ehrenbreitstein fortress - surely one of the area’s greatest attractions. or join our optional walking tour of the town. Overnight in Koblenz.

Day 4: Koblenz to Rüdesheim
This morning we sail through the Rhine Gorge to Rüdesheim, passing the famous Lorelei Rock. We arrive early afternoon with time to take in this gorgeous little town. Our optional tour by land train from the ship takes in the vineyards and the town, including a visit to Seigfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet and the famous Drosselgasse - a unique cobbled lane just 144 metres long, packed with bars, restaurants and live music - where we enjoy a delicious Rüdesheimer Kaffee made with Asbach brandy. Overnight in Rüdesheim.

Day 5: Rüdesheim to Boppard
Depart Rüdesheim after breakfast and cruise again through the Rhine Gorge to Boppard. We arrive in Boppard mid-day to take in its lovely, romantic squares and the riverside Rhine Allee, filled with trees and flowers. Explore on your own, take the land train tour or join our optional guided walk. overnight in Boppard.

Day 6: Boppard to Andernach – Rhine in Flames – Night of Bengal Fire
Early morning we begin our cruise to Andernach, a quiet country town with winding streets and historic architecture, far from the madding crowd. Explore on your own or join our optional guided walking tour. This evening we set sail* to join the Bonn Rhine in Flames Convoy, enjoy dinner on board as well as the best seat in the house for the spectacular fireworks in Linz, Remagen, Bad Honnef and the big finale in Bonn. Overnight in Bonn.

Day 7: Bonn to Cologne
After breakfast we cruise to Cologne where the afternoon is free to explore on your own, the impressive Cathedral is certainly worth a visit. Or, join our optional afternoon guided walk. Farewell dinner on board. Overnight in Cologne.

Day 8: Cologne to UK
After Breakfast we disembark and transfer by coach to Brussels where we take the Eurostar to London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet arriving during the afternoon. Or, transfer to Cologne airport for your flight back to the UK.

*joining of the convoy will be either on the Esmeralda or on one of the public ships depending on the authorities allocation nearer the time. Either way dinner is included on board.

MV ESmeralda

The popular MV Esmeralda is a 3-star ship accommodating just 126 guests over two decks offering an intimate and comfortable experience as you relax while Europe’s most historic and romantic scenery slips quietly by. The ship’s crew are well-known for their friendliness and ability to make guests feel truly at home.
The MV Esmeralda has an elegant lounge, which was renovated in 2011, with leather sofas and armchairs. Situated at the front of the ship on the Promenade deck it offers comfort and panoramic views. Morning coffee and afternoon tea are served daily in the lounge. There is a stairlift between the main deck and the promenade deck.
Sun Deck
The large sun deck is partially covered.
The elegantly furnished restaurant is situated on the Main deck. All cruises on board the MV Esmeralda start the day with a sumptuous buffet breakfast followed by three-course lunches and four-course dinners with table service and a choice of menu. On the last night of the cruise guests are invited to a special five-course Captain’s dinner.
The MV Esmeralda has 63 cabins, all are around 9sqm and have river-views, air-conditioning, shower and toilet, two single beds and satellite TV. Cabins are located on the Main Deck and the upper Promenade Deck.
Ship’s Stats
Refurbished 2011 • Length: 90 metres • Breadth: 11.20 metres • Passenger Capacity: 126 • Officers & Crew: 21• Passenger decks: 2 • Standard cabin area: approximately 9 sq m • Lifts: Stairlift between main deck and promenade deck
Esmeralda restaurant and lounge

Esmeralda lobby and bar

Twin cabin

Cabin prices (pp)
███ Main Deck Rear(LR) £899
███ Main Deck Standard (MSTD) £999
███ Promenade Deck Standard (PRSTD) £109

Rail Travel

Eurostar – London to Brussels
From London St Pancras, Eurostar takes as little as 2 hours to Brussels. On board, you will have a reserved, semi-reclining aircraft-style seat. You’ll also find a buffer car serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, wine, spirits, sandwiches, crisps and a few hot snacks. Sterling, Euros and cards accepted. You can eat and drink in the bar area (standing space only, there are no seats) or take your purchases back to your seat. You can also take your own food and drink on board.

Morning Departures
Departures from London are expected to be early to mid morning depending on the exact train departure time, confirmed to us 8 weeks before travel. Please bear this in mind when planning your journey to St Pancras. An overnight stay at a nearby hotel prior to travel may be worth considering – call for information.

Travel & Luggage
There are no actual luggage weight restrictions imposed by the rail companies. However, for your comfort and convenience we recommend you limit your luggage to the following: ONE main suitcase⁄holdall with built in wheels weighing no more than 15 to 20kgs per person – Plus ONE small shoulder bag⁄holdall per person. Restricting the bulk of your luggage to manageable sizes will make the journey more enjoyable. You will need to move all your own bags on and off trains and between platforms and transfer vehicles. Our Tour Manager will be unable to provide physical assistance with luggage. On TGV trains, you may be allocated seats on the the upper floor, which means you would have to carry your bags upstairs. Many train stations and platforms are big and long, sometimes with stairs or escalators. Some stations have lifts, but using them can involve a longer walk, so be prepared for this when walking with your luggage.

Train travel is a relaxing and enjoyable feature of our holidays
However, at times it can be physically demanding as you will be required to walk and move your luggage on and off trains and between platforms and transfer vehicles. Many train stations and platforms are big and long, sometimes with stairs or escalators, so please be prepared for this when walking with your luggage. The Tour Manager⁄Escort will not be able to provide you and⁄or your luggage with physical assistance at anytime. Where overnight or main hotels are less than 150 metres (approx) from the station, no transportation or luggage assistance will be provided.

Please Help us to Help You
In our experience, clients who discuss with us their concerns over mobility limitations and⁄or health issues (including visibility, hearing etc) when booking, are far more satisfied with the level of service we provide and enjoy a more relaxed and fun holiday, compared to those who attempt to cope without the benefit of our expert advice.
We must stress that these holidays are not suitable for users of mobility scooters, wheelchairs or walking aids (frames, sticks, etc).

Flight Information & Options

Flight Information & Options
AIRPORTS: Heathrow • Manchester
Flights are possible from these airports with a choice of airline and several outbound and inbound time combinations to suit your preference. All are subject to availability at time of booking and some may have a supplement.
Flights include 1 checked in bag per couple (usually no more than 20kgs) and 1 carry on bag per person – exact weight and size of each subject to airline restrictions.

  • Flight time around 2 hours each way

  • Please call us on 01895 83 33 33 to discuss your flight requirements

  • Konigswinter Highlights - land train & cog railway to Drachenfels £24pp

  • Koblenz guided walking tour £10pp

  • Rüdesheim Highlights - land train tour to Seigfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet & Drosselgasse & Rüdesheimer kaffee £29pp

  • Boppard guided walk 1.5hrs £10pp

  • Andernach guided walk 1.5hrs £10pp

  • Cologne Old town guided walk 1.5hrs £10pp

Excursions must be booked prior to departure. 5% excursion discount when you pre-book all 6. All operate subject to minimum numbers.

£100pp by rail
£150pp by air


  • Escorted return rail travel from London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet to Brussels and coach transfer to Cologne or return flights with luggage to Cologne - see Flight information

  • 7-night full-board cruise on the MV Prinses Christina sharing a twin bed outside cabin on Cabin Deck - upgrades available

  • Welcome cocktail on arrival

  • Cup of coffee/tea each morning and afternoon

  • Captain’s dinner

  • Transfers abroad

  • Services of our Cruise Director on board