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 ~ Finding Romance along the Rhine River - Cruising with Avalon Waterways ~     

 

Rhine River cruise

The Rhine River is considered one of the most romantic stretches of water in the world.
Cruising along past castles and vineyards is sure to set your heart a flutter!  
                                                 
     My husband and I enjoyed this magical river cruise after spending a week exploring the Netherlands.
I always try to build in extra time pre and/or post when I travel to Europe for a cruise or tour.
It is a long and expensive flight so I want to try to see as much as I can to get my money's worth.
We used Amsterdam as our base and did day trips to The Hauge, Deft, Edam and Gouda.
We also visited Broek and Waterland which was the settling for children's book Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates.

     Amsterdam itself is a remarkably interesting city, with plenty to keep you occupied for days, I have never been somewhere with so many museums!
A few that most travelers won't go calling on like the Museum of Prostitution or the Museum of Marijuana, but the Heineken experience may interest some.
We stumbled upon one I had no idea even existed, there is one called "Our Lord in the Attic" which is a hidden Catholic church in the attic of a home.
Apparently at one point it was illegal to practice the Catholic religion in the Netherlands so people went underground or rather in the attic.
Here is an important tip-if you wish to visit the Anne Frank House make sure you purchase tickets on line two months before your arrival.

     This cruise is big on castles and we started out with one right away.
There was an optional excursion offered in Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle that we signed up for and it was great fun.
It was quite impressive to pull up to the building, it is surrounded by a full moat and has five imposing towers.
You cross a dramatic drawbridge to enter which is across from a lovely garden.
After exploring the castle we headed over to some colorful tents that were set up with falcons and other birds of prey.
It was quite interesting listening to their handlers, it was quite easy to imagine what it would be like living there back in 1285.

     Back at the ship we cast off heading towards our first stop, Cologne with its soaring cathedral.
The stained glass windows in the cathedral are stunning.
There is also another secret place in Cologne that my husband and I visited on our own that you don't want to miss.
An easy walk from the ship the Cologne Chocolate Museum by Lindt shows you the history of chocolate, how it is made, and there are samples!
There is a cafe and a great shop, a fun way to spent some time.

     We continued to Koblenz which is the gateway to the dramatic Rhine Gorge, it was a nice town to wander about in.
I came across an interesting sculpture in a square with the inscription Da Gummi on it. 
The sculpture is of a man with bowed legs carrying a vender's tray.
If you google "Da Gummi" and Koblenz you will see that people just make things up saying he is the "sweet seller" or things like that.
Apparently they think Gummi translates to sweet in German.
It actually refers to his legs are like rubber.
There is a plaque on a house nearby that that has the following phrase;
"Im Leben hieß ich Peter Schneider. Im Laufen war ich immer heiter. Der Volksmund nannt mich Gummi. Der Herrgott warf mich ummi!" 
("In life I was called Peter Schneider. My walking was always funny. The people called me rubber. The Lord God pushed me over.") 
Always be observant and you will find the real answers to questions, no need to make them up is my motto.

     On to the Rhine Gorge! It is almost surreal as you glide through this most picturesque stretch of river.
The cruise director narrates as you are surrounded by castles and vineyards that cling to the steep hillsides.
I kept thinking to myself it must be a challenge to harvest those grapes.
I kept a keen eye out for the famous rock of the Lorelei where the siren would lure fishermen to their death.
The story of the Lorelei is that she was a beautiful German girl who threw herself into the river over despair of being betrayed by her love.
She would sing with an enchanting voice drawing them in and their boats would crash into the rock.   

     Romance aside, there are fantastic included excursions included to keep you busy during the day.                                                                                                                                                                    
I really loved Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim!
There was a player piano that had several violins mounted inside, each violin played one string along with the piano creating a perfectly coordinated song.
The trip up to Heidelberg Castle was fascinating! 
Part of the castle is in ruins but a lot of it still quite intact, we were able to go inside and explore after an introductory tour and lecture about the history.
Not everyone has had the chance to wander around in a castle, the view is stunning from up on the castle hill be sure to bring your camera!  

     If you appreciate wine, you will enjoy this itinerary as the Alsace region produces delightful offerings!
Both wine and beer tastings are included at no charge on this itinerary and they offer regional wines with your meals.
The area is so picturesque with cobble stone streets, wishing wells stork nests on the roof.
It was the first time I had seen storks outside of cartoons.

    
     On the last day in Breisach we elected to take an optional excursion to Colmar; it was like stepping into a storybook!
Half-timber houses and gingerbread shops decorated the streets and canal ways were the mode of transport in the “Little Venice” section.
It was so quaint and peaceful, the detailing on the architecture and flower baskets everywhere you looked really made it seem like a movie set.

     Taking a Rhine River Cruise is a wonderful way to experience history, other cultures, and enjoy romantic scenery.
With excursions included, unlimited beer and wine with lunch and dinner and sparkling wine with breakfast along with free Wi-Fi it is great value as well.

     If you are looking to celebrate an anniversary or simply feel like royalty for a week, this is the cruise for you!
 

 

The Romantic Rhine River Cruise ~Video

 

Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum ~Video

 

 

Walkthrough of Avalon Imagery II Panorama Suite with Open Air Balcony ~ Video         

                                                                                                                           

(196 Reviews)
99% Recommended

Ann Castagna Morin

Southampton, MA
Luxury River Cruise & European travel specialist

I have had a sense of wanderlust since I was a child, always yearning to go off and explore the world.

I will take my own personal passion for travel and use it to craft an extraordinary luxury experience for you.

Europe is my specia...
Learn more about me.

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