The Rhine in Flames - From Arnham to Basel

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Review Details

Views:
96
Cruise Line:
Luftner Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Amadeus Royal
Destination:
River Rhine

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
10+
Sailed:
August 2018
Age:
65+
Cabin:
Balcony
Occasion:
Annual/regular holiday
Rhine Cruise 2018 Best of the Rhine (Rhine in Flames) After many years of ocean cruising we decide to try a river cruise. The Rhine seemed the obvious place to start. We booked a river cruise with Saga, The Rhine in Flames in August 2018. We left Manchester and flew to Amsterdam by KLM (a very good airline). We were due to board our boat at Arnhem at approximately 5:00 pm. We boarded our transfer bus, with an afternoon to spare, we were taken to a cheese factory near the Zuiderzee. When we reached Arnhem we boarded the Amadeus Royal. After a welcome reception, the boat cruised towards Cologne. The Amadeus Royal has three accommodation decks, we were on the top deck. The cabin was 15 metres square with a French balcony and an en-suite bathroom with shower etc. Also on this deck was the Restaurant at one end and the Panorama Bar at the other. The top deck is open and you sit and let the world go by (or at least the banks of the river Rhine). Late morning the next day we arrive in Cologne. We made our way to the centre. We first visited the Gothic Cathedral with its twin spires rising over 500 feet. It was started in1248 but not completed until 1880. Well worth a visit. The surrounding area is pedestrianised, with many artistes, paintings and musical. Near where we were moored were some interestingly shaped buildings, like inverted L called Kranhaus (Crane house). Next day we arrived in Koblenz at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle rivers which was overlooked a mounted statue of Kaiser Wilhelm 1. Koblenz was preparing for the traditional Rhine in Flames celebrations in the evening. We walked into town and came across a small square with a statue called the History Column which depicted the 2000 years of the history of Koblenz. We carried on into the centre with its little streets and squares with mime artists and small statues and art works. After dinner, our boat along with many others sailed up stream towards Boppard. This part of Middle Rhine is very scenic with small towns and villages lining the river there were many camp sites and railway lines running along each bank. There are lots of vineyards and many fairy-tale castles. After a time our boat turned round and sailed downstream back towards Koblenz as part of a fleet of about fifty boats. The towns and villages, and the castles were lit up with red lights. As we passed through the towns and villages there were firework displays. Back in Koblenz, just before midnight we turned again and sailed south towards Rudesheim. The cruise to Rudesheim continued through the Middle Rhine, there were many small towns and villages, many Castles and vineyards. We passed the statue of siren Lorelei who lured passing bargees to their destruction on the nearby rocks. We arrived in the pretty town of Rudesheim in the afternoon. We strolled around the town, taking in the small shops selling almost everything, the many bars and cafes and the olde world taverns. We stayed overnight in Rudesheim. Early the next morning we left for Mainz. From Mainz we took a coach to Heidelberg, it was raining! In Heidelberg we crossed the River Necker and visited the ruined castle high above the city. The castle which started in the 12th century had many architectural styles and was almost destroyed by lighting in 1764. We took the funicular railway down to the town centre which was quite compact with squares and shopping streets. We then began the return to our boat by crossing the River Necker again and on to Mannheim where we re-joined the Amadeus Royal. When on board continued to Strasbourg overnight. We moored in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, opposite the Foreign Legion Headquarters. After breakfast we had a scenic drive through Strasbourg to the old quarter and River Ill, where we boarded a canal boat to cruise through the city. We began with picturesque district of Petite France, formerly the tanners district, a maze of half-timbered buildings with sloping roofs and carved frontages and many charming local restaurants and bars. We had started near the Cathedral of Notre Dame and as we approached EU Parliament Buildings we passed the St Paul Protestant Cathedral. In the early evening we set sail for Breisach. Breisach was the last stop on our cruise, and the first town in Germany to vote for a European Parliament and the Europa Fountain in the main square commemorates that. The town is dominated by the Minster of St Stephan which stands on a rocky hill which offers views across the town and surrounding areas. It was built between the 12th and 15th centuries. Well worth a walk up the hill. Next day we were in Basel, Switzerland. After breakfast, we boarded buses which took us to Lucerne Airport for our flights to Amsterdam and then to Manchester again by KLM. As I said at the beginning this was our first river cruise. The Amadeus Royal was as you expect was clean and staff (including Saga staff) were pleasant and helpful. The boat was built in 2005, had four decks, 71 staterooms/suites and a maximum of 142 passengers. On the top passenger deck the dining room was at stern and Amadeus Club and Panorama Bar was at the front. In the centre was Reception and a shop. On the second deck was a Hair Salon and Fitness Room. There was a lift to passenger deck. We enjoyed our cruise! Would we do a river cruise again? Probably. Was it better than an ocean cruise? No certainly not!
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