Day 1: Embarkation in Passau
Arrival in Lower Bavaria. Before embarkation we recommend a sightseeing tour (optional) of this “city of three rivers” with its pristine Bavarian atmosphere. Throwing an admiring glance at Passau’s baroque cathedral with the world’s largest church organ is definitely worth a visit. Embarkation will be possible from 02:00 pm. After having familiarised yourself with your floating hotel, your cruise director will invite you to a welcome drink and give you an overview of the journey that lies ahead of you before your welcome dinner will be served. “Cast off!” at 05:00 pm.
Day 2: Regensburg (UNESCO World Heritage)
During a sightseeing walk (optional) in the morning you will learn about the special enchantment of this rich Bavarian city and all its facets. Owing to its large number of “lineage towers”, Regensburg was nicknamed “Italy’s northernmost city”. Regensburg’s ‘Domspatzen’ and their more than thousand year old heritage are one of the world’s oldest boy quires. A visit to the historic inn ‘Wurstkuchl’ (sausage kitchen) in order to try Regensburg’s unique pork sausages must under no circumstances be missed. Thereafter, return to your cruiser for lunch and continue your river journey heading for Nuremberg.
Day 3: Nuremberg
Nuremberg will be reached in the early morning hours. During a sightseeing tour (optional) you will find out why Nuremberg’s citizens are not Bavarians but Franconians and, that Germany’s first railway line started its service as early as December 7, 1835 between Nuremberg and Fürth. Numerous cultural facets can be found in Nuremberg; ‘Kaiserburg’ castle and medieval artist Albrecht Dürer are inseparably linked to the city. In addition to that, Nuremberg was awarded a prize for being among the first 45 gourmet places out of altogether 100 in Bavaria because of the city’s culinary heritage of the artisan tradition of Nuremberg’s ‘bratwurst’ (pork sausage) and ‘lebkuchen’ (spiced biscuits). This is exactly the reason why this afternoon’s excursion will take you to the world of the manufactory “Lebkuchen Schmidt”. Accompanied by coffee and, of course, oven-fresh samples, a 20 minutes long film will abduct you to the realm of theses sweet delicacies. In the historic bakery you will learn how lebkuchen used to be made at the time when they emerged. Tasting is not only allowed but explicitly requested!
Day 4: Bamberg (UNESCO World Heritage)
You will stay in Franconia and in the morning your cruiser will moor in Bamberg where you will have the option to participate in a sightseeing walk through the romantic historic quarter. This old imperial and diocesan town is regarded as one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. Bamberg’s one thousand years old historic quarter was included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritages in 1993 as a “total work of art”. Furthermore, Bamberg is known for its beer specialty ‘rauchbier’ (smoked beer) which is produced in two of the city’s breweries. You should also taste Bamberg’s ‘hörnla’, a butter pastry that is sold in local bakeries.
Day 5: Würzburg (UNESCO World Heritage) – Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber (Romantic Road)
Würzburg is Franconia’s “pride”. The town has belonged to Europe’s largest religious centres since the 8th century. This is why besides Würzburg’s residential palace there are several churches, cathedrals and chapels from different architectural epochs which you can learn about during a sightseeing walk (optional). At the same time, Würzburg is the centre of German musical culture and of wine making. Franconian wine is renowned and acknowledged all over the world. Approximately 80 percent of Franconian wines are white wines, led by the grape varieties Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Bacchus. In the forenoon there will be a coach excursion (optional) along the Romantic Road to Rothenburg o. d. Tauber. Rothenburg’s fabulous medieval historic town centre originates from another time. Culture and history are met at every corner. The town is also on the list of Bavaria’s gourmet places and under no circumstances should you miss to sample Rothenburg’s ‘schneeballen’ pastry and a glass of wine from the Tauber valley. In the afternoon you can join a sightseeing tour of Würzburg (optional).
Day 6: Miltenberg
Miltenberg will be reached in the morning. Your local tour guide will already be waiting for you at the pier to take you on a sightseeing tour (optional). Miltenberg’s market square is the town’s gem and the market fountain stands amid numerous neat timber-frame houses. Created by Miltenberg’s sculptor Michael Junker in 1583 from red sandstone it is one of the towns most beautiful renaissance monuments. Particularly worth seeing is the old guildhall ‘Alte Amtskellerei’, the ‘Schnatterloch’ tower (known as Miltenberg’s most romantic place) and renaissance archway which opens the way up to the castle.
Day 7: Mainz – Mannheim (Heidelberg)
Mainz will be reached in the morning after passing some distance through Hesse’s south over night. A local guide will be awaiting you for a sightseeing walk (optional) of the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate. Mainz is home to good mood and who does not know Mainz’ ‘Fassenacht’, as Carnival is called here. But Mainz has a lot to show even outwith the “fifth season”. Your guide will tell you stories from the past and from the present in an amusing and entertaining way. After your lunch on board you will leave your cruiser again in Gernsheim for today’s coach excursion (optional) to the university city of Heidelberg. The famous song “I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg” has an old tradition because since times immemorial have philosophers, artists and poets been fascinated of the town’s magic, charm and, last but not least, of the Swabian cuisine. Thereafter, re-board your cruiser in Mannheim for your dinner on board.
Day 8: Disembarkation in Strasbourg (UNESCO World Heritage)
After your arrival in France’s Alsace you can enjoy your last breakfast on board before you check out. Thereafter, we recommend an individual walk through Strasbourg’s historic centre on the ‘Grand Île’ (big island) with its magnificent timber-frame houses. Feel the spirit of France with all senses and take home some of France’s „laissez-faire“.
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