Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Monday, April 9, 2018

More Cruise Background

In answer to the questions on my last post about the cruise and what we did, here is more background for you.  The events off the ship were all included in our trip.  You only had to decide what you wanted to do and there was lots of background information provided to help you decide.

Embarkation was Monday afternoon so no tours off the ship were planned for that day just settling in and meeting important crew members and having the safety drill.

Tuesday we remained in Amsterdam until 1 pm.  That morning we had a choice of two destinations off the ship: Keukenhof Gardens to see tulips (blooming only in the hothouses not in the gardens) or a  Canal Cruise and city tour.  Dan and I opted for the latter.  With most tours there are levels based on physical fitness: gentle walkers, regular walkers, or active walkers.  Active was not always offered but we chose it or regular when we could.


In Cologne, Germany, our next stop on Wednesday afternoon there were also two choices: Walking Tour with visit to Cathedral and ending with Kolsch (beer) tasting or guided bike tour of Cologne.
I chose the walking tour (active was offered) and Dan did the bike tour.  It was an incredibly rainy day and Dan got soaked.  Me? not so much.

Dan is in the green.


On Thursday the morning was spent with cruising the Castles of the Rhine Gorge. The cruise director alerted us to each castle and gave us the back story.  After lunch we arrived in Rudesheim and had lots of choices: Rudesheim wine tasting, Rudesheim gondola ride, Ehrenfels Castle hike, or guided bike tour of the Reingau.  Dan and I selected the hike.  In the evening there were two events off the boat: Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum or Rudesheim Coffee outing.  We opted to stay put on 
the boat.

One of the many castles along the Rhine Gorge.  Below is the ruin we hiked to.

Friday we arrived in Ludwigshafen at lunch time.  The options for the afternoon were Heidelberg Tour (bus ride required), Medieval Speyer (bus ride required) or Heidelberg Philosopher's Path Hike (bus ride required).  I went to Speyer and Dan did the hike. (He did take photos on the hike but hasn't shared them with me yet.  He didn't try to take photos when he was biking.)


Saturday we arrived in Strasbourg, France early and stayed until 10 pm.  There were two choices: Strasbourg City tour at various levels including a late riser tour leaving the ship at 10:30 am, and a guided bike tour of Strasbourg.  Dan loved the bike tour.  I had had a rough night (too much rich food) and stayed on board for the morning.  In the afternoon there was a wine tasting offered but Dan and I took advantage of the shuttle buses to Strasbourg to see the city I had missed that morning.

Sunday was another early morning arrival in Breisach, Germany.  Three choices for off the ship: Riquewihr, France excursion and wine tasting, Freiburg, Germany excursion and wine tasting, or Bike tour in the countryside around Breisach.  I went to France and did some shopping in the free time after our tour and wine tasting and Dan did the bike tour.

On board the ship the only cost you incur is for wine and mixed drinks between meal times.  The exception to that is the wine tastings that were offered on three occasions on board.  The boat only has 150 passengers so there are no assigned meal time seatings and you are given a range of times for breakfast, lunch, dinner so you come when you want.  There was also tea time and late night snack time.  More food than you need to eat, but it was all so lovely and delicious.

River cruising is definitely a pampered way to see Europe's water ways.  This was our second cruise with AmaWaterways.  We traveled the Danube in 2016.  The start of that trip appears here.

Stay tuned for more details!