by Lisa Palmer Shall
Upon arriving in Amsterdam, Netherlands from our overnight transatlantic flight, we were transferred to our beautiful and brand new vessel, the MS AVALON CREATIVITY. After settling in our spacious cabin, we opened our floor to ceiling sliding glass doors to a totally unobstructed panoramic view. What a great way to see the countryside when sailing down the Rhine!
View from cabin
Before leaving Amsterdam the next morning we boarded our canal boat to cruise through the elegant canals of the city of Amsterdam, also known as the Venice of the North.
Sailing through the night, we arrived in Cologne, Germany in the morning. Guten Tag! (Good Morning). This morning we will be taking a guided walking tour of the city and will visit the gothic Cathedral “Dome” with all of its intricate and ornate detail. Afterwards we will take time to shop and perhaps try a “Kolsch,” the favorite local beer in one of the many taverns.
Cathedral in Cologne
Before mentioning our next stop, Mannheim, Germany, I want to brag about the wonderful dinner selections, and, of course, the ice cream desserts prepared by the dessert chef. Yum! Yum! Not to mention the workout room onboard where you can work off at least some of the calories.
In Mannheim we motorcoached to Heidelberg, Germany where we visited the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle. One of the points of interest at the castle was the giant vat, an 18th century wine cask holding 49 thousand gallons of wine!! WOW!
View of Heidelberg Castle from town
Well, back to the ship for dinner and an evening of entertainment.
This morning we arrive in Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is situated on the border of France and Germany and is influenced by the culture of both countries and is the capital of the Alsace region. We took an optional tour to the Alsace countryside to visit one of its wine farms. The next morning we arrive in Breisach, Germany which also sits on the French-German border and is the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest Region. We travel by motorcoach to the house of the Black Forest Clocks that sits up in the mountains of the Black Forest. The most well know products of this region are the Black Forest Ham and the Black Forest Cherry Cake which we all sampled, of course.
Upon returning to this beautiful ship for our last evening, I reminisced about my experiences on the river cruise and everything we did and saw.
What a great cruise! A relaxing and exciting way to travel across Europe without packing and unpacking on a riverboat with only 68 cabins and a shore excursion included at each port of call!
**See Lisa's full photo album on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palmer-Travel/154981672453?ref=mf