The following post is written by Irene from the Boscov’s Travel Group Department. Irene and her husband Nabil just returned from an AmaWaterways European river cruise.
I just got back from a trip of a lifetime. My husband and I traveled to the Netherlands for our first ever river cruise. We enjoyed 7-days onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaStella sailing from Amsterdam down the Rhine to Basel, Switzerland. Every inch of this trip was truly perfect.
The first day of our trip was in Amsterdam. Since AmaWaterways offers a variety of included excursions to choose from at each destination, we were able to take a guided canal cruise with commentary about the history of Amsterdam passing locks, churches, house boats, the Jewish quarter, a ton of bikes and the Anne Frank house!
Today we arrived into Cologne, Germany. It rained all morning along the way, but as soon as we arrived, the skies turned blue and beautiful for us! We enjoyed an included walking tour through the heart of the city underneath the famous Love Bridge with all of the locks, to St. Martin church and to the Cologne Cathedral… followed by a visit to Gaffel am Dom where we enjoyed tasting the typical Kolsch beer and reibekuken (potato cakes) with apple sauce.
The third day is Castle Day! Our morning was an unforgettable experience sailing to Rudesheim. We started off with a scenic cruise through the most famous stretch of the Rhine river. We saw about 30 castles or castle ruins in this short stretch of the river valley—more than anywhere else in the world! The AmaStella crew came up to the top deck where we were bundled up with blankets to serve us Rudesheimer coffee! We concluded the day with an AmaWaterways included winery and wine tasting tour!
We’ve arrived into Rudesheim! The prettiest storybook/fairytale city we’ve ever seen. Our captain greeted us as we exited our ship wishing us a great day! We enjoyed an included winery tour at the Adolf Storzel Vineyard and Wine Cellar for a wine tasting….a family owned winery since 1647! Then, time for exploring and shopping. Mode of transportation today was unique and by train… another fun day!
The AmaStella crew celebrated Frühschoppen in the lounge. What fun! This is the breakfast of Champions in Germany 🇩🇪. In the afternoon, we chose an included tour to Speyer while some others went to Heidelberg to visit the castle. Speyer is one of Germany’s oldest towns, founded by the Romans. We visited the Speyer Cathedral – consecrated in 1061 and is the largest Romanesque church to this day. We then strolled through the quaint streets preparing for the Christmas Markets! They really transform the city streets into a winter wonderland!
We woke up this morning in the beautiful town of Strasbourg, one of Europe’s most attractive cities. Thanks to the richness and sheer density of its heritage sites, the entire town center has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Strasbourg is definitely well worth a visit to discover its history, cuisine and unique Alsatian atmosphere! And to make it EXTRA special, Zohdi, my brother in law and Dolly, his wife came to see us and we spent a wonderful day together in the most beautiful and fairytale place!
Our last day of river cruising brought us to Breisach, Germany, a city located only a few minutes drive to the French border! Our included tour today was to the charming village of Riquewihr in France. This village escaped damage during WWII so many houses we saw date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. This beautiful French village inspired Belle’s hometown in Beauty and the Beast! You can imagine I was singing the soundtrack as I was walking through the streets. 😜Even on a cloudy day, Riquewihr was truly magical!!
I loved the entire trip – from the ship and staff to the people of the picturesque villages we visited, everything exceeded our expectations. Thanks for letting me share my experiences aboard AmaStella and we’d love to hear from you! Let me or any of our Travel Specialists know if you’re ready to see Europe from a whole new perspective.
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