TUI Marvels of the Main 2021 River Cruise

This German jaunt along the Main River includes stops in the historic heart of flashy Frankfurt, the spooky Black Quarter in Miltenberg, and the wineries of Wurzburg.

TUI 2021 River Cruises


You might hear Frankfurt referred to by another name – Mainhattan, alluding to the city’s setting on the Main River, as well as its futuristic skyline. But, mixed in with the new, there are timber houses and red-brick churches. Lots of the city was damaged in World War Two, but it’s since undergone a huge restoration project. Römerberg square’s now lined with traditional, Medieval-style buildings. Palmengarten is Frankfurt’s version of Kew Gardens, with zones dedicated to rainforest, sub-Antarctic and desert plants. And the 200-year-old Städel Museum houses artworks by Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt. Get a feel for Frankfurt on the Ebbelwei Express tram, which does a circuit of the city, rattling past the zoo and Römerberg.

Miltenberg, tacked onto a horseshoe bend of the Main River, looks like it’s been lifted from the pages of a Grimm fairy tale. Half-timbered houses and cobbled streets gather close to the riverside. Open-air cafés and bars look across the pretty Alter Markplatz square, where a double-towered church rises above the pointy rooftops. Hauptstrasse covers boutique shopping and quaint souvenirs, and traditional German restaurants crop up as you stroll further on. In the background, tree-smothered hills and a castle-turned-museum fill the viewfinder.

Grand architecture’s the main attraction in Wurzburg, which has a foot planted either side of the Main River. The main port’s on the outskirts, but a short taxi ride gets you among the Baroque buildings in the centre. Fortress Marienberg is perched on a hill overlooking the terracotta rooftops, and a statue-lined Medieval bridge leads to the Romanesque cathedral. Stroll a little further, and you’ll reach the grand UNESCO-accredited palace, known as the Wurzburg Residence. The local wine’s held in high regard, and there’s a brewery in the town that keeps local restaurants stocked with a signature wheat beer.

Bamberg has a real love affair with Italy. The town’s often nicknamed the ‘Franconian Rome’, thanks to its assortment of churches dotted across seven surrounding hilltops. It’s big on history, too, just like its Mediterranean counterpart. The charming old town, a 20-minute walk from the port, has the nod of approval from UNESCO. Think timber-framed houses with gabled roofs, intertwined with a 13th-century cathedral and a town hall built into a stone bridge. The multiple rivers laced through the centre have earned the Klein-Venedig neighbourhood the nickname ‘Little Venice’, as well.

Nuremberg’s a city that wears lots of different hats. The river port’s set south of the centre, between a bustling industrial area and a wedge of Bavaria’s trademark emerald-coloured forest. Take a 15-minute taxi ride into the old town, and it’s a very different picture. Gothic architecture and houses criss-crossed with timber beams set the tone, and there’s a castle that dates back to Medieval times. Nibble on lebekuchen – the trademark gingerbread-style snack – and get your shopping fix in Lorenzer Altstadt, where luxury and souvenir shops are jumbled together near the river.

This German town’s right on the southernmost bend of the Main River. It’s full of historic half-timbered and Baroque buildings, all surrounded by the old city walls. Electric bicycles are popular here, and it’s easy to hire one for a few hours to explore both the narrow streets and the picturesque riverbank. You can also discover the town’s best bits on foot. Marktbreit was the birthplace of Alois Alzheimer, the man who first identified Alzheimer’s disease. His home is now a tourist attraction which you can visit. There are also many examples of Baroque architecture dotted about, like the town hall, the St Ludwig Church and the Seinsheim Castle.

Wertheim sits at the point where the Main and Tauber rivers meet, in Franconia – the green heart of Germany. This town’s bagged a beautiful setting, topped with an impressive castle that’s surrounded by avocado-green forest. Colourful buildings painted in sorbet-pink and lemon-juice-yellow line the wide streets, and there are lots of restaurants where you can grab a table under a striped awning. Ask if you can experience a German teatime – it’s like English afternoon tea, but with Rudesheim coffee and apple strudel. Glass is one of the town’s biggest exports and there are lots of souvenir shops where you can buy decorative mirrors and homeware. Don’t leave Wertheim without visiting the castle, either – some of it’s in ruins, but lots of parts are still intact.

On your last day you’ll return to Frankfurt for another full day of exploring. Make a beeline for one of the city’s many museums – you’ll find at least 11 of them flanking an area called the Museumsufer along the river. Try the Stadel Museum – it dates back to 1815 and now ranks as Germany’s oldest museum. You can see European art from the early 14th century through to the present day. And in the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, pop into the dinosaur exhibition – there’s a giant T-rex skeleton in here.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
16 May 2021 £1,049
4 July 2021 £1,399
19 September 2021 £1,439

What's Included

  • Upgrade to All Inclusive from £252pp
  • Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
  • 7 nights on board TUI Maya
  • Airport transfers - to and from your ship
  • Full board plus - breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
  • Barbecues on deck (weather permitting)
  • Free WiFi (signal permitting)
  • £120pp Experience Credit per 7 days
  • All tips and port charges

Excursion Guide

  • Mespelbrunn Castle
  • Walking tour of Miltenberg
  • Wurzburg city tour
  • Wurzburg by city train
  • The Romantic Road with Rothenberg
  • Bamberg city tour & city of beer tour
  • Mountains & places in Franconian Switzerland
  • Nuremberg city tour
  • Nazi party rally grounds tour
  • Marktbreit city tour
  • Wertheim walking tour & glass museum
  • Bamberg city transfer