Solo Medieval Germany 2020 Riviera Travel River Cruise
Explore Medieval Germany in its purest form, cruise the gentle meanders of the Main and mighty Danube discovering the aptly named Romantic Road, the twisting streets of medieval Bamberg, enchanting Rothenburg and fascinating Nuremberg.
Fly to Munich, where your coach transfer awaits to take you to your ship in Nuremberg and the beginning of your great Bavarian adventure. Be welcomed aboard by the dedicated crew, taking in the air of anticipation and excitement as you explore the luxury surroundings that you will call home for the next 7 days. Settle into your exceptionally well-equipped cabin, then get acquainted with your ship and your fellow cruisers while you look forward to a delicious first night dinner to start your cruise off in style.
Waking in the historic city of Nuremberg, excitement mounts as you enjoy your first breakfast. After a busy morning of exploration and discovery, return to the ship and during lunch, commence sailing through Germany’s rural heart towards Bamberg, arriving in the early hours.
Another day brings another new view when you draw back the curtains in your cabin. Bamberg is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful small towns in the whole of Europe, and UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site by way of confirmation. Planned by Emperor Heinrich II in the 11th century as a Franconian capital as grand as Rome, Bamberg sits on seven lush green hills, akin to its Italian inspiration. Join the guided tour and see the historic old town and impressive multi-spired cathedral, although perhaps the most noticeable and intriguing landmark is Bamberg’s old town hall, which sits on an island in the middle of the burbling river, flanked by bridges either side. From here you can also see ‘Little Venice’ – a delightful cluster of former fishermen’s houses built along the waterfront, mostly dating from the Middle Ages. During another splendid lunch on board, the ship departs for picturesque Ochsenfurt.
Take the afternoon to enjoy the ship’s five-star facilities, while taking in the magnificent undulating landscape as we venture deeper into this beautifully scenic region. Indulge in afternoon tea and, perhaps, our chef’s special patisserie, while being sure to leave room for the evening’s dinner.
After a leisurely breakfast, spend the morning exploring Ochsenfurt, nestled on the banks of the Main, with its quintessential half-timbered houses and ancient ramparts; it’s a joy to wander through the old town, stopping to admire the façade of the town hall with its impressive mechanical clock and a lovely 13th-century church with its strikingly colourful interior, before returning to the ship where lunch is served.
This afternoon take the short drive to Rothenburg, a spectacular 16th-century town crowning a hill, with exceptional views over the meandering river below. Your drive takes you along the aptly named Romantic Road – a magically scenic route which weaves its way alongside a procession of folkloric scenery, medieval towns, lofty castles and grand palaces, so picture-perfect they could all serve as film sets. Explore Rothenburg’s narrow, cobbled streets, lined with elegant and gabled half-timbered houses, surrounded by perfectly preserved medieval walls, before you return to your ship moored in Würzburg.
You’ll have worked up an appetite, so reconvene with your fellow passengers for an aperitif in the bar before tonight’s excellent dinner is served.
Würzburg is quite a marvel, contrasting with the quaint towns and villages that you’ve encountered on your adventure so far. This elegant Bavarian city, founded in the 10th century as the centre of the kingdom known as Franconia, sits resplendent and impressive on the banks of the Main. Neat blocks of grand pastel buildings are peppered with the spires and domes of the city’s many churches, chapels and cathedrals. The jewel in Würzburg’s illustrious crown is the Residenz, a truly magnificent Baroque palace which whisks you back in time to a more romantic age. Originally conceived to rival the Palace of Versailles in scale, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features one of Germany’s most spectacularly ornate staircases and dozens of interconnecting rooms, adorned with gorgeous frescoes, priceless tapestries, sculptures and paintings. We enjoy a guided tour of the old town with some time at leisure, allowing you to soak up the ambience of this wonderful town.
One of the delights of river cruising is indulging in complete relaxation. As your ship slips its moorings later this afternoon, catch up on some reading in the lounge, book an appointment at the on-board hairdresser’s or simply watch the world float by before heading to the restaurant for another delicious dinner.
Early risers will witness our arrival in Wertheim; completely off the main tourist trail, it’s a delightful surprise and all the better for its peaceful untouched ambience. Pass the fishing boats riding at anchor whilst admiring the muted colours of the sage-green, pale lilac and buttercup-yellow houses opposite. A russet-walled 12th-century castle overlooks the old town, surveying the church spires, turrets and patchwork of multicoloured buildings below. You’ll have some time to explore this morning, and as you wander to the quaint and colourful market square, look out for the Zobelhaus, a contender for the narrowest house in Germany – blink and you’ll miss it!
Commence your cruise to Miltenberg, navigating the gentle meandering bends that characterise the River Main. Relax and take in the scenery while sipping your choice of tea or coffee or maybe something a little more fortifying from the bar. Or watch the ever-changing riverside scenes slip by from the privacy and comfort of your cabin before we moor in pretty Miltenberg.
One of Germany’s best-preserved medieval villages, Miltenberg is a labyrinth of winding alleys and lanes begging to be explored. Backed by dense, emerald-green forest, this picturesque spot has something of a fairy-tale feel and comes complete with its very own castle nestled into the lush, tree-clad hillside. Admire the impressive gatehouse, which stands like a proud guardian to the village, and wander across the charming marketplace, lined by traditional Fachwerk buildings, instantly recognisable by their grids of timber framing. The story goes that locals were allowed free wood from the surrounding forests, hence the abundance of this architectural style. Highlights of this beautiful square include the trickling fountain, ornately carved from stone and complete with dancing cherubs, and the intricately detailed Gasthaus zum Riesen, which claims to be Germany’s oldest tavern.
This evening it’s another delectable dinner, well-earned from all that discovery, and an overnight cruise to our final destination, Mainz.
Make the most of this free morning on board and whilst the end of your cruise is in sight, there’s still plenty to enjoy. As the lush forested river banks interspersed with carefully tended vineyards idle by through the ship’s panoramic windows, soak up the views one last time. Later, your ship moors in bustling Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate and an important Roman city for 500 years. The 12th-century Dom St Martin is a quintessentially Romanesque cathedral with a spectacular nave, elaborate tombstones and a beautifully peaceful colonnaded cloister. Also unmissable is Saint Stephen’s church, which features nine breathtaking stained-glass windows, created by the artist Marc Chagall, which bathe the interior in magical blue light. Book-lovers will appreciate the Gutenberg Museum, located in a gorgeous 17th-century building in Mainz’s old town, whose star attractions are two 1455 Gutenberg Bibles, among the first books ever printed.
Of course, as Mainz is also at the very heart of Germany’s winelands, it would be rude to leave without sampling a local drop. Discover wonderfully old-fashioned taverns among the pastel-painted and timber-crisscrossed buildings of the old town or, if beer is your preferred option, the vaulted chambers of the Eisgrub-Bräu beer hall are a fine place to sample a mug of the local dark brew.
This evening, the Captain’s Dinner will take place on board, during which delicious specialities of the regions you have visited on your cruise will be served. After dinner, perhaps enjoy a final digestif in the bar whilst reflecting on all the memories made on this wonderful cruise.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
|24 October 2020||£1,879|
- Return flights from the UK - regional airports are available but may carry a supplement
- 7 nights on board MS Charles Dickens
- All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captain’s Dinner
- 8 visits and tours including guided tours of Bamberg, Würzburg and Nuremberg; and visits to Rothenburg, Mainz, Wertheim and Miltenberg
- Complimentary on-board tea & coffee
- Five-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
- Complimentary on-board Wi-Fi
- Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager
- All port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers
- No surcharges guaranteed
Dining Drinks Package
- For all 2020 departures you can now purchase a dining drinks package, at a cost of £109.
- Draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu are included with lunch & dinner.
- The drinks package must be purchased prior to departure. Ask the team for more information