In March I embarked on the ‘trip of a lifetime’, an APT Magnificent Europe river cruise. We began the voyage in Amsterdam, I was quickly checked in and then escorted to my balcony cabin……Amazing!! The room was comfortable with a queen size bed, beautiful bathroom and surprisingly plenty of space. Now to unpack, then off to explore our ship, the MS AmaBella.
After a sumptuous breakfast, today we have a choice of tour options, either Amsterdam sightseeing & Canal Cruise or the Van Gogh Museum which houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and Amsterdam sightseeing. I’ve decided on the guided sightseeing coach tour taking in some of the sights of the city, followed by a canal cruise through the city, which is a wonderful way to see Amsterdam.
Some passengers have opted to stay on board and cruise to Utrecht, where we will all meet back up with the ship for lunch.
Wonderful morning of sightseeing. Highlights: Canal Cruise in glass-top boat, Anne Franks house, 16th & 17th Century homes, house boats, Flower Market, Cheese Shops and, of course, a Windmill.
Back aboard MS AmaBella, and as lunch is served, we set sail along the Rhine River, making our way to Cologne. Wow, lunch is fantastic. Choose either a light lunch in the lounge or full lunch is served in both the restaurants………..tough decision, but my fellow travellers and I have decided on the full lunch. Great choice!!!
After our compulsory emergency evacuation drill, we spend our afternoon up on the sun deck watching the beautiful countryside drift by. There is a small heated pool, giant chess set and a walking track up here as well. Today we pass through our first river lock, which is interesting to see how these work, as we pass through many throughout our trip.
Tonight, we enjoyed the Captain’s Gala Welcome Dinner with fellow passengers, then relax in the lounge.
Mid morning we arrive in Cologne, Germany. Today we join one of the guided walking tours, passing the famous cathedral, which is the largest gothic cathedral in Germany. We then have some free time to look around ourselves.
We rejoin the ship in Bonn and then cruise south towards the city of Koblenz, passing the remains of the famous Bridge of Remagen along the way.
Cruising this afternoon we see beautiful mansions, pass through spa resorts, and quaint little towns, on our way to Koblenz where we dock.
After our Wine Grower’s Theme dinner tonight, we take a 45 minute evening stroll through Koblenz. We finish our evening at a local pub chatting to the owner and sampling the local beer.
We leave Koblenz and sail through some of the most famous stretch of the Rhine River towards Rüdesheim. Today we see many vineyards, castle and castle ruins along the way, so we find a cosy spot in the lounge, camera in hand to listen to the commentary along the way by our Cruise Manager.
After arriving in Rüdesheim this afternoon, we board mini trains which take us to Siegfried’s Music Cabinet, which is a unique museum for mechanical musical instruments.
Then some shopping time and we find some wonderful shops selling Christmas decorations, and all go crazy! We stroll back to board the ship, and set sail again on the Rhine towards the ‘Main’ River.
Tonight after dinner, we listen to a talk on the ‘History of Europe’ which is very interesting and pass the skyscrapers of Frankfurt, on our way overnight to Miltenberg.
We cruise till mid morning today, so a ‘sleep in’ is definitely in order today. After late breakfast in the lounge, we watch a ‘Glass Blowing’ demonstration with Hans Ittig.
Mid morning we arrive in historic town of Miltenberg and begin our walking tour through the little town. We decide to wander around ourselves and make our way up to the hill to the lookout area, and take in the wonderful view of the town and river.
This afternoon we sail to Freudenberg, where we decide to start our 26km guided cycling tour to Wertheim. Other guests have decided on the easier option of the short coach ride, however 18 of my fellow passengers enjoy the wonder ride along the river instead. This was a wonderful way to see the countryside and arrive in Wertheim, ready for sit at a café and have a well earned coffee or beer.
Tonight we cruise overnight to Wurzburg, and have local entertainment on board in the lounge. We don’t feel so guilty tonight eating another wonderful meal after our exercise today, am sure we’ll all sleep well tonight.
Awoke this morning to see we have arrived in Wurzberg, and after a short coach ride, we visit the beautifully restored Wurzburg Residence. This was definitely the highlight today. Afterwards, we walked from the residence to the centre of Wurzburg, where we spent some free time exploring the city and, of course, more shopping.
We made our way back to the ship, offload the shopping , and ready for a quick lunch. This afternoon we are off on our guided walking tour of picturesque Rothenburg, a village completely surrounded by its city wall. We take some time out, to sit and relax in a little restaurant to have a stein of beer!
After dinner tonight, we had some fun taking part in the ‘Horse Racing’ games in the lounge whilst we sail towards Bamberg.
This morning we are cruising, so a opportunity for a visit to both the fitness centre and the beauty salon on board.
After lunch, we arrive in Bamberg and head off for our walking tour. This is a beautiful little town, and we get an opportunity to try ‘Rauchbier’ (smoked beer)….not really sure about this!!
Tonight, a local talent, Valerie May who is a fabulous vocalist is on board entertaining everyone in the lounge, while we sail towards the Main Danube Canal and Nuremberg.
This morning we have the option of either the Nuremberg WW2 tour or the Medieval Tour, so we decide on the later.
The Imperial Castle is amazing, what a great city to visit. We then take time to explore the city square’s many shop and cafes, visit the famous fountain and watch the figures move and chimes ring as the cathedral’s clock strikes the hour.
Unfortunately today is the last day of our tour, as we aren’t continuing with the rest of the group to Budapest, so we say farewell to our fellow travellers to make our way home. We will definitely return and complete The Magnificent Europe cruise when we have more time, it was such a wonderful trip.