22. May 2019
Build your Dream Trip with Amadeus River Cruises
The beauty of river cruising is you'll spend more time ashore as you'll be docked in a different city every day. I often refer to river cruise ships to floating hotels because that’s exactly how I see it – staying onboard an Amadeus ship is just like staying in a 4* city centre hotel. For me, this is the perfect way to travel because I have the opportunity to explore places independently.
Unlike most other river cruises, Amadeus offers optional excursions that give guests the gift of customising their experience with the varied excursion programmes. You might prefer to go on organised tours with a tour leader, explore on two wheels with one of the complimentary onboard bicycles, wander around the destinations independently, or perhaps even stay on board and make the most of the facilities like the fitness and massage rooms, hair salon or the Sun Deck. Amadeus gives you a mix of things to do, or relax onboard your ship - the choice is yours.
I joined the Classical Rhine itinerary mid-way through in Koblenz, so I took the opportunity to unwind on-board in the Amadeus Club. As the ship was docked overnight at Peter-Altmeier-Ufer, I hadn’t missed my chance to explore, so after dinner, I visited some local bars and tried some German beer
I enjoyed a leisurely morning sailing to the next port of call on the Moselle River, Cochem. You’re never too long without food, and that was the case today. After tasting German sausages, sauerkraut, sweet mustard and pretzels on the Sundeck, I opted for a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge. While some of the group polished up on their bike riding skills, myself and a few others walked into the romantic town and headed straight for the market square. Here you can get lost in the narrow streets and admire the historic buildings.
The biggest attraction in the town of Cochem is Reichsburg Castle, originally built in the 11th-Century under the reign of Count Palatine Ezzo. It was rebuilt in the 19th-century by the distinguished Berlin businessman Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené and became his summer residence. Today it belongs to the town of Cochem.
Today our group stayed in Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne, and it's easy to explore on your own. With museums, galleries and historical architecture, there's something of interest for everyone. The planned docking location was very central, but due to water levels, we moored slightly further out, but still no more than a 20-minute walk from the centre. Shuttle buses were available to and from the ship and the city centre for those who preferred.
With so many things I wanted to visit in Cologne, I started by taking the sightseeing train tour which left close to the cathedral and finished near Cologne Zoo. I went by cable car over the Rhine taking in some of the most attractive bird’s-eye views of the city, and after walking through Rheinpark with a milkshake in hand, I hopped back on the cable car once again before heading to the botanical gardens. Visited by more than a million people every year and home to more than 10,000 species, it is an amazing experience.
The final sight was, of course, Cologne Cathedral, the landmark of the city with its two towers and impressive architecture.
I did a lot in one morning, and was back on board in time for lunch ready to start sailing to Hoorn.
Today, I decided to opt for the Amadeus excursion – ‘North Holland & city tour of Amsterdam with canal trip’. I disembarked the ship in Hoorn to make way to Volendam by coach. On what was a beautiful day in Volendam, I had free time to roam the old fishing village, admiring the locals dressed in traditional costumes, and picking up souvenirs for loved ones at home. I drove into the countryside to visit a local cheese farm, learning how Dutch cheese is made and sampled the delicious local products.
I then made my way back to Amsterdam where there is no better way to see the city than by cruising on a canal boat trip. Amsterdam has 165 canals with a combined length of 60 miles. There are 1,281 bridges, many of which can open to let ships pass. During the cruise, I saw just a few of the 2,500 houseboats which come in all shapes and sizes, often converted commercial vessels that will be sure to amaze you. Along the way, I saw many of the astonishing buildings which line the canals and create a unique and picturesque view. By the time the tour had ended, the Amadeus Silver had followed us to Amsterdam and docked in the heart of the city where she would stay overnight.
After dinner, I took a five-minute walk back into the city to spend more time in this beautiful area, while not forgetting to keep my wits while crossing the busy roads of cyclists (40% of all traffic in Amsterdam is from bicycles!) My group and I enjoyed unwinding in various bars along the canals before our short walk back to the ship. In the morning we boarded our train ending our five days aboard Amadeus Silver.
Amadeus River Cruises gives you the flexibility to shape your experience onboard and ashore by offering optional shore excursions. You only book and pay for the tours you choose to do, and therefore your cruise is tailored to you.
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