Emerald Waterways - from Nuremberg to Wurzburg on board the Emerald Star
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Nearly 500 miles along 3 of Germany’s major rivers, traversing
42 locks, lazily meandering past castles, vineyards, towns, villages and open
spaces, this was my voyage on Emerald Waterways' star ship, Emerald Star.
Emerald Star epitomizes the new generation of river ships
incorporating fresh ideas and raising the bar on luxury. Chrome replaces wood
veneer, good use of glass and light pastel colours makes the ship feel very
spacious and luxurious. 92 air-conditioned cabins, 2 of which are for solo travellers, accommodate 182 guests over three decks; Horizon, Riviera and Vista.
Built in 2014, 443 feet long and with a crew of 29 this modern river ship
transports the cruiser in comfort along the waterways of Europe and beyond.
Boarding in Nuremberg it’s a welcome on board drink, and
hello to cabin 331, a Panorama Balcony on Horizon Deck. Spacious at 180 sq. ft., king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with glass shower cabinet and premium
toiletries, large deep drawers for storage, a small wardrobe, large flat screen
television with entertainment system, mini fridge, safe, and of course that all
important item, a powerful hair dryer. The cabin features a glass fronted wall
with table and chairs forming an enclosed balcony. When the sun shines, press
the button and watch the upper glass glide down to turn into a full open
6pm sees all passengers gathered in the Horizon Lounge for a
safety briefing from the Cruise Director and Captain. It's then goodbye
Nuremberg as Emerald Star leaves the berth and begins the first part of her 8-day journey along the Main – Danube Canal to the first port of call, Bamberg, a
UNESCO World Heritage city. Arriving the
next morning, Bamberg, built on seven
hills home to the famous Bamberg Cathedral, St. Peter and St. George,
consecrated in 1237 and, alongside, the Old Court, originally the Bishops
Palace from the 15th century. Visit the ‘New Residence’ dating back to the 17th
century with its 40 lavish rooms, collection of paintings and exquisite decor serving
as the palace for the Prince Bishops until 1802. With the oldest preserved
quarter in Europe this town is a historians delight. The town is also famous
for its beers where local breweries produce 30 different types of ales the most
famous being the very dark Rauchbier ‘Smoke Beer’ using the 5 century old
recipe of smoked malt.
Back on board, time to enjoy a shower, the jet is powerful
and the water hot making a perfect blend when combined with the quality
toiletries supplied before visiting the Horizon Lounge. This is the perfect
place to meet friends for a pre-dinner drink whilst the resident pianist plays
unobtrusively in the background. Time for dinner, open seating is the norm
starting at 7pm allowing you to sit where you want and with whom you want. The
menu selection is not only extensive but the food standard superb, served by
waiters who are attentive, happy and courteous. Dinner over,
time to return to the Horizon Lounge, chat with friends, listen to the music
and view the scenery as we glide silently past small villages and arrive at our
first lock. With only inches to spare on each side the captain edges us very
slowly into the lock to be lowered to the rivers next level. Fascinating for
those that have never seen this before. Soon we are on our way again heading
towards Wurzburg known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’ where we arrive the
following day after breakfast and have moorings in the main town.
Wurzburg is another town steeped in history with its origins
dating back to the 1200s. A walking tour is laid on by the ship enabling
passengers to extract the best from this visit and for those less able there is
a ‘Slow Walkers’ group enabling those who participate the opportunity to ‘take
a seat’ every so often. The old ‘Main Bridge’ dating back to 1703 with carved
statues of the cities dignities over the centuries, look to the west and admire
the vineyard covered hills topped by the Marlenberg Fortress overlooking the
town. Take a separate walking tour of this old town, visit the Wurzburg Cathedral
completed in 1225, the university founded in 1402, the beautiful church of St.
Mary, completed in 1441 and the burial place of Balthasar Neumann the German
architect and military artillery engineer. There is so much to see that lunchtime is almost past on returning to the ship where it’s time to enjoy another
excellent meal from the buffet washed down with wine, beer or soft drinks that
are included in the cruise fare.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Emerald Waterways.
See alsoChapter 2 - from Wertheim to Trier
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