Emerald Waterways - from Wertheim to Trier on board the Emerald Star
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The following day we berth early in Wertheim for passengers to
hike to Wertheim Castle dating back to the early 8th century. Those feeling the
hike beyond their capabilities await their return before boarding coaches for a
scenic tour through the beautiful German countryside to Miltenberg where guides
are waiting to escort the various groups on tours of this beautiful old village
dating back to the 1200’s nestling on the banks of the River Main. The one main
street is a delight, strolling in the warm sunshine past wood framed houses painted
in greens, yellows, browns and white. Passing shops that have been with one
family but passed from generation to generation, the Giants Inn, a hostelry
frequented by Elvis Presley whilst stationed nearby with the US Army between
1958-60. The market square, cafes selling a delectable array of drinks and ice
creams for the weary walker to enjoy at tables protected from the hot sun by
trees in full leaf. Too soon it’s the short walk to the quayside as Emerald
Star berths and takes us back on board to set sail for Koblenz. During that
night we pass Wiesbaden where we leave the Main and join the River Rhine.
Passing Castles, Churches, villages and vineyards we make our way to the city
of Koblenz, the meeting place of the Rivers Rhine and Moselle.
Koblenz, situated in the heart of the Rhineland, the water
front is home to 4 river cruise ships today, a ‘flea market’ is being invaded
by locals and tourists alike. Although a modern city compared with previous
ports Koblenz still has an interesting history with old buildings, squares, statues
and sculptures depicting people and events from the city’s past. The former
Jesuit College built in 1698, now the city’s Town Hall, the Basilica of St.
Castor completed in 1208 with its famed vaulted roof. Take the cable car across
the Rhine up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress built in 1817 affording
spectacular views across the city. On the downward journey take in the enormity
of the equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm 1 placed on ‘German Corner’ where
the Rhine meets the Moselle.
Sailing that evening Emerald Star begins the last leg of her
journey along the Moselle River to Bernkastel. Early next morning 16 of the more adventurous passengers leave the ship at
Traben-Trarbach and proceed the next 25 kilometers to Bernkastel by bicycle
whilst those remaining take in the beautiful scenery, passing between high hills
their slopes covered in vineyards, camp sites, villages and river craft
transporting goods across Germany and countries the mighty rivers connect with.
Bernkastel is home to some of Germanys best wines belonging
to the Riesling family. This is a village basking on the shores of the Rhine, to
a backdrop of vineyard clad hills where grapes grow and ripen in the sun. The village
is a picture postcard scene from a bygone era and features each December a
traditional ‘Christmas Market’. Beautifully restored wood framed houses, courtyards
housing discreet boutique restaurants, cobbled streets thronged with visitors
of many nationalities. We stay here overnight enabling passengers to have
dinner and, at their leisure, leave the ship to explore the beautiful area as
it takes on its night time cloak.
Next day Emerald Star sails to her final destination of the
cruise, Trier, the oldest city in Germany founded by the Romans in 16BC. Start
at the Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and wander the traffic free streets of the
centre. View the original Jewish Quarter, the large but equally beautiful Trier
Cathedral adjoined to the Church of Our Lady started in 1230 and consecrated in
1260, now listed as part of the Roman Monuments. Admire the high support
columns with their painted murals, the altar that is so different I won’t
describe it as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone visiting, then back
to the ship for the last dinner which like all the others does not disappoint.
So, what can someone booking a cruise on one of the Emerald
‘Star’ ships expect. Certainly the cabins are spacious, bright, airy, air
conditioned with many niceties including dressing gown, slippers, bottled
water, 448-page guide book covering Emeralds ports from Amsterdam to the Black
Sea, receivers and ear pieces to take on tour, and much more. At the stern, an
indoor swimming pool with retractable roof, comfortable seating and its own
bar. At 8pm the pool covers over and transforms to a cinema under the stars. Sun
deck, with mini golf, sun bathing area with comfortable loungers, canopies,
tables, chairs and a BBQ area. Wi-Fi covers all parts of the ship, hairdresser
to keep you looking good, gym to keep you trim and massage room for those tired
muscles. Horizon Lounge, 6.45pm, enter the Cruise Director giving a brief talk
on the following days port followed by the Executive Chef describing and
displaying his signature dish of the evening. The atmosphere is relaxed, dress
code smart casual, happy, smiling, polite and efficient staff, as for the food,
it’s up there with the best.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Emerald Waterways.
See alsoChapter 1 - from Nuremberg to Wurzberg
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