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Review: Emerald Star

Cruise - River Cruise

Emerald Star - Part 2: The Main

  • By SilverTraveller drewlin

    26 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • September 2014
  • Husband
  • Special occasion
  • Balcony
  • Amsterdam

86 people found this review helpful

This is part 2 of my Emerald Waterways cruise on Emerald Star and covers the section on the Main.

Miltenberg and Wertheim.. As there some low bridges on this section of our journey, the top (sun) deck was closed to passengers for several days. After an early lunch we docked at Miltenburg which is full of beautiful half-timbered houses, overlooked by a lovely castle. We had a great guide in Connie with her excellent English and humour. Whilst we did this tour our ship sailed on to Wertheim, about 20 miles away and we then got a coach there for a further tour before rejoining the ship. Wertheim is located at the junction of the Main and the river Tauber which has caused serious flooding problems for this town. It also has its own version of a leaning tower.

Wurzburg. We arrived here the following morning and our tour began with a visit to the wonderful Residence Palace of the Prince Bishop. We were not allowed to photograph inside the building but I can assure you that it is magnificent and every room is more opulent that the previous one cuminating in the fantastic Mirror room. We then had time to explore the grounds before having the option of returning to the ship or some free time in Wurzburg. Wurzburg is a relatively new town as 90% of it was destroyed in a 20 mins bombimg raid in May 1945.

That evening we set sail for Bamburg and whilst my husband was watching the locks (there are 34 locks along the Main) I enjoyed a tour of the ship’s kitchen which was very interesting and remarkably small (I thought) for catering for almost 200 passengers plus crew.

Bamburg. As we sailed to Bamburg (due to arrive after lunch), we had a glass blowing demonstration in the bar/lounge by a local craftsman which was very interesting. We went into town by coach for our tour. The cathedral is the burial site of Pope Clement II which is the only papal tomb north of the Alps. There were some great views of St. Michaels Abbey from the New Residence and Rose Gardens. We passed the Bamburg Museum and Old Courtouse which looked beautiful and surprisingly not part of the tour. This city is also the birthplace of Claus Graf Stauffenberg – who you say? He was portrayed by Tom Cruise in the film Valkyrie,
Big Lock. As we sail from Bambur to Nurnberg we have to negotiate 4 locks raising 313ft over 13 miles. This night we reached mid-point and from now on it’s downhill all the way to Budapest. To celebrate we had a “High Lock Celebration”. I don’t know if other river cruise lines do this but for us it was a high light of our cruise and definitely a USP for Emerald. The highest lock Hipolstein has a rise of 82ft and as the sundeck had been closed for 4 days they opened it especially for this occasion. We all were on the sun deck, with a glass of champagne, as we rose to the top of the lock to the sound of Orff’s Carmina Burrana (The old spice tune). It was a surreal feeling rising with the 4 lock walls around us and truely impressive. We then all had to go down a deck as there was another low bridge in 500 metres!

Nurnberg. This was an interesting trip as our coach took us past the building where the infamous trials were held and then onto the castle with its great views over the city. Even though there had been quite a bit of destruction all the buildings had been rebuilt in their original style. We then went to the Zeppelinplatz where Hitler held his rallies. Then we visited the documentation centre which has an exhibition telling the story of the rise of Hitler and the Holocaust. We had limited time here which wasn’t nearly enough to take in all the information. We then returned to the city centre for free time to sight see and shop. They provided coaches to and from the ship so you could go back for lunch and return, if you wanted, for more free time. As we had done so much in the last few days, I decided to stay on board and relax whilst my husband returned for some photo opportunities.

Emerald Star – Part 1: The Rhine
Emerald Star – Part 3: The Danube

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Emerald Cruises River Cruising

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    almost 6 years ago
    Another nice review, looking forward to the final part covering the Danube.