Cruising the Main River was my focus for Day 4 aboard Avalon Waterways Artistry II. Bamberg was the destination for the included guided city tour as we continued our Highlights of Germany cruise.
The ship made a technical stop in Hassfurt to allow passengers participating in the city tour of Bamberg to disembark and board the coaches. It is a 45 minute journey by coach to Bamberg. Sites on the walking tour included Altes Rathaus, Bamberg’s Old City Hall which sits astride a bridge.
The tour guide talked about the highlights of Bamberg’s history while pointing out the historic sites of the city. Bamberg was first mentioned in 902 as “Castrum Babenberch”, a fortress residence of the Babenberg family. In 1237 the present Bamberg Cathedral replaced the original cathedral that was destroyed by a fire. Following the walking tour there was free time to explore the city.
Many passengers took the opportunity to sample some beer while in “Germany’s Beer Capital”. Although we were now entering the wine region of Franconian Bavaria, Bamberg has ten independent breweries producing 30 different ales. Their main specialty is Rauchbier, which translates as smoke beer.
Looking at the schedule for the remainder of the cruise I determined that today would be the perfect day to spend a day on the river. So, despite having a little angst about skipping the tour of Bamberg, I settled into a spot in the Club Lounge with my book to take in the river and its surroundings.
The Club Lounge was a perfect choice. I could replenish my iced tea as needed, nibble on a pastry if so inclined and day dream about life in rural Germany.
Around 1pm we made a technical stop in Schweinfurt to pick up passengers who had gone on the Bamberg tour in the morning.
With everyone back on board it was time for lunch. I ate the buffet lunch in the dining room, others opted for sandwiches and salads in the Panorama Lounge always available as a lunch alternative.
I took advantage of my Panorama Suite with its wall-to-wall panoramic window and Open-Air Balcony® for viewing the Main River as it changed from small villages lining the river to a water recreation area.
In the Franconia Region of Bavaria they are known more for wine then beer and that started to be evident in the scenery.
Before afternoon tea our Cruise Director, Sabine, presented a briefing about the activities available for the remaining days of the cruise. She described the included tours for each day and reminded passengers to sign up for the optional tours, if they were planning on going, so that she could arrange enough coaches and guides for those who were interested.
Soon it was time for Happy Hour with Jerry providing a musical background.
The dinner this evening featured dishes typical to Franconia Bavaria.
Passengers had the option to sign up for the Bistro Dinner in the Panorama Lounge. I will talk more about that in my review of Day 5 of the cruise.
I skipped the entertainment for the evening, a local duo called Silwer. My night was spent reviewing the activities for the next day, including our guided tour in Wurzburg.
I’ve so enjoyed reading your reviews!!! We’re headed out on this cruise and my excitement level is out the roof thanks to you!