Artistry II – Day 4 Main River and Bamberg

By posted on July 18, 2017 1:05AM
Main River to Bamberg on Artistry II Feature

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.

Cruising the Main River
Cruising the Main River

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.

A Perfect Day for Viewing the River
A Perfect Day for Viewing the River

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.

One of Many Small Rural Villages Along the River
One of Many Small Rural Villages Along the River
Trailer Parks and Campgrounds are a Common Sight
Trailer Parks and Campgrounds are a Common Sight
Church Spire in Every Town
Church Spire in Every Town
Barges Outnumber Cruise Ships on this Commercial Waterway
Barges Outnumber Cruise Ships on this Commercial Waterway
Fellow Cruisers on the Main River
Fellow Cruisers on the Main River
A Surprise Around Every Bend
A Surprise Around Every Bend

Around 1pm we made a technical stop in Schweinfurt to pick up passengers who had gone on the Bamberg tour in the morning.

Bamburg Excursion Group Rejoins the Artistry II
Bamberg Excursion Group Rejoins the Artistry II

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.

Salad and Iced Tea - Just Right for Lunch on a Day on the River
Salad and Iced Tea – Just Right for Lunch on a Day on the River
A Light Lunch Needs a Sweet Treat!
A Light Lunch Needs a Sweet Treat!

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.

Motor Power Main River on the way to Bamberg
Motor Power
Paddle Power
Paddle Power
Boaters Gathering - A Common Sight
Boaters Gathering – A Common Sight
Waiting for the Ferry to Cross the River
Waiting for the Ferry to Cross the River

In the Franconia Region of Bavaria they are known more for wine then beer and that started to be evident in the scenery.

As We Leave the Breweries Behind the Vineyards Make Their Appearance
As We Leave the Breweries Behind the Vineyards Make Their Appearance
Vineyards and Spires on the Main River
Vineyards and Spires on the Main River
Ferries are the Only Way Across the Main for Several Miles
Ferries are the Only Way Across the Main for Several Miles

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.

Daily Briefing from Cruise Director
Daily Briefing from Cruise Director

Soon it was time for Happy Hour with Jerry providing a musical background.

The Talented Jerry, Our Onboard Musician
The Talented Jerry, Our Onboard Musician

The dinner this evening featured dishes typical to Franconia Bavaria.

Starter - Day 4 Artistry II

Entree Day 4 Artistry II

Dessert Day 4 Artistry II

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.

Kathy Stafford is a writer, publisher and editor. She was a contributing author to "Sasha Cohen Fire on Ice". She has been a contributing editor to several publications including, "Discover Balboa Park: A Complete Guide". Kathy was publisher and editor of "Skating Sketches", reporting on figure skating worldwide, for over ten years. She was a credentialed journalist as a figure skating specialist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. She has covered international skating events in Switzerland, France, Finland, England, Canada and the United States with published articles in Canada, Japan, and the United States. Although she never accepted an assignment, she was on the list of approved Lonely Planet authors for three years. She is currently combining her love of travel, and her background as a writer and editor, as a publisher and author of travel related journalism. In addition, she blogs about her search for her family roots at www.cherokeerootsblog.com.

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