EUROPEANBARGING IS OFFERING 20% OFF FALL 2021 EUROPE RHINE AND MOSEL RIVER CRUISE

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Save 20% on a European Rhine, Neckar, Sarre and Mosel river cruise featuring the ports of Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Cochem, Trier, Saarburg and Remich, departing Oct 5, 11 (R), and 17, 2021. Rates start at $1300 for a 7 day cruise.

Rate based on double occupancy and includes the cruise, all meals, beverage package of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and Wi-Fi. The excursion package is additional but may be pre booked at a discount or individual excursions can be pre purchased.

“This Four River Cruise visits 4 countries and cruises by historic castles, charming villages and beautiful vineyards. Catch a view of the famous Lorelei as your cruise to Rudesheim; walk among the ruins of the famous Heidelberg Castle, visit the 4h century ruins of Trier – the oldest city in Germany; tour Cochem Castle.” Jan Baumgartner of Europeanbarging

 

Canal of Strasbourg

Strasbourg Canal

You will want to arrive a day early so you can experience the wonderful city of Strasburg with her Cathedral and Alsatian architecture and canals.

DAY 1: Strasbourg
You’ll board our ship at 6 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail reception. Our ship will cast off at 7:00 p.m. for Mannheim. Join us for an evening of entertainment.

Heidelberg Castle at Sunset

Heidelberg Castle

DAY 2: Mannheim – Heidelberg -Rudesheim
We’ll arrive in Mannheim early in the morning. This will be our starting point for the optional excursion to Heidelberg. Known as the most romantic city in Germany, it has inspired many painters and poets by its beauty. You will have the opportunity to visit the partially ruined, red sandstone castle that sits majestically above the city, overlooking the Neckar River. Up to the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. While time has taken its toll, this castle’s fame lives on to this day. The giant wine barrel is one of the most popular attractions. There is also time to explore the historical town of Heidelberg.

The afternoon will be spent cruising along the Neckar and Rhine Rivers towards Rudesheim, where we’ll arrive in the evening. The famous Drosselgasse with its numerous cafes, bars, and music awaits you tonight!

Rudesheim Wine Tavern

DAY 3: Rudesheim – Cochem
This morning, join us for an optional guided tour of Rudesheim.
Featured in the optional guided tour is a tour of the local vineyards on a tourist train. Then, you will participate in a wine tasting in the historic rooms of the Bassenheimer Hof. Then head to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum, located in a lovely, 15th-century building. This museum holds a collection of fascinating musical instruments ranging from tiny, delicate music boxes to an enormous orchestrion. This museum is really worth a visit. This is a cute town with lots of little wine tasting shops and souvenir shops. Several streets behind the main river front street are some streets with great gelato and more shops.

This afternoon, we’ll pass through the beautiful and romantic Rhine Valley. We will arrive in Cochem during the evening. Join us for an evening of entertainment.

DAY 4: Cochem – The Mosel Valley
This morning, Take part in our optional guided tour of Cochem Castle. There is a mini bus to take up to the castle or you can walk up – same for the return. The Imperial Castle sits on a mighty crag over the Mosel River. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of this magnificent building that dates back to 1000. After being destroyed by the French in the 17th century, it was rebuilt from scratch in a Neo-Gothic style by a local German businessman. There is time to explore this cute town.

We’ll spend the afternoon cruising to Trier.

Trier Porta Negra

Porta Negra in Trier

DAY 5: Trier – Saarburg – Remich
Arrive in Trier during the night. This morning, join us for an optional guided tour of Trier. Discover the Roman vestiges and heritage in Trier, the splendid view the city offers of the Mosel, and its magnificent landscape. Trier is known for its well-preserved Roman and medieval buildings, but it is also home to some impressive churches as well. We’ll have a look at the amphitheater, the imperial baths, the Roman basilica, and the Porta Nigra, one of the best-preserved Roman city gates. After our visit, you’ll have some free time to sight see on your own before heading back to the ship in Saarburg.

The afternoon will be spent cruising along the Sarre and the Mosel towards Remich. Join us for an evening of entertainment.

DAY 6: Remich – Luxembourg – Remich
This morning, join us for an optional visit to a winery complete with a tasting. Seven pioneering men of the region recognized the magic of the huge calcareous rock downstream from Remich. They cultivated the first vineyards now infamous for its sparkling wines. In 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, they set up the Caves St. Martin. You’ll discover the secrets to wine making while strolling through the underground passages that seem to go on for miles. After our tour, we’ll go to the historical center of Remich where you can enjoy some free time on your own. Also called the “Pearl of the Mosel,” this charming city is surrounded by an outstanding panorama of vineyards and forests. Take a stroll along the several miles of promenade in the shade of the trees along the Mosel or sit back on a cozy terrace for some more wine.

This afternoon, Join us for an optional guided tour of Luxembourg. Leave from Remich for Luxembourg by coach. Luxembourg is a real mix of styles and cultures. We’ll set out on a guided tour on foot to get a closer look at some of the sites, including the Place des Armes, Place de la Constitution, capital buildings, Corniche, old city, Grand Ducal Palace (exterior), and Place Guillaume II. After our tour, enjoy some free time before returning to the ship in Remich.

After our excursion, we’ll return on board our ship. Tonight is our festive gala evening.

DAY 7: Remich
Buffet breakfast on board. Disembark at 9:00 a.m

River cruises in Europe offers a great opportunity to see so much more of Europe than on your own and with a river cruise, most of your costs are includes – such as food, transportation, accommodations and touring. You travel with others that you can share this wonderful experience with and have staff that can assist in independent exploring if you want to go off on your own.

We have many cruise itineraries to offer on the many rivers of Europe – from 3 night to more than 14 nights. We have promotions throughout the year on various cruises – so check with us for the perfect cruise. 888-869-7907 jan@europeanbarging.com

Visiting French Chateaux from a 5 Night Loire Paddleboat Cruise

The picturesque views of the Loire Valley are truly enticing enough to make you want to experience the romance and heritage in a Loire paddleboat cruise. There’s not a minute wasted in these cruises as you explore one chateau after another discovering their secrets and hearing stories about their past.

Aptly so, Loire may be referred to as France’s Valley of the Kings. The French court has been held in different areas within this location on several periods in Loire history. Art consequently flourished along this European waterway as well as evidenced by the extensive collection of privately owned works housed in royal chateaus.

New for 2022 is a 5 day Loire River Cruise aboard the Loire Princess – a 88 passenger paddle boat, cruising round trip Nantes, in addition to the current 6 day cruise.  Some of the most popular chateaux that you are likely to visit on a Loire paddleboat cruise or barge cruise are:

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau – built on a small island in the middle of the Indre River, the château as it is seen today was built under Francis I by Gilles Berthelot, a wealthy financier who wanted to incorporate its medieval past alongside the latest architectural styles of the Italian renaissance. The chateau is a French national monument and possesses all the refinement found in the French Renaissance.

Gardens of VillandryChateau de Villandry — the renaissance gardens are the most popular attraction of this chateau, known even throughout the world as Jardins a la Francaise. To get to this chateau, guests get off at Larcay as the cruise barge moors beneath a canopy of weeping willows. French heritage is distinct in the decor, art, and furnishings throughout the interior. Outside, the gardens are lush and beautifully arranged in patterns combining water gardens, flower gardens, as well as vegetable gardens.

Chateau UsseChâteau d’Ussé – rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, this stronghold with fortified towers, turrets and steeples looks like something out of a fairytale. The castle is still inhabited today and takes visitors back to a time of legends and fairytales. It is thought to have inspired Charles Perrault when writing “Sleeping Beauty”.

Château de Brissac, known as the tallest royal residence in France, it contains 204 rooms, monumental staircases and never-ending hallways. Acquired by René de Cossé in the 16th century, Château de Brissac is still owned by the Cossé-Brissac family. (Click here for more information on this interesting history of this family – you will need to click on the British Flag for English) Its park contains some magnificent shady spots under centuries-old trees, and the castle’s spectacular decorations and the breathtaking Belle Époque theater are definitely not to be missed!

Loire Paddleboat CruiseIf you are looking for a laid back getaway that puts romance and history together, booking a barge cruise and going on excursions from a Loire Valley cruise is one of your best vacation options.   The 5 day cruises start at $1400 for 2022.  Rate includes the cruise, all meals, beverages and Wi-Fi.  As these ships are smaller capacity, departures will sell out quickly.  Call  now to book a great scenic river cruise.  888-869-7907

Siegfried’s Music Museum

 

 

Have you ever dreamed of visiting an enchanting land of castles and rolling countryside?  If so, Rudesheim, Germany is the place for you to visit.  It lies along the Rhine River, it’s decorated with an abundance of castles and it is one of the most romantic cities you will visit in Germany.  A Rhine River cruise will take you to this amazing land and where you can indulge in its wonders.

Rudesheim is one of the Rhineland’s best known wine villages and offers many sightseeing attractions to its visitors. This fascinating village is on the route of many Rhine river cruises.

History of Rudesheim

The original name of Rudesheim is Rudesheim am Rhein. It is situated in the Rheingau region at the foot of the Taunus Mountains and is a primary center of the Rhine wine industry. It was first mentioned in 864. The Brömserburg, an early castle of the archbishops of Mainz, was rebuilt as a residence around 1200 and later belonged to the knights of Rudesheim. Now, it is home to amazing historical collections and a wine museum. Half-timber houses, narrow streets, and old inns give the town its medieval look.

What to see in Rudesheim

One of the attractions in this riverside town is Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. This is the first museum collection of automated musical instruments in Germany. You will be mesmerized as you look at this impressive collection.

Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum is housed in Brömserhof, a noble court built in 1542.  It covers an exhibition space of more than 400 square meters and has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of mechanical music boxes. There are around 350 exhibits of mechanical instruments dating back to the 18th to the 20th century – from delicate musical boxes to a huge piano-orchestrion. The museum also collects tools and machines for manufacturing barrel organs, cardboard music, piano rolls and musical box plates.

Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum displays music boxes of the past as well as traditional techniques in making the musical boxes and music rolls.  It’s interesting to learn how these instruments work and how their place in society has evolved.   The museum is located above the river front area of shops and tasting rooms.  Near the museum you will find more shops, tasting rooms and restaurants.

“I had no idea such musical instruments existed in the past – this was my highlight in one of my visits to Rudesheim.  Jan Baumgartner”

The village of Drosselgasse is another sightseeing attraction in Rudesheim. Here you can stroll along the cobble-stone streets and enjoy the village atmosphere. Drosselgasse has a number of taverns and tempting beer gardens. The Rheingau’s famous Rieslings, Sekt and locally distilled brandies are readily available if you are interested to taste them all.  Wine enthusiasts can learn how wine is produced in the Rheingau, can visit the wine museum at the Bromserburg castle.

The mighty slate rock Lorelei in the Romantic Rhine Valley is yet another pride of Rudesheim. This rock rises up almost vertically to 145 yards/132m above the water-level. Downstream the river is squeezed into its narrowest and deepest point 24 yards/22m. So the Middle Rhine at this point used to be very difficult to navigate and the correct passage, today, is clearly marked with buoys.

Even in the 19th century, reefs and rapids made this area extremely dangerous for ships to pass. According to legend, a siren called “Lorelei” bewitched the hearts of the sailors and when they looked up to the rock, their boat crashed and they sank.

Rudesheim is so captivating you shouldn’t pass by without visiting it. It’s location, architecture, and wines make the town a favorite stop along the Rhine for tourists. So get on-board a Rhine River cruise and be prepared to explore this wonderland!

We offer short Rhine River Cruises of 4- 6 nights as well as 7 night and longer cruises along the Rhine River of  Germany.  Cruise lines we work with are AmaWaterways, Arosa Cruises, Croisi Europe and Viva Cruises. For information, please contact us at 888-869-7907  or jan@europeanbarging.com

Visiting Cultural Cologne’s Top Museums

Cologne, Germany is always worth a visit as it offers new things to discover with every trip. Whether you explore the city on a bike or on foot, you can experience the city’s most beautiful and culturally-enriching sites through the museums of Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral at Night

From Roman Empire relics to the place where Eau de Cologne was born, as well as a museum solely dedicated to chocolate, and collections of some of the world’s greatest art pieces, exploring the city’s museums is like going on a treasure hunt.

For starters, here are some of the top museums in cultural Cologne:

The Roman-Germanic Museum

Situated next to the Cathedral of Cologne, The Roman-Germanic Museum is mainly a collection of archeological artefacts from 1000 centuries of settlement history in Rhineland, as well as Cologne’s Roman heritage. The heart of the collection is literally the famous Dionysus Mosaic.

Built on a Roman villa’s foundations and around the 70 ft2 mosaic unearthed in 1941, the museum has since been open to the public. Other museum highlights include the largest Roman glass vessel collection in the world, the goldsmith art of Merovingians, stone weapons and tools from the Neolithic age, and the 50-ft tall tomb of Roman veteran legionary Lucius Poblicius that dates back to 40 AD.

Museum Ludwig

Josef Haubrich donated his collection of modern art to Cologne at the conclusion of WW II. It included pieces by Emil Nolde, Marc Cha-gall, and Otto Dix. Three decades later, the city received 350 pieces of art as a gift from Peter and Irene Ludwig on condition that a new museum would be built by the city.

The Ludwigs’ donation laid down the foundation for one of Europe’s most significant museums of contemporary and modern art. The museum houses 900 Picassos, the biggest pop art collection outside the United States, and valuable works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Rodchenko, among others.

Odysseum

A science center, Cologne’s Odysseum is an experience house of knowledge. It prides itself as a knowledge communication place, and metaphorically uses the epic Odyssey as a journey. It is a museum ideal for inquisitive children.

The museum sees human development as one open ended journey, and science as both progress and problem. Odysseum’s subject is the challenge of how to shape the future. You can experience the adventure of discovering the knowledge about the future through the various experience stations scattered on an area of 5,500 m2.

Cologne Chocolate Museum

Chocolate Museum

The Chocolate Museum is dedicated to, you guessed it right, chocolates! Its 4,000 sq2 m area contains everything you may want to know about your favorite confectionery.

Explore chocolates’ 5,000-year cultural history, and follow the journey of the cocoa bean – from the time it is roasted until it becomes a wrapped chocolate bar! Go through each step of the production process that culminates in a tall, 200-kg fountain of melted chocolate – ready for sampling!

NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne – old Nazi prison

Used as headquarters by Nazi Germany’s Secret State Police (more notoriously known as the Gestapo) from 1935 to 1945, the building now houses the NS Documentation Centre of Cologne.

You can pay tribute to the Nazi atrocity victims NS Documentation Centre. Exhibits document Cologne’s own experience under the Nazi regime. Former victims and prisoners wrote over 1,800 inscriptions and epitaphs while trapped inside the prison’s walls.

Wallraf-Richartz Museum

In the year 1824, art collector and university professor Ferdinand Franz Wallraf donated his collection of art works to the city. Johann Heinrich Richartz, a Cologne merchant, then provided the funds for a museum to contain the precious art pieces 30 years later; thus the museum’s name.

Cologne’s oldest museum features European art that spans many centuries – from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century – spread over the museum’s three floors, with each story dedicated to a particular period.

Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum

An ethnographic museum, Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum explores the similarities and differences of past and present world cultures. The museum has two areas: 1) Understanding the World, and 2) Shaping the World.

The exhibits take a look at all sides of different human cultures that include, religion, identity, and living concepts. The interactive multimedia shows let museum visitors immerse themselves in various cultures, and experience different perspectives.

Kolumba

Throughout the city of Cologne’s rich history – beginning with the oldest Roman settlements – churches have been built on the same place where the Kolumba Museum now stands.

During the medieval ages, Saint Kolumba parish was the biggest and most dominant in Cologne. To properly showcase the parish’s power, the magnificent Kolumba Church was built. It stood proud until 1943, when it was demolished tragically – together with the rest of Cologne – by an Allied forces’ air strike. The ruins have mainly remained untouched, except for a diminutive octagonal chapel built by Gottfried Böhm in 1949 to commemorate the bombing.

Farina Fragrance Museum

The oldest fragrance factory in the world lies just across the street from Wallraf-Richartz Museum. More popularly known as Eau de Cologne’s birthplace, Farina Fragrance Museum takes visitors to 3 centuries of fragrance history.

On display are art pieces, furniture, and various authentic objects from the original production site of Johann Maria Farina, an Italian perfumer who created the world renowned scent in 1709. Among his most notable customers were Kings Louis XV and Frederik the Great.

Museum Schnutgen

The Museum Schnutgen features a valuable medieval art collection in one of the oldest churches in Cologne. A lot of pieces in the collection, by themselves, are worth a trip already. These include the expressive St. George Crucifix, the unique filigree ivory carving Comb of St. Heribert, and the magnificent Parler Bust.

The gamut of the exhibits range from stone and wooden sculptures, valuable goldsmith artworks and stained glass to rare textiles and ivories. One distinctive museum feature is its wide, 1,000-year old exhibition space. The aura and stillness of the Romanesque St. Cecilia Church make experiencing the beauty and spiritual vibrancy of the art pieces possible.

German Sports and Olympic Museum

Experience a glorious trip from ancient Greece that will take you all the way to the present, while reminiscing the triumphs and defeats of sports history’s leading athletes.

The permanent exhibits feature medals, clothing, sports equipment that include the Benetton Renault Formula One race car of Michael Schumacher, as well as many other sports memorabilia. Themed areas are dedicated to the Olympiad, new trend sports, and German gymnastics, among others.

Koelnisches Stadtmuseum

The Municipal Museum was built in Dutch Renaissance style back in the 1600s. The armoury was originally used as a weapons arsenal.

Today, it is home to Cologne’s Koelnisches Stadtmuseum that offers an insight into the economic, spiritual, and daily living in Cologne and its people – back from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

The Cathedral Treasury

Cologne Cathedral’s Treasury is arguably Germany’s biggest and richest. Initially intended to be a collection of relics, which were deemed as the real treasure during the Middle Ages, the artistic and monetary value of the settings were not of primary importance.

Not the conventional type of museum of today, practically everything on display are still used ecclesiastically. Contents of the treasury reflect the changes in the history of the cathedral that through centuries survived robberies, and gained gifts from emperors, popes, and bishops.

Devote one visit to tour the museums of Cologne, both the popular and the secluded ones, and you’ll understand why the city is considered as one of the top tourist destinations not only in Germany, but the whole of Europe as well.

Arosa river cruise line offers Rhine and Holland river cruises from 4 – 8 nights and they start and end in Cologne. A pre or post night stay to visit the museums of Cologne would be a great addition to a scenic Rhine River cruise. Booking a short Advent (Christmas Markets) cruise this fall from Cologne, you get the added benefit of enjoying the 7 Christmas Markets that Cologne is known for.

Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

Contact Europeanbarging to assist in finding the best special offers in booking a river cruise – and hotel accommodations to visit Cologne museums. 888-869-7907 jan@europeanbarging.com

Europeanbarging Introduces the Viva Tiara for 2020 River Cruises

We are pleased to introduce a new European river cruise line – VIVA.
The Viva line is a mid range priced cruise line with beautiful ships and great service. The parent company has been leasing and chartering their ships since 1973 and has one of the largest fleets in
Europe.

Viva Tiara Ship

The first reflagged ship will be the 153 passenger Viva Tiara, who will go thru a total remodel in January and February of 2020 (though she had a remodel in 2018).  She will have a new color scheme and furnishing in a restful teal and white theme.

 

Upon entering the ship, there is a beautiful 2 story atrium with sweeping wrought iron and wood staircase to the upper level (a lift is located to the side of the stairs), chandeliers, reception desk and customer service desk and on-board boutique are on the upper Diamond deck.  There is also a stylish lounge with panoramic bar and dance floor, the comfortable Bistro Bar with Internet corner in the rear.

The Panorama restaurant is situated on the Ruby Deck and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Breakfast is a buffet, lunch is a buffet salad bar and served entree and dessert, dinner is fully served.  Main entree choices will consist of a seafood, meat and vegetarian choice.  Afternoon tea consists of cakes and sandwiches.

On the Emerald deck the guest can enjoy relaxing moments in the wellness area with fitness equipment, whirlpool, sauna, steam bath and solarium. The decks are connected by a lift (not going to the Emerald deck).

Sundeck of the Viva Tiara

The sun deck features lounge chairs for guests, a putting green, jacuzzi, walking track and weather permitting – fitness equipment for use.

New Viva Tiara cabin colorsAll cabins on the Diamond and the Ruby deck have French balconies. The outward-facing cabins are equipped with flat-screen TV, radio, stocked minibar, safe, hair dryer, air-conditioning, shower and WC.

 

“I am very excited about this cruise line and the new destinations in their itineraries – many of which I have not visited yet.”        Jan Baumgartner, Europeanbarging

The ship features English and German language.

Unique Itineraries

As mentioned above, the Viva Tiara has some interesting ports on the Rhine and Dutch cruise itineraries – both are round trip Dusseldorf).  On the 5 night Dutch and Rhine itinerary, in addition to Amsterdam and Nijmegen, there are stops in Emmerich, Deventer, Kampen, Enkhuizen and Rees (Germany).  The 7 night also features stops in Hoorn, Rotterdam and Dordricht.

The 5 night Rhine River itinerary features the towns of Niederlahnstein,  and Oestrich-Winkel, in addition to Cologne, Mainz, Frankfurt, Boppard.  The 7 night also includes Koblenz, Mannheim, Speyer and Strasbourg.

On the Danube River, the 5 night cruises include round trip Passau with stops in Vienna (overnight), Bratislava and Linz. The 7 night itinerary  additionally includes Budapest,

For Advent season, there are lovely 4 and 5 night cruises on the Rhine and Danube Rivers, where you visit the heart of Europe and experience the delight of its traditional holiday markets.

Affordable Pricing

What’s the greatest thing about this cruise trip? You’ll get to enjoy the above mentioned perks all for an affordable price. Visit your dream European destinations aboard a luxury ship starting from less than $1,000. This all-inclusive trip ensures you’ll be getting your money’s worth.  Cruise rates start $714 for a 5 night cruise in early spring on the lower deck – $1535 for a Jr suite on the upper deck, a 7 night cruise in spring and summer on the lower deck $1995 – $2725 for a Jr suite on the upper deck.  Cruise rates on the Viva Tiara include the cruise, port taxes, Gratuities, all meals, wine, and a beverage package – Soft Drinks, as well as tea and coffee, Beer, wine, throughout the day and evening between 10am and midnight. Sightseeing excursions are not included and can be booked onboard.

We are offering a 20% discount off the rates for 2020 departures booked and paid in full by Dec 30th, 2019.

Book your European river cruise now – 888-869-7907  or jan@europeanbarging.com.