Build Your Dream Trip with Amadeus River Cruises
Our UK sales Manager, Brooke Dunn, tells us why the flexibility of an Amadeus river cruise helps you create the perfect holiday.
One of the splendours of travelling with Amadeus River Cruises is the flexibility of what you choose to do with your time ashore. I had the pleasure of building my dream trip when I recently spent four nights aboard the Amadeus Silver on the Rhine, which I hope will inspire you to create your own perfect story with Amadeus.
The beauty of river cruising is that you get to see a different port of call each day, be docked in the heart of a city and spend more time ashore. I often refer to river cruise ships as floating hotels because that’s exactly how I see it – staying aboard an Amadeus ship is just like staying in a 4* city centre hotel. For me, this is the perfect way to travel because I have the opportunity to explore places independently as I usually like to do.
Unlike most other river cruise companies, Amadeus offers optional excursions that give you the gift of customising your experience with the varied excursion programmes. You might prefer to go on organised tours with a tour leader, explore on two wheels with one of the complimentary on board bicycles, wander around the destination independently, or perhaps even stay on board and make the most of facilities like the fitness and massage rooms, hair salon or the Sun Deck. The choice is yours and Amadeus gives you the right mix of interesting things to do and inviting ways to do nothing at all.
I joined the Classical Rhine itinerary mid-way through in Koblenz and had unfortunately missed out on a walking tour of the area. The organised trip allows you to discover the oldest town in Germany with over 2,000 years of history. The ship was docked at Peter-Altmeier-Ufer and the city centre was just a short stroll away. For me, it was time to unwind on board after an early start and, therefore, I took the opportunity to relax in the Amadeus Club for the afternoon whilst others wandered into the city. The ship was in Koblenz overnight and so I hadn’t missed my chance to explore. After dinner, I visited some local bars and tried some German beer.
We enjoyed a leisurely morning sailing to our next port of call on the Moselle River, Cochem. You’re never too long without food and that was certainly the case today. After tasting German sausages, sauerkraut, sweet mustard and pretzels on the Sun deck, I opted for a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge. While some of the group polished up on their bike riding skills, myself and a few others walked into the romantic town and headed straight for the market square. Here you can get lost in the narrow streets and admire the historic buildings.
The biggest attraction in the town of Cochem is Reichsburg Castle, originally built in the year 1000 under the reign of Count Palatine Ezzo. It became an imperial castle in 1152 and was destroyed in 1689. It was rebuilt in the 19th century by the distinguished Berlin businessman Ravené and was used as his summer residence. Today it belongs to the town of Cochem. Here, Amadeus can offer you a city tour with wine tasting excursion.
On day three of our Rhine trip, we were in Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne. This is another city that’s easy to explore on your own - filled with museums, galleries and historical architecture. The planned docking location was very central but due to water levels we moored slightly further out, but still no more than a 20-minute walk from the centre. Shuttle buses were available to and from the ship and the city centre for those who preferred.
The excursion on offer with Amadeus is a city walk taking in a number of fascinating landmarks concentrated in one square kilometre around the cathedral. Your tour guide will bring alive the history of Cologne providing you with interesting facts about this bustling city.
With there being so many things I wanted to see in Cologne, I started by taking the sightseeing train tour which left close to the cathedral and finished near Cologne Zoo. Here, we went by cable car over the Rhine taking in some of the most attractive bird’s eye views of the city. After wandering through Rheinpark with a milkshake in hand, we hopped back on the cable car taking in the aerial views of the Rhine once more before heading to the botanical gardens, which is visited by more than a million people every year and is home to more than 10,000 species. The final sight we wanted to see was, of course, Cologne Cathedral, the hallmark of the city with its two towers and impressive Gothic architecture. We fitted a lot into one morning and we were back on board for lunch ready to start sailing to Hoorn.
Today, we decided to opt for the Amadeus excursion – ‘North Holland & city tour of Amsterdam with canal trip’. We disembarked the ship in Hoorn to make our way to Volendam by coach. On what was a beautiful day in Volendam, we had free time to roam the old fishing village, admiring the locals dressed in traditional costumes and picking up souvenirs for loved ones at home. We then drove into the countryside to visit a local cheese farm. Here, we learnt how Dutch cheese is made and we also got to sample the delicious local products.
We then made our way to Amsterdam where there is no better way to see the city than by cruising on a canal boat trip. Amsterdam has 165 canals with a combined length of 60 miles. There are 1,281 bridges, many of which can open to let ships pass. During the cruise, we saw just a few of the 2,500 houseboats which come in all shapes and sizes, often converted commercial vessels that will be sure to amaze you. Along the way, we saw many of the astonishing buildings which line the canals and create a unique and picturesque view. By the time our tour had ended, the Amadeus Silver had followed us to Amsterdam and was docked in the heart of the city where she would stay overnight.
After dinner, we took a five-minute walk back into the city to spend more time in this beautiful place, whilst not forgetting to keep our wits about us while crossing the busy roads of cyclists. It is said that around 40% of all traffic in Amsterdam is from bicycles. We enjoyed relaxing in various bars along the canals before the short walk back to the ship. This brought us to the end of our five days on board, as we got the train to the airport the following morning.
Amadeus River Cruises gives you the flexibility to shape your experience on board and ashore by offering optional shore excursions. You only book and pay for the tours you choose to do prior to departure, allowing you to take advantage of a 15% discount, and therefore your cruise is tailored to you. Call us on 0808 250 1953 to speak to our helpful team.