The ship arrives in Rüdesheim this morning.
Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.
• Rüdesheim Walking Tour.
Activity level: Moderate
Explore Rüdesheim’s charming Old Town. Walk the Drosselgasse, the main street, which features the city’s popular restaurants, bars and shops. See the “Christmas Market of the Nations,” an international market with holiday items from around the world. Visit Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett, a museum dedicated to self-playing mechanical musical instruments. This captivating museum’s collection includes hundreds of items from handheld music boxes to calliopes. There is some time at leisure after the tour. Why not choose a café and sit down with a Rüdesheimer Kaffee, a flaming, brandy-spiked coffee drink, as you take in the town’s holiday spirit?
• Rhine Wine Tasting.
Activity level: Moderate
Travel to the beautiful Abbey of St. Hildegard, set amid a vineyard on a hillside overlooking the river. Enjoy the serene environment as you visit the Benedictine abbey and church, where you will learn about the remarkable St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). A prominent woman in the medieval church, the multitalented Hildegard of Bingen was an abbess, mystic, author, composer, poet, healer, theologian and preacher during her lifetime. Afterward, head to a local Rüdesheim winery and taste the region’s renowned wines in an old wine cellar.
Return to the ship for lunch.
This afternoon, sail through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley en route to Cologne and pass Loreley Rock. This scenic gorge is the most famous stretch of the Rhine River. Here, vines that produce the area’s famous Riesling grapes lace the hills rising from the riverbank. Some 40 castles, built during the Holy Roman Empire, stand imposingly on the terraced hills, and fortified towns and villages once doubled as toll stations for passing ships.
Folk tales have developed around the Loreley Rock for centuries; the one most associated with it stems from a 19th-century German Romantic poem involving a beautiful, but spurned, sorceress, who upon being convicted of luring men to their deaths, jumped to her own death from the rock. Subsequent writers, most famously poet Heinrich Heine, elaborated on the theme. In Heine’s 1823 poem, “Die Lorelei,” Loreley was a siren whose bewitching song caused passing sailors to crash their ships on the rocks.
Before dinner tonight, gather for a Glühwein party with your shipmates. If you haven’t already tried it at one of the holiday markets, you’ll delight in this warm concoction of cloves, cinnamon, citrus and red wine, a wintertime favorite!
The ship arrives in Cologne late tonight.
Accommodations – MS Amadeus Silver III
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner