Crystal River Cruises Explores the River Less Traveled
We have five new reasons for you to add Crystal Bach to your 2019 travel itinerary. In fact, they’re all brand new ports of call featured on a just-announced itinerary, “Enchanting Moselle.” These five entirely new ports of call through the vineyard-flanked Moselle River, considered to be one of the most breathtaking stretches of river in Europe, as well as the mighty Rhine River, invite you to experience the world-class Rieslings and other famous vintages of the Mosel Wine Region in Bernkastel, the medieval charm and Roman ruins in Trier, Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn, the cultural and culinary scenes in Dusseldorf, and the wartime history of Arnhem. Along with the new destinations, the new voyages sail round-trip from Amsterdam and visit favorite locales like Koblenz, which offers a unique perspective of the point at which the Rhine and Moselle meet, and Chochem.
In addition to these maiden calls for Crystal River Cruises, guests will enjoy convenient round-trip travel from the spectacular city of Amsterdam, as well as the all-inclusive luxuries, Michelin-inspired cuisine, fine wines, free excursions, and the prospect of spending 10 full days floating down Europe’s most majestic rivers. Here are the five new cities visited on the route along the Moselle and Rhine rivers that will compel you to start packing.
For a city whose history can be traced to the 7th and 8th centuries, Dusseldorf’s contemporary architecture, edgy art culture and innovative business landscape is all the more impressive. The capital city of the North Rhine-Westphalia is decidedly posh, pushing the boundaries of high fashion and high-rise design, and a culinary and nightlife scene that caters to the international elite who populate the city. Indeed, banking and cutting-edge technology industries have brought the city great wealth, while its flair for the creative and collective passion for celebrations of all kinds take some of that serious edge off the atmosphere. In the Altstadt, the historical quarter along the Rhine, look for an intriguing blend of time-honored sites and traditions and a lively modern neighborhood filled with energetic bars and restaurants.
Look for: Cartwheels. Everywhere. Etched in stone, metal and many souvenirs symbolizing the city. The Dusseldorf cartwheeler legend hails to the 13th century, when the city earned its independent status from a victory over Cologne, when children were allegedly cartwheeling through the streets. The joyful symbol endures today, as does Dusseldorf’s intense rivalry with Cologne (though now more in sports than battle).
A 2,000-year history has given Bonn many opportunities to reinvent itself and its role on the global stage, and it has done just that. Founded by Romans, like its nearly neighbor, Trier, Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990, when reunification moved the government to Berlin. Bonn is still considered the unofficial second capital of the country, and is home to several governmental operations, as well as more than 20 United Nations institutions. Even throughout its centuries of political and powerful prominence, Bonn’s most famous son remains composer Ludwig Von Beethoven, who is commemorated in a museum at the site of his birth home in the city.
Food for thought: Innovation in Bonn did not stop with Beethoven. In fact, MP3 technology and lifesaving car airbags were invented in Germany, while the indispensable three-ring binder and corresponding hole-punch were the brainchildren of Bonn inventor Friedrich Sonnecken. The city’s Deutsches Museum Bonn highlights many of the great and everyday inventions from Germany, a perfect stop for curious minds.
This little town in the heart of the Mosel Valley is one of the best preserved medieval locales in the region. Bernkastel’s colorful Market Square is considered among the most authentic and lovely of those that line the riverside, with a Renaissance-era Town Hall overlooking the bustling activity of shops and cafes. Don’t miss – not that you could – the towering Spitzhäuschen, or “pointed house” that famously rises above the other rooftops in Bernkastel. With its ground floors built narrower than the upper floors, the building appears to wobble off balance, but has stood strong since it was built in 1416.
Taste this: When in Bernkastel… You’re in the heart of the world-famous wine region that hugs the Moselle River, home soil to some of the world’s greatest Rieslings.
Visitors to Trier may feel the need to double check their GPS to ensure they didn’t take a wrong turn near Rome. Fair enough, since the town that sits on the border of Luxembourg was founded by Romans, and still bears remarkably preserved evidence of the culture. Known as “Second Rome” for its remaining Roman baths, amphitheater and imposing Porta Nigra gateway, Trier is among the oldest cities in the world, celebrating its 2,000th anniversary in 1984. It has since become synonymous with the rolling wine vineyards of the Rhineland that follow the Moselle, with the 12th century Eltz Castle watching over the town.
For your inner child: For a fun twist on the vast fascinating history the oldest German city offers, visit the Spielzeugmuseum, or Toy Museum. The lighthearted subject matter does not mean it’s not seriously fascinating, showcasing handcrafted mechanical, plush, and wooden toys from as far back as the Third Reich. Its displays are supported by thorough backstory for each item, proving once again that learning can be fun.
People have been fighting over Arnhem for centuries. It’s no mystery, given its natural beauty, abundant parks and bicycle pathways, and lively scene of cafes and creative hubs. Perhaps Arnhem’s most famous – and darkest – occupation came during World War II, when the Nazi German 10th Army invaded the Netherlands, occupying the whole country within one week. In resistance, Arnhem became the site of the largest airborne military operation in history, Operation Market-Garden, deploying more than 35,000 paratroopers over the bridges and occupied land. Today, if you look skyward, you’re more likely to see vast canopies of treetops than parachuting soldiers, though the event is commemorated at the nearby Airborne Museum, boasting an impressive collection of photography, weaponry, documents and other accounts of the conflict.
In fashion: Arnhem today is more famous for its fashion academy, which produces Avant Garde creations crafted by couture’s next great minds, and provides a hip energy to the neighboring areas. Wander the boutiques, galleries and restaurants in the Modekwartier district for a taste of local chic.
The newly added Moselle River cruise itineraries also call in Koblenz and Cochem, Germany, and are available for booking now, with complimentary shore excursions offered in every port, and in-depth options available for more exploration.