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Cochem, Germany's Riechsburg Castle

Epic Battlegrounds, Adrenaline Rushes, Massive Collections of Masterpieces and Crystal President’s Cruise

You can almost reach out and touch the vineyard-cloaked hillsides that line the narrow Moselle River. This fairy-tale setting is the epicenter of the world’s greatest Rieslings, as well as exceptional Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Elbling, Müller-Thurgau and even some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s no wonder oenophiles flock to its enchanting shoreside towns to sip at some of the oldest wine estates in the world. And yet, it’s important to look beyond the bottle to truly experience the many treasures along this enchanting shoreline.

In its 339 miles of winding and bending waterfront, the Moselle is surrounded by towns and villages that have stories to tell and offer experiences that will take your breath away – either from their sheer beauty or heart-pounding thrill. Here are just a few of the unforgettable highlights along the Moselle that don’t involve wine.

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge at sunset, dusk

Glowing hilltop castles set a romantic scene on board and ashore. During late-night docking in Cochem, the towering 11th century Cochem Castle (see featured image) is the backdrop for a dining along the waterfront in one of the local cafés, while the Roman Catholic Cologne Cathedral – the tallest twin-spired church in the world – is a spectacular highlight to see from the open-air Vista Deck during a nighttime sailing through the city.

The second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world can be visited from Nijmegen. The Kröller-Müller Museum houses more than 90 of the master’s paintings and 180 drawings, all purchased by Helene Kröller-Müller in the early 20th century. Helene’s borderline obsession with the artist’s works was fueled by her eccentric connection with nature, which superseded all other things in her life – including her husband and four children.

The Luxembourg American Cemetery, located in the city that served as headquarters for General Patton’s Third Army and was also a pivotal site during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. Across more than 50 acres of rolling lawn, fountains, trees and rose gardens lie the burial sites of 5,073 Unites States military servicepeople, including General Patton.

Luxembourg American Cemetery
The Luxembourg American Cemetery, with memorial monument and grave of General Patton, Commander of the Third Army in France and Germany.

“The Most Beautiful Balcony in Europe,” located in Luxembourg City, towers over the old city and the Alzette River valley below. The Chemin de la Corniche, or Walls of the Corniche, was built by French and Spanish in the 17th century as part of a fortress. Much of the fortress was late dismantled, leaving spectacular panoramic views that span the city district of Grund and the Rham Plateau.

Chemin de la Corniche
View from Chemin de la Corniche in the Luxembourg City.

Germany’s longest rope suspension bridge, the Geierlay Bridge, reaches nearly 1,200 feet across the treetops between the municipalities of Sosberg and Mörsdorf, close to Cochem. At nearly 330 feet high, the bridge affords sweeping views of Germany’s forest beyond (we recommend you gaze outward, rather than down).

*Bonus: Consider this your invitation to explore these curiosities and many more aboard the stunning all-suite, all-balcony Crystal Bach on an October 17 voyage hosted by Crystal’s president and CEO, Tom Wolber, and his wife, Sharon. This is a special opportunity to share toasts, discussions and experiences in some of Europe’s most picturesque locales with the leader of the Crystal fleet and family.

Crystal Bach will sail “Enchanting Moselle” voyages in October 2019 and September 2020, round-trip from Amsterdam. Don’t miss your opportunity to explore this remarkable region!

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