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Science, Photography, and Trip Reviews


Germany Cruise of
Scenic & Historic Sights
Nuremberg to Trier

Bamberg, Wurzburg, Miltenberg,

Rudesheim, Cochem, Bernkastel, & Trier

Main Danube Canal, Main, Rhine, & Mosel Rivers

Castles, Palaces, Cathedrals, Museums, & Vineyards

River view of Bamberg, Germany.

Bamberg on the Regnitz River.

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Avalon Tranquility

We were on a Globus Avalon small-ship cruise tour that started in Prague with two nights. From Prague we were taken to Nuremberg to board The Avalon Tranquility for our seven-night cruise through Central Germany. For details of the ship, onboard activities, dining, and more go to Avalon Tranquility. Here is found a summary of the daily excursions in each of the towns visited as well as some beautiful scenes viewed from the ship while cruising. The tour ended in Paris where we spent two nights. Contact Us for more information.


Cathedral in Bamberg, Germany.

Cathedral in Bamberg.

We arrived in Bamberg by the Main Danube Canal. Our local guide first took us to the famous cathedral. The top of the church was somewhat lost in the morning fog, as can be seen in the picture above. Construction on the cathedral was begun by Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich II in 1003. At the time Bamberg was the center of a powerful imperial dynasty led by Heinrich II. In 1012 he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in the cathedral. After a fire in 1237 construction on the present structure was started. A famous art treasure in the cathedral is the Bamberg Rider. This is an equestrian statue carved in the early 1200s. Heinrich II and his wife are entombed in the cathedral as well as Pope Clement II.

New Residence garden in Bamberg, Germany.

New Residence garden in Bamberg.

For many years the Bavarian royal family occupied the New Residence. We visited this palace with our local guide. A special room there is the Throne Room. Behind the New Residence is a beautiful rose garden, which is pictured above. St. Michael, which was once a Benedictine monastery, is on a hill overlooking the cathedral, the New Residence, and the town. This impressive looking former monastery is now an old peoples home.

Rebecca with frends in brewery in Bamberg, Germany.

Rebecca (in middle) with friends in Bamberg brewery.

There was free time to walk around the town on our own. The town is split by the Regnitz River, which is pictured at the top of this page. Bamberg is known for its smoke beer (smokebeer). The smoky flavor results from the malt being exposed to the intense aromatic smoke from burning beech-wood logs. In the picture above Rebecca and some friends are sampling the famous beer.


Wurzburg is on the Main River. Near the end of World War II it was heavily damaged by bombs dropped by the Allied Forces. Although most of the city was destroyed it has been rebuilt with most buildings reproduced as they were prior to the war. Wurzburg was created in the 10th-century by rich and powerful prince-bishops.

Palace chapel in Wurzburg, Germany.

Palace chapel in Wurzburg.

We were taken to the Residence, which is a very impressive palace and where we were given a tour by a local guide. Upon climbing the large baroque staircase you see a magnificent fresco depicting the artist's concept of the four continents. Only four were known about at the time. There are also beautifully decorated rooms to see including the Throne Room. The prince-bishops resided in the Residence, and the private chambers can also be viewed on a tour. (Picture taking is not allowed in the Residence.) A very attractive chapel is located next to the Residence, and it is seen in the picture above. Next to the chapel is an 18th-century garden with fountains as well as shrubs and flowers.

St. Kilian Basilica in Wurzburg, Germany.

St. Kilian Basilica in Wurzburg.

From the Residence you can walk to the St. Kilian Basilica, shown in the picture above. It is a Romanesque Cathedral dating from 1045. It contains the tomb of Bishop von Schonborn. The Old Main Bridge crosses the Main River. Construction of the bridge commenced in 1473 and statues of saints were added in 1730. Across the river from the town on a hill is the Castle Marienberg Fortress. It was built from about 1200 to 1600. This is where the prince-bishops lived prior to moving to the Residence (palace). The Marienberg Fortress has a museum with a collection of art works. There are also old wine presses with wine making exhibits, firearms, antique toys, and more.


Shore excursion in Miltenberg.

Shore excursion in Miltenberg.

The town of Miltenberg is on the Main River, and it was settled by the Ancient Romans. Miltenberg is known for having the atmosphere of a medieval town. You see timber-framed houses. There is a castle called the Mildenberg Castle. It was built by the Archbishops of Mainz for reasons of defense. It is now owned by the town of Miltenberg. We were taken by our local guide on a charming walking tour down the main street of the town. You see attractive and colorful fronts to the buildings as seen in the picture above. In fact, colorful facades were seen in all of the German towns that we visited.

Risen (oldest Inn in Germany) in Miltenberg, Germany

Risen (oldest Inn) in Miltenberg.

One of the most famous sights in Miltenberg is The Riesen, shown in the picture above. It is one of the oldest inns in Germany. Witch trials were held in front of The Risen during the Middle Ages. While there we stopped for a refreshment.


Museum of mechanical musical instruments in Rudesheim, Germany.

Mechanical musical instruments museum in Rudesheim.

Rudesheim is on the Rhine River. There is a large female statue called Germania, which was built high up on a hill above Rudesheim to celebrate the rebirth of the German Empire in 1871. When we arrived in Rudesheim we were transferred to a choo-choo train that took us on a nice ride through the streets to the Bromser Manor. That is where you find an absolutely fascinating museum with a very large collection of mechanical musical instruments. The instruments range in size from very small to very large and are in working condition.

Guide describing a musical instrument.

Guide describing musical instrument in the museum.

Our guide demonstrated many of the musical instruments, and some instruments had many moving parts including animations of musicians playing violins. The sound quality was amazingly good. Someof the many instruments are pictured above and below.

A large musical instrument in the museum in Rudesheim, Germany.

Large musical instrument in museum.

After visiting the museum we took a nice coffee break in a local establishment where local musicians performed. It was a nice way to relax before having some free time to walk around the town. These tours always have some free time built in so that people can do some exploring on their own.

Rebecca havin a coffee break with friens in Rudesheim, Germany.

Rebecca (in blue) having a coffee break with friends in Rudesheim.

A favorite attraction in Rudesheim is Thrush Alley, which is in a narrow but long building. They advertise music and fun from noon to the wee hours of the morning. (Closed from November through Easter.) A wine museum is found in the Broemserburg Castle. The castle dates from about 1000, and on display are things dating from the times of Ancient Rome.

Castles on the Rhine

Castle on the Rhine River, Germany.

Castle on the Rhine River.

Cruising down the Rhine River is like a trip back in time. There are numerous old castles high in the hills on both sides of the river. Photographers have a great time composing pictures. Bring your telephoto zoom lens. The castle pictured above is in a setting rich with the fall colors.

Vineyard on the Rhine River Germany.

Vineyard on the Rhine River.

You also see vineyards on the steep slopes like the one shown above. There are many charming and attractive small villages along the way. When cruising down the rivers there is always scenery on both sides of the ship.


On a walk in Cochem, Germany.

On a walk in Cochem.

Cochem is a very attractive town on the Mosel River. A walk through the town with our local guide was delightful and interesting. In the old parts of the town you find cobble stone streets and old buildings that likely date to medieval times.

Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.

Reichsburg Castle in Cochem.

When viewing Cochem from the river the most prominent feature is Reichsburg Castle high on a hill above the town. It is a magnificent view. The Reichsburg Castle dates from about 1000 and is seen above. Through time the castle has been controlled by counts, kings, and archbishops. It is now owned by the town of Cochem.

Armor in Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.

Armor in Reichsburg Castle.

On our tour of the castle with the local guide we saw much beauty. You see medieval armor, Renaissance and Baroque furniture, stunning wood carvings on the walls, and other things that were quite lovely. From the high position of the Reichsburg Castle you get great views of the town and surrounding area.

A table scene inside Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.

A table scene inside Reichsburg Castle.


Bernkastel, Germany in the morning mist.

Bernkastel in the morning mist.

Looking across the Mosel River on a November morning at Bernkastel there was a mist in the air that produced the stunning picturesque view displayed above. However, at any time the view of the town with colorful and nicely arranged buildings, which are embellished by attractive hills in the background, makes a gorgeous sight. Burg Landshut Castle from the 13th-century looks over the town from its lofty position.

Armor in Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.

Narrow building in Bernkastel.

The walk through the town with our local guide was very pleasant and informative. If you were naughty and not nice there was a place where you could be chained to a wall. In medieval times many people likely suffered that fate. Nearby on a narrow cobble stone street was a very narrow building, which is pictured above. There is also a vineyard in town that has an interesting story. The vineyard is referred to as "Doctor," because when the ill Archbishop Boemund II drank wine from it he was supposedly cured. The Doctor vineyard is on a steep slope and about 2 acres in size. Riesling wines are produced from grapes grown in the soil, and this small piece of land is said to be the most expensive in the world of the premium vineyards.

Rebecca with friends in wine cellar in Bernkastel, Germany.

Rebecca (blue scarf) with friends in wine cellar in Bernkastel.

In the afternoon we were taken to a wine cellar for wine tasting. See the picture above where Rebecca has a blue scarf. There were lots of wines to sample. However, we all made it back to the ship OK!


Trier is on the Mosel River. It was an important city in the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar had been there and the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Constantine lived there at times. Later Trier was an important center for Christianity. The east-west and north-south trade routs met in Trier, and this was important to the development and success of the city.

Rebecca with friends in wine cellar in Bernkastel, Germany.

Ancient Roman Black Gate in Trier.

The major sight in Trier is the Black Gate (Porta Nigra). See the picture above. This Ancient Roman building was built in the 2nd century, and served as the city gate. The gate was used in defense of the city. After we learned about the Black Gate from our local guide we had some free time. We went to the Old Trier Market Square, which is an easy walk from the Black Gate. There you find the attractive St. Peter's Fountain. Close by is the cathedral. It stands where Constantine built a church in 330 AD. Another church was built there six years later after the first one burned down. The present cathedral was built starting in 1035. Remnants of the old church can be seen with the present one.

We were taken to the Roman Basilica which was built by Constantine in about 310. It served as the throne room of the palace. It is now a Protestant church. At the time that it was built it would not have been an easy task. After all, it has a height of 108 feet (33 meters), a width of 93 feet (28 meters), and a length of 239 feet (73 meters). From there we were taken a short distance to the 17th- and 18-centruy Electoral Palace. It is an attractive building decorated in pink. There are a number of interesting statues outside the building.

Also to be seen are the 4th-century Imperial Baths and the large Roman Amphitheater built about 100 AD.

River cruise-tour pages

We were on a Globus Avalon small-ship cruise tour that started in Prague with two nights. From Prague we were taken to Nuremberg to board The Avalon Tranquility for our seven-night cruise through Central Germany. For details of the ship, onboard activities, dining, and more go to Avalon Tranquility. Here is found a summary of the daily excursions in each of the towns visited as well as some beautiful scenes viewed from the ship while cruising. The tour ended in Paris where we spent two nights.

Contact Us

Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell images and prints.