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notamermaid

The river Moselle infos and river cruising experiences

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How are things on the Moselle?

 

The weather is of course similar to the Middle Rhine valley, that means temperatures will rise and Spring comes in the Moselle valley at the same time as in the Rhine valley.

 

The Moselle experienced mild flooding and the river is still above the mean, but going down fast with no rain forecast in the next few days. At 695cm showing on the gauge at Trier a large section of the river is closed. This did not happen as the level peaked at 662cm.

 

Happy sailing on the Moselle, everyone.

 

notamermaid

 

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I have taken you on a couple of excursions to the Saar river, the Moselle's large tributary. The Saar is a valley associated with wine and good, hearty food. But although the Saarland has a strong French influence it may come as a surprise to you that Saarbrücken, the state capital, is home to an award-winning patissier. Meet Matthias Spurk: https://www.dw.com/en/the-pâtissier-of-the-year/av-45583052

 

If you want to try his desserts - Saarbrücken is an hour's drive from Trier...

 

notamermaid

 

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Let us have a look at a firm favourite on river cruises. Cochem on the Moselle has been a place for tourists to flock to for many decades. Very popular with the British and the Dutch, both river cruisers and land trippers, never expect to have Cochem to yourself. Apart from the fact that the town is surrounded by glorious landscape and vineyards, it has a major attraction the Reichsburg Cochem, or usually known among anglophones as Reichsburg castle (burg means castle). The Reichsburg is officially built in the Neogothic style, yep, the castle is 19th century... It was rebuilt using the old romanesque and gothic ruins by a gentleman with lots of money on his hands and a liking of old stones.

 

This is Cochem: https://www.cochem.de/tourismus/en/index

practical map embedded in the website

And this is the castle: https://www.burg-cochem.de/historie.html?&L=1

 

notamermaid

 

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Posted (edited)

Vikings on the Moselle, yes they where there in their longboats, around a thousand years ago and did not behave too well...

 

Today's so-called "longships" are not really to be feared although they have Nordic names.  The very friendly passengers' language is more Anglo-Saxon/Norman. The town of Kröv on the Moselle would be very happy to welcome Viking. Yes, Viking river cruises has shown interest in building a new landing stage at the town's river bank, according to the newspaper "volksfreund". Kröv has a landing stage, of course, but that is only suitable for smaller ships. According to the article Viking does not plan to use the dock overnight, but wants to stay a few hours at a time, offering passengers hikes in the local area and trips for wine tasting.

 

How will the town council decide, after all, this is a two-edged sword. A private investment by Viking or a joint investment, or an investment where the council has the full right to say who docks and who does not (as they then own the landing stage)? All we can say now is that this will likely involve a bit more money than is in the local authorities' kitty, on the Rhine I have heard estimates of 200,000 to 500,000 euros depending on what additional infrastructure is needed.

 

This is Kröv: https://www.kroev.de/en/kroev/kroev-wein-ferienort/

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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Krov looks interesting. Do you know if there are docking facilities anywhere near Moselkern that would be convenient for tours of Burg Eltz? 

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KD (Köln-Düsseldorfer) has a dock in Moselkern itself that they serve with their excursion boats. Other boats can use it as well. The length of ships is restricted to 110m.

 

The problem with Burg Eltz is that it is on a hill (no surprise) and accessibility is along a windy road outside of Moselkern. One can walk through the valley of the Eltzbach (Eltz brook) to the castle, I have done it and it is very nice. A little strenuous perhaps but doable.

Burg Eltz website: https://burg-eltz.de/en/planning-your-trip-to-eltz-castle/hikes-to-eltz-castle.html

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Annual maintenance

 

Through-traffic on the Moselle has been suspended for a week as lock repairs are underway. This happens for a week every year and dates are known years ahead, so river cruise companies can plan well ahead. No problem. A few locks have one chamber still operating, that means small ships and yachts can use them. Hopefully all checks and repairs can be carried out within take week and traffic will resume.

 

The Moselle region - especially the Upper Moselle - has not has as much rain as the Rhine and its Eastern tributaries, therefore the Moselle is at a good level but without risk of proper flooding.

 

Here is a light-hearted look at the Moselle from a Luxembourg website: https://today.rtl.lu/life/do-s-and-don-ts/a/1340902.html

 

notamermaid

 

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Ship christening in Trier

 

Yesterday saw the christening of a barge in Trier. A barge, boring, no river cruise ship... Wait, this one is special.

 

It is 16m long, made of wood, has a sail and was built by Trier University students. She now carries the name of Bissula, a lady that a Roman writer fell in love with. A fitting name for a replica of a Roman cargo ship! It is a scientific, i.e. applied archeology, project. I could not find an English article so here is a German one, by Trier council: https://m.trier.de/startseite/segler-bissula-erforscht-antike-handelsschiffahrt/

 

As it is a Mediterranean Sea model, the builders hope that Bissula will one day be able to test the waters she was designed for.

 

notamermaid

 

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Ah,  Krov! Home to perhaps the best named appellation and most original labels in the world. 😎

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A wine village close to Koblenz is Winningen. Most of the year it is a bit more on the quiet side (but not sleepy) yet every year it has a large wine festival. This year the villagers will celebrate from 30 August till 8 September. 

 

Winningen's international claim to fame is that the village is the birthplace of August Horch, the founder of Audi car manufacturing.

 

I have seen a few more river cruise ships docked in Winningen lately (marinetraffic spottings). Apart from the village being very pleasant this also makes sense because of its close proximity to Koblenz.

 

Has anyone been to Winningen and would like to tell us about the experience?

 

notamermaid

 

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@notamermaid and anyone else with Moselle experience

 

I am considering 2 bike and barge tours of the Moselle (or Mosel) with my sister. The itineraries are very similar, except one starts in Koblenz and gives us a chance to visit Burg Eltz (which I have read good things about but worry about climbing to) and the other (which begins in Cochem) takes an extra night in Bernkastel to do a rail trail on day 3 which sounds really lovely. We are looking at doing either the May 23 (Koblenz) or the June 6 (Cochem). My original plan was to go in the fall in September, but both here and at another company they are already filled.

 

Could you take a look at the itineraries and tell me if one or the other in particularly more appealing. (We will both be coming in at least a day before, so presumably could visit Burg Eltz on our own before boarding the barge if we choose the Cochem

 

Here are the itineraries

https://www.tripsite.com/bike-boat/tours/koblenz-to-metz/#day_to_day

https://www.tripsite.com/bike-boat/tours/metz-to-cochem/#day_to_day (note that Cochem to Metz itinerary comes after Metz to Cochem at the end of the page)

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

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Gnome 12,

I have now had time to look at the itineraries and find them both very interesting, especially as they both end in Metz. Metz is one of my favourite short-trip places to go. A few pages back on this thread I have written about Metz.

 

I find it a bit of a tough decision which one I would prefer I am not sure. I know the Moselle from car rides and train journeys. I will consult with a gentleman who has done a cycle ride along the Moselle to hear what he thinks. In post #206 I linked to Eltz castle. By the way, I got this wrong, the valley is Elz without the 't'. I recommend putting Moselkern and Eltz castle into the Google route planner. You can see the valley route on foot and the longer route recommended for bicycles.

 

Moselkern has a train station but you could actually sail from Koblenz to Moselkern on a local boat if you decide to start the cruise in Cochem: https://www.k-d.com/en/cruises/scheduled-cruises-on-the-moselle/

 

There might be another company that does the stretch as well, I would check online or contact the tourist information centre in Koblenz.

 

Coming in a day early is always a good idea I find. One thing you might want to consider or at least be prepared for are the national holidays in Germany around that time (all church feasts): 21 May 2020 is Ascension Day, 1 June Whit Monday, 11 June Corpus Christi. They involve shop closures that will be observed by most places, however you will find some shops are exempt - partly due to a rule that allows places that serve the tourism trade to open. You will find cafés, etc. and museums are open. Check the Eltz castle website if they have a "special notice" up for those days.

 

I shall be back shortly.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Right, I am back with a recommendation. But before I give it, I would like to link you to the website that I think is the rail trail you mentioned:

https://www.eifel.info/en/a-maare-mosel-radweg

 

The gentleman's opinion: "I do not think you can go wrong with either itinerary, but if I had the choice I would go for the one with the rail trail."

 

I tend to agree. Koblenz to Cochem is nice as very soon after the commercial outskirts of the town the vineyards begin. But the cycle ride along the disused railway line in the Eifel hills, with maars (volcanic lakes), sticks out as a potential highlight. So, two votes for the Cochem to Metz trip.

 

By the way, if you are in Koblenz with a bit of time on your hands, enjoy the view towards Ehrenbreitstein Fortress from the Balduin bridge.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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54 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Right, I am back with a recommendation. But before I give it, I would like to link you to the website that I think is the rail trail you mentioned:

https://www.eifel.info/en/a-maare-mosel-radweg

 

The gentleman's opinion: "I do not think you can go wrong with either itinerary, but if I had the choice I would go for the one with the rail trail."

 

I tend to agree. Koblenz to Cochem is nice as very soon after the commercial outskirts of the town the vineyards begin. But the cycle ride along the disused railway line in the Eifel hills, with maars (volcanic lakes), sticks out as a potential highlight. So, two votes for the Cochem to Metz trip.

 

By the way, if you are in Koblenz with a bit of time on your hands, enjoy the view towards Ehrenbreitstein Fortress from the Balduin bridge.

 

notamermaid

 

 

Thanks for your help. It seems that the Cochem to Metz is fully booked, but we think that we will be able to get on the Koblenz to Cochem. I wonder if it might be possible to do the rail trail on our own before the trip starts. I'll have to spend some more time translating all of the website you sent to me.

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