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Rhine - Beyond the Standard Ports


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An update to some ports - and some new ones

 

It has been a while and companies have reacted to events in the last year and new infrastructure at a couple of ports with rearranged itineraries and added port stops. Some places have kept their status as "unimportant to international travellers" others have seen companies change but keep a reasonable docking schedule as regards volume, while others have emerged as up and coming ports due to newly built landing stages and/or reaching out to an international audience.

 

To post #22 Bad Hönningen

As one may reasonable expect in this small place, it has not gained anything and is still a minor one, with only 1A Vista Reisen using it.

 

To post #4 Wiesbaden-Biebrich

This is a bit of a surprise and the place may be owing its visiting ships to recent events. These may not become revisiting guests on a large scale, but this spring and summer both the NickoSpirit and the NickoVision stop in Biebrich on the return leg of the Frankfurt to Rhine and Moselle round trip. Other German companies also stop in Wiesbaden- Biebrich.

 

Internationally (not an exhaustive list), this year Biebrich will see ships sailing for Emerald Waterways, Tauck and the Dutch company Feenstra Rijn Lijn.

 

 

Other ports are new or attracting more interest. Xanten is of some interest now and Wesel with its new landing stage is already on the way to establishing itself as a popular port but will nevertheless be given a post here at a later date. A port that has invested in infrastructure but has not been able to profit from that yet is one that should have attracted a bit more attention internationally by now in my opinion. Again, events may have played a part in the slow uptake as a destination. It is Nierstein.

 

That is the port I will focus on in my next post.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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20 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Xanten is of some interest now

We were fortunate that our 2019 cruise stopped in Xanten. We always love Roman ruins and these were quite good, but the surprise of the stop was the Siegfriedmuseum which our guide barely mentioned. We only had enough time for a quick run-through, but were very impressed with the amount of detail, the thoroughness, and the very clear presentation. If you're interested in the intersection of history and myth that comes with the Nibelungen legend, I can highly recommend this museum. Other folks have found it a bit dry and academic, but that was not our experience; the museum has made a great effort to put the information together in a clear and organized way. 

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On 5/10/2021 at 4:27 PM, sbjornda said:

We were fortunate that our 2019 cruise stopped in Xanten.

I vaguely remember. Who did you sail with again? Xanten is one of the main places associated with the legend/epic tale of the Nibelungen. Good to read that you enjoyed the museum. I will come back to Xanten at a later date.

 

notamermaid

 

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Who did you sail with again?

 

 

We were with Scenic. That was our 2nd cruise with them, and we'll certainly do more. 

 

Sailing from Amsterdam, the stops were Antwerp, Veere, Arnhem, Maastricht, Xanten, Koblenz, Cochem, Bernkastel (with a day trip to Trier or Luxembourg), and then back up to the Rhine for Rüdesheim, Heidelberg (docked at Mannheim), Strasbourg, Breisach (for a walk in the Black Forest), and Basel. So quite a winding trip, especially at the start, but we certainly enjoyed it a lot. Veere was fun because my wife's Mennonite ancestors emigrated from there in the 16th century.

 

Looking forward to more of your updates!

 

Thanks,
Sterling

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I notice that Scenic offers longer variations to the normal 7-night river cruises, which allows much more interesting itineraries.  We are booked on their 10-night Seine cruise; after seeing that itinerary, every other 7-night cruise seemed to miss so many interesting places!

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I notice that Scenic offers longer variations to the normal 7-night river cruises, which allows much more interesting itineraries.  We are booked on their 10-night Seine cruise; after seeing that itinerary, every other 7-night cruise seemed to miss so many interesting places!

I think that is because Australians have considerably more vacation time than Americans (and Canadians but we aren't quite as stingy with it), and they generally have to come farther in order to join up, so they go for longer trips.

 

Not a river cruise, but when I cruised with Voyages to Antiquity, I found that they generally marketed differently to different countries; for North Americans they had basically 2 week cruises that could be combined into 4 weeks, while I discovered that to Australians they marketed them as 4 week cruises.

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2 hours ago, sbjornda said:

 

We were with Scenic. That was our 2nd cruise with them, and we'll certainly do more. 

 

Sailing from Amsterdam, the stops were Antwerp, Veere, Arnhem, Maastricht, Xanten, Koblenz, Cochem, Bernkastel (with a day trip to Trier or Luxembourg), and then back up to the Rhine for Rüdesheim, Heidelberg (docked at Mannheim), Strasbourg, Breisach (for a walk in the Black Forest), and Basel. So quite a winding trip, especially at the start, but we certainly enjoyed it a lot. Veere was fun because my wife's Mennonite ancestors emigrated from there in the 16th century.

 

Looking forward to more of your updates!

 

Thanks,
Sterling

 

Hi Sterling.  Could I ask what the name of your Scenic cruise was?  I could not find one with your itinerary on it.  Thanks.

 

Stan

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1 hour ago, travelingman said:

 

Hi Sterling.  Could I ask what the name of your Scenic cruise was?  I could not find one with your itinerary on it.  Thanks.

 

Stan

It was the "Romantic Rhine & Moselle".

 

Best wishes,

Sterling

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We’ve done eight Scenic cruises and done two twice, they do mix up their itineraries year to year also there are several choices per day. We’ve yet to go further on from Budapest and would certainly do the Seine one again. Our Seine cruise was their inaugural one and they weren’t signed off to dock in Honfluer so must do that. Once all that’s done we can look at other companies but they’ll have to be on their toes to beat Scenic but I’m open minded as cruise companies do things different ways, viv la difference. CA

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10 days on the Seine sounds really good.

 

For the British, the new TUI river cruise options sound really a bit different from the rest, i.e. other British and the North American lines. I find the itineraries really appealing. Unfortunately, Xanten is not in, though. Neither is Nierstein.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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@notamermaid Xanten is an unusual-sounding name for a German city.  [Sounds like a place in China or a medication!]  Even if the initial 'X' comes from the Greek, it still doesn't sound German.  Do you know the history of the name?

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Good question. Xanten is known to be the only town in Germany starting with an x. A conclusion from German Wikipedia - I had to look this up. The old Roman settlement nearby - today's archeological park - had a different name. Next to the old a new settlement established itself - the British would say during the dark ages - that from the 9th century appears in the records with the Latin name Santos, which is connected to a legend about a saint. In the Nibelungenlied it appears as Santen. I cannot find out when it was first spelt with an x (the Xanten people say Santen) but these things kind of change in written German, not unusual at all. Koblenz used to be spelt with a C into the 20th century, etc.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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2 hours ago, travelingman said:

In China many of the city names that start with an "X" are pronounced as an "S".

 

Stan

It seems across languages and alphabets x and s are two letters that change their value according to who uses it and transcribes it. The s in English is not the s in German very often either. And depending on region in Germany the s even turns into the English "sh" sound when spoken which has something to do with the dialects and the written language shifting. You mostly find it in words with -st, like Wurst, dialect Wurscht.

 

notamermaid

 

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Well, to be absolutely correct I should have said the "S" in China is probably more often spoken as "SH".

Xian is a spoken as Sh-ian to the best of my "feeble" memory.   It has been 9 - 10 years since I have been to China and probably 14 -15 years since I was in Xian.

 

Stan

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And I, as a somewhat provincial American, can't help thinking of the Superbowl every time I see the name of China's head honcho.  XI = Superbowl Eleven back in 1977, Rose Bowl, Raiders-Vikings, Stabler-Tarkenton - great game!

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What I cannot understand is how some cultures can pronounce a certain sound with absolutely no problem and others absolutely can’t even get close to producing it. Our rains are amazing structures. CA

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Beyond the standard ports... part 14

 

This next town in the series lies in the region called Rheinhessen, not far South of Mainz. It is called Nierstein. It is not a new port, but the town has upgraded its landing stage in 2019 to accommodate the modern 135m river cruise ships. Unfortunately, it so far has not been able to profit much from the boom in the river cruising industry. Admittedly, it is a small place that is overshadowed by Speyer and Mainz, but is a relatively attractive small town from what I have seen on photos and it lies in a wine-growing region meaning the place produces wine, some really good ones. Many years ago the town was actually regionally famous for its wines, together with neighbouring Oppenheim. Sticking out of the many beautiful vineyards in the region is the Nierstein vineyard called "Roter Hang", the reddish soil giving it the name: https://www.rheinhessen.de/en/a-red-slope

 

You can read a little about Nierstein here, by downloading the leaflet in English: https://www.nierstein.de/wein-tourismus-kultur/

 

For North American cruisers interested in history it is a pity that Nierstein has so far been overlooked and it merits more attention in my opinion. Nierstein is the place where the famous Rhine river crossing of US troops in 1945 took place. In March 2017 a monument was erected. This is the page about it: https://www.nierstein.de/wein-tourismus-kultur/rhine-river-monument/englisch/

 

Who stops in Nierstein? The German company A-ROSA does on one gourmet food themed itinerary. setours uses Nierstein as a port on its bike river cruises with the MS Olympia and the MS Patria. As regards international lines I could only find CroisiEurope, which offers Nierstein on one festive cruise itinerary and on one other just offering Nierstein as a possible excursion from Mainz.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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We have not been to Neirstein, but we did spend a morning in Oppenheim. We walked up to Burg Landskron and enjoyed the views, then walked down through the vineyards to see Ruprechtsturm, Katarinenkirche, and the adjacent Beinhaus. We toured the catacombs below the city and then had lunch in town before driving on to Worms for the afternoon. A most enjoyable stop.

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I'm seeing a Niersteiner Spatlese for under $11 a bottle at Total Wine in Norwalk CT.  May have to ask DD to pick one up for me.  I can't get myself into Nierstein, but I can get Niersteiner into myself!  :classic_biggrin:

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21 hours ago, jpalbny said:

We have not been to Neirstein, but we did spend a morning in Oppenheim.

That sounds like a great way to spend a morning. Oppenheim is the more touristy neighbour of Nierstein, with the underground cellars a regionally famous attraction: https://www.rheinhessen.de/en/a-oppenheimer-cellar-labyrinth

 

And then onto Worms for lunch - really nice.

 

That sounds like a good day for a river cruise. Stop in Worms, go to Oppenheim, onto Nierstein for lunch, a bit of vineyard walking in Nackenheim perhaps, i.e. another small town focusing on wine, and then move onto Mainz, where you meet your ship again that sailed on in the meantime. Or the upstream version of that.

 

Perhaps a river cruise company will take up the idea - apart from CroisiEurope who are already doing the wine tasting in Nierstein or Nackenheim :classic_smile:.

 

notamermaid

 

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3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

That sounds like a great way to spend a morning. Oppenheim is the more touristy neighbour of Nierstein, with the underground cellars a regionally famous attraction: https://www.rheinhessen.de/en/a-oppenheimer-cellar-labyrinth

 

And then onto Worms for lunch - really nice.

 

That sounds like a good day for a river cruise. Stop in Worms, go to Oppenheim, onto Nierstein for lunch, a bit of vineyard walking in Nackenheim perhaps, i.e. another small town focusing on wine, and then move onto Mainz, where you meet your ship again that sailed on in the meantime. Or the upstream version of that.

 

Perhaps a river cruise company will take up the idea - apart from CroisiEurope who are already doing the wine tasting in Nierstein or Nackenheim :classic_smile:.

 

notamermaid

 

You should become an itinerary consultant for river cruise lines, and get paid for these great ideas!

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