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Uniroyals – Big Wheels on the River

Something was in the air.  The Uniworld crew was hushed and all a-twitter at the same time.  Under intense questioning, Jan, our hotel manager, caved.  Royalty was coming aboard and joining our happy little cruise for 3 days!

Jan, being forced to eat until he spilled the secret

Jan, being forced to eat until he spilled the secret!

 

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Now for the ‘lockin’ …

 

Locks 1

A rather ominous looking lock

You might be wondering how a huge river boat cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest, since there is a 1332 foot change in altitude and the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers do not intersect in any passable place.  Then again, if you’re like me, you’ve never given this a thought and you blindly get onboard and hope that on the ‘downward slope’ the ship doesn’t suddenly plunge 1332 feet and ‘presto!, you’re in Budapest’!  This, of course, doesn’t take into account that the ship has SOMEHOW ascended 1332 feet, since, as we all know, (you do know this, don’t you?) Amsterdam is below sea level. Continue Reading →

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Two-wheeled rollin’ on the river

Wertheim and Main River from castle

You can’t see the bike path, but, trust me, it’s there

On day 3 of our European Jewels adventure, just as we were settling in to the slow and comfortable pace of river cruising, we suddenly found ourselves on dry land with a small bicycle and told to pedal 25km upstream, where, with any luck, we’d meet the ship again.  If we pedalled fast. Continue Reading →

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Wine and Rhine, II

After another ‘light’ dinner (fewer than 18 courses), midnight snack and groaning breakfast buffet, the captain ran the ship aground at Rudesheim.

River Empress at Rudesheim(he really didn’t.  It just looks that way.  Besides, he promised not to put me ashore again if I stopped questioning his credentials.) Continue Reading →

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Wine and Rhine

I’ve finally sobered up enough to write another post (who knew there were SO many vineyards in Germany?  Oh…..you mean everybody did?).  Our first stop was Cologne (Koln to the Germans), one of the oldest towns in Germany  (given that we’re on a boat with some of the oldest people from the US, this seemed fitting).  Roger and I are typically (and wrongly, it appears) opposed to tour guides, tour buses, tour-de-France and tours in general.  This Uniworld cruise has changed our outlook. Continue Reading →

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Rollin’, dockin’, lockin’ on the river… continued

The triumvirate of the River Empress

The Triumvirate of the River Empress

On even the most sumptuous ships, the crew will make all the difference in whether or not you have a five-star experience.   Continue Reading →

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Rollin’, dockin’, lockin’ on the river…

The River Empress our home for the next 14 days

The River Empress 

 

River cruising in Europe has become ridiculously popular (PBS fans, I’m talking to you!); on the day of our canal cruise (Sunday), there were no fewer than 8 ships docked in Amsterdam – all heavy with passengers and all heading in the same direction (well, there’s really only one choice).   The River Empress, one of Uniworld‘s lovely boutique ships, wisely departs on a Wednesday – avoiding the crowds not only in Amsterdam but at many other stops along the way.  After four days of exploring the canals and cobbled streets in Amsterdam, we made our way to the docks, found our floating home and boarded in high spirits (and not just because of the legalized  ‘air’ in Amsterdam!) Continue Reading →

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Wooden Shoe like to be in Amsterdam?

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My apologies.  It’s late.  I haven’t had a good internet connection in days.  Right this minute, I’m at the bottom of a very deep set of locks in Frankfurt (on a ship).  Obviously, I’m not even in Amsterdam any longer.  But Roger gamely posed for this photo, so there was no way I wasn’t going to include it in this – the “European River Cruise of 2014” blog. Continue Reading →

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