2021 AmaWaterways Medieval Treasures

Notre Dame Cathedral StrasbourgBasel to Nuremberg Nov 2-9, 2021 - AMA Prima

We took Delta and stayed in Basel for 2 nights prior at Hotel City Inn. This is right across from the Basel train station and very easy to get to. Customs and immigration was seamless and zipped right through! Basel offers plenty of things to see. We were there on Halloween so all the little kids were walking in costumes to a festival in town with rides and various food vendors. Everyone needed their Covid certificates or cards to enter. Town is easily accessible, very clean. Felt very safe too.

We had done the Swiss COVID certificate prior and had the app so easy to access and scan. We found out after we had arrived (AMA didn’t mention in pre check in or prior to departure) that France or Germany required COVID certificates as well. Some places would accept the Swiss one and some would not. All restaurants in Switzerland, France and Germany required a mask and either Covid card or certificate for that country to enter/dine.

We boarded the ship in Strasbourg due to numerous boats not able to navigate the lower portion of The Rhine due to heavy summer rains. Deposits from sand and gravel have settled in the lower Rhine and will affect ships from moving freely until this part can be dredged. AMA bussed us from Basel to the port and we were on the ship overnight. We had a French balcony stateroom (upgraded from lower level) and nice. I looked at some of the staterooms with double balconies and this area of the balcony is bumped out. Note: with exception of the extra balcony, there was not much difference in rooms.

Tours: We chose the “active” tour option for most of the tours, so a lot of walking is involved. Guests will need to understand that the pace of the tour doesn’t mean it is reflective of handicap or mobility issues, but how quickly one will cover the area. As an active tour, literally not much stopping for pictures etc and moved along quickly. Bikes were offered for some of the tours/ports but not all. Guests were given helmets and bottled water. All tours offer local guides who met us at each port. We choose our excursions in advance, but had the freedom to change at will or even the day of. In some cases we were the only ones on the tour so it was very much customized on how much we wanted to see. Those guests not participating on the tours will stay on ship as it moves from port to port. For those on an excursion, a meeting point is determined and those guests will be bussed to next pier. There was always free time to explore after each excursion/city tour. Bathroom stops were also incorporated with each city tour.

Food: all meals were offered via menu only in the dining room. Very accommodating to my friends Gluten allergy and another guest at our table had a dairy sensitivity. Recommendations/modifications were offered for every meal. All wine, beer, soft drinks, juice, coffee were included for all meals. A red or white wine was offered for all dinner menus. Chef recommendations were provided on the menu, along with a Vegetarian and items that are always available. We asked the chef for a gluten free pizza, and they accommodated this for the next day’s lunch meal. We had a Chef’s table meal one evening which was served at the back of the boat. Approx. 25 guests are served at a time. Very nice presentation.

Entertainment: after dinner they offered a piano player each night in the lounge. Very low key and do not expect a lot of activity after dinner. Any snacks offered were extremely limited. Daily tea at 4pm with light snacks/desserts offered and “Sip-n-Sail” at 6pm each evening with a drink of the day. Select drinks offered during Sip-n-sail are included.

Highlights: Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg, evening wine tasting in Rudesheim, Vineyard hike, Werthheim Castle, Wurzburg Palace, Gluhwein (mulled wine) in Wurzburg. For any wine drinkers, this region of France/Germany is known for their Rieslings and on occasion Ice Wein. I also tried smoked beir and a local dish of sausages, sauerkraut and potatoes.

Tips: countries in the EU do not have standard COVID requirements/certificates so make sure you have one for each country to be safe. You may be required to show additional proof of vaccinations so always hand carry COVID certificates and have one on phone to scan. The Swiss certificate (approx. $34 USD) was a bit tricky to get and there is no way to get refunds back for additional fees associated if the information is not correct. We obtained prior to our departure wasn’t always accepted in France. We were denied going in to the cathedral and some restaurants. Masks were required for ALL indoor facilities/museums and restaurants. Multiple types of masks may be required. During our journey, Germany’s restrictions changed that morning and we were required an N95 in public! They were selling them on the ship for 2euros each.

It was an excellent experience and I would recommend river cruising with AmaWaterways to anyone!

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