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The Main – and the Edelfrau

A luxury River Cruise along the Main

The Main is where vineyards have funny names such as “Edelfrau” (Noble Lady) or “Eschendorfer Lump” (Eschendorf Rascal), and where fish such as the “round goby” swim in the water. It connects the Rhine with the Danube, the North Sea with the Black Sea, and is the longest tributary of the Rhine. It winds its way through loops, has Bamberg on its left and eventually you’ll see the Staffelberg.

Along the Main

If you walk up the Main, you can feel a little of what the poet Joseph Victor von Scheffel must have felt when he wrote the Lied der Franken, “The Franconians’ song”. “From Bamberg to the Grabfeld Gau mountains and hills frame the broad pasture divided by a shining stream.” The landscape on the Main is a succession of vineyards, asparagus fields and orchards. And the cities on its banks are also worth a run ashore. Schweinfurt with the Leopoldina, the oldest scientific academy in Europe, Frankfurt (hello Goethe) or Bayreuth (hello Wagner). Travelling on the Main is very different from the Rhine and Mosel, but very special.

Along river Main

ROUTES

14 Nights DANUBE | MAIN | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Three Rivers, the Rhine, Main and Danube
Three Rivers, the Rhine, Main and Danube
Spend 15 fantastic days cruising the Romantic Rhine, meandering Main, and legendary Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest. Explore the bustling metropolises of Amsterdam, Nuremberg, Düsseldorf, Vienna, and Budapest as well as quaint towns and villages such as Rüdesheim, Miltenberg, and Bamberg. Each is utterly unique and with a very different story to tell. Departing the Main, traverse the Main-Danube Canal with its 16 locks, climbing to 1,312 feet (400 meters) above sea level and crossing the contential watershed. On the Danube, discover Regensburg, Passau, Linz, and Melk, and marvel as you pass through the incomparable Wachau Valley lined with beautifully terraced apricot orchards and wine vineyards.
21 Nights DANUBE | MAIN | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Three Rivers, including the Lower Danube
Three Rivers, including the Lower Danube
If you're going to experience the rivers of Central Europe, see as much as possible—and this 22-day luxury expedition really delivers! Travel from Amsterdam to Belgrade and back to Budapest, with countless authentic encounters along the way in unforgettable ports like Düsseldorf, Rüdesheim, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Vienna. Discover the Rhine's romantic clifftop castles and eerie legend of the Lorelei, the charms of the meandering Main, the captivating Main-Danube Canal, and the quaint villages and breathtaking sights along the upper Danube. Then, push further south, all the way to Belgrade and the dramatic Iron Gates that separate the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. Return to Budapest, the stunning Hungarian capital, for the conclusion of your grand adventure.
7 Nights MAIN | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
The Great Danube and its Captivating Channel
The Great Danube and its Captivating Channel
Your journey begins in medieval Nuremberg, one of Germany's most popular cities! Embark and head to the nearby Hilpoltstein lock, one of the largest of the canal's 16 locks. Descend 80 feet (almost 25 meters) before passing the watershed monument at Pierheim. Here, you will find yourself at 1,332 feet (406 meters) above sea level—and literally cruising downhill toward Budapest. Along the way, stop in Regensburg, Passau, Linz, and Melk. In Vienna, discover a city overflowing with opulent palaces, museums, and world-class coffee houses. Your final stop is Budapest, the regal capital of Hungary spanning both sides of the Danube.
14 Nights MAIN | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Imperial Capitals on the Danube
Imperial Capitals on the Danube
This 2-week expedition launches from medieval Nuremberg, famous for its Gothic churches, ancient castles—and gingerbread! Cruise to the Main-Danube Canal's Hilpoltstein lock and descend 80 feet (25 meters). Here, you will find yourself 1,332 feet (406 meters) above sea level—cruising downhill to lovely Regensburg with its towers from the Middle Ages; Passau, the City of Three Rivers; and Vienna, the grand City of Music that's simply overflowing with palaces, museums, and world-class coffee houses. Continue south to Vukovar, marked by the dramatic events of the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. Then, pass through the breathtaking Iron Gates gorge, enjoy the Serbian capital of Belgrade, and explore Novi Sad near mighty Petrovaradin Fortress. Your trip ends in Budapest, home to the impressive Hungarian Parliament and other memorable highlights.
7 Nights MAIN | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Europe`s Grand Riverscapes: Budapest to Nuremberg
Europe`s Grand Riverscapes: Budapest to Nuremberg
One river, four countries, eight days, countless experiences—this is a trip for your Bucket List! A first highlight is Budapest, where you hardly know where to look first. Come face to face with the monumental Hungarian Parliament Building on the banks of the Danube, Heroes' Square, and the stunning views from Fishermen's Bastion. Then, discover Bratislava, a surprising gem to many travelers. As you stroll through the Slovakian capital's Old Town, keep watch for Napoleon's cannonballs lodged in the walls of several buildings. In Vienna, follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs and many of Europe's finest musicians, then marvel at Europe's largest pipe organ in Passau's baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral. The world's oldest continuously operating restaurant awaits at Regensburg, and the iconic twin-steepled church at Nuremberg rounds out your luxury cruise.
4 Nights DANUBE | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Enchanting Main: Nuremberg to Frankfurt River Passage
Enchanting Main: Nuremberg to Frankfurt River Passage
From tiny villages to bustling metropolises, Germany is home to some of the most amazing cities in the world. This 5-day luxury cruise provides a great introduction to a few of the country's must-visit centers: Nuremberg with its legendary twin-steepled church and tantalizing sausages; pretty Bamberg, where the medieval Town Hall sits right in the middle of the river; and Würzburg with its grand Bishop's Residenz, featuring a staircase fresco that amazes even the most traveled visitors! You'll also experience the incredible feat of engineering as you travel through the Main-Danube Canal, as well as the wine town of Wertheim with its fortified castle and Frankfurt, Germany's "Manhattan" financial hub, where you'll bid Auf Wiedersehen to your fellow travelers.
10 Nights MAIN | MOSELLE | RHINE | Riverside Debussy
Historical Cities of Germany: Nuremberg to Düsseldorf
Historical Cities of Germany: Nuremberg to Düsseldorf
Three rivers, one canal—and 11 glorious days to see and do it all! This luxury cruise through Germany begins in Nuremberg on the captivating Main-Danube Canal before transitioning to the Main River in Bamberg. Enjoy your progress as you meander peacefully to the area ports, including Würzburg, where you might like to see the ultra-lavish Bishop's Residenz; the charming wine village of Wertheim; and the modern financial hub of Frankfurt. Visit Mainz on the Rhine, then marvel at the wonders of the much-celebrated Rhine Valley, passing the Lorelei rock with its eerie legend and the towering castle ruins adorning nearly every clifftop. You'll also explore the Moselle River with its Roman and medieval heritage sites, including Cochem, Zell, Bernkastel, and Trier, Germany's oldest city. Return to the Rhine for the conclusion of your cruise in Düsseldorf.
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Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Germany

Frankfurt, the first things that come to mind are the sausages, the banks and finance. A feature even more famous than the sausages is, of course, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was born in the house on Großer Hirschgraben. Here, he also wrote two of his important works, the original version of “Faust” and “Die Leiden des jungen Werther”. His birthplace can be visited today. It is one of a total of 39 museums on the city’s waterfront. An absolute must! And the old town with the Paulskirche, which became the seat of the first German National Assembly in 1848 and where the Peace Prize of the Frankfurt Book Trade is awarded every year, is also a must-see place. Frankfurt, anything else spring to mind? Right. The “Palm Garden” with the “Palm House” from 1869, as well as the “Butterfly House”. A green moment, whether summer or winter.

Wertheim

Wertheim

Germany

Have you ever heard of the “Buddescheißer”? If you come to Wertheim, you definitely will. It is a mixture of marc and peach liqueur and a speciality from the wine town of Wertheim, one of the most beautiful towns in the north of Baden-Württemberg. Wertheim Castle towers high above the old town, majestically displaying its towers and battlements. It was built from 1180 onwards. Anyone standing up here and enjoying the magnificent view of the charming landscape of the Main and Tauber rivers (by the way, the two rivers flow together in Wertheim) should not be startled if he or she suddenly hears a loud, bleeting sound. Between spring and autumn, the castle’s guests include numerous goats that keep the steep green meadows on the huge castle grounds short. After this brief animal interlude, how about a dig in the old town? You have to have seen it!

Wuerzburg

Würzburg

Germany

Bavaria and Baroque. In Würzburg, it’s like nowhere else. One of the main works is the city’s Residenz, one of the most important castles in Europe, designed by Balthasar Neumann, built between 1720 and 1740 and protected by UNESCO. In the stairwell, every visitor is left feeling amazed: What a fresco! The largest continuous fresco in the world. Any questions? Then it’s on to the city, a baroque dream come true. And finally, we cross the oldest bridge over the Main (don’t worry, it has been lavishly restored time and again) to Marienburg Fortress, which was the residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops for over 400 years. From up here you look down on the old university with its domes and towers. What a view! Perhaps a visit to the art ship ARTE NOAH? It is one of the few floating galleries in Germany.

Miltenberg

Miltenberg

Germany

It lies between the hills of Spessart and Odenwald. It bears the title “Bavarian Place of Pleasure” with maximum pride. And yes, it has one very clever feature – a “Schnatterloch”. In all probability, this village is one of the most beautiful in Bavaria. Anyone standing in Miltenberg’s market square is in no doubt about this. Medieval half-timbering frames the square, at the end of which a footpath leads through the tower of the city wall to the Mildenburg. There is also a hole in the tower through which the water can drain off during heavy rain – the “Schnatterloch”. Incidentally, the museum in Mildenburg shows icons from Greece, Russia and Romania. A real box of gems.

Bamberg

Bamberg

Germany

Bamberg is the dream of a city that has become northern Bavaria. With charm from the Middle Ages and with listed buildings, yes, with baroque splendour architecture, to be more precise. In addition to numerous museums and historical sights, beer connoisseurs and aficionados will get their money’s worth in Bamberg in much the same way as wine lovers do with a top vintner. Beer is something like the lifeblood in the city. There are numerous breweries and plenty of pubs. But you’d better visit them after a tour of the city. This is because here you should not miss the following first: the Alte Hofhaltung (once the bishops’ residence), the cathedral (dating from 1002) and the Neue Residenz (what splendid halls!) with the rose garden designed by Balthasar Neumann (what a view over the old town). And as a little extra, after all you are on a river cruise: in Bamberg there is lock 100. It is the last lock of the Ludwig Main Danube Canal built under King Ludwig I. It is still operated by hand. The lock-keeper’s cottage is simply magical.

Nuernberg

Nuremberg

Germany

Fine wooden toys, jumping frogs and tin music boxes, colourful tableware and stationery – all handmade in local manufactories. The Handwerkerhof in Nuremberg is perfect for small and original souvenirs from the trip. Because your loved ones back home will definitely ask of such a special river cruise: Did you bring me something? Those who have been to Nuremberg also bring back stories. For example, from a visit to the Albrecht Dürer House, from a stroll through the Old Town with the Kaiserburg and the churches and the medieval fortress walls, from the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where the National Socialists held their party congresses and where the Nuremberg Trials were later held. From the “Marriage Carousel”, a fountain with larger-than-life bronze figures thematising the “bittersweet way of conjugal life”. And from the hangman’s house. There is a lot to tell.

More to explore

Rhein
Rhône
Danube

ONCE ABOARD YOU WILL HAVE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO FIND YOURSELF.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU!