The original version of this article called “What’s a European river cruise really like? (part 2)” was first published on Cruiseline. Continuing along the romantic Danube river, Lisa gives us insights from her visits to the European Christmas markets with Viking River Cruises. See part 1 of Lisa’s story here on Cruisline and here on We Said Go Travel.
What’s a European river cruise really like? (Part 2)
We continue our trip down the Danube with Lisa Niver. See Part 1 here.
13. Passau, Germany
Viking Atla docked in town in Passau, Germany. Our walking tour included Christmas markets near St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a traditional gingerbread tasting and demonstration at Cafe Simon. I loved the chef’s energy and learning about the different types of gingerbread made with honey and molasses.
14. The Inn River and Scharding, Austria
In the afternoon, we took a Bavarian cruise on a small ship. The reflection in the calm water was stunning, it was a cold day on the water but very beautiful. On one side of the river was Austria and the other Germany. In the evening, we explored the Christmas market of the small town named Scharding. Different trade unions had specific color so people could know which guild was inside, orange was the color for the money changer, blue was for the butcher and red for the baker.
15. Regensburg, Germany and its Jewish History
For Chanukah, Shabbat and my dad’s birthday on Friday December 11, I explored what was the oldest Jewish Community in Southern Germany with Sylvia Seifert of Shalom in Regensburg. The unique memorial Stumbling Stones has small stones on the street where Jews lived. The eldest document in which the Jewish community of Regensburg is mentioned, was written in the year 981. http://www.shalom-in-regensburg.de/english/index.htm
Porta Praetoria was built in 179 AD and is nearly 2000 years old. In 2006, this town was named a UNESCO site including the bridge which is over 800 years old. After World War 2 this is where Oscar Schindler and his wife lived. We saw brides at City Hall as many people get married on Friday. We had a lovely stroll through this incredible and historic town.
16. BMW Factory Tour & Evening Christmas Market in Regensburg
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit the BMW Factory in Regensburg. Watching the robot ballet to create cars from start to finish was incredible. I loved seeing how BMWs come to life. In the evening the Christmas market of Kelheim was alive with music, children and treats.
17. Taste of Austria & Germany Dinner
Back on board, we had Bavarian dinner with live music and our hotel manager even donned an apron to help cook our meal. Our fantastic crew sang Christmas carols in the evening and we sailed through more locks in order to get to our next port of call, Nuremberg, Germany.