Descend a “hidden gem”, the Moselle, with AmaWaterways: Travel Weekly
When someone as prominent and respected in river cruising circles as Rudi Schreiner starts handing out superlatives, you are listening.
And according to Austrian-born industry pillar and co-founder and chairman of AmaWaterways, the Moselle is the most beautiful waterway in Central Europe.
“It’s a unique route that hasn’t gained much popularity yet, and even for Germans it’s sort of a hidden gem,” Schreiner said as we cruised from Amsterdam to Germany on the Rhine. , in the direction of the Moselle, on the Amalucia.
AmaWaterways offers three routes that navigate the Moselle (or Moselle in German). Most other river cruise companies also offer itineraries that include the river, such as Paris to Zurich or Strasbourg, France to Frankfurt. We were sailing towards Luxembourg.
Known for its wine region and storybook setting, the Moselle is the ideal blend of Rhine castle landscapes and vertical vineyards of the Douro River in Portugal. The region, best known for its Rieslings, has a long history of winemaking that incorporates dry to honeyed whites.
A tributary of the Rhine, the Moselle branches off at Koblenz, Germany, a city whose name comes from the Latin word meaning “confluence”. It flows for 339 miles through northeastern France, Luxembourg, and western Germany.
Market square in Bernkastel-Kues. Photo credit: Bretagne Chrusciel
Our route doubled along the Rhine after reaching Mainz, Germany, passing through several locks, to the German towns of Lahnstein on the Rhine and to Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues along the Moselle.
Cochem is a medieval town with an 11th century hilltop castle, known as the Reichsburg. It’s the highlight of any visit here, and for those who don’t mind stretching their legs on cobblestones and an uphill slope, the walking tour takes you to the photogenic nooks and crannies of the city. Lovingly maintained and guided by the locals who now own the property, Reichsburg offers everything from witch traditions to a hidden gate – even views of a seemingly precarious roller coaster in the distance.
Bernkastel-Kues (the town is divided by the Moselle) is the half-timbered fairytale port of dream brochures, and that’s probably what comes to mind when you think of a charming German village that has withstood centuries: preserved market place, Check; precious outdoor cafes and shops, check out; old castle on a hill and lots of wine for when you come down, check out and check out. Legend even goes that the wine here cured the illness of a 14th century archbishop and earned the winemaker the lasting nickname “doctor”.
So when recommending a scenic river cruise to your clients, don’t forget the Moselle, the shy but picturesque cousin of the Rhine.