AmaWaterways Enchanting Rhine river cruise took us to the beautiful village of Riquewihr on our last full day.
We left Strasbourg (actually, we were docked in Kehl) in the early morning hours and traveled south on the Rhine to our destination of Breisach, Germany.
Disclosure: my mother and I were hosted for an Enchanting Rhine river cruise courtesy of AmaWaterways. No conditions were made for a review and as always, my opinions are solely mine.
From Breisach, all guests had a choice of three different excursions: Riquewihr, a quaint French village in the heart of Alsace, a walking tour of Freiberg and Breisach, or the Breisach Bike Delight Tour. Mum and I chose to explore Riquewihr, as it just sounded so lovely (and I’d also already been to Freiberg.)
This morning’s breakfast included the most perfectly poached egg! (Yes, I still had a croissant with Nutella!) Mum enjoyed some breakfast meats, cheese and fruit, along with some choices from the bakery table.
Before we reached Breisach, the AmaCerto crew surprised us with an excellent introduction to a frühschoppen, a type of brunch which involves the German tradition of sausages and beer! It was all set up in the lounge and everyone was invited to sample the wonderful fare, which also included pretzels.
Here’s Alin serving the beer, and photos of some of the delicious sandwiches, sausages and pretzels that were served.
Orlin provided the musical entertainment to go with the meal.
Since this was just a snack (according to the crew, but it could have been a meal), lunch was served in the restaurant about an hour and a half later and shortly afterwards we docked in Breisach. The weather was gloomy and dull, but we were hoping that it would change for the better.
Those of us who opted for the Riquewihr excursion boarded a bus which would take us through the gorgeous French countryside, passing through the town of Colmar and many Alsace vineyards, however, the weather was standing firm and failing to cooperate.
Our tour guide gave us so many details about the wonderful history of the area, and prepared us for our upcoming visit to Riquewihr. Mum and I couldn’t help but notice that there were rain clouds everywhere, except for one tiny spot in the sky, and we really hoped our driver was heading in that direction. As he drove, it looked as though he indeed was going that way!
When we drove through Colmar, our guide explained that Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty was born here; then lo and behold, what did we see?
We drove through many vineyards and still continued to make our way towards the blue in the cloud-covered sky!
We also passed through some lovely little villages.
As we reached our destination, something amazing happened!
Everyone was as elated as my mother and me because the sun was shining and we had blue skies! It was as though Riquewihr had preordered sunshine for us!
If you don’t believe me, this is what the rest of the sky looked like!
Our guide took us onto the main street of the village, which is officially, “one of the most beautiful villages in France” and we could clearly understand why.
Riquewihr was one of the few places in France that was untouched during World War II, so this 16th century village has remained almost unchanged.
As it was such a small village, our tour guide gave us a lovely introduction to Riquewihr, and explained little details we probably wouldn’t have noticed. One of the most interesting things that our tour guide told us is that there are two rules about house-painting in Riquewihr:
- Houses cannot be painted white.
- Owners cannot paint their house the same color as their next-door neighbor’s home.
She also told us to look above doorways as there would often be diagrams and dates, because most people couldn’t read, but they could understand the symbols. Here is an example over the door of what would have been a bakery because of the images of the pretzel and loaf of bread.
We also noticed many storks again!
My mother was in heaven as she absolutely adores quaint European villages, and this cobblestoned beauty was one of the loveliest she’d seen. After a while, our tour ended and we were off to explore on our own.
We were simply amazed that the sunshine held out as there were dark rain clouds all around us. There was so much to see and do for such a small village: lots of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, wine-tasting, souvenir shops, and more.
Everywhere we turned, it seemed as though there was a lovely photo opportunity!
Mum and I decided to go into a Christmas shop and we were just flabbergasted at how the shop was beautifully decorated, the size of it, and the sheer quantity of choices for ornaments and decorations!
We were only in the shop for about ten minutes, so we were surprised when we went outside and it was completely cloudy; however, Riquewihr did not lose her charm in the slightest!
I couldn’t pass up this exquisite chocolate eclair, and was just digging in as it began to rain.
It was almost time to leave anyway, so Mother Nature’s timing was actually very good!
My mother wasn’t bothered; she was happy as a clam!
It would be lovely to spend more time in this region, wine tasting and experiencing the regional cuisine and all that Alsace has to offer. We went back to the bus and when all the guests had boarded, we headed back to the AmaCerto.
We had time to go into Breisach upon our return, but given the change in weather, both my mother and I opted to look at the view of the town from the warmth and dryness of the ship!
I also had the opportunity to see Sous Chef Hamka hard at work preparing the Chef’s Table dinner for the last night of the cruise.
His attention to detail was evident as he worked so meticulously.
Preparing the tables for the last Chef’s Table dinner on our cruise.
Just before dinner, the AmaCerto set sail for Basel, where we would arrive the next morning for disembarkation. However, let’s not discuss that sad fact quite yet, because there was still one more dinner to look forward to and the weather was already looking better as we cruised along the Rhine.
We had a lovely Alsatian Reisling to start dinner off right.
The Chef’s recommendation for the appetizer was Beetroot Carpaccio, Goat Cheese Mousse and Watermelon, so you know this was my choice because there was goat cheese involved. Mum had the same and we were not disappointed!
Mum and I also had Cream of Brussel Sprout Soup with a Pesto Foam which was fabulous. I also went along with the Chef’s Recommendation for the main course: Pork Tenderloin, Brioche Crust, Braised Savoy Cabbage, Orange Jus, Carrot Mousseline and Grilled Potatoes, oh my: perfection!
We had dinner with our lovely new friends, Nancy and Bob, and Nancy was kind enough to take a photo of my mother and me so we could remember the last night of our wonderful cruise!
Dessert was smashing, as usual, and of course I chose the sweet the Chef recommended, Tiramisu, but my mother opted for a savory cheese plate.
This evening’s sunset was like the grand finale of sunsets–simply stunning!
We had our last night in the lounge, with Orlin playing, and tried to say our goodbyes to as many of the guests who we’d gotten to know during our incredible river cruise.
The next morning we packed up and had our last breakfast (and my last croissant with Nutella). I just had to have a photo with the amazing crew in the restaurant! Each and every one of them were just lovely, and so conscientious about their jobs.
It had felt as though we’d been on our cruise for such a short time, but in other ways, it felt as though it had been much longer because we’d seen and done so much (and eaten so much)! Everyone was very sad to leave the AmaCerto, but many of the guests were going on to Lucerne and Zurich with Edward as part of the AmaCerto holiday.
My mother and I both had high expectations when we boarded the AmaCerto 7 days earlier in Amsterdam, but neither one of us had any idea of what we were about to experience. I cannot recommend AmaWaterways enough, and I hope you do your own research and give them a try if you are interested in river cruising. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and see what other guests have to say.
If I can answer any questions about anything at all, please do not hesitate to ask me. You can also contact AmaWaterways directly. They are such a wonderful company, and they are delighted to answer any questions you may have.
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Disclosure:my mother and I were hosted for an Enchanting Rhine river cruise courtesy of AmaWaterways.
No conditions were made for a review and as always, my opinions are solely mine.
I am posting this in accordance with FTC regulations.