January 20th 2018


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APT River Cruise APT River Cruise APT River Cruise


Continent: Europe. Country: Germany. City: Frankfurt Am Main.

APT River Cruise

By Jacqui Ridler, The Luxury Cruise Company

APT River Cruise - Day 1 Frankfurt, Germany

My car arrived at 5am to pick me up and 2 ½ hours later I had arrived at London Heathrow and checked in for my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. The seat had a good pitch and we had a smooth journey, and at Frankfurt Airport we were met by the APT representative, which was nice.  He escorted us to the town centre where we had some lunch, and most of the group sampled some local German beer! We met some of the other AmaDante passengers and were taken on a walking tour of Frankfurt.

 Our group were travelling on the final five days of a two week river cruise. The other passengers were a mix of Australian and British guests and were very warm and welcoming. After the tour we were driven to our home for the next five days the beautiful AmaDante that was docked in Mainz.

After a very smooth check in I was escorted to cabin category B number 216. I opened the door to see a wonderful floor to ceiling French balcony, plenty of hanging space in a double wardrobe plus a single side with safe and 6 shelves. There was also a complimentary bathrobe and pair of slippers. The dresser had 4 drawers and a small cupboard with a large mirror over, a TV that showing free movies, TV programs such as Downton and quite a few English TV channels and this also doubled as a computer. We had access to free wifi which you can use on the cabin PC or your own devices.

French Balcony Stateroom - There was a telephone and your own personal "quiet vox" headphone system which is used on all the tours, bottled water and air conditioning, two easy chairs with a small table by the balcony and bedside cabinets with more storage space. I liked the very large mirror over the nice comfortable double bed, and there is another full length mirror on the bathroom door.  The en suite bathroom had an ample sized sink, but the highlight for me was a fabulous shower with three choices of setting - hand held, waist height, or powerful overhead water.

As a Coeliac I am on a gluten free diet so as I sat down for my first dinner I was wondering how well they would feed me, at this stage I can say that it was excellent. My starter was an anti pasti, followed by sweet potato soup, gluten free bread, roasted pork, potato wedges, carrots and delicious apple sauce, ice cream sundae with gluten free wafers. All delicious and well presented.

Entertainment tonight was 60's 70's night with keyboard and vocals from Kalin who is from Bulgaria. I ended my evening with a nice chat with Captain Leo from Netherlands over a Mimosa! (Drinks are included in the price!)

APT River Cruise Day 2 - Speyer, Germany

After an excellent night's sleep on a very comfortable bed I made my way to the restaurant for breakfast and I must say it was a wonderful sight! AmaDante staff go to so much effort with every little detail and the breakfast spread did not disappoint. There was a wonderful selection of various breads and a delicious buffet laid out with lots of cereals, fruits, salmon, meats and cheeses and in the middle was a chef ready to prepare your choice of eggs. There is also a menu with a choice of other items including my favourite - Eggs Benedict! They served me gluten-free toast and had a box of Schar gluten-free cornflakes which I thought was amazing to find, I don't often see gluten free cereals on cruise ships.

After breakfast we were taken by luxury coach to Heidelberg where we met our wonderful guide Leon. He spoke in a clear voice through our "quiet vox" headphone system and was very entertaining. He took us to the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle and a picturesque old stone bridge which connects both sides of the city.

We then had some free time so I went to the famous Christmas shop "Kathe Wohlfahrt" and was spoilt for choice - but eventually bought a bauble for my tree. The city houses Germany's oldest university and is famous for the Heidelberg Kiss, which is both a confectionary and a bit of history. The story goes that Café Knösel is where young men and women liked to visit in the 1800's, and during this time the two groups were not encouraged to meet, so the pastry chef Fridolin Knösel (who was an old romantic) developed a chocolate delicacy called "the student kiss"; young male students could give the young women a chaste but delicious kiss in the form of this chocolate treat!

Back on the boat for lunch - today I had Aniti pasti, Sweet Potato soup, perfectly prepared minute steak and an ice cream sundae to finish. After lunch we were taken to a local family house for afternoon tea. 7 to 10 people were invited into each house where we were told interesting stories and served homemade cakes. I went to the home of Anita and she was an excellent host who was also a Coeliac so the food was all gluten free.

Dinner tonight was up to the usual high standard - I had king prawns, parsnip and tomato soup, duck with all the trimmings and baked apple. After dinner we went up in the lounge where we were entertained with music from movies and shows.

APT River Cruise Day 3 - Strasbourg, France

This morning we woke to a beautiful sunny morning, so I had a walk around the top deck before breakfast. Today I decided to try an omelette from the egg station made to order - it certainly set me up for the day. The buses left at 9am for the Strasbourg tour, and we were divided into small groups - ours was about 20 people. We met our guide Patricia and driver Jackie and had a very well presented coach tour. We were told about the famous Storks with about 40 nests along the streets, and Patricia did an excellent job of explaining the Alsace region of which Strasbourg is the capitol. We drove past the European Court of Human Rights, built in the shape of a ship, by our very own Richard Rogers in 1995 and the Council of Europe where 47 members meet to sort out various European issues.

Once in the town centre we started our walking tour passing some fabulous architecture, and our final stop was the spectacular sandstone Gothic Cathedral and the famous and fascinating astronomical clock. With a medieval cityscape of Rhineland complete with white-and-black timber-framed houses, I particularly enjoyed the Petit France region. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine and in 1988 the city center was made an UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour ended with just over an hour of free time.

APT River Cruises offer a "Freedom of Choice" tour option; this means that you can choose which excursion to do, and so today there were also tours to Baden Baden or Colmar. After lunch back on board the MS AmaDante I spent some time with some of the many swans hovering around us in anticipation of a few crumbs! Dinner was the Captains farewell meal and we were spoilt for choice, I had the Chefs choice which is an option on each menu for the whole meal, a great idea for when it all looks so good that you just cannot decide! Tonight's Chef's menu included creamy lobster bisque and a very tender beef fillet, juicy prawns, a selection of vegetables, creamy potato, and finally Baked Alaska was the dessert for which they made a special gluten free one for me.

A local French accordion player Armand accompanied by Muriel, a beautiful singer provided our evening entertainment with "French Chansons". There is always a late night snack available in the lounge but I was so well fed during the day I didn't explore this option.

APT River Cruise Day 4 - Breisach, Black Forest, Germany

We sailed in the early hours of this morning so I woke to find the most beautiful landscape of the Rhine. The weather was warm sunny with a cloudless sky so I went on the sun deck and sat in a very comfortable soft chair and enjoyed the scenery, as the MS AmaDante went through a couple of locks - the engineering that goes into them is amazing!

Lunch was a very tasty - vegetable broth and I my entrée was veal that was so tender it just melted in my mouth served in a wonderful creamy sauce. After lunch we all boarded the coaches and met our excellent guide Petra for our trip through the Black Forest. We went to Vosgtsbauermhof Open Air Museum which shows how the Black Forest farmers used to live and they had six complete farmhouses dating from 16th to 19th century for us to explore; interestingly the last resident was still living in one house until 1965. We saw the mill-house, kitchens, living areas and bedrooms - the houses also had stables within them for the livestock. The museum carries out research projects and looks into the cultural heritage of the area. We continued to Triberg, where Germany's highest waterfall can be found, and the town also houses the world's biggest cuckoo clock! We had free time here to explore.

Back on the AmaDante for our final dinner and we were in the speciality restaurant Erlebnis. You can dine in there once a week and I recommend you book your table for this exquisite evening. Head waiter Geirgi looked after us in 5* style and yet again my gluten free offering exceeded my expectations. It seats just 24 people and the food was delicious.

APT River Cruise Day 5 - Basel and cruise summary

This was our final stop and although we had to vacate the cabins by 9am we were able to stay on board until our airport transfer, so we could still have bar drinks, tea, coffee etc and there was also soup and sandwiches available; the Chef even made a gluten free sandwich just for me!

Cruise Summary


Overall this five day river cruise was fantastic, I cannot find fault in anything! The AmaDante holds 148 passengers, with ages ranging from 40 to 80 with the average age about 60. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and with around 50 staff you felt like they had time for you arranging anything you wanted. Arriving back on board each time we were given a hot towel and warm fruit tea, I thought this was a very nice touch. The AmaDante is an Aria class boat and was built in 2008 - the decor is of a very high standard with some lovely artwork around. There are three places to eat, the main restaurant, snacks in the lounge and the speciality restaurant which is available during the day as a quiet room for reading or games. There is a very well stocked bar, gym, beauty salon offering spa treatments, library, shop and reception. There are three cabin categories, outside with two small windows 170sq ft, French balcony 170 sq ft and Suites 255 sq ft

Jacqui Ridler Luxury Cruise Consultant and Tailor Made Specialist
The Luxury Cruise Company 

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0800 883 0411 | 01323 763579 | www.theluxurycruisecompany.com