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October 2006 - Nr. 10


The Editor
Letter to the Editor
The Trakehner Horse
Minczuk & Kuusisto at TSO
Dresden's Frauenkirche
Mozart Opera Cancelled
German Impressionists
Golden Madonna
"Der Brückenbauer"
The Permanent Wave
Putin visits Dresden
Double Negative
KW & Beyond
Opera York's 10th Season
Two Outstanding Films
A Soiree To Remember
Opera On Film
Go To The Marché
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Baden-Wuerttemberg meets Ontario
Planet in Focus
Romancing the Rhine

Romancing the Rhine

...and other peaceful river cruises on Germany’s many waterways

Toronto -- Germany’s rivers are nothing if not romantic. You may sing the Lorelei on the river Rhine; recite Mark Twain on the Neckar river; hum bars of Strauss on the "Blue" Danube; sip riesling on the Moselle river and whistle Dixie on the Elbe, which runs right through Dresden, famous not only for its Baroque cityscape, but also for its annual Dixieland Jazz Festival. People are catching on, bookings on Germany’s river cruise ships are up, and cruise lines are expanding their fleets and increasing the variety and numbers of their cruises.

In contrast to the speedy autobahns, the great rivers that crisscross Germany have served for centuries as leisurely-paced thoroughfares, mainly for cargo. Today they have also become a relaxing, luxurious way to take in much of the country and its diversity, from the comfort of your deckchair, Sky scrapers dominate the banks of the river Main at Frankfurt, Cologne’s cathedral reigns over the Lower Rhine, and medieval monasteries and fortresses dot the Danube, as they do all of Germany’s rivers.

On a leisurely cruise, enjoy Germany’s countryside and her cities, her culture and history, and of course her regional foods and wines. The Elbe river, with the port city of Hamburg at the mouth, runs through Dresden and Meissen, of porcelain fame, on its way from the Czech border to the North Sea. On the other side of the country, the Rhine marks part of the western border, with France’s Alsace, continuing north towards Ruedesheim and the Rhine gorge, Cologne and beyond. The Moselle winds charmingly through its valley’s steeply angled vineyards, visiting such towns as Trier, of Roman descent, Bernkastel-Kues, Cochem and Koblenz, at the confluence to the Rhine. In the more southern part of the country, the Danube passes through Ingolstadt, where Audi cars are made, Kelheim, where barges travelling to or from the North Sea on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal join its swift currents, and the cities of Regensberg and Passau before crossing into Austria and on to the Black Sea.

Smaller rivers also offer much to see. In the northwest, the Weser river runs through Germany’s Fairy Tale Country. The rivers Oder and Neisse mark the border between Germany and Poland, and the Mueritz-Elbe Waterway, with its lovely canals, is exactly the right choice for those seeking an off-the-beaten-track alternative.


Cruise Packages

Canadians have a wealth of companies to choose from for river cruises to Germany, including Collette Vacations, Exclusive Tours, Globus, Horizon & Co and Trafalgar, all exploring Germany’s great waterways in various ways.

Exclusive Tours offers special 7-night fall cruises on the 5-star MV Heidelberg, of Peter Deilmann Cruises. This luxury river ship is sailing from along the beautiful Rhine River and Moselle Valley, visiting such charming towns and villages as Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues with their fairytale castles, half-timbered houses and old market squares. Prices start at US $1,495 per person, cruise only, for select sailing dates on October 14, 21 and 28, 2006. For information please visit

Globus’s Romantic Rhine Cruises take you to the ancient imperial city of Speyer, to Coblence and Cologne. Downstream from Mainz, on your way to Koblenz, you will find the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the river, dotted with fortresses and castles at every turn. In 2002 the UNESCO honoured the beauty of the romantic Upper Middle Rhine by declaring it a World Heritage Site. The pretty town of Ruedesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. Sailing dates are till November. Prices start at CAD $1,980 (Cat E) to $ 3,712 (Jr. Suite) per person cruise only plus port charges of $ 82 per person. For more information please visit

Trafalgar offers 9-day Classic Holiday Markets River Cruises, starting in Frankfurt on the river Main, sailing through the Main-Danube-Canal to Nuremberg. The popularity of German Christmas markets has grown steadily over recent decades. Brightly painted nutcrackers, multi-tiered, candle-driven Christmas carrousels and hand-carved figurines from the Ore Mountains are only a few marvellous gifts one can find. The cruises also include visits of the charming cities on the Romantic Road, such as Wuerzburg and Rothenburg. Sailing dates are on November 25, December 2 and December 9. Prices start from CAD $ 1920 per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy. For information please visit

For general information on Germany, please contact the German National Tourist Office’s toll free number, 1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to or visit GNTO’s Web site


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