Edit Blog Post
Published: April 26th 2019
The Queen Silvia
Operated by the Weisse Flotte Line
The glorious weather we've been experiencing is forecast to deteriorate starting tomorrow, so today we decided to take advantage of the last of the nice weather by booking passage for a 3-hour cruise from Heidelberg on the Neckar River.
The cruise line Weisse Flotte operates a fleet of boats offering various cruises on the Neckar and Rhine rivers. We opted for a 2 o'clock sailing that cruises eastward (upriver) to Neckargemünd (6 miles), then a few miles further east to reach the four-castle town of Neckarsteinach, before making the return voyage to Heidelberg.
We sallied forth from the apartment around 11:30, walking along Hauptstrasse, the main pedestrian drag through town, past numerous eateries and retail shops of every imaginable kind, that stretches for a mile through the Altstadt section of Heidelberg. We made a brief stop at the pharmacy, where the pharmacist recommended some Ibuprofen for my back pain, then proceeded about 1/2-mile until reaching the Weisse Flotte pier along the river bank.
Shortly after purchasing tickets for the cruise we were allowed to board well before departure time and ate a quick lunch in the restaurant section of the ship. We finished our lunch just as the
ship pulled away from the pier, so we decided to move topside, and staked out a table under a large canopy that shielded us from the bright sunshine throughout the cruise. What a smooth, relaxing ride we enjoyed, as the pastoral beauty of the Neckar River passed before our eyes on both sides of the ship!
Along the stretch of the Neckar River we were cruising today, the ship had to negotiate two sets of locks, of which there are a total of 27 on the Neckar, which enable boat transportation for 120 miles up or down the river. It was quite an elaborate process to watch, as the water levels are raised or lowered as we (and other boats) passed through the dams and locks on the way up- or down-river.
About half way through the cruise, after being fortified with some ice cream and french fries for a snack, we docked briefly at the town of Neckargemünd to offload some passengers. Shortly after leaving the dock, we spotted the tiny village of Dilsberg on the hill above the river, where we and our friend Danielle had visited earlier in the week. Soon the town of Neckarsteinach,
and several small castles, came into view along the banks of the river, at which point the ship turned around to begin its voyage back to Heidelberg.
All in all, I cannot think of a more relaxing way to spend an afternoon than cruising the Neckar. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire outing, arriving back in Heidelberg at 5:30, then walking along the river toward the Old Bridge, and back to our apartment by 6:00. Dee's Comments:
Weather forecasts called for no rain, so we picked a lovely day for our river cruise. We started out with a walk back to the pharmacy for some medication for Mitch, where the pharmacist was so friendly and knowledgeable (even gave us the name and contact info for a local physician should we need to consult one). Lifting those damn suitcases really caused havoc for us!
After today's idyllic cruise on the Neckar, all I can say is I wish I could afford to have a yacht and travel the waterways of the world. I was so relaxed this afternoon that I could have gone to sleep (the G&T I had with lunch may have had something to do with it).
We truly enjoyed each other's company, while watching the gorgeous scenery sail by, and again some more people watching.
One of the more interesting couples (?) we observed were a frail-looking 90ish year-old guy with a 40-something lady, whom we first thought could be his daughter or relative. But then, soon after they sat down at a table near us and ordered a bottle of champagne, they started kissing on each other like there was no tomorrow! Was this an e-Harmony hook-up, perhaps? We doubt it. LOL!
As we had walked more than usual today (for us!), both of us were so tired we skipped dinner entirely. Mitch was in bed by 8:00, and I followed him shortly thereafter. Must be that river air!
Tot: 0.465s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 11; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0201s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb