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notamermaid

The river Main infos and river cruising experiences

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Here is the thread on the Main river. It runs entirely through Germany from East to West and joins the Rhine opposite the old town of Mainz. The river is navigable for a length of 388km from Bamberg to the mouth as a federal waterway, a few more kilometres can be sailed by small boats. At Bamberg (harbour) barges and river cruise ships divert into the Main Danube Canal leading to the Danube.

 

To continue with more info here is the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_(river)

 

Like the Moselle, the Main is a river that is rarely sailed by river cruise ships on its own, but is combined in an itinerary with another river or canal, a standard shorter route is for example from Frankfurt to Nuremberg, which is already on the Main Danube Canal.

 

So much from me as a start. Over to you.

 

Tell us about your experience. Further travel tips and info always welcome.

 

notamermaid

 

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I’ve done the Rhine and the Danube so I am looking forward to new experiences on the Maine Danube Canal on my Christmas Markets trip with Uniworld. Thanks for starting this thread!

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Lovely. Franconia is one of our favorite destinations in Germany. They make nice wines as well as beer so both Chris and I are happy.

 

There is a lot to do in Würzburg. The Residenz is impressive, as are the gardens.

 

Röntgen discovered X-rays at the University there and you can see an exhibit in his honor.

 

Great food at Juliusspital. Interesting wines too - I had a Schwarzriesling. 

 

Marienberg fortress is a great visit with beautiful vistas.

 

The Alte Mainbrücke is the place to be in the evening. 

 

We have stayed there three times so far. Twice for one night and once for two nights. Hotel Würzburger Hof is nicely located and an easy walk from the Bahnhof.

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The Main has many lovely stretches and a number of interesting towns but I also think of it as the River of the Low Bridges. It seems that the sun deck railings are flattened and the sun deck closed for much of its length. 

 

I, like many river cruisers, travel to the “Old World” to see the castles and palaces, but I remember cruising on the Main one fine afternoon past what appeared to be a former land fill (something that in my area would be called “Mount Trashmore”) now grassed over, with the south face covered with solar panels, the top supporting wind turbines and additionally piping sucking off the methane from decomposition. I was fascinated by the trifecta of renewable energy which I doubt anyone else even noticed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

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My husband and I are going on Grand Circle’s Great Rivers of Europe cruise in late  October. Part of this trip is on the Main.  Would welcome h3aring more about the Main. 

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The Kappele a church on a hill facing the Marionburg Fortress is interesting to see but it is a long way up to it.

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On 6/11/2019 at 4:46 AM, jpalbny said:

Lovely. Franconia is one of our favorite destinations in Germany. They make nice wines as well as beer so both Chris and I are happy.

 

There is a lot to do in Würzburg. The Residenz is impressive, as are the gardens.

 

Röntgen discovered X-rays at the University there and you can see an exhibit in his honor.

 

Great food at Juliusspital. Interesting wines too - I had a Schwarzriesling. 

 

Marienberg fortress is a great visit with beautiful vistas.

 

The Alte Mainbrücke is the place to be in the evening. 

 

We have stayed there three times so far. Twice for one night and once for two nights. Hotel Würzburger Hof is nicely located and an easy walk from the Bahnhof.

Thank you for the info. Würzburg is the second largest town on the Main after Frankfurt. My memory of Würzburg is a bit "cloudy" as I was there about 35 years ago. But I remember being quite impressed. It certainly should be a stop on every Main itinerary - it probably is.

 

For a bit more on Würzburg: https://www.wuerzburg.de/en/index.html

 

A will go a bit further upstream to the next major port on a river cruise trip, Bamberg: https://en.bamberg.info/

 

Apart from being surrounded by wine and beer, as well as landscape and being full of old stones, they have something else in common: UNESCO World Heritage sites. In Würzburg it is the Residenz Palace and Court Gardens, in Bamberg the Old Town.

 

Hence they are busy places in season.

 

For hidden gems or at least less known places, watch this space...

 

notamermaid

 

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TravelerThom,

 

thank you for your info. I pick will pick up your mention of the low bridges:

On 6/11/2019 at 11:47 AM, TravelerThom said:

The Main has many lovely stretches and a number of interesting towns but I also think of it as the River of the Low Bridges. It seems that the sun deck railings are flattened and the sun deck closed for much of its length. 

 

Indeed it is. I did not know this before past cruisers mentioned this. From what they have said the sundeck can be closed from more or less the mouth of the river, along its entire navigated length and also along the Main Danube Canal. How long depends on what the cruise line wishes to do.

 

Now here is interesting bit. With low bridges the problem is of course the maximum headroom, so a ship that is built low could sail with its sundeck open, couldn't it? That is the question I asked myself and passed it on to the captain of the MS Symphonie when I visited her on an open day last year. This is what I wrote about it in the respective thread:

Quote: "On the issue of the sundeck being closed on the large river cruise ships sailing the Main and Main Danube Canal

 

There has been quite some mentioning of the sundeck being closed on the 135m ships like Viking from more or less Frankfurt on the Main till the end of the Main Danube Canal at Kelheim. While this has been mentioned as being stated in the small print it appears not to be an information readily available to prospective cruisers. It is not something that is a feature just of the large ships rather the problem arises from the ships having three decks. The captain on the MS Symphonie informed me that his ship being a two-deck one, the sun deck stays open during that stretch." Quote end.

 

notamermaid

 

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I assume most readers of this thread have also been following https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2669029-main-danube-canal-closed-for-2-or-3-weeks-after-accident/page/2/ where the following picture was posted ((Post 34)

8E5C7FEA-D292-400B-99A0-8749FD95C600.jpeg

 

I was was unfamiliar with the boat on the right which is 

https://feenstrarhineline.com/our-fleet/antonio-bellucci/

Interesting the Antonia Bellucci is a 3 Deck (plus sun deck) boat which apparently, like some of the old Grand Circle boats is split-level and the forward portion of the boat is 2 level with that portion of the sun deck remaining open during the R-M-D transit. 

 

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2 hours ago, TravelerThom said:

split-level and the forward portion of the boat is 2 level with that portion of the sun deck remaining open during the R-M-D transit. 

Scenic's ships are likewise split level. That's the only company I've used so far, so I thought that design was common. Just goes to show that I still have one or two things left to learn in life. 🙂

Thanks,
Sterling

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Hi, I am on the coach having just left the Emerald Destiny. Our week long cruise with Emerald was very disappointing. Have left a post. Title- Legends of the Moselle and Rhine.

This is also Emerald,s title description of the cruise we just finished. Emerald shut the sundeck from late Wednesday afternoon till this morning Sunday. I don't want to hijack notamermaids thread. Thanks notamermaids for replying to my post.

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On 6/16/2019 at 12:15 PM, oceans52 said:

Hi, I am on the coach having just left the Emerald Destiny. Our week long cruise with Emerald was very disappointing. Have left a post. Title- Legends of the Moselle and Rhine.

This is also Emerald,s title description of the cruise we just finished. Emerald shut the sundeck from late Wednesday afternoon till this morning Sunday. I don't want to hijack notamermaids thread. Thanks notamermaids for replying to my post.

My pleasure. It is an annoying thing to have the sundeck closed for such a long time, I find. It should clear from brochures that this is not something that is done for "a couple of low bridges along the way", but to save time for the crew a thing that is more standard than the exception on the river.

 

Bridges, great structures, I am an admirer of that sort of engineering. So let us move on to the positive aspects of them. You can cross the river on dry foot without having to find a ford, can drive over it or take a train over it. That brings me to Frankfurt and you are allowed to snigger at my attempt to bring the subject to the name of this well-known city, that - perhaps surprisingly - was merely a Roman military fort of minor significance and had no village or even town status: "The ford through the river at the point where the Franks lived".

 

More on Frankfurt at another time.

 

notamermaid

 

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Frankfurt am Main.

 

With Germans the name brings up many images, for most it will be the "Römer" which is part of the old town; the river with the supposedly only river skyscraper skyline in Germany; ideas of a busy market place, with the Frankfurt stock exchange and the annual Frankfurt book fair.

 

For me Frankfurt is the place with the huge railway station that brings me closer to relatives living in a town near Frankfurt and also the possibility to visit world class museums. If you ever have lots of time check out the Städel museum for art.

 

Oh, and of course it has got a huuuge airport that is a sort of a town in itself.

 

Onto the official info:https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en

 

The river, now crossed by several bridges, runs through the town, with the main city, i.e. the old town, on the right bank. One bridge that is a landmark is the Eiserner Steg: https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Media/Attractions/Buildings/Eiserner-Steg

Now, that photo does not do the pedestrian bridge justice, jpalbny posted a much better nighttime shot in another thread not so long ago. JPAlbny, if you are around, if you could do the honours please? :classic_smile:

The Eiserner Steg leads to Sachsenhausen district, traditionally the place to go for a pleasant night out for drinking "Äppelwoi". It is the dialect word for apple wine, i.e. a more "sour" variation of cider. Äppelwoi is served in special glasses poured from "Bembel". A bembel is a stoneware jug made more or less locally and this is what it looks like, yes you can buy them as souvenirs: https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Information-Planning/Frankfurt-Souvenirs/All-about-apple-wine/The-Bembel-The-traditional-earthenware-jug-used-to-serve-apple-wine

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Notamermaid, thank you, that's very kind considering that it was just a cell phone shot. I hope this is the right one.

 

20190526_222428.thumb.jpg.45319a57697e513d824e9055320066f4.jpg

 

We enjoyed Frankfurt very much, both times. It's different from other cities. But plenty of charm, and the river is beautiful. Our first visit was for a long weekend last May. Lots of good food, Apfelwein, and museums.

 

We had an overnight layover at FRA last month on our way home from Ukraine, so we went into town for the evening for dinner and sightseeing. Worth the time and the S-bahn ticket, for sure.

Edited by jpalbny

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Frankfurt am Main does not seem to be a common river cruise stop, but some years ago the boat pulled into Frankfurt right at dinner time as a side trip to  Rothenburg ob der Tauber arrived back. After dinner the boat offered a movie (nothing special) and popcorn in the lounge which we most definitely blew off and (after checking that the boat was not departing until much later) instead walked 4-5 blocks to the Römerberg. 

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On 6/21/2019 at 12:30 AM, notamermaid said:

 

Now, that photo does not do the pedestrian bridge justice, jpalbny posted a much better nighttime shot in another thread not so long ago. JPAlbny, if you are around, if you could do the honours please? :classic_smile:

The Eiserner Steg leads to Sachsenhausen district, traditionally the place to go for a pleasant night out for drinking "Äppelwoi". It is the dialect word for apple wine, i.e. a more "sour" variation of cider. Äppelwoi is served in special glasses poured from "Bembel". A bembel is a stoneware jug made more or less locally and this is what it looks like, yes you can buy them as souvenirs: https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Information-Planning/Frankfurt-Souvenirs/All-about-apple-wine/The-Bembel-The-traditional-earthenware-jug-used-to-serve-apple-wine

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

My photo isn't as pretty as jpalbny's night time shot, but we did take quite a nice one back in January during our few days in Frankfurt.  It does show the skyscraper skyline though.
We walked from our hotel (Sofitel Opera) through the city to Sachsenhausen.  We had lunch at one of the apfelwein taverns named Strewwelpeter, delicious pork schnitzels and a glass of the apfelwein.  The schnitzel was great, but the apple wine was awful, sorry notamermain.  It was a great experience though.

We then walked back to the Römer and later the hotel via Eiserner Steg.

 

611 River Main, Frankfurt IMG_2417 9-01-2019 2-39-21 PM 9-01-2019 2-39-21 PM.JPG

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Thank you both, JPAlbny and djh 1959, for the photos of Eiserner Steg. So pretty lit up at night and fascinating in daylight with the skyscrapers in the background. I notice the excursion boat in the foreground. I have read that they dock close to Eiserner Steg. A bit further along downstream, at Untermainkai, appears to be the dock for the river cruise ships from what I can see online, and TravelerThom, your walk of 4 to 5 blocks seems to confirm this, so pretty close to the centre of town.

 

The town, yes, well that is a sad story like in so many cities that either had a railway bridge, industry, administration, military importance and the like in WWII. Frankfurt had the bad luck of being of importance so was bombed and lost most of its old town. But, here is the good news, some was restored a long time ago, but much is modern, and then a few years back, it was decided to give it its old town around the Dom back. The building project was completed - wait for it - in Autumn 2018! Frankfurt is a modern town that does not feel cosy, but quite cosmopolitan. Perhaps the reconstruction is giving it back some of its splendour: https://www.dw.com/en/frankfurt-old-town-my-foot/g-45647677

 

notamermaid

 

 

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

The building project was completed - wait for it - in Autumn 2018! 

 

That fits with our last two trips there. We saw the last stages of the construction when we were there in May 2018. There were a few areas fenced off just near the Romer, with some work going on. We didn't have time to explore too much of it last month when we visited, but what we saw seemed to be completed.

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12 hours ago, notamermaid said:

The building project was completed - wait for it - in Autumn 2018! 

 

 

Wow, we were so lucky.  We were there in January 2019 and it was totally finished and really nice to see.

 

The modern part really could have been my home, Melbourne, or any other city in the world, but the Romer was exactly the type of thing that we love to see when travelling to Europe.

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I mentioned the bombing of Frankfurt a few posts above. Well, they found an unexploded one last week in the East End near the harbour. Sunday the 7th July will see the disposal and this necessitates a

 

river closure between kilometres 35.95 and 38 from 8am onwards

 

according to the authorities (river traffic information service ELWIS).

 

notamermaid

 

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On our recent Viking Cities of Light trip from Paris to Prague, one of the extra excursions was Hike the Wurzburg Hills.  A coach took us to the top of the hill above the Kappele, a short walk down to see it, more walking down some nicely maintained paths, to town for a short walk to the paths up to the Marienberg Fortress.  Up through the vineyards onto the fortress and a much steeper but shorter walk down to town, where we had time to wander the town a bit or head back to the docking area to await the ship, which was a bit delayed due to locking.  Would have been a perfect excursion except for the heat and sunshine.  But a great opportunity to get a bit more exercise than a mosey through town.

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That's a great sounding walk, cheeruson. We have done some of those paths. I bet the views were pretty.

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JPalbny, the views were gorgeous!  And everyone stopping for pictures here and there helped manage the heat effects, so although we all looked pretty rough on reaching the fortress, no one seemed to be in any danger.  Also, thankfully, no one who was not physically able attempted the trip, so we didn't have to worry about alternate arrangements.  There was a horse cooling trough next to the fountain in the fortress, empty sadly, that we all could have used.

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Another bomb successfully defused and Frankfurt has returned to normal - till the next one is fund...

 

On 6/22/2019 at 9:39 AM, djh1959 said:

We walked from our hotel (Sofitel Opera) through the city to Sachsenhausen.  We had lunch at one of the apfelwein taverns named Strewwelpeter, delicious pork schnitzels and a glass of the apfelwein.  The schnitzel was great, but the apple wine was awful, sorry notamermain.  It was a great experience though.

djh1959, no reason to be sorry about the Apfelwein. It is an acquired taste - or not, i.e. drink it once and then no more :classic_wink:. I prefer English medium cider myself.

 

Here is another culinary delight that is probably easier on the palate, green sauce: https://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en/Discover-Experience/Cuisine/Green-sauce

 

On 6/11/2019 at 11:47 AM, TravelerThom said:

I, like many river cruisers, travel to the “Old World” to see the castles and palaces, but I remember cruising on the Main one fine afternoon past what appeared to be a former land fill (something that in my area would be called “Mount Trashmore”) now grassed over, with the south face covered with solar panels, the top supporting wind turbines and additionally piping sucking off the methane from decomposition. I was fascinated by the trifecta of renewable energy which I doubt anyone else even noticed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

TravelerThom,

 

I have never seen something like that, certainly unusual. I also find these unusual things interesting,  and do not always go for the standard photo ops. Took photos of the Soviet era mural in Budapest at the street near the quay and of the underside of the bridges. Many years ago I took a photo of the rubbish floating in the Thames at Greenwich... I was intrigued by how dirty the city was compared to my home town.

 

Along the Main it is certainly not all landscape and small towns, the lower Main is known for being industrial and at Frankfurt Höchst district there is an industrial park for mostly pharmaceuticals, chemical and biotechnological companies. These places - especially the old factory buildings - have their own kind of appeal I find.

 

To the more standard aesthetics: a new exhibition at the Städel museum is coming up. Van Gogh as inspiration for German artists. This is it: https://www.staedelmuseum.de/en/vangogh

 

Next I shall leave Frankfurt behind and finally venture out into the hills to a hidden gem.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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