14 Reasons We Loved Uniworld's Castles Along The Rhine

30 May 2016

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Throughout the centuries the Rhine River has inspired poets, painters and composers of the ilk of Byron, Beethoven, Brahms, Goethe and Turner. But none of them had the chance to experience it on the S.S. Antoinette – a beautiful river ship which further enhances the destinations it visits.

It all goes someway to explaining why the eight-day Castles Along the Rhine voyage is one of Uniworld’s most popular European river cruise itineraries – as seven Travel Associates consultants recently discovered.

1.

"My first impressions of S.S. Antoinette were grand, the lobby area was stunning with its crystal chandelier. My stateroom was far more spacious than I’d imagined, with opulent furnishings, spacious cupboards, a marble bathroom with L’Occitane toiletries and even a jar of chocolates refilled daily. The open-air balcony was perfect for some fresh air or a chat to your neighbours."

— Madga Kordysz
Lewis & Turner Travel Associates, North Adelaide

An elegantly furnished suite on board the S.S. Antoinette. Image: Uniworld

2.

"After explaining the intricacies of the vast breakfast buffet in the Restaurant de Versailles, the waiter who served me lunch after I had boarded, said he would get me my coffee. And that’s exactly what he placed in front of me – my perfect coffee – a double shot latte with a smidgen of froth in a small cup. It was just as I had asked him for the day before."

— Jo Kennedy
Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates, Chelmer

3.

"Onboard activities were suitably topical. On the day after we sailed past the Black Forest, the Chef and his staff turned the elegant I’Orangerie Sky Lounge into a mini kitchen and took us through the steps of making our own Black Forest cake. They also served us huge slabs of cake with Champagne afterwards. Unspeakably delicious."

— Carolyn Pickering
Wye & James Travel Associates, Turramurra

S.S. Antoinette on the Rhine River. Image: Uniworld

4.

"Our waiter, Goran, enhanced each meal. Within a day he was able to predict my meal preferences and in the end I let him order for me. His wit and playful nature fit so well with our group and he enjoyed interacting with all of us. One night he played a joke on me and had the table in stitches – Eastern European with an Australian sense of humour!"

— Louis Teng
Ashmore & James Travel Associates, Canterbury

5.

"As you might expect given that we were sailing up the Rhine, Rieslings featured strongly on the wine list. The sommelier and his staff were deeply knowledgeable about the variety but, above all else, are keen to ensure that whatever you drink, even if Riesling is not to your taste, is exactly the right choice for you."

— Meaghan Wolf
Wolf & Turner Travel Associates, Blackburn

The bar in the luxurious Salon du Grand Trianon. Image: Uniworld

6.

"Menus changed daily in line with where we were on the river. Pan-fried fillet of river perch served in a light Riesling wine sauce was one of the dinner options after we spent an afternoon at Schloss Johannisberg, the standout winery in the Rheingau region, with the fish delivered to the ship that afternoon."

— Mark Langhorne
Freedman, Langhorne & James Travel Associates, Sandringham

7.

"Each evening during cocktail hour in my favourite space, the luxuriously comfortable Salon du Grand Trianon, our cruise director detailed what the coming day held and our options for exploring the new destination. This presentation meant there was no chance you would end up doing something you didn’t like or wasn’t appropriate for your fitness level."

— Brenda Hayward
Noller & Turner Travel Associates, Rosalie


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8.

"Anyone looking to stay in shape on board should try the onboard water aerobics. It is always a concern, that with the food so good, you’ll need to do some exercise. The instructor, Peter made it fun and worked with us to make sure we kept up. What a view from the slightly heated pool – not a bad way to get a little exercise during a 7-night cruise."

— Jo Kennedy
Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates, Chelmer

9.

"If it’s castles you are after I promise you won’t be disappointed, but there’s so much more to delight in on this itinerary. Glorious cities, impressive mountains, pretty villages, rolling vineyards and great cathedrals. You also get four countries, Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands rolled into your eight-day cruise."

— Madga Kordysz
Lewis & Turner Travel Associates, North Hobart

S.S. Antoinette on the Rhine River. Image: Uniworld

10.

"Our captain, who was raised on the Rhine and knows it like few others, gave a commentary that went well beyond what we were seeing and brought the castles, villages and wineries of the gorge to life. Our waiters brought out silver trays of champagne flutes, or anything else we wanted, which is the way it is on Uniworld."

— Louis Teng
Ashmore & James Travel Associates, Canterbury

11.

"We docked less than 100 metres from Rudesheim’s most famous wine street, Drosselgasse, where taverns and wine shops sell and serve the Rieslings grown in surrounding area, the Rheingau, one of smallest wine regions in Germany but one of its best when it comes to Riesling. In Cologne, the Gothic cathedral, was almost close enough to touch."

— Carolyn Pickering
Wye & James Travel Associates, Turramurra

Gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany. Image: Uniworld

12.

"When we needed a coach to get us to our destination, it enhanced rather than detracted from the the experience. Like the half-hour drive through the rolling vineyards of the Route des Vin to the Alsatian villages of Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, two contenders for the most beautiful village in Europe; or the trip to the Baroque city of Heidelberg."

— Meaghan Wolf
Wolf & Turner Travel Associates, Blackburn

13.

"The best thing about the shore visits is the local guides. Most are born and bred in the town or region you are visiting, and have a real passion for their homeland. They love to show you their favourite places to eat drink etc and where they grew up. This makes your journey more of a local experience, rather than just a tourist visit."

— Brenda Hayward
Noller & Turner Travel Associates, Rosalie

Panorama View of Riquewihr village in Alsace, France. Image: Getty

14.

"While insider knowledge was always a given on excursions, so too was free time, especially useful in the Alsatian capital Strasbourg, the site of the European parliament, a city more often described as the crossroads of Europe with its layers of history, canals, cathedral and delectable food and wine."

— Mark Langhorne
Freedman, Langhorne & James Travel Associates, Sandringham