Jet Life: Escape the Ordinary

January 24, 2013

By Katrice L. Mines

If you need a renewal of not just body, but also mind and spirit  travel Germany aboard a river boat. Though it’s not a given that just any cruise can deliver the sights and tastes of Europe’s beautiful countryside as well as A-ROSA Cruises. Take note.

For four nights and five days, sailing between Nuremberg and Regensburg, pure and simple  A-ROSA SILVA was what every destination hopes to be: home away from home; Sort of a lovely Catch-22 … exceptional accommodations along a tourist’s dream course. How could anyone resist the urge to try and catch glimpses of life ashore after awaking the evening we set sail to a view of pristine snow-covered banks along the Danube River? It was, in a word, picturesque. And this was how it went. Being able to lean from my cabin’s French balcony or step out atop of the ship’s deck, camera in tow, and feel the brisk winter air in my face was a blissful distraction. 

Well established within the river cruise industry, A-ROSA offers travelers sleek, streamlined ships for a true sense of opulence and, most importantly, comfort. An itinerary of destinations minus the constant packing and moving … It works. A-ROSA, founded in 2000, this year enters the North American marketplace with the most lavish offering to be had. David Morris International has partnered with them to introduce their sailings in Europe for the first time to the American and Canadian markets, making it the premier European river cruise company to offer the most all-inclusive experience exclusively for North American travelers. Roundtrip air from North America, transfers, all gratuities, all port charges, taxes and fees, open dining with served dinner service, modern cabin accommodations most with French or full balconies, spa, sauna, gym, putting green and outside covered dining area, open bar throughout the ship, outstanding cuisine with fresh and seasonal ingredients and more are included. It’s what you’d describe as separating the good from the great.

A-ROSA, an integrated tour operator which allows for a seamless blend of services, sails to the Christmas Markets in Bavaria, as well as to a mélange of destinations along the Rhine, Rhone and Saone, and the Danube rivers. On those rivers, according to a company executive, A-ROSA can control the quality of its trips. The excellence is in the details like fastidiously coordinated walking and bike tours, chocolate and wine tastings, and unique port excursions.

See as much of the cities as possible by foot while traveling on one of its fleet. Walking tours are abundant and rich with information about the history of each locale. Regensburg St. Peters Cathedral is visible from the Danube River towering for blocks above the streets and shop-lined alleys of the Bavarian town. The tour in Regensburg was especially fascinating as our docent left no detail unmentioned in her iterations of the city as one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. If World War II history piques your interest, you’ll be privy to nuances of it still apparent throughout the Old City like inscriptions memorializing former Jewish neighborhoods and most notably a plaque on the one-time home of Oskar Schindler, dedicated to his efforts to save the lives of Jews during the war. 

A-ROSA's head chef shops locally for ingredients — including fresh fruits and vegetables to create dining options that make up a vastly spread buffet of salads, meats and seafood, breads and soups. Have the pumpkin soup if it is on the menu. Indulge in a more exclusive atmosphere when you book the “Wine & Dine” package as an add-on to your trip. The package includes a four-course set menu with a selection of corresponding fine wines from A-ROSA's extensive list of wine offerings. Or, order a snack in your cabin from the ship's room service assortment of sandwiches, Asian appetizer combos and other light options. 
In Frankfurt, try a traditional German meal of cheeses, Swiss sausage salad, sauerkraut, and frankfurter sausages and apple wine or the Goose Dinner  a whole goose with red cabbage and dumplings made ​​fresh; and a German bottle of red wine at Lorsbacher Thal, Große Rittergasse 49  60594 Frankfurt, Germany.
People in Germany love a celebration  Carnival, wine festivals in wine-growing regions, and beer festivals elsewhere, including Oktoberfest in Munich. Most notable among the fests, however, are its Christmas Markets, many opening the last week of November. 

Completely void of the holiday's typical commercialism, Germany's holiday marketplaces are filled with handcrafted decorations, Nativity scenes, Nutcrackers, candles, toys and dried plum figurines fashioned to represent more than 300 popular characters and apparel. The Nuremberg Christmas Markets, a sprawl of nearly 200 stalls, is world famous for the arrival of the Christmas Angel who opens the festivities by reciting a short speech. Thousands flock to the Nuremberg Market for her arrival and to the streets of Markets throughout the country nightly for mulled wine, pretzels, hot chestnuts and apples, and grilled sausages. The atmosphere literally enlivens each of your senses.
In the comfort of SPA-ROSA, spoil yourself with the Spa Night for two from 9 p.m. to midnight – a pampering package including: a honey rub down, sea salt scrub, facial, back and leg massage, fresh fruit plate, champagne and special gifts from BABOR for 79 Euros per person.

Escaping the ordinary is more than A-ROSA’s tag, it’s a promise as the definition of river cruising has now been expanded. Whether your hope is for a romantic, spirited or adventurous getaway, your whim can be answered with ease. Consider yourself upgraded. 

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  1. Love love this! You truly make me want to book a trip especially during the holiday!

    1. I'm so torn about my next Germany experience. I want to visit during the warmer seasons, but the way they celebrate Christmas kind of makes me want to do that again.

  2. Exclusively superb ... Oh my goodness!
    I've never seen such a beautiful river boat :-)

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