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See more on your river cruise with Scenic Enrich

clock 4th October 2016 | comment0 Comments

Going above and beyond to provide exceptional experiences is something that Scenic strives to do all the time. With Scenic, your river cruise provides the best highlights and most unforgettable opportunities to see Europe in a way that no other river cruise line can. Aptly named Scenic Enrich, these specially crafted and tailored experiences are included in the cost of your cruise, giving you special access to a range of fantastic locations.

The Scenic Enrich programme ensures that any Scenic cruise you embark on includes an Enrich experience ranging from a private tour in a castle to dinner with a local family or wine tasting in a picturesque chateau. There’s something for everyone with Scenic Enrich, and here’s just a few examples.

Avignon Be treated to a gala dinner and performance in the Pope’s Palace.
Vienna A private concert in the grand Palais Liechtenstein.
Portugal Visit the Burmester Cellars for dinner and traditional Fado music.

What makes these experiences special is the sense of true exclusivity and luxury that Scenic crafts into them, from the stunning locations and venues (many of which are often UNESCO or World Heritage-listed), the sumptuous food or wine to the immersive performances and entertainment and the genuine passion and companionship of all involved.

A Medieval Evening at Marksburg Castle

One of Scenic’s most incredible experiences is the evening at Marksburg Castle, where guests enjoy a traditional medieval banquet in its grand hall. Overlooking the Rhine River on a hill near Braubach, Marksburg Castle is one of the region’s most famous and recognisable landmarks. Built in the 12th century, the castle served as a fortress protecting Braubach and the local area and was truly formidable in its many battles, never once falling to invading armies.

Formerly of the Holy Roman Empire and now acting as head office of the German Castle Association, the castle is open for public touring and sightseeing but available exclusively to Scenic guests is the opportunity to enter further into the great hall for a grand medieval feast. Enjoy sumptuous local specialties and flowing red wine while performers entertain you with traditional acts including minstrels, court jesters, players and bards.

Scenic Rouge in Lyon

Scenic Rouge is one of the newest Scenic Rich encounters and invites Scenic guests to a spectacular French extravaganza. Guests who choose this enriching experience can enjoy an exclusive gala packed full of dazzling performances including the acclaimed French Can Can. The special event takes place underneath a decked out big-top onshore in Lyon. A must for anyone sailing the south of Frane on a river cruise with Scenic.

 



See more with Scenic Enrich on a Scenic river cruise



5 festivals to see on a river cruise

clock 26th January 2016 | comment0 Comments

Updated February 2017

 

A river cruise can be a leisurely and exciting way to explore a new destination. From cruising the diverse and scenic riverbanks to stepping ashore in the heart of the city, there is plenty to see and do depending on your preferred pace of holiday.

mardi gras new orleans mississippi


Most river cruises provide ample opportunities to explore on foot. Make a point to delve into new destinations whilst in port and you can enjoy local cuisine, embrace new cultures and see a whole new way of life. Depending on when you chose to cruise you may be lucky enough to catch unique community events, celebrations or local festivals during your trip.

With river cruises available worldwide, the breadth of new and exciting experiences is endless. Check out a few of our favourite events below which you could encounter on your next river cruise.



Rhine in Flames

Sail on a Rhine river cruise in summer and you might just catch the Rhein in Flammen festival which is held in various locations from Rudesheim to Bonn every year from May to September. You can expect a large audience of around a quarter of a million enjoying a fantastic firework display with flames and romantic flair amidst this beautiful castle-lined region.

Dates in 2017:

Bonn - 06.05.2017

Koblenz - 12.08.2017



Budapest Summer Festival

Held between June and August, the Summer Festival is an incredible opportunity to experience the arts and music of Budapest. With musical performances from the Budapest Symphony and various jazz groups, open-air theatrical productions, exhibitions and more. Combine your river cruise with a stay in Budapest to make the most of the wide range of cultural programmes.

 


Mardi Gras

The unique and rarely touched region of the Mississippi river takes river cruisers through some of USA’s famous musical and cultural hotspots, including Memphis and New Orleans. New Orleans in particular is known for the Mardi Gras festival where parades and floats move through the city daily. Cruise the Mississippi with American Queen Steamboat Company.

 

Mardi Gras River Cruise

 

The Vienna Festival

As one of the icons of music and culture, Vienna holds a yearly festival highly regarded for its musical productions, from classical performances to operas and exhibitions. Stop in Vienna between May and June and you can see prime examples of Austria’s cultural magnificence. Explore Austria when you river cruise the Danube.

 

Oktoberfest

Usually during the last week of September, Oktoberfest is the most famous beer festival in the world. Say prost! (cheers!) with the locals in Munich as you learn of Bavarian traditions, enjoy the locally brewed beers and experience a whole host of celebrations. See Munich on a river fly-cruise, ask one of our sales agents for more details.

 

 

At Iglu Cruise we tailor-make our cruise holidays. If you can't find an itinerary to suit your festival plans, please speak to one of our cruise agents who can help.



5 Must do's in Bratislava, Slovakia

clock 16th November 2015 | comment0 Comments

Eastern Europe has so much to offer holiday goers and explorers alike, with unique quirks, historical towns and beautiful landscapes, there is something to appeal to everyone.

The likes of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia are now seeing an influx of visitors from Western Europe and the welcoming locals make a trip here truly unforgettable. One nation in particular which is growing in popularity is Slovakia, with the capital Bratislava an absolute must on a European cruise.

bratslavia-slovakia


Iglu Cruise offer a number of river cruises along the Danube, starting in Hungary and stopping off in Bratislava en route to Austria. So what is there to do in Slovakia's largest city? Here are our top five suggestions.

 

Bratislava Castle

Sitting on a hill of the Little Carphathians overlooking the city, Bratislava Castle is arguably the most historic and recognisable sight in the capital. It provides stunning views over Bratislava, parts of Austria and on clear days you will you be able to see as far as Hungary. As you would expect, the castle has a long and rich history. It can trace its origins back to the ninth century where it was believed to have been built by the Romans as a frontier post. It was accidentally burned to the ground by garrisoned soldiers in May 1811, leading to a full rebuild in the 1950s.

It is home to both The History Museum and the National Museum, with one of the rooms dedicated to the works of Slovakian and foreign artists. Around 3,500 paintings, statues and print are housed in the castle, the most impressive being copies of 15th century altarpieces by Paul of Levoca.

bratislava-castle

St Martin's Cathedral

Sticking with the historical theme, St Martin's Cathedral is a testament to Bratislava's Gothic architecture. Situated on the edge of the Old Town, the church can trace its history back to the 13th century when it was originally built in a Romanesque style. However, by the 14th century it was replaced by a three-nave Gothic dome and was fully transformed by 1452.

Being the largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava it has been the scene of many a famous ceremony. Between 1563 and 1830 it was known for being the coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary and saw 19 Hungarian Emperors crowned during this time.

Today, it remains open to the public allowing people to wander around this magnificent structure and the see the work of famous Austrian baroque sculptor Raphael Donner.

St Michael's Street and St Michael's Gate

Both St Michael's Street and St Michael's Gate are go-to places for anyone visiting Bratislava. It is the main hub of activity in the city with shops and restaurants lining the street, making for a very lively place. Both locals and tourists alike come out to enjoy the ambiance on an evening with street bands providing a great atmosphere as the sun goes down.

At the top of the street is St Michael's Gate which remains the only city gate in Slovakia that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications. Originally built during the year 1300, it was rebuilt in 1758 and has survived several wars, occupations and the Communist rule, a period renowned for tearing down and replacing historic buildings.

Now it is seen and appreciated as a hugely relaxing area, ideal for enjoying a glass of wine or two and simply watching the world go by.

st-michaels-street-bratislava

Slovak National Theatre

If you get the chance, a visit to the Slovak National Theatre is an absolute must if you are a lover of the arts. It is the oldest professional theatre in the country and consists of three ensembles - opera, ballet and drama. It is split into two separate buildings the old, opened in 1886, and the new, opened in 2007.

The former was designed by Viennese architects R. Fellner and H. Helmer, responsible for creating ten buildings across Europe. It is the home of Neo-Renaissance opera, ballet and philharmonic performances and if you have the chance to catch a show, then it will be an unforgettable experience.

slovak-national-theatre

Novy Most

While Bratislava Castle provides a beautiful panoramic view of the city, for more spectacular views head to one of the more modern structures in Bratislava - Novy Most Bridge.

Despite being built during the era of Slovak Communism, the 1971 bridge does not follow conventional architecture of the time. It is more inkeeping with Bratislava's more historic side and has drawn comparisons to the Space Needle in Seattle.

Providing a link over the Danube, you can venture up the impressive structure to an observation desk where you can take in all the views of Bratislava. Maybe even have a spot of lunch at the restaurant UFO, a popular eatery so booking is advised.

 

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A day in Siem Reap

clock 4th November 2015 | comment0 Comments
What are the cheap things to do when your cruise calls in Siem Reap for just one day? [More]


Enjoy the heart of the Rhine with a day in Cologne

clock 16th October 2015 | comment0 Comments

Sat on the banks of the mighty Rhine is the fourth largest city in Germany - Cologne.

A major calling point in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, the city is home to stunning architecture, friendly locals and delicious cuisine. The inhabitants have an enormous sense of pride in their city and their region, making it a hugely welcoming stop-off point during your cruise along the Rhine.

Approaching the docking point, you will be met by the unmistakable sight of both the Hohenzollern bridge, connecting the east and west side, and the Kolner Dom, a huge cathedral which acts as a symbol for the city. Beyond this beautiful skyline there is so much just waiting to be explored. With Cologne a port of call for many Iglu river cruises, here is our guide to a day in Cologne.

Cologne rhine river

Kolner Dom

Starting with the focal point of the city, the Dom is a truly magnificent feat of architecture standing tall over all of Cologne. One of the largest cathedrals in Europe, work began on building this monument to the city in 1248, eventually being finished in 1880. It is a true masterpiece of High Gothic architecture and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. It has seen a lot during the hundreds of years it has sat in the heart of city and even survived 14 aerial strikes during the Allies' bombing of Cologne during World War II. Repaired and renovated it is now one of the most popular attractions in Cologne with around 20,000 people visiting each day.

Take a stroll inside to discover the Reliquary of the Three Kings, the famous relief of the Adoration of the Kings in 1440 and the Treasure Chamber with a host of relics and artifacts. You can even climb the over 500 steps to the top of the tower to get an amazing panoramic view of the city.

Entrance to the Dom is free but access to some sections carry a charge.

cologne-cathedral

Museum Ludwig

In the shadow of the Dom is the Museum Ludwig, an absolute must for any art lovers among your party. Open since 1976, it is home to a huge collection of modern art ranging from Pop Art and Abstract to Surrealism, not to mention the largest range of works by Picasso across all of Europe.

Situated next to the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, which focuses on fine art from the medieval era, the gallery was bestowed with 350 modern artworks by chocolate magnate Peter Ludwig. The pieces, valued at around $45 million (£28.8 million), allowed the museum to get off the ground and blossom.

Among the artworks currently housed at Museum Ludwig include Kazimir Malevich's 1909 Landscape (of Winter), August Macke's 1913 Lady in a Green Jacket and Gottfried Helnwein's 1987 Last Supper. These sit alongside various works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. Admission is €11 (£8) for adults.

Kolner Rathaus

Take a stroll into Cologne's Old Town and you will find the Kolner Rathaus, the Town Hall. The oldest public building in Germany, it can trace its history back over 900 years and was a focal point of the city during medieval times.

Over the years its architecture has been influenced significantly with main buildings suiting a 14th-century style, while the tower resembles more 15th-century styling with some Renaissance influence thrown in for good measure. The atrium even shows signs of a more modern twist. You are able to stroll around inside and see the likes of the Hansasaal and the Gothic figures of eight prophets, the nine "good heroes" and hear the sonorous carillon which plays three times a day.

Hohenzollern Bridge

Another iconic figure of Cologne is the Hohenzollern Bridge. Carrying railway tracks from the east into Koln Hbf, it has remained a hugely important gateway to the city providing a crossing point over the Rhine.

Built between 1907 and 1911, it was originally known as the Cathedral Bridge with the view of the Dom as you cross it. With three beautiful arches it is a great example of classic German engineering but was destroyed during World War II. As Allied troops began their assault on Cologne, the bridge was blown up by the Germans to prevent further access.

Rebuilt in 1959, the bridge is used for both trains and pedestrians. Take a stroll along the bridge and lay your own mark by attaching a 'love lock' along with the thousands of others that dot the walkway.

love-locks-Hohenzollern-Bridge

Enjoy a Kolsch or two in the Old Town

With a full day of sightseeing behind you, why not unwind in Cologne's Old Town? Like their neighbours in Dusseldorf, the people of Cologne are immensely proud of their roots and have their unique customs.

As the sun goes down head to the Fruh am Dom bar, just a short walk from the Dom itself. Here you will get a real flavour of life in the city with waiters filling glasses with a delicious Kolsch. You won't find many more beers on the menu here, but why would you need anything else as this light, flavoursome beverage hits all the right notes?

Another quirk of Cologne, is the serving of Kolsch. Traditionally poured out in 0.2 litre glasses, waiters will keep the beer flowing until you say stop, so maybe best to enjoy a pretzel or two to soak up the booze.

If you are feeling hungry after touring the city then head to Haxenhaus, on Frankenwerft 19. Here you will find an array of traditional German fare ranging from Knuckle 'Cologne Style' (pork knuckle with red sausage, onions, cheese with red cabbage and mash), Jagerpfanne (pork in a mushroom sauce) and Rhine Style beef with dumplings and red cabbage.

Cologne is such an amazing city to explore and will no doubt be a highlight of your Rhine river cruise.

Read our blog on Cologne's Alternative Attractions and explore more with your next Rhine River Cruise



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