Just when you thought you’d seen the most stunning scenery Germany had to offer, along come the emerald fields, beguiling cottages and historic vineyards of Bernkastel. Explore the village and some of the surrounding region, with your choice of excursions—including a visit to the famous Bernkasteler Doctor.
Today you’ll embark on a morning walking tour of Bernkastel, followed by a sampling of luscious local wines at the region’s most prestigious wine estate; or, if you are feeling active, enjoy an invigorating bicycle ride along the banks of the winding Moselle.
Choice of Bernkastel walking discovery tour with exclusive Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler wine estate visit and tasting or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bike ride along the Moselle River
Bernkastel walking discovery tour with exclusive Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler wine estate visit and tasting
A fourth-century Roman poet was among the first to sing the praises of this region—and today you’ll see why. As you ramble through the picture-perfect village with your expert guide, you might feel as though you’ve stumbled onto a Hollywood set: The narrow, cobbled streets are lined with half-timbered houses, bright blossoms bloom on window ledges and fountains burble in secluded courtyards. Naturally, the ruins of a great gray castle loom romantically on a hilltop above the town, and Market Square is one of the loveliest in Germany, with remarkably well-preserved Renaissance-era buildings clustered around the early-17th-century St. Michael’s Fountain. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself at the famed Bernkasteler Doctor. According to local legend, centuries ago wine from this estate brought a prince back from the brink of death, and vintages from this historic winery have been widely coveted ever since. The vineyard itself is tiny and almost impossibly steep; it’s rumored to be the most valuable agricultural land in Germany. Enter the vaulted tasting room and take a seat at the long wooden table, where you’ll enjoy samples of exquisite estate Rieslings accompanied by expert commentary. You’ll have some free time to shop in the village before heading back to the ship.
Exclusive guided “Let's Go” bike ride along the Moselle River
Pedal beside the serene Moselle, over bridges, past steep vineyards and through picturesque wine villages, following a bike path that is mostly paved and at, making for easy riding that gives you time to admire the scenery. You’ll wheel out of Bernkastel with your guide, heading along the Moselle for Graach, famous for fine Rieslings produced from vineyards with names that re ect ecclesiastical ownership over the centuries (Abbot’s Mountain and Cathedral Provost, for instance), and then over the river to other celebrated wine villages. You’ll take a break at the foot of one of the steepest vineyards in the district, Erdener Treppchen, where you can enjoy a glass of wine (or some cold water) and, if you think you haven’t gotten enough exercise, you can climb the steps up the vineyard and pity the vintner who has to toil up those steps regularly to tend the vines. Back on your bike, your route carries you into Traben-Trarbach, past the lovely art deco mansions built in the town’s heyday, when it rivaled Bordeaux as a wine center. You’ll follow the river promenade back to the ship.This afternoon’s cruise along the winding Moselle will take you past some of Germany’s steepest vineyards and most picturesque villages.