The Rhine, Imagination and Innovation
Romance thrives along the River Rhine, flowing with a mighty rhythm for some 800 miles, beginning in Amsterdam and the Netherlands – and each castle and every rock comes with a story. The Rhine Valley is, quite simply, storybook Germany. The Upper Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unfolds 1,000+ years of history and legends amongst its 40 hilltop medieval castles and fortresses. The arts and cultural treasures flourish – all along the river and valleys, ancient terraced vineyards thrive, cuisine is uniquely memorable, and cultural traditions are honored. Join us for a look at some of the river’s significant contributions and features – tales told through time.
Castles & Fairy Tales
Once upon a time…
Once Upon A Time… for 200 years, these magical words have inspired the imagination of children and adults the world over. Along the Rhine, the magic is woven by palaces, castles, fortresses and grand abbeys that formed the basis for legends and lore that have enchanted the world for centuries. We bring you a special message from one of our longstanding partners, magnificent Schloss Ehreshoven, a 14th-century moated castle that welcomes Tauck guests for a special private evening, along with a look at some of the inspiration the Rhine has provided for stories and legendary tales that live on through the ages.
Delft and the Netherlands – creating memories
As our video on Delft “near the Hague and not far from Amsterdam, a city of great minds, of pioneering inventions…” introduces, the city of Delft is most remarkable, one that surprises with inventions that were developed there, art and artistry inspired there, and innovations created there. Royal Delft blue porcelain (pottery) is one of the most iconic images for the city – and its story is a tribute to centuries of artisans who have created it. Join us for a look at what makes the city special.
The Golden Age and Beyond
A legacy of artistic achievement
Destinations the world over identify a “golden age” – but the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century was an inspired period that blended economic fortune and artistic enlightenment together, bringing the Netherlands into the world spotlight. There was a feeling of Dutch nationalism – and artists found new inspirations, most notably displayed in Dutch “realism,” where paintings reflected a wide range of landscapes, cultural lifestyles and philosophical thoughts blending science, religion, and the march of time. We’ve put together some documentaries and media presentations that reveal what made this “Golden Age” unique.
Hospitality along the Rhine
Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus, wine and local cuisine
Along the vast expanse of the Rhine, warm hospitality is found around every bend. From the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, through the Middle Rhine Valley or along its many tributaries and steep-sided valleys, food and wine are a celebration. Most German winemakers owe their existence to the Rhine region, where the roots of terraced vineyards along the river’s banks are traced back to the days of the Romans. While each region produces distinctive styles, the predominant grape is the Riesling; there are also Gewürztraminer, lightly sparkling Sylvaner (in Alsace) and some Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay wines. The city of Heidelberg, on the Neckar River (a Rhine tributary) is known for many things, including its traditional German food and drink – take a look at a video from Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus, introducing you to the best – as well as a podcast on German sausage and a how-to for German potato salad.
The Hague and The Arts
The Netherlands seat of government and center for the Arts
Most of us recognize The Hague from its international position as the location of the United Nations International Court of Justice, or as the seat of government for The Netherlands and residence of the Dutch royal family. But there is much more to The Hague, including the city’s development and support of the arts. Littéraire Sociëteit De Witte, located near the famed Mauritshuis Museum in the heart of the city, is home to a private association dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts. We’re pleased to bring you a bit of relaxation via a lovely video of a piano concert performance by the wonderful pianist Joris van Goudoever; enjoy!
The Dutch, Masters of Water
Friesland, tidal flats, conservation and innovation
The Dutch truly were the masters of water – and to a large extent, their innovative water management techniques throughout time have enabled The Netherlands to exist today. Our newest river cruise, Cruising the Dutch Waterways, explores many different aspects of life along inland waterways, including essential conservation efforts and the compelling history of reclaiming land from the sea. We’ve curated a collection of documentaries that take you into the heart of Friesland – a look at the intertidal sand and mud flats that form a coastal wetland environment along the extraordinary Wadden Sea (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); “The Craft of the Miller,” telling the story of windmills and watermills; and the story of the Wouda Steam Pumping Station, largest steam pumping station ever built.
Travel Journal of a Royal Chef
Carolyn Robb, former chef to Princess Diana
One of our longtime global partnerships is with Carolyn Robb, Princess Diana’s former executive chef, who shares stories (and recipes) with Tauck guests in London. Carolyn is an avid traveler and writer, and her experiences as an executive chef traveling the world enabled her to do both. In this edition of The Compass, her Travel Journal shares experiences from her early days in the Swiss Alps ski resort Mürren.