Passau is the first port stop in Germany, a charming, cobblestoned Bavarian town that’s famous for its baroque town that Napolean once called, “The most Italian-looking town north of the Alps,” primarily because it was designed by Italian architects after it burned down twice in the 1600s. The famous and imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral is its main claim to fame, but while it dominates the skyline, it’s not the only game in town—there are 52 churches located here for its 50,000 residents.
Regensburg is the most well-preserved medieval city in Europe, primarily because it was one of the few cities in Germany that was spared the devastation of WWII. The cobblestoned Old Town is a treasure and it’s only about a 10-minute walk from the ship. Here, too, is the home of the oldest sausage kitchen in Germany, dating back to 1135 and the one-time home of Oskar Schindler—made famous in the film “Schindler’s List”—and the current Pope, Benedict XVI. Sweet mustard, music boxes, beer steins and cuckoo clocks are the top souvenir items here.
Finally, the last stop is Nuremburg, famous for its gingerbread and toy production and, conversely, as the city Hitler chose to stage his Nazi party rallies. The city was almost completely destroyed during WWII, but you wouldn’t know it today. Across from the main square with it famous fountain, the Schoner Brunnen, is the city’s huge shopping area—a warren of pedestrian streets filled with shops, restaurants, pubs and of course, stalls selling a variety of gingerbread product. Tell clients this is also home to Germany’s largest and busiest Christmas market and a wonderful excuse to book a Christmas cruise next year on AMAWaterways.