Tour the waterways with the experts… enjoy the sites and company… learn the inside story!
Following the tradition started by our founder Ron Oakley in 1973, IWI vice-president (former president) Tom Grasso has already organized four specialist tours in Europe for waterways enthusiasts since 2001. The 2010 tour will cover the rivers Main and Danube, and the world’s second highest canal, the Main-Danube, opened in 1992, 12 centuries after Charlemagne’s first attempt, and 150 years after completion of the Ludwigskanal.
From the Fossa Carolina (793 AD) to the Main-Donau-Kanal (1992), Three Canals and Waterways of Southern Germany is the title Tom Grasso has given to this exciting tour, which features spectacular waterway structures and historic sites.
Saturday 2 October
North American participants arrive Frankfurt airport 08:30. European participants may join here, or in the first stopping place, Würzburg. Visits to the old stone bridge on the Main, 1670s canal remains, then the Baroque Palace. Transfer to Nürnberg and Victoria Hotel. The same hotel in Nürnberg is used for five nights.
Erlangen, to see the splendid monument celebrating King Ludwig’s Kanal, followed by Lock 94. Eggolsheim, one of the few well-preserved locks north of Nürnberg. Then Bamberg for a boat trip on the old King Ludwigs Kanal and some free time in Bamberg.
Visits to the medieval towns of Rothenburg (with city guide), then Dinkelsbühl.
‘Over the Hump’ – Zenn and the Art of Crossing the Great Divide on the Main-Donau-Kanal. The day begins with a visit to the Zenn aqueduct overlook north of Nürnberg. Transfer to Bachhausen lock and boat trip across the Main-Donau Kanal summit. Visit the Hilpoltstein lock remote control center, where four locks are operated.
After lunch, visit Nürnberg Harbor and cargo handling facilities, followed by Worzeldorf harbor, old harbor and crane of KLK.
Visit the highest canal summit level in Europe, on the Ludwigs Kanal between Nürnberg and Neumarkt. Steinerne bridge, Schwarzbach aqueduct, and continue along the canal to Burgthann (some by bicycle), then see the historic vessel Elfriede in Schwarzenbach, the Dörlbach Einschnitt deep cut and Neumarkt harbor.
A day in Nürnberg – guided City Tour in the morning (Medieval and WW II) – afternoon free.
Visit the village of Graben, where it all began with the Fossa Carolina (museum), continuing to Eichstätt then Beilngries on the Altmühl, which is followed via Dietfurt to Mühlbach, where Lock 12 and dam show how KLK builders canalised the river. Reidenburg, Kelheim along the Main-Donau-Kanal – the canalised Altmühl – passing KLK Lock 14 on left (west) with MDK Dietfurt Lock beyond immediately before the bridge at Dietfurt. Proceed southeast past Riedenburg to Kelheim, crossing the canal on the bridge at Kelheim Lock (the first on the MDK). Brief stop for photos of lock and dam, then south and uphill to the Befreiungshalle (Liberation Hall), the imposing monument built by King Ludwig I to celebrate victories over Napoleon, also offering splendid views of Kelheim and the Donau. Proceed to Regensburg. Dinner at Haus Heuport, night at Hotel Goliath, Regensburg (same hotel for five nights).
Travel to Kelheim then northwest along the MDK to Riedenburg (photo stop). Proceed southeast to Prunn castle, brief guided tour and splendid views of the Altmühl Valley, then back to Kelheim, passing the unusual pedestrian bridge at Essing.
Ludwig’s Kanal old harbor, Lock 1 and the junction with the Donau at Kelheim. After lunch, tour of Kelheim, boat trip through the Donau Canyon to the 11th century Weltenburg Cloister, St. Georg’s Chapel. Dinner at Weltenburg’s Klosterschenke. Night in Regensburg.
Travel via Berching to Mühlhausen for a horse-drawn boat trip through Lock 25 on the Alma Viktoria, then south to Beilngries for a tour of the village and harbor. Embark on a boat to cruise to Berching through Berching Lock, with its 17 m (56 ft) lift; after lunch, free time to explore the medieval walled village between the Main-Donau and King Ludwig’s Kanals. Return to Regensburg, dinner and night in the same hotel in Regensburg.
A day of sightseeing in the Unesco world heritage city Regensburg, led by Wieland Haupt Dipl.-Ing., who is head of the center for Geoinformation South (FGS, an agency of Waterways and Shipping Directorate). St. Peter’s Cathedral and (on your own if desired) the ‘Cathedral Sparrows’ the boy’s choir at High Mass, old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), the Regensburg Shipping Museum, the Old Chapel in Kornmarkt and St. Emmeram-both Bavarian Baroque (Asam Brothers), the medieval stone bridge and tower, the Roman tower and gate (Porta Praetoria); narrow streets and architecture, and much more.
Optional sites could be the Strudelfahrt (a one-hour boat trip through rapids), or a boat trip to Walhalla (era of King Ludwig I).
Lunch in a traditional restaurant near the stone bridge or across the bridge in Stadtamhof, where beer gardens offer excellent views of Regensburg. Prince of Turn and Taxis Palace, dinner at the Fürstliches Bräuhaus Regensburg.
A day in Munich with Dipl.-Ing. Wieland Haupt. ‘German Museum’ in Munich, the country’s largest science museum: all kinds of transportation engineering (planes, cars, bikes, ships, trains), prime movers, engine building, hydraulic engineering, power engineering, mining, astronomy, and optics plus music instruments, and much more.Lunch in the museum restaurant (Feinkost) or in a historic city restaurant (Schneider Bräu or Hofbräuhaus). Sightseeing in Munich city center, grave of Heinrich Joseph Alois Freiherr von Pechmann – builder of King Ludwig’s Kanal – in the old southern graveyard of Munich. Time in hotel before farewell dinner in Regensburg. Mr and Ms Haupt join us as our guests.
Transfer to Frankfurt, then free time and lunch on your own. Site options include museums in Frankfurt or across the Main River on the south side, strolling along the Main, shopping at ‘Hauptwache’, the Römer Platz and nearby Cathedral (Dom), and a short boat trip if available.