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From: Emerald Waterways cruise review: Nuremberg-Trier

Day 2: Bamberg

Bayernhafen Bamberg sign

Around 8 a.m. on Day 2 of our cruise, Emerald Star arrived in Bayernhafen Bamberg, which attracts some 850 passenger-ship visits per year.

Electromagnetic crane in Port of Bamberg

The port was located outside of town, in an industrial area. While we ate breakfast on deck, we could watch an electromagnetic crane on the opposite shore loading scrap metal onto a barge.

Breakfast on The Terrace, Emerald Waterways

On Emerald Waterways ships, a buffet breakfast is served in two locations: in the Horizon Lounge (which has electric doors opening onto The Terrace, shown here), and in the main Reflections Restaurant, where the menu is more extensive and you can get omelettes and other egg dishes cooked to order.

EMERALD STAR iand BELLEJOUR in Bayernhafen Bamberg

After breakfast, we went ashore for the first of our cruise's shore excursions. Bellejour, the German river vessel that we'd seen in Nuremberg, was tied up alongside Emerald Star.

Port to city sign in Bamberg, Germany

A sign on shore pointed to the waiting coaches and the city center.

Tour guide in Bamberg, Germany

A short bus ride took us to Bamberg's modern Konzerthalle (in a newer part of town), where we joined tour guide Konstantin Bilozertsev's group for a walking tour.

Konzerthalle Bamberg

The Concert Hall was an impressive sight for a city of 70,000. It's home to the Bamberger Symphoniker and also serves as a convention hall.

Virgin Mary statue in Bamberg 

Building styles in Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg is a beautifully-preserved city that, to quote our Emerald Waterways guidebook, "could easily serve as a dictionary of European building styles, embracing everything from 12th Century Romanesque to 18th Century Rococo." The entire Altstadt, or Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alte Schlachthaus, Bamberg 

One of our first stops on the walking tour was the Alte Schlachthaus, or Old Slaughterhouse, which has a stone statue of an ox on its façade.

Sightseeing boat in Bamberg

We took this photo of a local sightseeing boat on the River Regnitz from the Untere Brücke, or Lower Bridge.

Altes Rathaus, Bamberg

Nearby, tourists were snapping pictures of the medieval Altes Rathaus or Old Town Hall.

The Bamberg tourist office's Old Town Hall page explains: "According to legend, the bishop of Bamberg did not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall. This prompted the townsfolk to ram stakes into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island, on which they build the town hall they so badly wanted."

Old City Hall in Bamberg, Germany

The Old Town Hall's trompe d'oeil frescoes are embellished with a genuine 3D feature: a cherub's sculpted leg.

Imperial Cathedral, Bamberg 

Bamberg Rose Garden and Cathedral

Bamberger Dom St. Peter und St. Georg, a.k.a. the Imperial Cathedral, overlooks the River Regnitz from one of Bamberg's seven hills.

Portal of Imperial Cathedral, Bamberg 

The Cathedral was consecrated in 1237, replacing a previous Dom that was burned down in 1185. It combines Romanesque and Gothic styles and houses the tomb of Pope Clement II (the only papal tomb north of the Alps).

The richly-carved Fürstenportal, shown here, is open only on holy days.

Alte Hofhaltung, Bamberg

The Alte Hofhaltung or Old Court is another Bamberg Landmark. It's just around the corner from the Imperial Cathedral. During our summer visit, the half-timbered building's balconies were decorated with geraniums.

Bamberg Rose Gardens

From the Cathedral, we walked a short distance to Bamberg's Rosen Garden (Rose Garden).

Bamberg Rose Garden

The Rosen Garten is next to the Neue Residenz, a 17th Century McMansion for the Prince Bishops who ruled Bamberg from 1007 until the imperial state became part of Bavaria in 1802.

Rosen Garten, Bamberg

The garden, which was laid out in 1733, has approximately 4,500 rose bushes in more than 70 flower beds. (The beds are surrounded by linden trees.)

Balustrade with view in Bamberg Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is pet-friendly, and a viewing terrace overlooks the medieval city center and the Regnitz.

Ambräusianum, Bamberg

The final stop on our walking tour was the Ambräusianum, which is billed as "the first and only guesthouse brewery" in Bamberg.

Rauchbier at the Ambräusianum, Bamberg

We were served pretzels and Rauchbier, a local style of beer that dates back to the 1500s. Beer Advocate describes it as an "acquired taste" with a "smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat."

In the cruise director's informal survey of passengers after our visit, opinions on the beer were split almost evenly. Some found the smokiness appealing, while others thought the beer had an unpleasant taste of liquid bacon.

Beer delivery at Ambräusianum, Bamberg

When we left Ambräusianum, beer was being delivered (presumably for patrons who prefer smoke-free brews).

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Emerald Star day-by-day photo diary:
Day 1: Departure (Nuremberg)
Day 2: Bamberg
Day 3: Wurzburg
Day 4: Wertheim & Mittenberg
Day 5: Rhine & Koblenz
Day 6: Moselle & Bernkastel
Day 7: Trier
Day 8: Disembarkation (Trier)

Also see:
Pre-cruise stay: Erlangen
Pre-cruise stay: Nuremberg
Emerald Waterways cruise review: Nuremberg to Trier