It truly is a blessing to be back in Europe.
As I write this from my balcony onboard the brand new AmaSiena river cruise ship from AmaWaterways, the feeling of wonder fills the air.
The views of the Rhine River truly are gorgeous, even in cloudy and sometimes rainy weather. The ever-unpredictable mother nature can't dampen the joy we all feel in returning to Europe after so long.
We started in Amsterdam first, and our itinerary has us stopping at ports in Germany, France and disembarking in Switzerland.
I had visited Amsterdam four years ago, and it was such a thrill to not only be back again to retrace steps and revisit places but also to experience new parts of the city and see new sights on my first European river cruise.
The highlight for me in our first stop in Cologne, Germany was the beer tasting excursion. Of course, just freely wandering around a new city was also a splendid experience.
There are many new adventures that lie ahead, including wine tasting, visiting historic cities and so much more.
Traveling by river cruise with AmaWaterways does elevate the experience of being back in Europe as well. They've given guests multiple excursion options to choose from, and the level of service onboard is high class. They're even handling the process of setting up the COVID-19 test that's required to re-enter the United States.
They're doing all they can to make this an enjoyable experience for guests, even though we are still in a pandemic and there are continued concerns about the rise of the delta variant. Masks are required at all indoor places onboard except when eating or drinking, and all guests had to show proof of vaccination to board the ship. We also had to fill out health questionaries and complete entry forms for the Netherlands, Germany and France.
It's been interesting to see just how other cities around the world are handling and adapting to the pandemic. At each destination, we have seen some people wearing masks and others not, just as we see back home in Georgia.
Aside from at the Atlanta airport and when boarding the ship, the only other time someone has asked me to show proof of vaccination was at a bar in Germany before I could order a beer.
It's strange times in the world today but traveling safely can still be done. The new rules and restrictions in place make it a different experience, but by no means is it a bad one.
When do you hope to visit Europe next? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram: @EricBowman_
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