Southampton to Southampton cruise (9 nights).
Day one: drove down to Southampton and popped into ‘Bitter Virtue’ for a few bottles before parking up and joining the ship. Sadly of the 8 beers I had listed from their website, only 5 were available. I didn’t really have time to have a good look around so left with just the 5.
Booked on board and discovered we had been upgraded with an ‘All Inclusive drinks package’. Once I had checked it was true Margie and I proceeded to drink like fish while on board.
Draft Newcastle Brown, Heineken and Stella Artois being the choices of beer. Canned Spitfire, Bass, Carlesberg, Guinness and John Smith’s Smooth, plus bottled Broadside, Bishops Finger and Heineken 0,0. So no new rates there, apart from the alcohol free Heineken! There was also a ‘German Wurst’ presentation with ‘local beers’. This took place as we sailed through the Kiel Canal, the ‘local beers’ being Warsteiner Pilsener and Erdinger Weiss (so not very local at all).
First Port of Call: Hamburg. Bar Oorlam was our drinking place of choice after looking at the expensive selection in the lovely Alsterhaus (an impressive shop for wealthy people). We also had a Currywurst and Chips outside the Rathaus and found an EDEK for some cheap bottles.
Second Port of Call Flensburg. The town was closed as it was a Sunday. Luckily the Hansen’s Brewery was open (three different draft beers available) and a pleasant fish restaurant (draft Flensberger Pilsner).
Third Port of Call Travemunde. Quiet little town where we could find no bars at all, open on a Monday afternoon. Found a REWE and bought some bottles and then caught a bus into Lubeck. In Lubeck we visited two old bars; Bruthmanns Bierstuben and Im Alten Zolln, both proper drinking establishments and full of character. Jever Pilsener and hopefully (when I check) a couple of new rates also.
On returning to the ship we were informed that our last port of call was to be changed. Strong winds prevented us travelling back through the Kiel Canal and we would be visiting Kiel for two days instead of the two days we should have been in Bremen (and drinking at the huge festival that was on).
Fourth and final Port of Call Kiel. Day one was fine, we walked to the railway station to see if we could get down to Bremen in under two hours; we couldn’t so drank in the Kieler Brauerei all afternoon (three draft beers of their own), had another Currywurst as well. Day two Kiel was closed, German Bank Holiday, only a few bars and restaurants open; had a long walk looking for a likely bar, failed.
So, four days at sea and five days on land (in four Ports), two of the Port days were over ‘closed days’, which was a big disappointment, as was the cancellation on Bremen (still never been). Happily the food on board was excellent as were the Gin & Tonic’s and various wines we drank.
More photographs to follow (maybe).