Friday, 11 January 2019

Cruise of the Week - The Romantic Main and Rhine


German art has often been overlooked and neglected. This is particularly the case for the artworks produced during the middle ages and Renaissance. Yet Germany has an extremely rich and varied tradition in the history of art; from the precise Renaissance woodcarvings and prints, to romantic paintings imbued with beauty and mystery, to tumultuous period of the Third Reich, where art was distorted into a tool of terror. In July 2019, guests on the Romantic Main and Rhine river cruise will have the wonderful opportunity to explore this tradition, and see gems by the german greats: Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Stefan Lochner, Max Liebermann, Max Beckmann, and Caspar David Friedrich.

Why have we dismissed German art? The truth is we haven’t, at least, not always. In the late 19th century Britons were extremely knowledgeable about German culture; literature, poetry, music and art. At this point, and in the 18th century, German culture laid the foundations for the Western world. Germany invented the romantic sensibility, and it was Caspar David Friedrich who depicted this sensibility in paint, in his melancholic and highly imaginative works.

But in the 20th century it all went wrong; people struggled to appreciate the new art emerging from Germany. Perhaps it was too raw for their taste. Max Beckmann for example, described the effects of World War I as an ‘injury’ to his soul and produced images reflecting his experience that are confrontational, powerful and haunting. Knowledge and appreciation for German art dwindled during the first world war, and disappeared almost completely by the time of the second.

In July, we will be lucky enough to explore German works in some of the finest collections in the country, as we cruise along the Main and Rhine. We start the week with a visit to Schloss Weissenstein, an opulent Baroque palace complete with marbled staircases, frescoed ceilings, and a shell-studded grotto. Here guests can admire Lothar Franz’ large collection of Old Masters, including works by Dürer and many by other European painters including Breughel, van Dyck, Rubens and Titian.

A particular highlight of our trip for art lovers will be a visit to the Städel museum in Frankfurt. The collection spans 700 years of art; from the middle ages, to the present day. Look out for the German greats here; the collection includes works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and an exquisitely coloured early work ‘The Little Garden of Paradise’ by an anonymous artist, known as the Upper Rhenish Master. The Städel museum is also the location of some fantastic 20th century German paintings. These include works by Max Liebermann, a German-Jewish Impressionist painter who became the leading painter in 1890s Berlin. His portraits and impressionistic landscapes were in great demand in the 19th century, but due to his Jewish background, his work was confiscated during Nazi rule. Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are also represented; three ‘degenerate’ artists who explored the brutalities of the war in works exploding with colour, power and expression. The collection also houses masterpieces by European artists, including works by Jan van Eyck, Vermeer, Botticelli, Monet, Degas and Picasso.

In Cologne, guests will be treated to two artistic wonders. The prestigious Wallraf-Richartz collection will again provide an opportunity to see German masters, including works by Dürer and Caspar David Friedrich. Personally, I am extremely excited about finally visiting a work known as the ‘Cologne Mona Lisa’, by Stefan Lochner, one of the most famous German medieval painters. The work, officially titled ‘Madonna in the Rose-bower’, is a panel painting that dates from around 1440. It is one of the finest examples of Mary shown in a hortus conclusus (an enclosed garden), a symbol of her virginity. Our final excursion will be to Cologne cathedral, a building adorned with treasures, including the altar at the heart of St. Mary's Chapel, painted in 1442 and considered to be a masterpiece from the late Gothic Cologne School of Painting.

This trip will be full of varied delights for art and culture lovers. Expect to be bombarded with artworks that are opulent and beautiful, but also those that are powerful and provocative. I look forward to seeing you and to discussing the works on board!

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Visit Hebridean at Alnwick Rugby Club

Hebridean has teamed up with Travel Counsellors to support Alnwick RFC under 15's fundraising Cruise/Travel Event, to raise monies to help fund a trip to the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Hebridean, along with other cruise lines and travel suppliers, will be showcasing its 2019 line up of cruises and we would be delighted if you came along to see us.

There will also be speciality suppliers and demonstrations from:

Aesthetics, Make-up, Jewellery, Clothing, Coffee, Life/Business Coaching, The Real Taste of Northumberland

Entry to the event is FREE and included is a glass of Fizz and Canapes on arrival.

Sunday 17th February - 3pm to 6pm.
Alnwick Rugby Club, Northumberland.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Cruise of the Week - Outlook on the Clyde

Outlook on the Clyde
Hebridean Princess
5th March 2019 - 7 Nights
Greenock - Rothesay - Strachur - Crarae - Sanda Island - Holy Isle - Great Cumbrae - Greenock

Doubles from £3,190 per person
Singles from £3,140


Sheltered from the Atlantic by the Kintyre peninsula, the Firth of Clyde is one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in the British Isles.  The Firth’s many long lochs penetrate far into the Highlands, whilst its outer reaches comprise a scattering of islands, each of different size and character.

Venturing ashore at the Victorian resort of Rothesay, we admire the astounding Victorian Gothic mansion, Mount Stuart House, ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bute, before navigating the narrow Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne.

From Strachur we explore Sir Robert Lorimer’s finest work, Ardkinglas House, and enjoy a private tour of Strachur House by Sir Charles and Lady Maclean.  Before transiting Loch Fyne and Kilbrannan Sound, the private apartments of Inveraray Castle are opened exclusively for us to uncover the secrets of the Dukes of Argyll.

Springbank Distillery is the oldest independent family-owned distillery in Scotland and its story spans centuries of whisky history.

The tiny isle of Sanda is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and at its southern tip we discover the lighthouse built in 1850 by Alan Stevenson, nicknamed ‘The Ship’.

The sea cliffs of Ailsa Craig offer tantalising views as we steam north to Holy Isle guarding the entrance to Lamlash Bay and a place of worship and meditation since the 6th century. 

On the Isle of Arran, we explore the grand baronial castle, formal gardens and woodland country park at Brodick ahead of our final landing on the delightful island of Great Cumbrae which boasts the smallest cathedral in Britain.

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