Last year, RheinZeit magazine met up with seven spritely ladies from Franconia on one of our popular all-inclusive evening cruises in Cologne and they were holding their Christmas party aboard the MS RheinFantasie, as they have done in previous years.
Advent is normally a time for Christmas music. But the "Golden Girls" from Franconian Switzerland have decided to be less rigid in their interpretation of what a seasonal song is, and sing the Cologne classic "Heidewitzka, Herr Kapitän" as they board the ship from the KD jetty in Cologne's historic city centre. Ship manager Harald Kampe is somewhat taken aback, but quickly becomes a fan of the seven ladies with a penchant for singing and invites them on a quick tour of the splendidly decorated ship. Vera, Angelika, Else, Doro, Marianne, Rosi and Christl don't need asking twice.
The Christmas decoration is festive and dignified without coming across as excessive or tacky. The hall sparkles and glitters. Countless fairy lights and garlands adorn the room and huge blue and white baubles dangle from the ceiling. The prettily decorated stage, with a glittering Christmas tree as its centrepiece, blend harmoniously into the overall picture. And the same is true of the table decoration.
"We love these Advent cruises. You really can escape from your daily routine and enjoy the special atmosphere aboard for a few hours", gushes Angelika. "And the buffet is fantastic too", Vera is quick to add. Indeed, that takes us one nicely to the next point. Let's see what the KD catering team has conjured up. The extensive selection of dishes on offer includes tasty starters, such as salmon, roast beef, salads, and pies and pastries. For the main course, guests can choose between fish, roast beef and venison ragout as well as a variety of vegetables, salad, and side dishes like Spätzle (a type of pasta) and Klöße (dumplings). After the first course, the "Golden Girls" decide that the time has come for another vocal interlude. The sound of "Rut, rut, rut sin de Ruse" envelops the table. "Th e song is sort of our anthem. We sing it when we're on one of our outings, like when we're on a bus trip", explains Doro, beaming.
Th e "Golden Girls", as the gang calls themselves, are seven ladies aged between 55 and 71. They live in Obernsees, a 750-inhabitant community in the district of Mistelgau. It lies around ten kilometres away from Bayreuth on the edge of the Fränkische Schweiz. Th e lively ladies meet up once a week to do something together. Th eir favourite activities include gymnastics, walking, singing and partying, or simply hitting the town. Th en they leave their husbands at home. "They can look aft er the furniture."
The "Magnificent Seven" know how to have fun and party. This becomes abundantly clear as the live band heralds the party phase of the evening with some disco music. Christl, in particular, can't remain seated on the upholstered chair any longer. She hits the dance floor together with Marianne. Not all of the "Golden Girls" are ready to dance yet, though. "I'm going to get some tiramisu and then I'll try the cupcakes. Then I'll have been to the buffet twice - that's almost like exercise", announces Doro. The fact that she's also considering giving the baked apple a chance is drowned by peals of laughter at the table.
The high-spirited cruise on the Rhine taking in the night-time panorama of Cologne's historic city centre comes to an end at 23:30. These fixedprice evening cruises, which include the buffet specialities, drinks and entertainment with a live show band or DJ, are ideally suited for an office party or family celebration, both large and small. The "Golden Girls" from Obernsees already have the first item on next year's Christmas wish list before even disembarking the ship: "Book tickets for next Christmas's evening cruise on the KD event ship in good time."
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