Even though autumn is setting in, there’s still time to take a scenic boat cruise on the Neckar river in Heidelberg. The boats run daily until October 14, according to their website www.weisse-flotte-heidelberg.de.
Trips depart just west of the Alte Brücke on Neckarstaden street and cruise up the quiet Neckar river, past old villages and castles surrounded by the thick forests that make up the Odenwald low mountain range.
A picturesque trip to Neckarsteinach and back takes about three hours and costs 10€ for adults, 5.50€ for children, with discounts if you have the HeidelbergCard. The trips are narrated in German, English and French and depart from Heidelberg at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays during the low season from Sept. 17-Oct. 14. The last return trip departs Neckarsteinach at 3:40 p.m. Find a downloadable schedule (in German) here.
If you're too late for the traditional cruise, the boats also run special theme nights like a candlelight dinner cruise, which runs Friday, Oct. 12 and Nov. 2 and a “Mord an Bord” or murder mystery trip on Saturday, Oct. 13 and Nov. 24. Their holiday trips include an Advents brunch on Dec. 2 and a Glühweinfahrt, or mulled wine trip, on December 8 and 15. Glühwein is a seasonal specialty in Germany, and a traditional pick-me-up for a cold winter day.