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Indulge your sweet tooth on our most enticing included excursions

The Gift of a Chocolate Kiss 

It may not be Hershey’s, but Heidelberg, Germany’s famous chocolate “kiss” has a sweet history. The year was 1863. If you were young and female, you were probably socializing after school – accompanied by a chaperone, of course – at the town’s popular Café Knösel, where its namesake chocolatier, Fridolin Knösel, was busy concocting his decadent confections. 

If you were a male student at the nearby university, you were most likely also frequenting the café to check out the fairer sex, longing to steal a glance. The clever chocolatier, picking up on the innocent ritual of subtle flirtation, decided to create a tempting chocolate delight he fittingly dubbed “The Student’s Kiss.” Made with praline-nougat-chocolate filling atop a crispy wafer and coated in rich dark chocolate, the Student’s Kiss was presented in a small box where a handwritten letter could be tucked away, sending sweet messages between hopeful courters without the watchful eyes of chaperones. 

Knösel’s descendants have carried on the family tradition and still handmake the chocolates using the original recipe, selling them in the heart of Heidelberg’s Old Town, which you can visit during our Captivating RhineEnchanting RhineRhine & Moselle SplendorsRhine & Moselle DelightsRhine & Moselle FairytalesRhine Castles & Swiss Alps and Christmas Markets on the Rhine sailings. 

Many of the above sailings also include the German port city of Cologne, renowned for its impressive Chocolate Museum, where, during your free time, you can learn about the history and production of chocolate, plus get an insider’s look at its famed chocolate factory – and get a taste for yourself! 

When in Belgium 

During the 17th century, Belgium was under Spanish rule and the country’s greatest explorers brought back treasures from their world travels – among them, cocoa beans from South America. Viewed as a luxurious delicacy, the beans were originally brewed into hot chocolate and poured from beautifully designed pots for nobility. Later, Belgium colonized the Congo and used the vast supply of cocoa beans they found there to become the leading trader of cocoa and chocolate.  

Believe it or not, it was an apothecary shop that sold squares of simple dark chocolate on the side that created Belgium’s more modern-day chocolate frenzy. In fact, the popularity of the morsel inspired the apothecary’s metamorphosis into a candy shop which sold its very first praline in 1912.  

What makes Belgian chocolates unique? An 1884 law, still upheld today, mandates that Belgian chocolates be produced with 35% cocoa. Of course, every chocolate maker has their own special recipe. During our included Special Interest Tour in Ghent, those inclined to learn about the art of Belgian chocolate will have the opportunity to meet with a master chocolatier, taste a variety of pralines and try their hand at making some during our Tulip Time itineraryIf that’s not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, enjoy a Belgian chocolate tasting in Brussels on our Best of Holland and Belgium 

Additional Included Experiences for Chocolate Lovers 

  • While sailing with us through the South of France on our Colors of Provence river cruise, you can visit Le Château de Tournon for a very special presentation and tasting with a local expert on the pairing of red wine and chocolate.  
  • During our Paris & Normandy cruise along the Seine River, choose our “Tastes of Normandy” Special Interest Tour to sample the region’s best chocolate. 
  • On the Danube River, sample chocolate covered apricot treats from Weiser’s Sweets Shop while in Dürnstein, Austria. 

Ask your Cruise Manager about additional chocolate tasting experiences, including where to buy the best souvenir chocolates in every port – and enjoy the special gift left on your pillow each night! 

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