Updated: Aug 23
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.
Here are my top picks for chocolate-themed excursions on a river cruise through Europe:
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 its own special recipe. During Ama Waterways' 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 even try their hand at making them.
On a river cruise through Belgium with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, when you stop in Brussels, you’ll have a chance to visit Neuhaus Chocolate, where you’ll learn about the benefits of sustainable chocolate practices. Neuhaus uses beans harvested from their own cacao farm, which means they can ensure their chocolate is of both superior quality and produced by fair labor.
While sailing through the South of France on Ama Waterways’ Colors of Provence river cruise, you can visit Le Château de Tournon, a 16th-century castle, for a very special presentation and tasting with a local expert on the pairing of red wine and chocolate.
One of the most enjoyable ways to revel in the beauty of Dürnstein is with a sip of the region’s superb wine and a taste of its famed apricots. Apricot liqueur, apricot brandy, chocolate, and jams are all indulgent and delicious treats.
Visit the 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!
During a Paris and Normandy cruise along the Seine River, Ama Waterways offers a “Tastes of Normandy” Special Interest Tour to sample the region’s best chocolate, along with cider and Norman cheeses.
Needless to say, these river cruises capture the height of the festive season in Europe with many delicacies including chocolate confections, (along with lots of other tasty treats!) in a variety of cities and towns.
You can always ask your Cruise Manager about additional chocolate tasting experiences, including where to buy the best souvenir chocolates in every port!