If you like all things mechanical and technical, you need to check these out:
1. Technical Museum in Speyer. Doing some private touring in Germany or on a Rhine river cruise, don’t miss out on Speyer and the technical museum just off the highway and close by the river. From a distance you can see an elevated 747, airplanes on the ground, trains, and engines.The huge facility houses the museum, an IMAX theatre and accommodations, a quite handy feature as it certainly takes time to do this museum justice. From a space shuttle to the old-time mechanical musical instruments, it’s all here. The museum also houses a variety of aircraft, submarines, a fire engine collection, and a display of antique automobiles. Entrance fees to the museum and theater are quite reasonable but be prepared for a long time here to even scratch the surface of all there is to see.
2. Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. This museum in Rüdesheim, Germany is not about vehicles of any sort but about the
old-time mechanical machines that were used to mimic a whole orchestra. Lovingly restored the complex machines are exhibited in an ancient building where original frescos adorn walls from the 14th century. The guides make the tour amusing and fun as they relate history and “play” the most amazing specimens of the exhibits. From organ grinders to nickelodeons to tiny music boxes with real looking moving and singing birds , the displays are endless but never boring ( over 300 instruments). Rudesheim is a stop on many Rhine River cruises.
3. Future of Flight Aviation Centre & Boeing Tour. Located in Seattle, Washington this is a great add-on to an ocean cruise either the day before you leave or during a post cruise stay. Here you can take a 90 minute tour of a commercial jet assembly plant, the only one offered on the continent. Besides the tour, you can “design and test” your own jet or try out a simulator: see how you would handle a barn storming stunt plane or the Battle of Iwo Jima. The good news is that children are welcome, and short attention spanned toddlers are thoughtfully catered to so the whole family enjoys the tour. No cameras are allowed and that includes cell phones.
4. Beaulieu National Motor Museum. This museum is located in the south of England not far from the port of Southampton, another museum easily tagged on to a pre or post cruise stay. As the name suggests this is a museum dedicated to the motor vehicle with over 250 on display, not
including the special attractions all season long. One attraction you might wish to see is the vehicles made famous from films such Mr. Weasley’s flying car and Mr. Bean’s mini are on display. Are you a Top Gear fan? Then you will recognize a number of vehicles from this popular television show. The museum is located on the Beaulieu Estate with a grand property, Palace House, and expansive gardens, which is open for tours. Family friendly rides are available on the grounds.
Article by D MacIntyre of Compass Media. Photos courtesy of Bigstock.com.