Ink Master

TATTOO U – German River Tattoo Cruise Part 1

December 2018,  I received an email from a magazine editor and photographer I have worked with for years; “Hey Jenn.. do you have any tattoo artists that would want to join us for a Tattoo Themed River Cruise from Frankfurt Germany through Bavaria to Regensburg Germany? With stops daily in quaint towns Miltenberg,, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Kelheim and Regensburg this August? ” …… My response, “Of course I do! What a great and unique idea!

7 towns have to create a few blogs

Since our River Cruise stopped in 7 incredible towns and each day and evening was a new adventure with clients and new friends I am going to break this blog out into a few different segments. PLUS, Reese, Jackie and I continued on to Prague then met Loz and Vanessa (Ms Flakiss) in Berlin Germany before ending in Copenhagen.

Uniworld River Cruise Part 1Main River Uniworld Cruise

 

Tattoo Artists BOOKED!

I happily placed long time clients on this cruise. I brought season 2 Ink Master winner Steven Tefft and Tattoo Nightmares Miami & Black Ink Chicago cast member Reese Hilburn.  On August 16th, 2019 we all arrived in Frankfurt Germany not really knowing what to expect. This was the first tattoo themed, river cruise ever! Personally, I had never even been on a traditional Caribbean Cruise or cruise of any kind. I was familiar with river cruises all throughout Europe but I was under the impression they catered to a more conservative, older clientele. I found out that Uniworld was trying out their B ship to a younger demographic with edgy themed cruises.

We arrived in Frankfurt 

Departing Frankfurt on Uniworld Tattoo Themed Cruise

It was raining and cold in Frankfurt when we all arrived and sat through a safety meeting from the captain. Then the fun began when host, Heather Moss took the microphone to inform everyone tattooing was available during the 7 days we were cruising. Plus, the cruise line had daily, excursions available for the guests and tattoo artists or you could just explore each town on your own.  Also planned while cruising were some fun tattoo themed contests with the guests and staff. After an evening off the boat and exploring Frankfurt about 15 of us stopped at a Cider Festival. Back to the boat and off we sailed… Little did I know how much this cruise was going to bond me to new friends and how the experience we all had together on this incredible journey would set into motion more group tattoo themed travel.

Frankfurt friends

Most evenings and some days we set sail and made our way through locks  to woke up in a new Bavarian town ready to explore.  I did not know there is something called “collecting locks” while cruising on a European river. Lock gears either empty or fill a chamber with water. No photos taken. You’re in a cement chamber while the water increases or declines. We collected a total of 16 locks to be exact. The first 2 nights we were all up far too late due to jet lag and night 2 was MY BIRTHDAY! Many of us danced the night away the first evening while the boat was moving to our next town and destination!

Mildenburg and it’s Castle

Our first stop was the adorable town of Miltenberg Germany.  Steve and I seemed to be on same schedule for excursions as two absolutely FUN travel, health and fitness influencers Rizzo and Serena. We set off on our own to explore the little town of Miltenberg which only has a population of a little over 9,000. We explored through the streets filled with adorable buildings and started our hike up to the Mildenburg Castle.  The first document mentioning the castle Mildenburg dates back to the year 1226!  Short stop, small town.. great way to start the trip! It was time to get back to the ship before it departed and cruised over night to our next town! Midnight… my birthday… shots… up until 3am no photos of the debauchery.

Miltenberg Germany

My Birthday in Würzburg

While Steven Tefft and Reese Hilburn tattooed some of the guests while cruising calmly down the Main River to Würzburg, Rizzo and I joined the tour of The Residenz  an incredible Baroque Palace. No photos allowed inside.. let me create the picture  for you: The interiors are considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. Plus, I’ve never seen frescoes this ornate and detailed! The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, assisted by his son, Domenico, painted frescoes in the building. You’ve GOT to make the time to visit this Palace!

Würzburger Residenz Baroque Palace

Würzburger Residenz

Thankfully the Uniworld/U River Cruise was dayes in getting to where we were in town to pick us up. We had the chance to join in a summer nightly tradition on the old bridge “Alte Mainbrücke” sipping a glass of Franconian wine watching the sun set. The bridge was erected from 1473 to 1543 replacing an old Romanesque bridge. The characteristic 12 statues of saints were added around 1730.

Alte Mainbrücke

Reese Hilburn & Steven Tefft

After a full day exploring Würzburg we walked back to the boat to enjoy dinner with everyone. The breakfast and dinner meals were traditionally German and fantastic on the ship! Nothing like a German Pretzel!  The staff of  Uniworld found out it was my birthday and brought me a cake! After dinner about 20 of us ventured  into town to find a bar we’d all enjoy. After some shots of absinthe some people went back to the boat to sleep while myself and some incredible new life long friends decided the evening should not end just yet … We stumbled into a hookah bar and announced it was my birthday and another evening lasted until about 3am. I can honestly say I met some amazing people on this trip!

Birthday Hookah bar

We awake the next morning in a new town.. the adventure continues.

New blog post soon.

Next few days/ next towns coming soon!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Lee, president of The Jenn Lee Group – a full service advertising agency which was established in 2003. Specializing in logos, websites, SEO, digital social media advertising, Public relations, etc.  It is a boutique agency with acute attention to detail, technological knowledge and overall passion for all clients’ success. In 2012 she started working as a manager, booking agent and publicist for influencers from reality TV shows on Spike/Paramount and VH1.  In this role she coordinates and negotiates travel appearances and itineraries as well as media relations globally for tattoo artists, performers, and public figures. Jenn Lee says; “We listen closely to understand the target goal, future initiatives and overall brand message. From this we deliver unique and custom solutions, developed in industry standard digital software with exceptional customer service.”

Jenn Lee
Email: jennifer@jennlee.com
Phone: 1-401-249-1564
https://www.instagram.com/thejennleegroup


 

 

Mandinga Tattoo Convention – Argentina 2015

In 2015 I coordinated my first trip with popular tattoo artists outside the US for Reese Hilburn, Clint Cummings, Steven Tefft and Gentle Jay. I realized they had a HUGE fan base from TV shows InkMaster and Tattoo Nightmares Miami in South America. We set off to attend the Mandinga Tattoo Convention in Buenos Aires, Argentina located in the Palermo Soho area.

Our arrival to Palermo

After a 10+hour overnight flight we all arrived a bit hung over and very tired. We were shuttled almost an hour away from the airport to our hotel Esplendor Palermo Soho. This is a fantastic, clean hotel, with on street balconies, an easy walk to many bars and restaurants plus down the street from the tattoo convention which we were there to attend. That evening we were treated to a traditional Asado (BBQ) dinner at El Corralon  This is where we all tried our first blood sausage and tripe (beef intestines) and thankfully some of the best steak I have ever experienced! Argentina is famous for its high-quality grass-fed beef. The country boasts more cattle than humans within its borders, and it’s the third-largest consumer of beef per capita.

El Corralon

Day Excursion to Bond Street and La Bocca:

Day 2 we had a private tour of the Galleria Bond Street . This is an awesome alternative, graffiti style, mall setting that contains skateboard swag, tattoo studios and all types of art and retro memorabilia for sale.  After Bond Street we bused to La Bocca where Clint decided to try the Tango. I was just sitting with him drinking wine and the next thing he was striking this pose. I’m so happy I captured the moment. Tango is performed in the streets of La Boca while you sip wine and watch. Proper Buenos Aires society considers tango an indecent entertainment associated with violence, illicit sex, and the lower classes.

Clint Cummings doing Tango

Touring Buenos Aires

Speakeasy and Strip Clubs

After a full day touring downtown Buenos Aires Capital, we continued to bar hop all around Plazoleta Julio Cortazar where we ate Pizza with green olives, more steak plus plenty of beer and wine! We then met up with our new friend Flor who brought us to Frank’s Speak Easy. We sampled some incredible mixology cocktails and enjoyed the unique environment while trying to speak and understand Spanish. I blame Frank for what came next .. Sometimes when traveling with tattoo artists the evening can end at a strip club. This trip did not fail! What was unique is the club had male and female dancers! No pictures .. no more words needed.
If you were there.. you know and remember.

Franks speakeasy in Buenos Aires

Mandinga Tattoo Convention Weekend

Finally it’s convention day and we walk less than a mile to La Rural Convention Center to attend the 10th anniversary of Mandinga Tattoo Show. We had NO IDEA what to expect from the fans. Thank god for the amazing security from Mandinga because Steve, Reese, Jay and Clint were the visitors favorites at the show.  To give you a visual, this meant the fans stood 10 people deep completely surrounding our booth!  One person from my group said.. “now I know what it’s like to be in a Boy Band” as security shuffled us through the crowd. Click to see video  I’m often so impressed with my clients. On this trip they spent hours tattooing, taking photos, signing autographs and kissing tons of people each Friday, Saturday and Sunday  Never a complaint. And it was HOT!

Crowds at Mandinga Tattoo Show

Final Days in Buenos Aires

After a long few days at the extremely busy convention we all woke up early to go to TruTV studios to film InkMaster and Tattoo Nightmare’s Miami TV promo’s. To end this incredible trip we were treated to a private Argentinian BBQ at one of the oldest churches in Buenos Aires, currently used as a back drop for many TV shows and movies, yet boasts the Pope has stayed over night there.  We ate more beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, and morcilla which were cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or an open fire. Soccer was played in the heat and the most epic group shot was taken just before we were shuttled to the airport.

Buenos Aires soccer and Dinner

Tattoos to Memorialize the Trip

Typically during our trips we all find a closer bond with each other because our travel experiences together.  Tattoos are often completed to memorialize the time we shared together. Pictured below is Steven Tefft’s Mandinga logo/icon. This trip was so successful that I’ve sent Tatu Baby and Jime Litewalk and Reese Hilburn again.  This first trip outside the US for the artists in attendance was an incredible journey where we now have life long friends in Buenos Aires. This also was the catapult for continuing to book travel for many artists all over the globe! Ck out more of my epic travel blog posts!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Lee, president of The Jenn Lee Group – a full service advertising agency which was established in 2003. Specializing in logos, websites, SEO, digital social media advertising, Public relations, etc.  It is a boutique agency with acute attention to detail, technological knowledge and overall passion for all clients’ success. In 2012 she started working as a manager, booking agent and publicist for influencers from reality TV shows on Spike/Paramount and VH1.  In this role she coordinates and negotiates travel appearances and itineraries as well as media relations globally for tattoo artists, performers, and public figures. Jenn Lee says; “We listen closely to understand the target goal, future initiatives and overall brand message. From this we deliver unique and custom solutions, developed in industry standard digital software with exceptional customer service.”

Jenn Lee
Email: jennifer@jennlee.com
Phone: 1-401-249-1564
https://www.instagram.com/thejennleegroup


 

 

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