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Viking River Cruise Danube Waltz Overview


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Pondering of doing a river cruise in Europe? I traveled on the Danube River from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary. Right here’s my Viking River Cruise Danube Waltz assessment.

View of Budapest Parliament and the Danube River from the castle

A Viking Danube Cruise

You assume somebody. You assume your husband till you see him belting out Edelweiss as a trio of Austrian musicians in lederhosen play the accordion and sing throughout an Austrian-themed dinner on an eight-day Viking Danube Waltz river cruise.

Is it attainable? Might my indie-coffee-shop-loving I’ll-just-listen-to-a-podcast-on-the-Anabaptist-Revolt-of-1534-for-fun husband truly be singing with a goofy grin on his face?

I blame the Grüne Veltliners and Rieslings – the grapes this wine-rich area of the Wachau Valley in Austria is legendary for.

Or possibly it’s the service on our Viking Danube cruise. It’s so attentive it frees you as much as do the necessary issues in your to-do checklist like eat crispy roasted pork, fresh-baked pretzels and hearken to yodel music.

Pastel houses in Passau, Germany from the Danube River
Viking Danube Waltz begins in Passau – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Our Viking River Cruise Danube Waltz Itinerary

Seeing this new aspect of my husband is simply one of many eye-opening moments on our Viking Danube cruise that travels from Passau in Germany, to Budapest in Hungary.

The Danube Waltz itinerary additionally contains stops in Linz (with a bus tour to Cesky Krumlov within the Czech Republic), Vienna and Bratislava with some spectacular sights alongside the best way.

Observe: I used to be a visitor of Viking Cruises. All opinions, alternative of excursions, and so on, are my very own.

The Journey

Day 1 – Embark in Passau, Germany

Day 2 – Passau, Germany

Day 3 – Linz, Austria

Day 4 – Krems, Austria

Day 5 – Vienna, Austria

Day 6 – Bratislava, Slovakia

Day 7 – Budapest, Hungary

Day 8 – Disembark in Budapest

Viking Cruises Danube Waltz Map

Why Cruise the Danube?

The Danube, Europe’s second longest river, is among the hottest river cruise routes.

Older than the Rhine River (which is not any spring rooster itself), the Danube originates in Germany’s Black Forest and travels by ten nations earlier than spilling out into the Black Sea.

An extended-established commerce route, it as soon as marked the sting of the Roman Empire’s frontier.

It’s a river overflowing (hopefully not actually) with historical past, hills, fortresses, medieval church steeples and vibrant locations reminiscent of Vienna, voted the world’s most habitable metropolis.

Regardless of the purpose for my husband Mark’s enthusiasm, one thing has cracked by his regular (grouchy) manner.

“What?” he says, taking a look at my raised eyebrows. “I like singalongs.”

Who knew?

Viking River Cruise Danube ship on the river
Early night on the Danube – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Europe River Cruises

One factor I do know is {that a} river cruise in Europe has been on my journey bucket checklist for years, and Viking Cruises has lengthy been on my horizon.

Providing all-inclusive luxurious holidays, Viking supplies distinctive service (together with crimson umbrellas and bottles of water once you go away for excursions), connoisseur delicacies, free Wifi and complimentary shore excursions in every vacation spot.

“I’ve all the time needed to do a river cruise,” I remind Mark as I eye a plate of native chilly cuts.

“I do know. You’ve been speaking about it without end,” he says, hoping, in all probability, that now I’ll shut up about it.

Unlikely, I feel after dinner as we chill out in our Veranda Balcony State Room, searching on the lights of the traditional city of Krems and studying our ‘day by day’, this system of occasions for the following day.

Now I’ll be capable of speak about all of the issues we did on our Viking river cruise, a wealth of dialog starters that may go on for years.

Passau city tour on Viking Danube Cruise
Touring Passau – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Passau

I can discuss in regards to the strolling tour we did on our first full day within the Bavarian city of Passau. Our information was ‘Burgundy Brigitta,’ a flamboyantly-dressed girl who took us to St Stephan’s Cathedral, which has the most important pipe organ in Europe.

We additionally noticed the New Prince-Bishop’s Residence with its ornate Rococo staircase and pastel ceiling fresco floating overhead.

After the tour Mark and I took a romantic riverside stroll round Passau’s island-like Previous City.

We sat on a bench absorbing the pale late autumn solar, having fun with our first glimpse of the Danube because it merges with the River Inn and the River Ilz.

Cesky Krumlov excursion on our Viking Danube Cruise
Day journey to Cesky Krumlov – Photograph: Mark Simpson

Tour to Český Krumlov within the Czech Republic

Our subsequent day’s tour took us from Linz to the storybook city of Český Krumlov.

All crimson roofs and gleaming domes, this well-preserved city in southern Bohemia is lower than a 90-minute drive from the ship.

A UNESCO World Heritage Website, its principal draw is the imposing Thirteenth-century fortress that stands on a rocky promontory, the Vltava River winding beneath it like a cat rubbing your leg.

After touring the the fortress grounds, our (very fantastic) native information Karolina led us by the curved cobbled lanes of the Previous City. And thanks, Good Sunshine, for accompanying us the entire means.

With loads of free time afterwards, I dragged Mark right into a state-run jewellery store to take a look at fiery crimson garnets mined from the mountains of Bohemia, then we ate a leisurely lunch of goulash and dumplings on the terrace of a riverside cafe.

I couldn’t have requested for a greater day. Till …

Linz, Austria, at night
A fast tour by Linz – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

 Onboard the Viking Ullur

We have been again on the ship, having a drink within the ship’s Aquavit Lounge earlier than dinner once I was hit by my first case of FOMO (concern of lacking out).

Immediately I noticed the tough activity of balancing the enjoyment of stress-free on a European river cruise with seeing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

“We didn’t see Linz in any respect.” I tugged Mark’s sleeve in alarm, practically spilling his drink.

As a way to do the Viking tour to Český Krumlov, we’d needed to forgo the morning tour to Linz, the magnitude of what I may need missed solely hitting me now.

“Possibly I ought to simply run in to take a look. I do know it’s getting darkish, however what if we’re by no means in Linz once more? What if that is our solely likelihood to see the third largest metropolis in Austria?”

Mark, who has no points with FOMO, gave a obscure wave, implying I used to be alone.

Although I needed to remain on the ship, as a result of the Viking Ullur is among the new Viking longships, and each the lounge and our stateroom have been beckoning me with their delicate cozy cushions, I ran off alongside the riverside by the approaching nightfall for the 10-minute stroll into Linz.

And whereas I can’t say I received to know Linz, not less than I whizzed round it in a flurry, taking in as many squares, church buildings and outlets as I might.

Tomorrow, I informed myself, I’ll spend extra time on the ship.

Gottweig Abbey near Krems Austria
Gottweig Abbey – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Our Viking Danube Itinerary in Krems, Austria

Besides the following day, after touring the 900-year outdated Göttweig Abbey on our afternoon tour from the Austrian city of Krems, I noticed the one factor I’d seen of Krems itself was an illuminated church steeple seen from our stateroom.

Older than Vienna, Krems has a historical past that dates again to Neolithic occasions. It’s a hub for the area’s white wines, and has a landmark metropolis gate. How might I miss that?

“I must see the Steiner Tor!” I virtually yelled at Mark, who was scrolling by images and benefiting from Viking’s free Wifi. “The town gate that dates again to the 1400s and was redone within the Baroque type within the 1700s.”

Steiner Tor, City Gate in Krems, Austria
Steiner Tor in Krems – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

A Evening Tour of Krems

By the point I’d hemmed and hawed about getting into, it was too late to catch the final free Viking shuttle into the Previous City, so I race-walked to the town gate – it takes quarter-hour in case you’re virtually operating – and did a whirlwind self-guided tour at the hours of darkness.

I handed by the arch of the Steiner Tor, pausing to admire the coat of arms overhead, and hop-footed it down the pedestrian streets the place locals have been gathered outdoors inviting-looking locations just like the Husky Pub and the Weinhimmel Wine Bar.

However tomorrow, I informed myself, I’m positively spending extra time on the ship.

Viking Cruises on the Danube, Viking Ullur Longship
Viking Ullur – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Viking River Cruise Danube Ship Overview

There are good causes for staying onboard.

The Viking Ullur, one of many longships that cruise the Danube, was launched in 2019.

It’s comfy and cutting-edge. Its 95 staterooms are all outdoors dealing with, they usually vary from commonplace staterooms to massive suites.

Our room was a Veranda Stateroom with a balcony, and designed to profit from the house.

There was room to retailer my fats suitcase below the mattress, and sufficient drawer house for the mountain of sneakers, jackets, cashmere sweaters and toiletries I deemed vital for an autumn Danube Viking river cruise in Europe.

Significantly effectively designed is the toilet. Whereas not massive, it had ample shelf room for but extra of my toiletries, and even Mark was granted a tiny house for his toothbrush and shaving cream.

The dark-wood panelled toilet flooring are heated from beneath, so very heat and toasty, and the glass bathe doorways seal tight, so water by no means leaks.

The perfect a part of the stateroom, nevertheless, is the view.

Why watch the 40″ flat display screen TV when there’s an ever-changing characteristic movie outdoors your balcony door? There’s all the time one thing new to see, whether or not it’s the evening lights of Vienna, vineyards in sunshine or crumbling ruins.

View from a Veranda Stateroom on Danube Waltz Cruise with Viking Cruises
View from our window – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Viking Cruises Ship Design

The ship’s clean-lined Scandinavian design is supposed to deliver the skin in wherever you’re.

The decor is a recent mixture of pale impartial colors, blond and crimson wooden finishings, and crowd pleasing paintings that provides a splash of curiosity with out detracting from the cinematic views outdoors.

Additionally of word is the superior know-how on Viking Cruises’ longships. Photo voltaic panels line the perimeters, hybrid engines present a clean and extra ecologically-efficient trip, and an herb backyard provides to the recent flavours of seasonal meals.

Viking Cruises river ship interior
Contained in the Viking Ullur – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Solar Deck

The highest deck of the ship has a strolling monitor, deck chairs, a solar shaded space, a placing inexperienced and shuffleboard.

It’s the perfect place for 360 diploma views. Additionally, if there’s a brutal wind like there was on the morning we sailed by the Wachau Valley – probably the most scenic stretches of the two,850 km (1,770 mile) Danube River – you may cower behind a wind-blocking protecting glass barrier and come out for images like a sniper.

Viking River Cruise Danube on the upper deck
Higher deck – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Higher Deck

On the higher deck (one degree beneath the highest deck) is the AquaVit Lounge and Bar.

That is the heartbeat of social occasions, talks and cocktails. A big open space, it has a three-sided bar with stools, and numerous seating groupings enlivened with Scandinavian-print cushions.

Each evening earlier than dinner, Max, our outgoing Program Director, would give us a rundown on the following day’s occasions right here. It’s additionally the place for nightly leisure.

Leisure on Viking River Cruises

Whereas the ship’s nightly occasions will not be ocean cruise-style leisure like large reveals or a on line casino, they slot in with the theme of the Danube cruise itinerary.

Applications ranged from Salzburg Sound of Music Singers and Hungarian Melodies to a chat on Viennese coffeehouses. There’s additionally a piano and an onboard musician.

Aquavit Lounge on Viking Cruises
Aquavit Lounge – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Aquavit Terrace

On the bow of the ship on the Higher Deck is the Aquavit Terrace, a low-key eatery with a smaller number of meals and extra intimate desk seating than within the restaurant beneath.

The Terrace has each an indoor and outdoors part (although the outside part is closed within the colder climate).

As a bonus, in case you determine to sleep late – which is unlikely, as there are such a lot of issues to do on the Viking river cruise Danube itinerary – you may have a continental breakfast right here till 11 a.m.

Additionally of significant significance on the Higher Deck is the 24-hour tea and occasional station, there to fulfil your cappuccino and cookie wants at any time of day or evening.

Close to the espresso station is the library (Mark says it’s not a library, it’s a bookshelf, however it has a few chairs and an Web nook so I disagree).

Importantly, the Viking Cruises has free Wifi all through the ship.

Dinner on the Viking Ullur
Somebody please sit with us

The Center Deck and Restaurant

The Center Deck has the reception space, present store nook and the restaurant.

The restaurant is the gravitational core of the cruise ship. Viking Cruises are recognized for his or her delicacies and provide a very good vary of menu objects. Mealtimes, nevertheless, could be fraught with stress, not less than for Mark and me, as a result of the tables are communal and we have been all the time nervous nobody would need to sit with us.

However don’t fear. Persons are nicer than that. A minimum of nobody stated ‘go away’ to our face.

We met a number of {couples} we favored, and instantly assumed they’d be our subsequent finest without end mates. I assumed this as a result of so many different Viking river cruises opinions I’ve learn discuss in regards to the fantastic soulmates folks linked with and the way they ate all their meals collectively and are already planning reunions.

Nevertheless, as a result of Mark and I have been often the final ones into the restaurant, it was extra of a case of ‘sit wherever there are spare seats’ and we just about sat with totally different folks each evening.

Who’re the Individuals on a Viking Cruise?

The upside of that is that we met a cross part of individuals from New York, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin and California.

Clearly, Viking Cruises are common with Individuals. They’re additionally massive with the Child Boomer set and ages typically ranged from 50s to 70s.

A minimum of half the folks we talked to had achieved Viking cruises earlier than, which says so much within the cruise line’s favour.

Our haphazard seating technique was extra calculated on the final evening of the cruise and Mark and I beetled into the eating room as quickly because it opened at 7 p.m. to seize a desk.

It’s because one couple we favored, Joe and Maryanne (presumably our new without end mates) have been celebrating Joe’s birthday and we needed a style of the eagerness fruit birthday cake we knew the employees would deliver.

Additionally, this manner Mark might belt out Joyful Birthday together with the waitstaff, as a result of – as we’ve got now all realized – he likes singalongs.

Chef serving lunch on a Viking River Cruise Danube Waltz
Lunch buffet fulfil

Meals on Viking Cruises

What I don’t perceive is how, with a reasonably small kitchen, Viking Cruises can serve such good delicacies.

I know it’s a small kitchen as a result of I did the galley tour on Austrian buffet evening, which ended with a shot of Schnapps, a perk that makes you just like the kitchen much more.

There are three totally different menu choices each evening. Every choice has a starter, a principal and a dessert and you’ll combine and match.

Throughout lunch you may select from the buffet with its salad bar and pasta station or order off the menu. (Or each.)

Chateaubriand
Roast beef anybody? – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Menus

  1. Traditional Menu – That is an unchanging menu, so you may all the time have a cheeseburger for lunch or an Angus Rib Eye or Poached Norwegian Salmon for dinner, amongst different choices.
  2. Regional Menu – The regional menu focuses on specialities of the locale, reminiscent of Wiener Schnitzel, Sacher Cake, and Tafelspitzsulze. And if what Tafelspitzsulze is, you get further factors. (Okay, let me provide help to. It’s a beef and vegetable aspic. Mark says he nonetheless doesn’t know what that’s.)
  3. Worldwide Menu – The third menu has a broad and imaginative vary of dishes and it’s the place you’ll discover what was broadly thought-about (by me) the perfect dish of the journey, a young Roast Chateaubriand with Bearnaise Sauce. Delish.

One other meals spotlight was the Broiled Herb Marinated Jumbo Shrimp with balsamic discount, pesto risotto and child greens.

It was so good I ordered it twice. On the identical meal. I blame my night runs into Linz and Krems – I’d labored up an urge for food. I in all probability might have eaten three if I’d hiked as much as the Previous Bishops Residence looming over Passau like one other couple did.

Are Drinks Included on a Viking Cruise?

Wine, beer and delicate drinks are free throughout meals. If you would like greater than the occasional cocktail, you should purchase a Silver Spirits Drinks Bundle.

Desserts on Viking River Cruise Danube
Dessert time – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Desserts

Desserts are one other massive draw on any Viking river cruise on the Danube.

I used to be attempting to not eat sugar so I often ordered the fruit plate (which got here with recent figs!), whereas stealing forkfuls of no matter Mark ordered.

I did, nevertheless, succumb to scones with clotted cream throughout Austrian tea time one afternoon. There are some sacrifices an individual can’t make.

Dessert avoidance is unquestionably a difficulty in case you’re doing the Viking Danube Waltz.

Each nation has some type of particular calorie-laden delicacy and it’ll plague you wherever you go. Layered desserts stare at you balefully with their hazelnut eyes from cafes, bakery home windows and the ship’s day by day menu. Suppose strudel. Suppose Sacher Torte. Suppose layers of cream and flaky pastries at each twist and switch.

Actually, it’s like being haunted by a village of misplaced sugar souls.

When you might spend your complete time consuming desserts down the Danube, Vienna is absolutely the worst. It’s additionally the perfect, in keeping with Mark, as a result of it was his favorite Viking Danube river cruise tour of all.

Vienna in the rain
Vienna – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

A Day in Vienna

Once we wakened on Day 5, Vienna was magically outdoors our stateroom, so we hurried by breakfast (which means I had scrambled eggs fairly than an egg white omelet from the omelet station) to get to our 8:30 a.m. Panoramic Vienna Tour.

Half bus tour and half strolling tour, Panoramic Excursions are provided in virtually each port on a Viking Danube river cruise, and we often selected them as a result of they offered a very good overview of a vacation spot.

We have been particularly glad of the bus half after we left the ship in a downpour and received to drive round taking a look at all of the grand buildings whereas feeling heat and comfy and listening to our information inform us tales in regards to the Hapsburg Empire and the tragic story of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria.

I used to be much less enthused after we needed to get off the bus, particularly since Mark stored holding the umbrella fallacious so water dripped on my head.

However the rain quickly let up, and I might dart round taking footage of the Hofburg Palace, the Plague Memorial and St Stephen’s Cathedral like every self-respecting vacationer ought to.

Shopping street in Vienna
Procuring! – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

Taking Time for Your self on a River Cruise

After our tour we had about an hour and a half of free time earlier than the bus returned to the ship.

Instantly I pushed Mark into Hogl, an Austrian shoe designer. After barely two extra shoe shops, our time was practically up. (Sure, Mark is extremely affected person. So long as there may be someplace to sit down down.)

As we headed again in the direction of the assembly level outdoors the cathedral I finished mid stride. “Why are we going again to the ship? It doesn’t even go away till midnight.”

For as soon as Mark agreed with me, which simply goes to point out how a lot he likes Vienna (apart from its shoe shops).

It was a wonderful unplanned day.

We lingered over newspapers on the historic Mozart Espresso Home, had a romantic schnitzel lunch (in case you can take into account schnitzel romantic), and browsed by two flooring of food-related souvenirs and delicacies within the connoisseur store Julius Meinl, the place as soon as once more, my no sugar coverage bit the mud.

Then I went to a division retailer whereas Mark explored one other coffeehouse, which is our concept of profitable togetherness.

Wandering Carol Mozart Coffee House Vienna
Ah! Down time – Photograph: Mark Simpson

Getting Again to Your Viking Cruise Ship from Vienna on the Subway

I believed it might be difficult taking the metro again however Max, our ever-prepared Program Director, had given us a printout with a metro map, directions on how you can purchase a ticket and how you can get to the ship.

We hopped on the crimson line at Stephansplatz, received out at Vorgartenstrasse and walked to the river dock. It was so easy a Lipizzaner Stallion might have managed it if he’d been bored with trotting.

However tomorrow, I informed myself, I‘m positively spending extra time on the ship.

Viking Ullur ship
Viking cruise ship – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

An Afternoon on the Viking Longship

After our Panoramic Bratislava Tour within the morning, I used to be extraordinarily relieved to be taught it was a crusing afternoon, and I might keep on the ship with out being lured away to see another must-see attraction.

That is the life, I believed, drifting from the Aquavit Terrace for Austrian tea time to a comfortable sofa within the lounge and again to our stateroom, the place I lay on the mattress watching Slovakia slide into Hungary.

It was the longest stretch of crusing we’d had – not less than the longest I’d been awake for. We have been nonetheless making our stately glide down the Danube throughout dinner because the glowering Esztergom Basilica handed by.

Whereas Mark lingered over espresso within the restaurant (along with his numerous new soulmates), I retreated to our room and sat by the balcony with the door open.

Viking cruises ship at night
The river cruise at evening – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

The Danube at Evening

The delicate lap of water was rhythmic as our cruise ship minimize by the Danube, a hint of froth swirling beneath.

There was barely a light-weight on shore, and hulking darkish hills handed within the evening like a collection of crouching giants.

The river, deep inexperienced and faintly translucent below my balcony gentle, appeared whispery and alive, as if we have been driving on the again of a dragon.

A river cruise is totally different than different methods of touring Europe. It’s not a disjointed hop from sight to sight, however a watery continuum crafted by nature, the place nations stream collectively, histories merge and each bend and twist results in a brand new journey.

It was late when the glittering lights of Budapest got here into view, and I couldn’t wait to see what Hungary’s capital, a metropolis of Artwork Nouveau buildings and steamy thermal springs, had in retailer.

Viking Cruises Danube Waltz Itinerary and Excursions

Half the enjoyable of planning your Viking river cruise is selecting your excursions – not less than it was for me – and right here Viking excels.

Why?

As a result of every port presents not less than one included tour at no further price, in addition to non-obligatory excursions you may e-book and buy beforehand. If there may be nonetheless house obtainable, you too can purchase them onboard.

Mark and I principally stayed with the included choices, as a result of they often provide you with an enormous image abstract of a vacation spot, (and, um, they’re free).

The one non-obligatory tour we signed up for was the thermal baths in Budapest, although we additionally ought to have booked the Mozart Live performance in Vienna as a result of it gave the impression to be an enormous hit with the opposite vacationers.

Sculpture of man in manhole Bratislava
Mark in Bratislava – Making mates wherever he goes

How Do You Ebook Excursions with Viking Cruises?

When you’ve booked your cruise, you’ll get a hyperlink to register for My Viking Journey, which is like your personal personal calendar of occasions, and you’ll choose your excursions there.

You’ll discover descriptions of every tour, and the associated fee if there may be one. All you do is click on so as to add it to your reserving, so it’s fairly simple. It’s advisable to do that early as common excursions can promote out.

Is There A lot Strolling on the Excursions?

Many individuals on our Viking cruise had mobility points, and most excursions will not be onerous. There’s often a ‘mild’ choice for slower walkers.

Every tour is clearly marked as simple, average or tough. Usually, the free Panoramic Excursions are a combo of bus and strolling, so that you’re not in your toes for hours.

The tour with probably the most strolling we did was the day journey to Cesky Krumlov because the fortress is on a hill. It’s rated as average.

Native Guides

One factor I like about Viking Cruises is that they use native guides, and so that you’re getting somebody with firsthand data of the vacation spot and tradition.

They have been often entertaining and enlightening. Each tour ended with free time, which was a lot appreciated.

Viking River Cruise Danube Waltz Tour Choices

Right here’s a rundown on what excursions you may anticipate in your Danube Waltz cruise. Different choices is perhaps added or modified. There’s all the time not less than one free included alternative, generally two. Non-obligatory excursions have an extra price.

Passau, Germany

Included Tour:

  1. Morning Passau Strolling Tour & Organ Live performance

Passau is a really walkable city, with an old-world allure, however be forewarned: as soon as November hits, St Stephan’s Cathedral stops doing their common live shows till spring. Ours ended up being a strolling tour with a go to to the attractive Baroque cathedral to see, fairly than hear, Europe’s largest pipe organ.

Linz, Austria

Included Excursions:

  1. Morning 2-Hour Strolling and Mini Practice Tour of Linz
  2. A full-day tour to Cesky Krumlov within the Czech Republic. (A lot as I really like mini trains – principally as a result of they embarrass my husband – Cesky Krumlov was my favorite tour of the journey.)

Non-obligatory Tour:

  1. Austrian Countryside Tour with a Contemporary Meals Focus

Krems, Austria

Included Tour:

  1. Afternoon Tour to Gottweig Abbey

Non-obligatory Tour:

  1. Wachau Valley Vineyard (This takes place after the Gottweig Abbey Tour so you are able to do each.)

Vienna, Austria

Included Excursions:

  1. Morning Tour of Panoramic Vienna
  2. Morning Vienna Strolling Tour (Group takes the metro to the middle.)

Non-obligatory Excursions:

  1. Full Day Imperial Vienna Tour, with a waltz dance lesson, lunch and go to to Schonbrunn Palace. (I used to be all for this one however Mark nixed it, scarred from our disastrous try at dancing in Vichy, France. Let’s all name him a spoilsport proper now. Spoilsport!)
  2. Afternoon Tour to Schonbrunn Palace
  3. Afternoon Tour – Behind the Scenes on the Lipizzaner Stallions
  4. Afternoon Tour – Historic Farmers Market Go to with Viking Chef
  5. Night Mozart & Strauss Live performance
  6. Heurigen Night – A folksy type of night to have a good time the brand new season’s wine with drinks and track.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Included Excursions:

  1. Morning Panoramic Bratislava Tour – On the Panoramic Tour you see the views of Bratislava from the fortress grounds and do a strolling tour of the Previous City.
  2. Morning Bratislava Strolling Tour – The Strolling Tour spends extra time within the Previous City.

Non-obligatory Tour:

  1. Morning Bratislava Dwelling Hosted Go to  – An opportunity to find out about Slovakian life from an area.

Budapest, Hungary

Included Tour:

  1. Morning Panoramic Budapest

Non-obligatory Excursions:

  1. Morning Budapest Fort Hill Metropolis Hike – Good in case you’ve been consuming too many desserts, however it’s an energetic journey.
  2. Afternoon Tour to see the Hungarian Horsemen at Lazar Equestrian Park
  3. Afternoon Dohany Road Synagogue & Jewish Budapest Tour
  4. Afternoon Tour to the Grand Market: A Style of Hungary & Pancake Kitchen
  5. Afternoon Tour to a Budapest Thermal Bathtub – Our journey was to the attractive Szechenyi Baths, however it could possibly be the Gellert or one other bathhouse.

Viking Cruises Journey Suggestions

Go to the Viking Cruises web site for info on reserving, costs and availability.

Organizing Your River Cruise and Attending to Your Ship

Most individuals set up their complete journey by Viking Cruises, together with airfare, both going straight to the ship or with a pre-trip in Prague or a publish tour in Budapest.

That is the best means. When you set up all of it by Viking they’ll prepare airport transfers and lodges, with non-obligatory excursions in every begin and finish vacation spot.

When you fly in the identical day that the cruise begins, Viking will choose you up on the airport and ship you to the ship.

When you’re doing a Danube Waltz Viking cruise beginning in Passau that is necessary as a result of the airport in Munich, the place most individuals fly into, is 2 hours away from Passau.

As a result of I needed to journey on airline factors (howdy, Enterprise Class) and spend a while in Germany beforehand I booked my very own preparations, so from Munich, Mark and I took the practice to Passau, then caught a cab to the dock.

Mark booked his flight by Viking as he discovered they provided the most affordable fare, however as a result of he went two days earlier than the cruise, we needed to prepare our personal transportation to the ship.

Panoramic Bratislava
Panoramic Bratislava – Photograph: Carol Perehudoff

How A lot Do You Should Pay in Recommendations on a Viking Cruise?

Aren’t suggestions complicated? Viking added an computerized gratuity of $18 US per day onto our invoice to cowl suggestions for all of the onboard employees, who really do exit of their strategy to make your journey clean.

You possibly can change this quantity if you want by visiting the entrance desk. As well as you can provide out particular person money suggestions.

We tipped the housekeeper further.

As well as, it’s best to tip your information and driver a couple of Euros. Be ready with some small payments – in addition they settle for American {dollars}. General, our guides have been excellent. Humorous, shiny and affected person.

Low Water on a European Viking Cruise

After 2018’s historic low water ranges, I can’t fake I wasn’t nervous our river cruise would flip right into a bus journey, particularly as there have been some rumblings about low water round Passau and Budapest. However I assume that downpour we had in Vienna helped as a result of we made it by with out a hitch. Oh, joyful day.

Low water ranges (or excessive water ranges) can have an effect on river cruising in Europe. Clearly that is out of the cruise line’s management.

It might probably additionally change daily so virtually not possible to foretell prematurely. I talked to passengers on different cruise ships coming from Budapest to Passau who’d needed to bus it from Budapest to a small city about an hour and a half away, which they stated wasn’t an enormous deal.

I’ve additionally heard about passengers being put up in lodges in Budapest due to low water ranges on the Danube. I wasn’t nervous about this, because the lodges have been deluxe properties just like the New York Palace and the Corinthia Resort – two luxurious lodges I do know effectively.

What to do About Low Water Ranges on Your Cruise

Purchase cancellation insurance coverage.

Examine Viking’s hyperlink to updates on present sailings.

I discovered this River Cruise Advisor web site useful, and scoured the feedback day-after-day as folks would write in whereas they have been crusing.

Be ready. As a result of Viking has extra cruise ships than most European cruise strains, if one space is impassable they’ll switch to you one other ship on the different finish of the deadlock. You’ll even get the identical room.

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