Monday, August 10, 2015

The Romantic Danube…overview

Just had the chance to look through the almost 1,000 pictures I took during our Viking river cruise down the Danube! I added a few more pictures into the posts I wrote along the way and thought I'd put the links, in order, in one spot! 

Overall, I'd say river cruising is a wonderful way to travel. Our experiences on board the ship (well, ships, actually, since we had to swap midway) were wonderful. We had a great staff, really nice rooms, spectacular meals and good company. The daily excursions at times felt a little rushed, but we were covering quite a bit of territory in a short time. (This was a very active trip -- not a relaxing vacation! But when you travel all the way to Europe, you kind of want to see everything you can!) We did all of the included daily city tours and added an occasional optional excursion. The city tours were usually a combination of a bus ride and walking tour, but some were strictly walking. The walks were usually an hour and a half in groups of 10-15 with really good local guides. I think we agree we would've enjoyed just a little more free time in most of the cities and towns, as well as a little more time to just enjoy cruising the river. If I ever do another river cruise, I'd probably plan accordingly -- maybe venture on my own into a town or two (the concierge can arrange transportation if you need it) and build in a little more free time into the schedule.

(Sidenote: According to my Fitbit, we took 91,321 steps during the week for a total of 39.4 miles!)

A warning: We had to swap ships due to low water conditions but we learned of several others on similar cruises who were unable to cruise but a couple of days. They were bused to various destinations (sometimes for over four hours -- one way) and others had to eliminate certain parts of the cruise altogether. We heard that some cruises might be canceled. So, be aware, a river is a living thing, subject to weather conditions! Also, we were expecting much milder weather, based on the literature we received about average temperatures. It was HOT. So you may want to do your own research when it comes to planning a time of year for your cruise.

The Viking company did a good job of informing/preparing on things such as currency and shipboard expectations. With very few exceptions, the crew and staff were absolutely top-notch! (Sidenote: I think the Hungarians may be the most fun!)

So for the photo-heavy recap of our adventures on the Danube, here are the posts in order:

Day One…the Beautiful Danube

Budapest to Vienna

Engineering bonus! Lock and Load...

Lovely Vienna...

Gorgeous countryside...

Hello, Germany!

A taste of Bavaria…

Our last day! 

Thanks for traveling along with the Young girls!

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