Danube River Cruise Highlights

Many of you have never taken a river cruise, are curious to try one, and ask me which itinerary is best for first-timers. Of course, I’ve loved them all but I often suggest the one I started with in Europe: the Danube River. Clients who love history, architecture, art, and diverse cultures are going to love a cruise down the Danube. Blending Eastern and Western Europe, you can look forward to seeing ancient cities and Roman ruins, enjoy outstanding cuisine, wine and beer, and encountering eclectic experiences.

Take a virtual tour of iconic sites and unique opportunities with Viking River Cruises.
Then contact us to plan the ideal river cruise for you.

Embark on a Journey of Discovery - 3 - TastefulJourneys

Romantic Danube Itinerary from Viking River Cruises
During this 8-day journey, encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital, traditional, hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest. Witness Vienna’s imperial architecture and tour medieval towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Savor the tastes of authentic dishes, learn about local legends and understand why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his waltz.


Cafe Demel, Vienna’s famed coffeehouse
While visiting Vienna with Viking River Cruises, enjoy a leisurely stop at one of the city’s famed coffeehouses. The Demel has been creating delicious treats for over 200 years; choose from cream cakes, tea scones, apple strudels, Sacher tortes and cakes. Sip your coffee, enjoy a sweet treat, and indulge in the company of great friends and a beautiful café!


Vienna’s Famed Lipizzaner Stallions
Go backstage at Vienna’s famous Spanish riding school and discovers a world of elegance, discipline and remarkable skill. It’s the world of the Lipizzaner Stallions!


Nuremberg Trials
In 1945 at Nuremberg’s Hall of Justice, allied powers gathered seeking accountability. Today Courtroom 600 is one of the most visited sites in the city. Learn about the historic war crimes tribunals that took place here as the entire world looked on —and consider seeing Courtroom 600 for yourself.


Explore More: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, once hidden behind the iron curtain, is a delight for the senses. Known as the “Pearl of the Danube”, the city of Budapest is renowned for its beauty. Highlighting five of Budapest’s most popular attractions, take a quick tour through this magnificent city.


Cooking: Goulash with Agnes
Gather fresh ingredients in the Budapest Great Market Hall and then prepare a traditional Hungarian dish, hearty goulash.


Cooking: Wienerschnitzel with Toni Morwald
Master chef Toni Mörwald is Austria’s most recognized chef. He learned from numerous grand chefs around the world, and at the age of 22 was awarded his first Gaultet Millau toque. Chef Mörwald is the proprietor of Michelin-starred restaurants, hotels and a catering business. He has dedicated himself to the training of more than 300 professional chefs, many of whom who hold the top jobs in some of the world’s finest restaurants. Watch as he shares his kitchen with Viking Cruises® Sr. Vice President Karine Hagen and shows how to prepare wiener schnitzel, the national dish of Austria. He begins by slicing the veal and lightly pounding veal cutlets flat. He then adds salt, pepper and sunflower oil. The cutlets are dusted with flour, dipped in egg, placed in breadcrumbs and browned to perfection. Chef Mörwald adds parsley-buttered potatoes and a lemon slice to complete the presentation. In the hands of a master chef, the signature specialty of Viennese cuisine is ready to be enjoyed in just five minutes. Viking Cruises itineraries are thoughtfully developed to immerse you in the cuisine of each destination so you can learn about different cultures through food. And Viking Cruises chefs feature regional cuisine and always available American classics in multi-course meals.


Cooking: Bratwurst with Tom Schmechtig
Learn about the variety of German cuisine including sausages, pretzels and more.


If you are considering an Danube River cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.

Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

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  • Handy New Free Travel App From Austrian Tourist Office

    Sailing on a Danube river cruise that includes Vienna or other Austrian ports-of-call? A new and free smartphone application called “Austria. Unique Like You” was recently unveiled by the Austrian Tourist Office. Available for iPhones, Blackberry as well as Android phones, the app is designed as a personal guide to travel experiences in Austria. The app pledges “one-of-a-kind suggestions and ideas for discovery and exploration beyond the ordinary,” as well as an easy slider system for accessing travel information based on the user’s interests. The app is not only designed for the pre-planning stage, but is also a handy tool while in Austria. The “Near Me” feature promises that users can easily access sites around them using their GPS.

    Viennese Cuisine
    World-Class Dining In Vienna

    Continue reading Handy New Free Travel App From Austrian Tourist Office

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    Vienna For A Bon Vivant

    It’s easy to see why Vienna, a city of music, cafes, waltzes, parks, pastries, and wine is a popular port-of-call on a Danube River cruise. But only a true foodie will know that Viennese Cuisine is the only fare in the world to be named after a city. Viennese chefs draw on influences from various countries to create awesome dishes that never fail to grab hold of the imagination.

    During your free time in Vienna, explore the legendary markets. Since the Middle Ages, Viennese merchants have prospered by hauling produce, dairy products, and meats from the rich farms of Lower Austria and Burgenland into the city center. The tradition of buying the day’s provisions directly from street stalls is so strong, even today, that it discourages the creation of modern supermarkets in the city center.

    The largest of the city’s outdoor food markets is the Naschmarkt, Wienzeile, in the 6th District (U-Bahn: Karlsplatz), just south of the Ring. It’s located on what was originally the riverbed of a branch of the Danube, which was diverted and paved over during the enormous public works projects of the 19th century. It’s the most time-honored and vibrant of the markets, as well as the most all-encompassing.

    Volumes have been written about the subcultures and linguistic dialects that thrive among the Naschmarkt’s denizens. Observe the following implicit rules if you want to avoid the fury of the infamously irascible women selling their wares: Never touch merchandise unless you intend to buy something. Don’t try to buy less than a half-kilo (about a pound) of potatoes. And — even if you speak German well — don’t even try to understand the bawdy Viennese patois.

    Arrive early in the morning and mosey through the warren of outdoor food stalls, and at the end of your excursion, head for the nearby Coffeehouse Drechsler for breakfast or a cup of coffee.

    Picnickers will find that Vienna is among the best-stocked cities in Europe for food supplies. The best — and least expensive — place is the Naschmarkt, an open-air market that’s only a 5-minute stroll from Karlsplatz (the nearest U-Bahn stop). Here you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling fresh produce, breads, meats, cheeses, flowers, tea, and more. Fast-food counters and other stands peddle ready-made foods such as grilled chicken, Austrian and German sausages, sandwiches, and even beer. The market is open Monday to Friday from 6am to 6:30pm, Saturday from 6am to 1pm. You can also buy your picnic at one of Vienna’s many delis, such as Konditorei Oberlaa, Neuer Markt 16 (tel. 01/513-2936), or Gerstner, Kärntnerstrasse 15 (tel. 01/5124-9630).

    With your picnic basket in hand, head for Stadtpark or the Volksgarten, both on the famous Ring. Even better, if the weather is right, plan an excursion into the Vienna Woods.

    Need more Viennese cuisine? The windows of the venerated Café Demel, Kohlmarkt 14 (tel. 01/5351717; U-Bahn: Herrengasse; Bus: 1A or 2A), are filled with fanciful spun-sugar creations of characters from folk legends. Inside you’ll find a splendidly baroque landmark where dozens of pastries are available daily, including the Pralinen, Senegal, truffle, Sand, and Maximilian tortes, as well as Gugelhupfs (cream-filled horns). Demel also serves a mammoth variety of tea sandwiches made with smoked salmon, egg salad, caviar, or shrimp. If you want to be traditional, ask for a Demel-Coffee, which is filtered coffee served with milk, cream, or whipped cream. It’s open daily from 10am to 7pm.

    For more information about Vienna’s delicacies visit
    www.vienna.info
    Sacher-Torte

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    ms AmaDagio Cruise Ship, AMA Waterways Review

    European river cruise pioneer, AMA Waterways, offers its passengers boutique vessels and a premium vacation experience. With a maximum capacity of 162 guests and a high staff-to-passenger ratio, you’ll experience superior service and attention to detail by professionally-trained staff. Experienced ocean cruisers will notice the contrast when on the Sun Deck, stunned by spectacular panoramic and constantly changing views of charming villages, castles and vineyards gliding by, not just water as far as you can see.

    Small group excursions with local guides are included in every port and separated according to your interests and expectations. Choose from leisurely paced “Gentle Walkers,” “Active Walkers” for those interested in covering a lot, and even a “Late Starter” group for those who want to sleep in. Bicycles are free for you to borrow to venture out on your own or join a complimentary guided tour.

    Surprisingly, though the vessel is a fraction of the size of most ocean ships, you do not have to sacrifice hotel-amenity indulgences. Pamper your body and rejuvenate your spirit with a masseuse, beauty therapist or hair stylist appointment or take advantage of the well-equipped Fitness Center and sauna. And, in the evening different performers from the region come on board to delight guests with sparkling, traditional music and dance entertainment. It’s the ideal complement to each day’s exploration in port. AmaDagio Fitness Center and Sauna

    Cabin size starts at 170 square feet and are filled with fine hotel amenities that cruisers have come to expect. You’ll want to choose AMA’s signature French Balcony stateroom or the 255 square foot Jr. Suite (these sell quickly.) Open the floor-to-ceiling glass door of your French Balcony to bring in the riverside scenery and take your first pictures of the day or last before setting sail. No need to pack a hair dryer or robe and slippers—it’s standard in every cabin. Enjoy marble-appointed bathrooms and generous shower with multi-jet showerhead, spa-quality toiletries, plenty of storage space, a safe, cozy sitting area, and plush bedding. Complimentary internet, movies, TV, and news are available on your staterooms flat-panel screen.

    AmaDagio Stateroom
    French Balcony Cabin

    “How’s the food?” is one of the first questions our clients ask about a cruise line. AMA’s chefs complement the region by offering the traditional dishes of the itinerary ports-of-call using local produce in keeping with the destination.

    AmaDagio Wine with Dinner
    Regional wines complement the meal
    The free flowing wine with dinner gives you the pleasure of sampling various fine vintages produced by European vineyards. You can kick breakfast up a notch with champagne, too!

    The AmaDagio is at once sleek and contemporary and welcoming. Relax in the inviting Main Lounge with comfortable seating and your selection of complimentary specialty coffee or tea for a port lecture, shore excursion talk or evening entertainment. It’s a stylish and sophisticated way to see Europe.

    While this vessel features an elevator, an amenity not always offered by many river cruise ships, in port cobblestone streets, walkways and stairs can be problematic to navigate if you are unsteady on your feet. Pace yourself and be sure to choose the “Gentle Walkers” guided tour. Typically the passengers onboard are well traveled, often on ocean cruises or guided tours. Many of our fellow passengers on the Legendary Danube itinerary were age 50+ and most from Australia/New Zealand, Great Britain and North America. But there were also mother/daughter, girl-friend getaways, and multi-generational groups on board. Our cruise manager, Elke Vannieuwerburgh, remarked on the trend toward younger passengers as river cruising increases in popularity.

    Which itinerary should you choose for your first river cruise? Of course, your own special interests may dictate the destinations, but approximately 70% of our clients inquire initially about the famous Danube River. This is an outline of the itinerary I took called, The Legendary Danube.
    We began the voyage with a pre-cruise hotel package in historic Prague, “the city of a hundred spires.” The 7 night cruise on the Danube, Europe’s second largest river, sailed from Nuremberg through the Main-Danube Canal across the Continental Divide past centuries-old towns unfolding around us. We entered Austria and cruised through the lush Wachau wine region. Then, concluded our European river cruise vacation with two grand capitals, magnificent Vienna and exotic Budapest.

    Day
    Destination
    Activities
    1 Overnight flight to Czech Republic
    2 Prague Transfer to hotel
    3 Prague City tour
    4 Prague Optional tours available
    5 Prague Transfer to Karlovy Vary
    Karlovy Vary Free time
    Nuremberg EMBARKATION
    Welcome Cocktail & Dinner
    6 Nuremberg City tour
    Cruise Main-Danube Canal
    Lecture on Canal project
    Hilpoltstein Crossing continental divide
    7 Regensburg Walking tour
    Audi factory tour (when available)
    8 Passau Walking tour
    Salzburg Optional Salzburg excursion
    Linz Free evening
    9 Melk Benedictine Abbey tour
    Wachau Valley cruise
    Vienna Optional evening concert
    10 Vienna City tour
    11 Budapest City tour
    Illuminations Cruise
    12 Budapest DISEMBARKATION

    Right now AMA Waterways has a “Triple Savings Promotion” on select 7 night Legendary Danube departures: SAVE $500 PER STATEROOM, COMPLIMENTARY UPGRADE & $100 SHIPBOARD CREDIT
    Prices start at $2349 + tax per person based on double occupancy for the 7 night cruise.

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