Floating down the Danube, not a care in the World……..
I just returned from the most AHMAZING !!! River Cruise on the Danube River with AMA Waterways. I had heard great reviews but until I actually got to experience it for myself, had no idea just how wonderful a river cruise could be.
We spent a few days in Prague at the beginning of the trip and this city is beautiful – we stayed at the Art Deco Imperial Hotel right in the center of town and it was really fabulous – the perfect mix of Old World and modern hip fusion !!!
We were scheduled to board the ship in Vilshofen and were driven from Prague by bus from a centrally located hotel.
“Lined with charming red-roofed villages, steeply terraced vineyards, picturesque churches and the crumbling ruins of medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated writers, musicians and artists throughout the centuries. Explore such legendary capitals as Prague, Vienna and Budapest, as well as remarkably preserved towns and villages that appear untouched by the passage of time. Along the way, savor the world-renowned wines of Austria’s Wachau Valley, indulge in decadent local cuisine and tour a 900-year-old Benedictine abbey in Melk.”
Here’s our itinerary for the Prague/Budapest River Cruise:
Regensburg Walking tour
Passau Walking tour
OR Passau Castle hike
Onboard wine tasting
Linz Walking tour
OR Castle and Culture bike tour
OR Cesky Krumlov excursion
OR Salzburg excursion
Chaîne Des Rôtisseurs Dinner with wine pairing
Melk Benedictine Abbey
Vineyard visit with wine tasting
Captain’s Dinner with wine pairing
Dürnstein Walking tour
OR Dürnstein Fortress hike
OR Danube bike tour
Wachau Valley winery visit
OR Hidden Vienna tour
OR Alte Danau bike tour
Viennese Wine and Music Evening
Onboard wine lecture
Farewell Dinner with Hungarian folk music
We went from Prague Czech Republic by bus to Regensburg Germany, where our local guide Hubert brought us on a walking tour of this wonderful town.
We then travelled further on to Vilshofen where our fabulous AMA Serena ship was awaiting us to take us on our River Cruise. That evening, we got to participate in a wonderful “Oktoberfest evening” complete with delicous German cuisine and lots of fine German beer and wine. (Probst)
Did you know that it is tradition to look each other in the eyes when saying Probst (cheers) or the one who does not look gets to buy the next round !!! ?
Our cruise was hosted by Beverly of Hook & Ladder Winery – California. http://www.hookandladderwinery.com/ Having a winery host is great because we got to sample their wines, get educated on different tastes and blends of wines and we had several wine presentations during the cruise. BTW !! Their wines are delicious – check their website above. In addition, the wines served on board included local wines from the regions and changed as we journeyed along Danube.
The beauty of a River Cruise is that you only unpack ONCE but yet you git to visit multiple cities. You are part of a family 160 of your closest friends !!!
While on board we indulged in the wonderful cuisine, hospitality and community as we continued our sailing down the river. We booked the Chef’s Table dinner on one of the evenings and that was amazing. The Crew were so friendly and went out of their way to be of service.
As we went through different regions, the river level changes and drops so we have to go through locks. The “drop” is approx..30 feet and it’s incredible to experience that.
Some of the amenities onboard the ship include, a heated pool on the top deck, a workout room, salon, complimentary beer & wine with meals, complimentary water, bicycles available for tours.
I did the bike tour in Linz with about 15 other passengers and 3 guides. It was such a neat experience biking through the outskirts and then into the centre of Linz in the pedestrianized areas.
Our Cruise Manager John Riley was a wealth of knowledge. The views from the ship were spectacular and he would educate us on local culture, historical facts etc. as we sailed down the river. As you can see from the itinerary above, we visited many amazing cities, the history, the scenery, the culture all very impressive.
Stay tuned as I am going to do another newsletter with an in depth review of the towns and cities we visited.
I would highly recommend AMA Waterways for a River Cruise, I thought that river cruising was for older travelers, I was so pleasantly surprised to see a diverse group of travelers. In addition, they have a program for everyone from active travelers (hikes and bike rides), regular walkers and then they have a “gentle Walkers” group for anyone that might need to take it easy. We were provided with individual listening devices for every tour which made it so easy to listen to the local guides.
The “Romantic Danube” is just one of many River Cruise options available. What’s on your bucket list ?? Perhaps an Art themed River Cruise in Paris and Normandy?, exploring the European wine regions while sailing on the Rhone, Seine, Duror, Danube, or Rhine? Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong, Africa or Myanmar ??
The possiblilties are endless…………….
We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into River Cruising, stay tuned for lots more enticing information on the destinations we visited, the wine and food ……………
All the best
Emer & Dervila