Prague is one of the loveliest of European cities and a fantastic place to start before our cruise down the Danube River. Hotel Leonardo, located in the old city and only 2 blocks to the famous Charles Bridge, was a wonderful place to stay with delicious food, a good variety with the included breakfast and a superb and attentive staff!
A morning city tour was followed by plenty of free time the next 2 days to explore,shop, dine and later visit the local bars such as The Pub and U Flecku.
Then a 3-4 hour trip to our awaiting river boat, the brand new, all suite Avalon Vista, docked in Nuremberg. Our 4th river cruise, and the ships just keep getting better and the new Vista provides larger rooms and bathrooms, sliding glass door with a French balcony, free wi-fi, movies and news on the flat screen tv.
An included city tour the next morning of Nuremberg with stops at the site of the old Nazi rallies, but also some surprising stops like the well preserved castle overlooking the city and the downtown square. Time for the famous gingerbread cookies! And what where the odds of running into Soni’s friend from Ohio from our Rhine cruise two years ago.
Overnight cruising brings us to Regensburg and a short 2 block walk from where our ship was docked was the home of the 900 year old Wurstkuchl and their famous sausages. Sausage,kraut and mustard enjoyed outside overlooking the river-fabulous! A tour to the Danube Valley passing by the home of the current Pope Benedict XVI. An exciting small boat cruise up the fast moving river to an Abbey and a stunning small cathedral-well worth the trip.
On to Linz and a side trip to Salzburg about 2 hours away. Although busy in the midst of tourist season, especially the main shopping street of Getreidegasse, the city is always impressive. Never enough time here on my 3rd trip back,since spending a semester here in the 70’s. Return to the ship through the stunning Salzkammergut lakes district and a stop at the Maria Plain church, site of the wedding of Maria and Captain von Trapp in Sound of Music.
Next day in Melk and an included tour of the incredible Benedictine Abbey that dominates the town from the hill above the Danube.
We cruise the beautiful Wachau Valley this afternoon as our cruise director, Hendrik, narrates with tales of castles and sieges and intrigue through the centuries.
Vienna is our next stop for 2 days to explore and enjoy the Austrian capital. An evening at the Opera, a visit to Schonbrunn Palace, the Lipizzaner Stallions, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Prater Park and the 100 year old ferris wheel are all here to enjoy and explore.
On our way to our final stop, Budapest, Hungary. Pass the landmark Parliament building and we dock on the Pest side just past the Chain Bridge. The pedestrian shopping street is just a couple blocks away, how convenient, and the prices here are reasonable. The city tour includes the castle high on the hill with impressive views. Bridges, castles, churches and government buildings all lighted and on display at night-beautiful!
There is no better way to see Europe than on these new small ships sailing the main rivers. You dock in the heart of the cities, a city tour is included, the food is excellent with buffet’s for breakfast and lunch and a choice of entree’s for dinner with local wine and beer included. The entertainment in the lounge at night is a real variety from the history of the Main-Danube canal to a real character like Hansi and of course the famous crew show! With only 160 passenger and a crew of 45 you feel like family.
John & Joan