Considering European river cruise?

Jul 3rd, 2013, 09:51 AM
  #1  
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Considering European river cruise?

I just got back from a Viking cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg. It was my first river cruise, so I'm by no means an expert. But if you're considering or planning a European river cruise and have any questions/opinions, please post them here, and I'll do my best to give some advice/feedback based on my experience.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Did you hve any trouble with the recnt floods in Budapest and Vienna.?
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Jul 4th, 2013, 05:06 AM
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Percy.
The floods did not affect our itinerary in Budapest or Vienna. It was a bit farther upriver that we had to detour. Waters were too high to pass under a bridge between Melk and Passau, so we took a bus and transferred to a sister ship outside the lovely German town of Straubing.
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Jul 4th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the information Eric_W

I heard one of the locks was broken and they were fixing it.

Passau had the worst level of flooding since August 15 1501 !

On the Town Hall in Passau there is a scale marker indicating past heights of water levels.

Two feet above the line of August 15 1501 there is another line date June 3 2013 !!!

You can see it on the Internet.!

Thanks Again
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Jul 4th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Eric, we visited Straubing a couple of years ago and wished we'd had time to see more of this gem!

We did a Gate 1 Danube River cruise just before the flooding. It was painful seeing the news reports of Passau on the internet and TV.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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I actually had a question but posted it in Europe as it was more of a scenery question than cruise. What was the best stretch of the cruise for scenery? Beautiful towns etc. We would like to take a 4 day cruise and it goes from Vienna to Budapest but if there is nothing to see or there is better scenery on a different stretch will change out plan. Thanks.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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A 4 days cruise is about all you can do from Budapest to Vienna.
Both places are very nice and you need two days in each place.

Also as you near Vienna you will be passing right by the Capital of Slovakia...Bratislava, which is also a nice place.

The scenery is ever changing and you will have both stretches of small towns mixed with vineyards and forest embankments.
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Jul 5th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Do,you recommend the Viking river cruise? Am thinking of 8 day Nuremberg to Budapest
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Jul 6th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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bettyk: We spent the afternoon in Straubing and strolled the town center, which was small enough to see all of, but inviting enough to spend much more time in. We had a delicious hazelnut cake at an outdoor cafe and took pictures of our creamy lattes much to the consternation of the locals who don't see nearly as many tourists in their humble little town as, say, Passau or Regensburg. A gem indeed!
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Jul 6th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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jan47ete: Well, the best stretch of scenery on this stretch of the Danube is reputed to be the Wachau Valley between Vienna and Melk in Austria. I say reputed because the recent flooding made water levels too high for our ship to sail under the numerous bridges there, and we missed it! We had to take a bus. Unfortunate, but unavoidable. Leaving from Budapest, you arrive at this section on day 4, after Vienna, so you would need more than 4 days to include it. Between Budapest and Vienna there's a scenic section called the Danube Bend, which we did see and it was pleasant. Not spectacularly gorgeous, but certainly serene and enjoyable. For us, scenic highlights included stretches between Passau and Nuremberg (beautiful rolling, green hills, small villages with onion-domed churches) and the fascinating passage through the locks of the Main-Danube canal.
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Jul 6th, 2013, 05:47 AM
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rednib: I highly recommend Viking. I'm going to elaborate much more in a News Feature story in the coming weeks, but the service and amenities were terrific, and the excursions were efficient. Sometimes a bit too brisk, but quite enjoyable.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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Eric:
Interested in your assessment of Viking Line ... accommodation quality, customer service, overall value for cost. Realize all advertising glosses the apple; real world take appreciated ! Thanks. Jim
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Jul 7th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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I'm interested in the amenities you received from Viking. We expected lotion, shampoo in our cabin bathrooms as did other passengers.I had to buy them at one of the stops and then passengers were running up and down the halls borrowing shampoo from and another like it was a camp ground.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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We were on a Viking cruise this past April. It was on one of their new "longships." Our staterooms were supplied with L'Occitane toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion. All were re-supplied throughout the cruise. We were also supplied with bottled water daily.

We were very pleased with our cruise, the ship, and the staff. We have booked another cruise with Viking for December.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Uniworld gives you all the amenities that takemealong as outlined in her/his post above.

I even had shaving cream and razor.


I have never been on Viking but have been on Uniworld twice and I can highly recommend them.

Scenery is a bit difficult to comment on because there is really no "bad" scenery along the River Cruise.

Even the Wachau Valley does not offer anything more spectacular than what you have already seen in your cruising.

I think there are 63 locks betweenAmsetrdam and Vienna (maybe more) so you will get your fill of locks !!

In some locks you rise up in other locks you go down!!
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Jul 8th, 2013, 07:42 AM
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HappyTrvlr:
Like @takemealong, we, too, had plenty of L'Occitane toiletries that were replenished with each nightly turn-down service. Bottled mineral water was also supplied as well as a hairdryer. I wonder why there was a shortage of toiletries on your cruise. Did they ever explain?
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Jul 8th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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JCoaker. My assessment of Viking is overall very positive. Veranda staterooms were comfortable. A bit of a tight squeeze between the end of the bed and the facing wall/desk area. Two people getting ready to go out at the same time have to negotiate the small space strategically (e.g. both can't rummage through drawers simultaneously), but it was manageable. There was enough closet space for both of us (we both packed relatively light).
Customer service was terrific. Efficient and friendly is definitely how I would describe the various waitstaff, room attendants, and concierge.
As for value: that's a great question, and something I want to explore a bit further. When it comes to value, I think that before you can have a specific discussion about Viking or any individual cruise line, you have to consider river cruising categorically. It's not cheap to go on a river cruise, but there are numerous perks and conveniences that when compared to land-based travel to European destinations make it a good value. This is a topic I may delve deeper into in my News piece.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Viking never explained except for one crew member who saidmthey ran out of supplies. I was forced to shop in a store for shampoo with German labels and it was all very difficult. We found Viking to be very pedestrain and much preferred our last river cruise on AMA Waterways .
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Jul 9th, 2013, 06:40 AM
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HappyTrvlr: Anything in particular that made you enjoy your AMA Waterways experience more than Viking?
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 03:50 AM
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We have booked with Viking for the Danube cruise in November. We are going from Budapest to Nuremburg and then three days in Prague. I'm so excited! Thanks for the information!
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