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Questions about Viking River Cruise on the Danube

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Jun 14th, 2006, 06:50 AM
  #1
KWP
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Questions about Viking River Cruise on the Danube

I'm booked on a mid May 2007 Viking Spirit Danube River trip from Budapest to Nuremberg. Has anyone been on this trip? Is the scenery beautiful from the boat? What was the weather like in May? Was the water level good? Were there shopping opportunities on shore? Do you have suggestions or comments about this cruise?
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Jun 18th, 2006, 01:25 PM
  #2
 
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I was on this trip with Viking three years ago. It was wonderful. There are parts of the Danube where the scenery is beautiful, even breathtaking. We went in late May, and there were no problems with the water level or flooding, but this isn't always the case. The year before we went, there were big flooding problems. Yes, there are many shopping opportunities on shore, as you always have free time after taking a walking tour through town. If you have the opportunity to extend your cruise with a three day hotel option in both Budapest and Prague (pre and post cruise), by all means take the opportunity. You won't be sorry. We took the Budapest extension prior to our cruise, and the Prague extension after the cruise. It was marvelous. The Spirit is a lovely boat. We were in a cabin on "A" deck, and could open our window. The weather was very warm and balmy that year, but there were some mornings when it was quite cool, so take a light jacket and/or sweater. I'll be happy to answer any other questions you might have.
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Jun 25th, 2006, 04:32 PM
  #3
KWP
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Thanks so much for this information Rudy. The trip sounds wonderful!
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Jun 25th, 2006, 09:06 PM
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Viking is fantastic! We took the Budapest to Amsterdam trip (14 days) in 2003 and my husband said it was the best trip he'd ever had. We enjoyed it so much we did the reverse trip in 2004 so we have been through the area you will be traveling. We were on the Viking Pride both trips but the ships are exactly the same, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

As Rudy says Budapest is a wonderful city. Definitely arrive there a few days before your cruise starts. There are so many things to see and do in the city including art museums, the Parliament buildings (take a tour), the opera house (again a great tour is offered), city park with it's statues, turn of the century spas, and of course Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion, both on the Buda side.

For less money than Viking will charge for three days, you can stay at the Marriott on the Danube. All of the rooms have a river view and it's in an excellent location, with excellent rooms and service. You can walk to many places from here and the views of Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge, both day and night, are magnificent.

Enjoy Budapest, my second favorite city in Europe!
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Jun 26th, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #5
 
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Cameron is right about the location of the Marriott. It's perfectly located. When we were in Budapest, we said that if we ever return on our own, we would stay at the Marriott.

Three years ago, Viking put us in the Taverna Hotel on the pedestrian street called the Vaci Utca. The hotel was basic and clean, and in a good location. We could walk right out the door and be in the heart of things. The Marriott was only a short walk away. Now, I think Viking uses the Hilton, which, if I remember correctly, is on the Buda side, and a bit removed from the action. I'm with Cameron on this one. Go early on your own (you'll have to pay for the taxi from the airport), and stay at the Marriott. If it's less expensive than the Hilton that Viking offers, it's a better deal.

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Sep 11th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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We went on Viking's Danube cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest with 3 days pre-cruise in Prague in May 2004. We stayed on independently in Budapest for three more days at the Hilton in a beautiful river view room at a much lower price than the Viking package guests paid for a street view room.We liked the location and didn't find it difficult to access all parts of this lovely city. Viking did a good job with meals,and tours; our romm was comfortable with a large window. It rained the whole time we were on the ship but was sunny in Prague and Budapest. We traveled all over Vienna on their Metro which was close to the ship's dock and ate lunch in the different villages along the Danube on our own. We took one optional tour, to the Hungarian countryside to see the Putza, famous horse performances.
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Sep 13th, 2006, 11:03 AM
  #7
 
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Viking River Cruises is a wonderful experience! There are castles around every corner and so much to see off the ship along the rivers. The tour guides are outstanding and truly love the sights that you are seeing so their passion is contagious. All of the shore excursions are included, but you are welcome to explore independently. You can take your shore excursion, but you will also have time to explore the city and do some shopping independently. The local farmer's markets are wonderful and there are many little shops that are "off the beaten path" that your tour guide can recommend.

Be sure to check the prices for the upper level staterooms because they have better views (instead of docks and walking feet) and are not significantly more expensive. May is lovely in Europe - comfortably warm, but not hot or crowded because European children are not out of school until late June.

The Hotel Gellert is an amazing historic hotel, located right on the river in Budapest. It has the spas close to the hotel and a great location for both Buda and Pest. It will be a truly Hungarian experience! (You can read about Budapest and recent Hungary in the April issue of Smithsonian Magazine.)

Best Regards,
Julia
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