GCT Danube river cruise questions

Sep 30th, 2010, 10:21 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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GCT Danube river cruise questions

We' re leaving on 10/10 on a last minute booking on GCT down the Danube from Budapest to Prague. I've read the old postings about this river cruise, but do any of you have anything NEW to add...like what not to miss seeing during our free time in Vienna or Budapest, etc. We are not big into shopping; would rather see the important sights and experience the culture. Example--how much time should we allow if we take a tour of the palace in Vienna and see the horses on one free afternoon? Thanks for your help!
jillp is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Budapest - the baths! we went about this time two years ago on the exact same trip and had a wonderful time. We were quite taken with Budapest - very interesting city - are you doing the extension? In Vienna, in our free time, we visited a palace and the big art museum - both were interesting to us. But what I wish we had done was vist the Vienna Woods Heuring - something. Let me see if I can find the recent thread on this topic - it is sort of like an Octoberfest but with the new wine. I think our ship even docked in the area where it was easy to get a tram to some of these places but we did not realize that until too late.
suec1 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:55 AM
  #3  
 
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Sorry I don't know how to link (I am so ashamed) but go to the "search" box and put in Vienna and see the recent thread started by wanderfrau - well if you are interested in the wine outing. Have a great trip!
suec1 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 03:12 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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How do you get to Prague on the Danube? Danube goes from Germany to Austria to Slovakia to Hungary, but doesn't flow through Prague.
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 03:19 PM
  #5  
 
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The trip, I believe, ends/begins in Passau; the post-trip is several days in Prague, transfer is by coach. At least that's what we are doing (in reverse) next June.
socaltraveler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 04:09 PM
  #6  
 
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We boarded our ship around noon, and buses were waiting to take those of us who wanted to do something instead of just waiting for our cabins into Vienna. There was a short tour of the city on the way to the huge Christmas market, and we had several hours before the buses returned to pick us up. We spent all the time at the market and enjoyed every minute.

However, you could go to the excellent art museum (with a comfortable wooden floor) in addition to the palace. I don't know about seeing the Lipizanner horses; that would probably depend on what time your plane arrives in Vienna.

Personally, I'd visit at the Christmas market, see the art museum, and have a coffee and pastry at Demel.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Oops! I just re-read your post and see that you won't be in Vienna in December. Without the Christmas market you can see the fine-arts museum, the Schoenberg Palace, the Strauss garden, and still have time to stop at Demel and the big shopping precinct in the area.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 05:04 PM
  #8  
 
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We just returned from a Danube Cruise from Passau to Budapest and it was wonderful. We also did the pre-trip to Prague and they took us by motorcoach from Prague to Passau. Prague was really a beautiful and interesting city and we are so happy we added this to our itinerary. The trip down the Danube is beautiful and we were kept very busy and had many stops with lots of tours. Some people did skip the tours and did their own thing but we found we saw the most things by doing the tours. Each tour gave us some free time to look around each area. We were on Uniworld's River Beatrice and I can't say enough about the fabulous ship staff. You will have a great time I am sure. I think I would like to do the Christmas Market next time. I totally agree with having coffee and Pastry at Demel's in Vienna. we went once and then had to go back - yum. We also enjoyed a wonderful symphony concert at the Imperial Palace in Vienna one evening. Have fun!!
Cali is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 01:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Some information regarding Vienna.

The city has numerous palaces.

The most visited and that with beautiful gardens too is Schonbrunn Palace.

www.schoenbrunn.at

this visit can be easily done without taking the much more expensive ship sponsored tour.
You have more time for viewing the many things there on your own.
Schonbrunn Palace was the summer palace of the Emperors- long ago in the country side - now the city has surrounded it.

The winter Palce the Hofburg is in the city center.
This less interesting in my opinion.
Nearby to it you find the Treasury/ Schatzkammer a most interesting visit and the Spaniah Riding School.
Visits only in the morning for the morning exercise or a tour of the stables
www.srs.at

Christmas Markets do not begin until mid november but certainly enough shopping to keep you busy.

The big museum described is the Fine Arts Museum / Kunsthistorisches Museum

www.khm.at
One of the better art museums of the world.

Also in the city is Belvedere Palace - fine gardens - good collection of Klimt and impressionists.

www.belvedere.at

The Albertina is good for graphics.

Demels , in my opinion is a tourist ripoff . Go if you wish to say you have visited but over priced , crowded with tourists generally and quality no longer that good.

Better is Oberlaa - several locations in city center

Cafe Diglas 2 locations in city center.

Cafe Central - much history and fine atmosphere.

more info on Vienna

www.wien.info
molker is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 01:09 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I should add that a visit to Melk Abbey while on the boat is something one should do.

If mobility is a problem, perhaps the boat has a bus connection as this is a good walk and partly uphill.

Perhaps athe boat stops in Durnstein and/or Grien- both nice villages and can be explored on your own.But realize at the time of the trip in October - tourist season in small places along the Danube begins to slow down and you may find some things closed.
molker is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2010, 04:39 PM
  #11  
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Thank you all so much for your helpful suggestions. I have marked some of the highlights. Now I'm nervous about the recent terror threat in Europe. Should I cancel?
jillp is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 01:55 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Why should you cancel ? No alert yet ? Runors of a generic alert not directed at any specific place. I do not think this is enough to make a thought to cancel a trip
I do not believe your danube ship and stops have a high priority to anyone.
molker is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 11:19 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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When I had knee problems on the GCT Danube cruise, the ship's staff would call a taxi for me--but at Melk Abbey, there was a little minivan that took five of us up the hill.
Underhill is offline  

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