Danube Waltz Viking River Cruise


For our 25th anniversary (in 2019), Linda was given a gift of a Viking River Cruise down the Danube River - the cruise was called the "Danube Waltz" - that we took in October of that year (we left on the 19th). The downpayment for the cruise was made back in February. Of 2018. So it was kept a surprise from Linda for over a year. And I had to anxiously anticipate the trip for a year and a half.

The trip was nine days, including travel to and from Europe. There were four five countries with six seven cities. Each stop had an excursion included, and we participated in a number of additional ones too.

There was more than 30GB of videos and pictures taken, comprising of 12 videos, and 2,308 pictures.  Most of the media was taken on our Canon T5i, but some was taken with our cell phones due to pure convenience.

We traveled more than 9,100 miles in all. Linda walked a total of 94,420 steps (not including the first Saturday which would have added 11,650 steps that included all of Saturday's activities) and I walked 92,373 steps (not including the first Saturday which would have added 19,527 steps that included all of Saturday's activities).

With the exception of one lunch, every meal was included.  And the meals weren't basic meals either, they were somewhat formal to-dos, and all excellent.  Breakfast including a made-to-order omlette and egg station; scrambled eggs; sausage, both pork and chicken (though I would bet money the chicken sausage was really hot dogs); ham; bacon; a potato, one day it was hashbrowns, another steamed, another steak fries; seasoned mushrooms; another steamed vegetable, eggplant or carrots; cream of wheat; oatmeal; many different breads including bagels; lox; muffins; fruit; cereal; yogurt; jams, jellies, butter, cream cheese, and other toppings for the breads and muffins; and pancakes.  As if all of that wasn't enough, there was also menu service wherein they had other items, such as egg benedict (which Linda had almost every day), and salmon egg benedict (egg benedict with salmon instead of canadian bacon).  Coffee, tea, and or juice was also included.  I mixed it up and had something different each day, including egg benedict once.  More details of the other meals will be included on each day as lunch and dinner was different each day - breakfast was the same.

Any time someone left the ship, they had to take a personalized ID card from the concierge desk with them, and return it when they returned to the ship.  This way the staff and crew would always know who was onboard or not, and would make sure everyone was onboard before leaving port.  Usually, when one picked up their ID card, they also picked up a group card. This group card assured the tour guides they had the right people and the right number of people in their tour / excursion group. The group card was usually picked up at the same time as the ID card because that was usually the reason people disembarked - to go on a tour / excurion.

There was an included excurion everyday of the trip.  There were optional excursions available (for a fee, of course).  Most of the excursions were in addition to the included one.  However, there were times where the optionals were instead of the included one.

Each night, while we were at dinner, the "Dailies" were left in our room which had a detailed itinerary of the next day broken down in Morning, Afternoon, and Evening.  It also incuded a country profile section, facts about the date, and even a nautical term.

The lobby also had two page news printouts for the U.S. and the U.K. so we could keep up with the goings on across the pond.

These pictures were taken later during the trip, but I wanted to put them here to show you more about the ship itself. The ship's length was 134.9 m / 442.6 ft long, 11.45 m / 37.6 ft wide, and had a capacity of 189 passengers (though we only had 180 for this trip), and no one under age 18.

Here is a shot of the front of the ship while it was docked in Passau, Germany; and a long shot of it from later in the trip.

On the sundeck - the topmost level - was a large chess set. The pawns were about a foot tall, while the queen and king were probably about two feet tall.

The main wheel house actually had an empty space underneath it so that it could be lowered if the ship was going under a low bridge or into a lock. The canopies on the deck, with chairs and tables under them, would also lower for the same reason. In addition to the main wheelhouse, there were two ship control stations on the sides to aid the captain and crew with maneuvers while docking and making other tight spaced ship movements.

At the top of the staircase outside the lounge, there was a self-serve coffee / hot cocoa / tea station.
There were also baskets with snacks in them: in the morning there were muffins, and in the afternoon and evenings, cookies.  After we discovered this, we sometimes had a half coffee / half cocoa, and a cookie before heading off to the cabin for the evening - usually on the nights we were in the lounge a little later for an event of some sort, probably about half the nights.

Day 1: Travel

Day 2: Travel and Passau, Germany

Day 3: Passau, Germany including a walking tour, St. Stephen Cathedral with an organ concert; river sailing with locks; and some Sound of Music performers

Day 4: Čheský Krumlov, Czech Republic; and Linz, Austria including a castle tour, and a church

Day 5: Krems, Austria including river sailing, Gőttweig Abbey, and Vintner Krems wine tasting

Day 6: Vienna, Austria including a bus and walking tour, St. Stephen Cathedral, Schőnbrunn Palace, and a Mozart concert

Day 7: Bratislava, Slovakia including a bus tour, river sailing with locks, and Budapest at night

Day 8: Budapest, Hungary including a walking tour, St. Matthias Church, a bath house, Market Square Mall, Houdini Museum, and Zwack distillery

Day 9: Travel home