Stop In Margaret Island
This cruise stops in Margaret Island. You can get off and discover this peaceful hideaway and take the following boat back to Pier 7, 45 minutes later. Youll be handed a map with a list of things to do on the island and several discounts to make the most of your visit.
All boats offer this option between March and October, except the last boat of the day, as long as the accessibility is possible.
Boats depart from Margaret Island every 45 minutes.
What You Need To Know
You will be on buses a lot. With the exception of Budapest and Belgrade, where you can walk off the ship and sightsee the historical centers on your own, most points of interest in all other ports require transport by tour bus. Some smaller towns can be explored independently on foot, but there arent major sights to enjoy.
Shopping opportunities are limited. If you love to shop for trinkets and local crafts, youre likely to be disappointed. There really isnt very much to buy, with the exception of items from Budapests Central Market Hall or Hungarian Herendi porcelain. Your best bet: the charming Bulgarian town of Veliko Tarnovo, where a pedestrian-only artisans row is lined with shops selling local handicrafts.
Depending on the water level, ramps to shore can be very steep. The Danube, like other rivers in Europe where above-normal summer temperatures have caused low water levels over the past few years, is not always friendly to travelers with limited mobility. In some ports, the ramp leading from the ship to shore is placed at a very steep angle, making it very difficult for passengers who rely on canes or walkers to navigate. However, most ships have wheelchairs onboard, and staff can also be of assistance.
Rhine Or Danube River Cruise: Food And Drink
When choosing a Rhine or Danube river cruise, perhaps a preference for food and drink will help sway a decision.
Local specialities on a Rhine river cruise may include hearty dishes of sausages and pork, and afternoon tea with a slice of Black Forest chocolate cake. Fine wine will be in no short supply either with plentiful Riesling being produced on the Rhines steep vineyards. Wine lovers can enjoy excursions to both Mainz and Rüdesheim and a tour of the Asbach brandy distillery shouldnt be missed. And heres an interesting Rhine river fact while less than 1% of Swiss wine is exported, over 200 different grapes grow in Switzerland. Cheers!
As for a Danube river cruise, you can expect to eat goulash and Wiener schnitzel, along with some delicious Viennese pastries and traditional apple strudel perhaps enjoyed with a glass of crisp Grüner Veltliner from the attractive Wachau Valley.
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Rhine River Vs Danube River Cruises: Bottom Line
Choose the Rhine if: You want the energy of Amsterdam, the art museums of Basel, the windmills of Kinderdijk and a few World War II sites scattered with your scenic castles and towns.
Choose the Danube if: You want more greenery on your river, classical music performances in Vienna, the Old World charm of Budapest and a less crowded waterway.
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Remarkable European River Cruises Worth Booking Early
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What Can A Budapest River Cruise Provide What Would You Receive From It
Hungary is worthily famous for its tourism. Several tourists visit our country from year to year, and they adore the most beautiful and famous cities in our country, taste the national dishes, or try the noblest Hungarian wines. Sometimes we, Hungarians, may forget how lucky we are. Our country is full of beautiful natural places and also marvelous buildings and other spectacles. Although we live here, we often forget to enjoy all this treasure which is so near to us. If you choose our Budapest Night Cruise, you can flash a glance to the everyday life of the city like a bird which flies above the bank of Buda and Pest and the monumental buildings. You can adore the city with several cars and people. Furthermore, the night lights of Budapest always fascinate our guests. A Budapest Cruise is an inspiring experience not only for foreigners but also for us, Hungarians.
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Danube River Cruise Is A Trip Worth Taking
She was a fragile lady who darted around the classroom with a boundless energy and endless enthusiasm. To Miss Bessie Connor, our 45 minutes every day was simply not enough time to teach us sixth graders about the wonderful world of music. To most of the class, as we trudged upstairs to un-airconditioned classroom above the school cafeteria, it was way too much time.
I guess it was because I was short and always had to sit right under every teacher’s nose, but I thought Miss Connor’s class to be fun. What a great storyteller she was, and how I wished I could play the piano like she did. While she apologized for her crooked arthritic fingers, I thought it was neat to always have those perfect position fingers my piano teacher chided me about maintaining constantly.
As small town gossip goes, the stories about Miss Connor were quite “delicious.” The huge mansion, where she lived alone, was said to have loud and strange noises coming from it at all times of the night. Since most of us in Winnsboro, Texas, had not been exposed to opera, her home delighted curiosity seekers, and, of course, the young Saturday night toilet paper rollers.
While some of my classmates were much more enthralled by the soup smells wafting through the open windows of our room from above the cafeteria, I loved Wednesdays, because this was the day the great masters came to visit. Miss Connor would dim the light, put a vinyl 78 on the record player, and let the music roar.
Szentendre A Lovely Day Trip From Budapest
Szentendre is a picturesque artists village set along the Danube River, just 20km north of Budapest. We took a guided day trip there which is organized by Emerald Cruises. Szentendre is known for its baroque architecture, colorful houses, churches and cobbled, narrow streets. F Tér, the main square, and its surrounding streets are lined with art galleries, museums, cafes and shops . The Greek Orthodox Blagovestenska Church dates to the 18th-century and has elaborate decor and an ornate partition screen.
The incredible art of Mikola Szjadrisztij, housed in the Micro Wonder Museum, is so tiny that it only be viewed through a microscope. 10 displays include intricate art made on tiny items like a grain of rice. Its unique art and an interesting exhibit that doesnt take long to appreciate and enjoy.
After the river cruise ended, we stayed in Budapest longer to enjoy more of the city. We highly recommend this if you have time, as there is so much to experience in Budapest and nearby. One afternoon we caught a train to Vac, another charming town set along the Danube River.
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Tours That Appeal To Kids And Adults
Though families have the flexibility to explore on their own if you wish, all shore excursions are included with your cruise, and you’ll have your pick of a couple of options each day.
Each morning, you’ll wake up in a different European city often close to the city center meet up with a tour group, and take off for an adventure either on foot or by bus. Tours are either half- or full-days depending on how far from the port you want to travel, with meals included, and sometimes there are afternoon and evening options, as well.
Tour options ranged from more adult-themed choices to super kid-friendly activities, such as a behind-the-scenes tour of a marionette show in Vienna or a day of princess dress-up and cookie baking at a palace in Slovakia.
Kids aren’t prohibited from attending even the more adult-themed tours, though, and in several cases, the Adventure Guides were on hand to whisk the “junior adventurers” away for more age-appropriate activities such as eating ice cream and playing games while the adults toured and sampled at the brewery. Our 4 year old was a little shy the first time we had him go off with his older brother and the junior adventurers, but Adventure Guide Emma from Hungary held his hand and quickly won over his heart for the rest of the trip.
Christmas Markets In Vienna
Exploring the Christmas markets of Vienna most near the city center, with mugs of hot glühwein, was in order when we left the candy store. We nestled around new friends we met on the cruise and talked about the day. By this time the holiday lights were starting to turn on as daytime turned to night.
It’s entertaining to see the different mug designs each European Christmas market has. They’re all different. You pay a small fee for the mug that is given back to you if you return the mug to the vendors. Or, you can collect the mugs as souvenirs.
I was pleased to venture to visit another holiday market in front of their city hall, or Rathaus, before we headed back to the ship.
I just love maroni on a winter day in Europe. Maroni is simply chestnuts, for us westernersroasting on an open fire, as the holiday song goes. You can buy a bag of chestnuts for just a few euros, which is all you need.
Warm alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages flow at the markets and the sounds of holiday choirs and music fill the air.
There are food vendors selling bratwurst and pretzels, craftsmen selling wooden nativity scenes and ornaments, and tables casually scattered about the streets and sidewalks between kiosks for patrons to use to converse with friends, relax and people watch.
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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Whilst you may not have heard of this much awarded company , you should certainly add it to yourroster of the best river cruise vessels in the world.
When you step on one of their vessels, you immediately start toappreciate the Uniworld difference. The concept is all aboutrecreating the feel of a small boutique hotel on board anall-inclusive river vessel, and every ship is different, personallydesigned by members of the Tollman family who own Uniworld’sparent, TravCorp.
If you’ve seen pictures of Uniworld’s ships then you’ll probablyhave been struck by the slightly garish interiors depicted in theofficial photography but in reality, the decor is a lot moresubtle than it appears in the oversaturated promo shots. Quirky,yes, but elegant and tasteful with it.
For The Experienced Traveler: Viking River Cruises
Viking succeeds by not attempting to make every cruise appeal to every customer. This river cruises target demographic is experienced travelers, ages 50+, who are interested in history, art and culture. Founder Torstein Hagen often calls Viking the thinking mans cruise and considers it an alternative to mainstream cruises. Onboard, you wont find casinos, waterslides or formal nights instead, there are serene, Scandinavian-inspired spaces, quiet libraries and cultural performances.
Price: The eight-day Romantic Danube cruise starts at $2,499 for 2019 sailings, but the price drops as low as $1,999 for 2020. The fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals and beverages and all port charges and government taxes.
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Viking River Cruises Review Which Recommended Provider
Viking River Cruises may be the largest river cruise line in the world, but don’t assume that means large ships packed full of people. In fact, the complete opposite is true, with the self-styled ‘small ship experts’ earning full marks for its on-board passenger to space ratio. Customer service, food and drink and port excursions are also rated highly by guests, making this a great way of visiting Europe, Egypt or Asia.
, or read our full Viking review for more information.
Windmills Tulips & Belgian Delights With Scenic
Duration: 7 Nights
Destinations: Amsterdam, Dordrecht, Veere, Antwerp, Arnhem, Hoorn
When you take the Scenic route, you get more out of your journey. This winding river cruise lets you choose how you want to experience Europe.
Guided tour of Rotterdam, pottery tour in Delft, or visit cheese heaven in Gouda? View medieval Ghent, tour the best of Antwerp, or see world-famous Rubens paintings up close?
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Rhine Or Danube River Cruise: Cities
With both rivers cutting through the heart of Europe, its no surprise that major cities surround both the Rhine and Danube. Rhine river cities include arty Amsterdam and historic Cologne, the latter famed for its twin-spired cathedral. Strasbourg, the photogenic capital of Alsace, is also nearby.
Cologne Cathedral along the Rhine river
Four capital cities Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade sit along the Danube River. This makes a Danube River cruise a great choice for city-break fans, especially as some itineraries also involve a day trip inland to Salzburg. Once home to Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven, Vienna is a huge draw for music lovers and classical performances take place regularly in the city.
Shouldnt I Just Go With The Lowest Per Diem
The old adage is at least partially true: You get what you pay for. With river cruising, that isnt always the case, because all of the cruise companies, with few exceptions, offer good accommodations, complimentary excursions, included wine and beer with lunch and dinner, and much more. Some cruise companies go above and beyond, however, and this is reflected in their higher per diems, so, in effect, you are getting what you pay for.
What do those cruise companies do that is above and beyond? One example is AmaWaterways, which spends millions of dollars a year to provide its guests with fast free internet, not an easy task on a moving ship. In our experience, AmaWaterways has the most reliable internet and the fastest on the rivers. AmaWaterways also proclaims to offer the most active experiences of any river cruise line. The company provides bikes, gyms, yoga classes, hikes and more. Scenic, on the other hand, strives to be the most inclusive of all river cruise companies. Not only are gratuities and 24/7 bar included, but also laundry service and nearly everything else you can think of. Scenic also distinguishes itself with multiple dining venues, and it too carries a fleet of bikes on its ships.
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For The Independent Traveler Who Hates Group Tours: Le Boat
If youre ready to be the captain of your own adventure, Le Boat is the way to go. Its the biggest self-driving boating operator in Europe and North America. You can choose your own canal escapade with 17 destinations and nine countries, do your own cooking and even bring your dog if you like. The company provides itinerary suggestions, but what you do is completely up to you.
The Horizon Cruisers are the newest boats specifically for parties ranging from two to 12 people. There are more features on this line, including a large forward stateroom and the roomy “fundeck” which is the largest top-deck area of any boat of its size on Europes inland waterways.
All of Le Boats lines are navigation-friendly with bow and stern thrusters to help you park and navigate locks and canals. No previous boating experience or special license is required to drive in most locations, except for certain regions of Germany. You will get a boat-handling lesson before embarking.
Price: Fares for Le Boat’s popular Canal du Midi tour in France start at $1,099 for a seven-day boat rental in the last week of March, but the price climbs the further into summer you go. Your rental includes a fully equipped galley kitchen and all towels and bed linens. You pay for fuel and whatever extras you want, such as barbecue rentals, groceries, WiFi and boat damage insurance.
Danube River Cruises Highlights
- Spend a few days in Amsterdam. Home to world-famous museums and a mind-boggling choice of attractions for the whole family, Amsterdam leaves you no time to get bored.
- Walk around Regensburg, a bustling university town located at the northernmost point of the Danube River. This UN heritage site is often called Germany’s medieval miracle.
- Admire gothic architecture in Passau, a city located on the Germany-Austria border at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. Another thing Passau is famous for is excellent beer.
- Immerse yourself in Vienna, the city that inspired musical geniuses like Beethoven, Mozart, and Strauss. It’s one of the most popular stops on Danube River Cruises where you’ll be spoilt for choice with fascinating cultural events, magnificent imperial palaces, and elegant coffee houses.
- Discover Budapest, Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city and also one of the most photogenic with a dramatic skyline sprinkled with ancient wonders on the banks of the Danube.
- Take a culinary walking tour in Paris with locals who are wildly passionate about French food and wine.
- Enjoy a romantic gondola ride in the historic canals of Venice. Round the evening off with an authentic Italian meal and fine wine.
- Catch a show in London’s West End, the famous theater district where you can watch everything from Shakespeare to much-loved musicals like Mamma Mia and Lion King.
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