I recently enjoyed the opportunity of sailing on the Romantic Danube Cruise with AMA Waterways. This was my second River Cruise with AMA and won’t be my last.
We started our adventure with a few days in Munich, Germany. What a vibrant city full of culture & history. We stayed at the Le Meridien Hotel which is perfectly located adjacent to the train station and walking distance to the Marienplatz which is where you can see the New Town Hall, Old Town Hall, the Column of St. Mary, and the Glockenspiel Clock Tower. While in Munich we took a hop on & off city tour which is always a great way to get oriented to a new city. We also enjoyed a day trip to the beautiful city of Salzburg and another day on the Romantic Road stopping at Harburg Castle and Rothenburg, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Germany.
After our stay in Munich we took the train to Vilshofen where we boarded the AmaCerto for our 7 day cruise on the Danube River. We had a lovely stateroom including plenty of space and a French balcony which we were able to open and enjoy the striking views and fresh air. Our first evening we enjoyed a welcome dinner onboard and then we were treated to a traditional Okotberfest Celebration on shore with live music & dancing. Back on board the ship we found our sign-up sheet waiting in our room so we could choose our included tour choices for the entire cruise.
The next morning we had some free time to explore Vilshofen before sailing to Passau. We indulged in a tasty Bavarian Lunch onboard before departing for the Passau Castle Hike which took us into the hills to the “Veste Oberhaus”, Passau’s Castle Hill. That evening we were treated to the “Sound of Austria” ensemble performing onboard.
Linz, the capital of upper Austria, was our next stop. We joined a morning walking tour of the city followed by a delicious brunch onboard the ship. We chose an afternoon tour to the charming mountain town of Cesky Krumlov, located just over the Czech-Austrian border. This was an unexpected delight and turned out to be my favorite as it is beautiful and still “off the beaten path”.
Day 4 brought us to the Wachau Valley and Durnstein. The Wachau is one of the most beautiful and famous winemaking regions in Austria. After enjoying scenic cruising in the morning we joined the Durnstein Fortress Hike high into the hills above the town. The ruins of Durnstein Castle are linked to the Crusades and it is here that Richard the Lionheart of England was held prisoner in 1193. Our evening ended with a perfect moon lit walk into town after dinner.
The next day was spent in Vienna, a truly elegant and romantic city. We started with a panoramic bus ride through the famous Ringstrasse and concluded with a walking tour in the old town. The rest of the day was spent exploring Vienna on our own. In the evening we joined some friends we met onboard for dinner in Vienna which was even more stunning at night. And the Wiener Schnitzel was delicious!
The next day we spent a relaxing morning cruising the Danube between Austria and Slovakia and enjoyed a delicious lunch of German sausages and delicacies. In the afternoon we arrived in Bratislava and set off for the Bratislava Castle Hike and then some free time in town. For dinner we had an exclusive dining experience at The Chef’s Table Specialty Restaurant which is included for all guests onboard the ship.
As our cruise drew to an end we had a memorable last day in the spectacular city of Budapest, Hungary, with a city tour including both the Buda (hilly) and Pest (flat) sides of the river. Our last evening included a magnificent “Budapest by Night” Illumination Cruise.
Cruising with AMA Waterways is such a unique experience and wonderful way to explore Europe. The food was regionally inspired and prepared with local ingredients and delicious. The staff onboard was personable and the service was incredible. The included tours and guides were exceptional. We chose the more active tours which included hiking but there are also “Gentle Walking” and “Late Riser” tours offered. There are also bikes onboard for venturing out on your own or joining “Biking Tours”. Having cruised a lot and experienced many different cruise lines I can say that River Cruising and AMA Waterways are at the top of my list.
I would love to help you with your next River Cruise Vacation!
Morris Murdock Travel