Low water, high heat
Hugh Evans | August 30, 2018 | Viking River Cruises | Viking Egil
Low water reduced the cruising element somewhat. Flew into Budapest via Munich with the Luftwaffe, full airplane but good service and food supplied. Reps met us in Budapest and crossed Danube on 2 hour bus ride (bumpy) to Komarno in Slovakia to board ship. Chance of going back to Budapest next day declined as it would have involved 7 hours on bus to Vienna to meet the ship again. We stayed on board to enjoy scenic cruising up to Vienna.
Took the included tours at Krems and Passau, then 20 miles upstream to Vilshofen where docked for three days. Bus for 2-3 hours to Nuremburg, tour of town. Decided against going back to Regensburg for more hours on a bus and relaxed on board; trippers returned exhausted after 8 hours. Searing heat 30+C most of the cruise.
The ship was in good order though the hutch was small ( French balcony) and balconies were not really usable as we were parked tied up to another ship most nights. Well planned shower room and wardrobe space. The ship staff were mainly Romanian/ Slovakian speaking good English and were all very pleasant, and obliging at mealtimes. The passengers (190) were mostly Americans, 6 Brits and an Aussie couple living in USA.
We found the food on board of a standard similar to our local Michelin restaurant. I did not try the steak, though had seen reviews of gristle. The meat was of high quality, had an amazing bit of lamb one lunchtime. Breakfasts were cooked to order, good omelettes and eggs benedict, The bacon was the usual continental streaky, so avoided. Viking could have been more forthright about the river levels and the length of bus journeys, giving more warning than notifying 24 hours before the trip when they had known of conditions for about three weeks.
Our add-on three days in Prague were excellent, hotel Palace Art Nouveau was period but modernised, superb food even in the Café Restaurant( didn’t try the gourmet restaurant). Breakfasts plentiful with such ripe fruit as we do not get in UK. Viking reps in hotel were very good ,helped us to do our own trips on local transport (free if over 70). Overall we would use Viking again, especially as they had to offer 25% off next trip because of water levels.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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