My Alaska Uncruise Adventure

  Day One: Exploring Juneau before Embarkation After a three-flight journey that became a 20-hour saga, we arrived in Juneau the night before the ship’s departure. I immediately fell into bed, but oversleeping was no threat – – thank you four-hour time change. Up early the next morning, we dropped our luggage at Centennial Hall, the staging location for Uncruise ships resting across the street from the harbor. The helpful Uncruise reps held our bags, transferred them …

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Preparing for my Alaska Uncruise of the Inner Passage

  I’m counting down! Alaska is one of only three states in the U.S. that I have not visited. So, naturally I’m thrilled to be headed to the 49th state for a Spring Awakenings Uncruise starting in Juneau. I’ll be sailing on the Uncruise line’s boat named the SS Legacy, a small ship with a maximum number of 90 guests. But, in this case, small ship cruising means big adventures. The Legacy can slip into narrow spaces …

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Viking River Cruises Changes Policy to No Children on Board

I’ve enjoyed two exceptional river cruises with Viking: River of Gold in Portugal and the Danube Waltz following the famed river from Budapest to, Bratislava, Vienna, the Wachau Valley and ending in Germany. Both cruises offered stellar service and educational opportunities in addition to their wonderful itineraries. During my journeys, no children were aboard, however, I cruised at a time when schools were in session. A new Viking River Cruise policy went into effect after my trips. …

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Final Review of the Danube Waltz Cruise on the Viking Vilhjalm

The last morning on the Danube Waltz cruise came very early. Our departure point, the Munich Airport, requires a drive of about two hours. Viking sent us off with a pre-sunrise breakfast for those leaving in the wee hours. Our luggage was waiting on the dock, so we were reassured that ours would be loaded on the bus. Once at the airport, we made our way back to the states filled with memories of a cruise that …

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Passau, Germany: Three River City

ABOARD THE VIKING VILJHAM-The morning we arrived in Passau, I was suffering from allergies. Perhaps the beautiful flowering trees had upset my equilibrium. Rarely sick, I was sneezing like crazy, felt rotten and decided to spend the morning in bed. Beyond what I could see of the charming, colorful houses lining the river banks, John, and Wikipedia got the assignment to report on Passau. According to Wikipedia, “Passau, a German city on the Austrian border, lies at …

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Cesky Krumlov: Fantasy Town on the Vltava River

ABOARD THE VIKING VILJHAM– Today’s adventure takes us to Cesky Krumlov, slightly more than an hour and a half away from Linz, Austria where we are docked. Cesky Krumlov rates just a small and meek dot on the map of the Czech Republic – – politically inconsequential.  But she’s a mighty tourist cauldron, simmering a mixture of Medieval, Renaissance, baroque and rococo in a rich pilsner beer broth. And the kettle bubbles over. I first visited Cesky …

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Exploring the Wachau Valley on the Viking Vilhjalm river ship

ABOARD THE VIKING VILHJALM — Early in the morning, my Viking Longship arrived in Krems, a small Austrian village on the banks of the Danube. Red roofs, a bulbous turret and a yellow clock tower rising above the town greeted us. Viking cruises offers an exclusive visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery that’s been in existence for more than 900 years. The monks live, work and worship from a hilltop overlooking postcard-pretty Wachau …

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Vienna: Hapsburgs, Lipizzaners, Mozart and Strauss

ABOARD THE VIKING VILHJALM — The Hapsburgs ruled the Austro Hungarian Empire from Vienna using their fortune to build Baroque palaces, churches and museums across the city. Those buildings form the core of what is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Vienna’s rich history and culture continue to dance —like its famous waltzes — sweeping you in and maintaining your interest. My Viking Danube cruise provided a day with many opportunities to touch and taste the capital of …

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Bratislava: Exploring behind the former Iron Curtain

ABOARD THE VIKING VILHJALM — The Viking Viljhalm cruise makes a stop in Bratislava, Slovakia, a country where people now travel freely. Until the early 1990’s, Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia and under communist rule, closed off to the world behind the “Iron Curtain.” Bratislava, the capital city, lies at the strategic crossroads between Budapest and Vienna. In the 10th century, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1536, what is now called Bratislava became …

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Budapest: Exploring the Pearl of the Danube

ABOARD THE VIKING VILHJALM — Budapest has well earned its nickname of the “ Pearl of the Danube.”  The Danube River waltzes through the city core, dividing the old city on the west – – Buda – – and its younger sibling – – Pest – – on the opposite bank. Viking justly named its river cruise the Danube Waltz, accentuating the river’s music with a daily complimentary tour and a variety of optional excursions. I started with …

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