Why Viking is an excellent choice for your river cruise

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – Obviously there are many choices out there when you’re trying to decide on a river cruise and selecting the right company can be a dilemma – especially when you’ve never done one – as was the case with me. I can honestly and fairly report, that Viking River Cruise’s excellent service – even before I boarded – was stellar and I highly recommend them if you’re in the market for a magical adventure. …

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Viking Kara Cruise: Visiting Germany’s famous Black Forest to hear cuckoos, eat cake

ABOARD THE VIKING KARA –  Centuries ago, farm families in Germany’s Black Forest would spend winters holed up in their mountain cabins.  Snowed in with few chores to do, the families – often with as many as a dozen children – would pass the time using natural resources they had at hand to create objects for use and to sell for extra money. “They had plenty of wood,” said tour guide Petra. “So they would carve kitchen …

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Final Day: Budapest

ABOARD THE VIKING GULLVEIG – What can you say about a city that takes your breath away? Budapest, our final stop is such a place. Despite grey clouds and crisp temperature, this city split in two on both sides of the Danube is a jewel. Historic Buda on the east and cosmopolitan Pest (pronounced “Pesht”) on the west are brimming with culture, history and fascinating attractions. The Hungarian capital is a treasure trove of Baroque, Neoclassical and …

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Viking Kara Cruise: Dining delights abound on river cruise

ABOARD THE VIKING KARA –  Would I prefer roasted pork medallions wrapped in parma ham, herb crusted ahi filet with warm chanterelle arugula vinaigrette or portobello mushroom lasagna? But, wait, that is just the first page. Another “always available” page offers even more choices – sautéed salmon filet, roast chicken breast or seared prime ribeye steak. And that is only the entrees. For starters, I can choose baba ghanoush & hummus, blackened beef carpaccio, baby spinach and …

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Day Six – Stepping Back in Time in Bratislava

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – In contrast to the elegant city of Vienna we visited yesterday, we traveled in time – and to another world in Bratislava, Slovakia. Once part of the Hapsburg Empire and much later, under the domain of Russia, it’s a stark contrast to anything we’ve seen on this trip. In 1993 the Slovaks and the Czechs separated in what is referred to as the “Velvet Divorce” and Slovakia became an independent state, joining the …

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Day Five: Visions of Vienna

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – This morning Viking planned a half-day tour of this elegant city, where we spent the day exploring the old and the new. Vestiges of the mighty Hapsburg Empire, which was established here in 1273, can be found throughout this beautiful capital. After boarding yet another First Class bus and donning our “quiet vox” equipment, we met our guide Anna Lise who gave us an overview of the city during our 20 minute drive, …

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Viking Kara Cruise: Meet the Maître d’ and learn to make Rüdesheim Coffee

ABOARD THE VIKING KARA – He’s handing out bottles of water as we depart for shore excursions. He’s waiting to greet us back with glasses of warming liquor. He clears dinner plates from our dining tables. He even dresses in lederhosen for our German dinner. And on this afternoon, he is teaching us how to make Rüdesheim Coffee in the Viking Kara lounge. Our maître d’ Mirko Kusan seems to be everywhere. I don’t think he ever …

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Viking Gullveig: Exploring Melk and Dürnstein

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – Yet another spectacular day was kicked off by a full breakfast before we set off to visit beautiful Melk Abbey – said to be the most famous abbey in Austria. As usual, our first class buses and excellent guides were waiting for us to whisk us off on our adventure. Viking has “quiet voxes” for each guest, which we recharge in our cabins every night. These small audio devices with earphones allow passengers …

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Viking Gullveig: Visiting Mozart’s Home Town – Salzburg

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – The good times just keep on rolling onboard our lovely ship, now on our third day on the Danube. After yet another delicious breakfast, backed by stellar service we board comfortable buses for a nearly two hour drive to Salzburg, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in January 1756. The original child prodigy, Mozart was composing his own songs by ear by the age of five and at six ye was already touring …

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Viking Gullveig: Passing Through Passau, Germany

ABOARD VIKING GULLVEIG – A full buffet breakfast, complemented by an a la carte menu in the Main Dining Room fortified us for the activities of our morning in Passau. A large selection of cheeses, cold meats, yogurts, fruit and freshly made bread spread across the buffet table made for difficult choices. An omelet station and a full roster of a la carte options make it truly difficult to decide what to select, yet somehow we managed …

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