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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Arrival in Budapest for the Viking Danube Waltz Cruise

ABOARD THE VIKING VILHJALM — Overnight flights leave most travelers tired and groggy, a feeling I experienced upon arrival in Budapest. Clearing customs quickly, my travel partner and I met the Viking Cruise representatives at the baggage claim exit. They escorted us to a bus that delivered the group directly to the Viking Viljhalm docked on the Danube River. The mighty waterway, famous for the Straus Waltz, splits the enchanting capital of Hungary with Buda on one …

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Viking River Cruises present the Danube Waltz

My cruise from Budapest, Hungary to Passau, Germany will pass through four European countries over eight days, with six included guided excursions. I’ll take a non-stop flight from Philadelphia to Budapest, and then embark on the Viking Vilhjalm, a Viking Longship with streamlined Scandinavian design and understated elegance. My home for the next eight days will include a 205 square foot Veranda Stateroom with a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to a full-size veranda.  It also includes …

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