It’s funny how a song can transport you back in time. As a young child, I was very taken by the “Blue Danube Waltz,” by Austrian composer Johann Strauss II – probably because my father loved classical music and had it blasting throughout our home every Sunday and it was embedded in my soul. To this day, when I hear it, I wax nostalgic about my long-gone parents.
So, when I had the chance to sail Viking Cruise’s “Danube Waltz,” on board the Viking Gullveig I didn’t hesitate. No stranger to ocean cruises I’ve never experienced a river cruise so this will be a true adventure.
The chance to visit Europe in December and be able to explore new countries and visit the legendary Christmas markets is an added incentive – as if I need one!
I’ll be sailing on Viking Gullveig on Saturday for seven days, from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary with my daughter Kimberly – a destination wedding planner who’s always on the lookout for new and wonderful places to suggest to her brides.
We’ll be met at Munich airport by a Viking representative, who will take us on a nearly two-hour drive to Passau, where we’ll embark on our ship….and the fun begins!
From Passau, the seven-day itinerary calls for a day in Passau, followed by stops in Linz, Salzburg, Melk, Durnstein and Vienna in Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia and Budapest. Palaces, castles, abbeys, a visit to Mozart’s birthplace and many other enticing sights are promised along the way.
The longship Gullveig has four decks with 95 outside staterooms – 39 of which have verandas – hotel-style beds, a private bathroom, roomy closets and storage space, a safe and amenities including flat-panel TVs and premium bath products.
The restaurant, described as “casual, yet elegant,” features floor to ceiling panoramic windows and dishes up “regional specialties and contemporary cuisine.”
I think that dining sounds like a winner!
The Aquavit Terrace offers outdoor seating at the bow of the ship – although I’m not sure if the December weather will allow such outings – but the sun deck, putting green and walking track will definitely make up for it.
The Library and Observation Lounge promise quiet places to listen to soft piano music while watching Europe’s riverbanks glide by.
A host of onboard activities are offered including hands-on demonstrations, cooking classes, local tastings and much more.
An optional Strauss concert is offered in an historic venue in Vienna, where he was born in 1825.
We’ll have to check that out. After all, Strauss is what motivated me to embark on the Gullveig Viking Waltz itinerary.
I hope you’ll follow me on this special journey. It promises to be very special.
Photos: Courtesy of Viking River Cruises