For our first European Cruise we decided to go on Viking River Cruises on the new Viking Prestige. We had already spent several days in Munich and the surrounding area visiting Daqchau, Newschwanstein Castle, etc before boarding the cruise in Nuremburg. The ship was smaller than expected but was wonderful. Once onboard it had everything we needed and then some.
Nuremberg was an amazing city. The history and the culture was incredible. The Christmas Market is one of the oldest in the world and it was outstanding. The food and the crafts were spectacular. The tour of the city was very educational.
Next stop was Regensburg. There is way way to describe how AMAZING this city was. The food, the people, the architecture, it was AWESOME. Would recommend spending as much time here as possible.
The next day was Passau. We toured the city and visited a bakery where they have been making gingerbread for 4 generations and we got to sample it and see a demonstration. We then visited the Christms Market and again the food and people were incredible.
The next day was into Austria with our first stop in Melk. The Abbey was most of the magnificent palces I had ever seen. The history and architecture were incredible. We then got a short time in the city and then we cruised through the majestic Wachau Valley. it was very cool and windy that day but the scenery was great.
Next we stopped in Vienna. Vienna was old, grand and majestic just as I expected it to be. Yet, on another hand it was very similar to any major city like NYC in some ways. The coffee houses were great and the food was amazing. Again the Christmas Market gave you a real local feel for the city. Our guide in Vienna was the only guide that we didn't really care for. She was very scattered and did not keep focused very well, so we left the tour and went on our own.
Our last stop was in Budapest Hungary and by far, it was our favorite city. There is no way to describe how amazing this city is. The people were amazing, the history, architecture and the Christmas Market was wonderful. Could have spent another 3 days there.
The ship itself was new and very well done. It was not as large and fancy as the ocean cruises but you spend most of your time in the city and are only on-board to eat and sleep. The food was very good. Most passengers were older than myself and my husband so sometimes we wanted a larger portion but we then asked for seconds and most times it was not an issue. We had a cabin with a french balcony so you could open the sliding doors which was nice. However, a good portion of the time the river smells so we did not keep the doors open very often. The staff was incredibly helpful and accommodating. Gabor was our bartender and he was the BEST.
I know I have used amazing, incredible and wonderful several times but that is truly how we felt about our trip. Please contact me if you have any other questions or are considering a trip like this.