For me this cruise was going up memory lane. In 1952 I went from Passau to the Austro-Slovak border in my kajak. This time I went by Viking River Cruise from Budapest to Passau and didn't have to paddle, nor was there an entry check when I crossed from the American to the Russian occupation zones as it was in 1952.
The Viking "Donau Walzer" cruise was superb. First, there were only 182 passengers. Second, the accomodations were excellent, and the staff, all categories, was friendly, accomodating and very well trained. The land excursions were well planned but due to the large number of tourists - not related to the cruise - the city tours were tiring. For me and my wife it did not matterbecause we knew these cities and stop-overs as well as the guides, but some of our fellow passengers found the tours somewhat exhausting and to history and geography related. The tour director, Andrew,and his staff were excellent and most accommodating and the dining staff was superb. No taskwas too difficult for them. It appeared that they enjoyed their jobs.
While I am not a fan of cruises, I must admit that this cruise was most enjoyable. We met interesting people with whom we will stay in touch. The on-board entertainment - local talent who presented local music and favourites from Austrian operettas - was most enjoyable. A lecture on the history of the EU by a young lady was interesting and timely as we travelled through the EU member states. In summary: a most enjoyable excursion through some of Europe's most beautiful countryside and cities. We'll do it again, with Viking, someplace else! ThNK YOU!