On this third cruise with Viking, the Four Sisters (ages 77-86) spent 8 days on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. This was perhaps a less strenuous cruise than those we have taken on the Rhine and Elbe Rivers. However, Budapest is an enchanting fairyland; Vienna, amazing and walkable; Nuremberg, chilling history, with interesting old cities in between.
There are long stretches of river through the Wachau Valley with beautiful hills and interesting buildings during the cruise. The stops along the way are well planned and guided. The tour to the Danube Bend, and the ride downriver experience, is especially interesting; the visit to the Abbey less so. We did the optional castle tour but a short day in Vienna is not long enough. The cruise director and concierge were most accommodating in all requests; i.e., a cab to the organ recital because it was too far and too hilly to walk from the bus.
The ship board itinerary is well planned; the food is amazing (be certain to sign up for the galley tour and be further amazed at the small space and the large output of 3 meals plus per day). Each day the cruise provided educational and special entertainments. We took advantage of all of these plus the on-shore included tours and two optional tours offered: the castle in Vienna and the World War 11 History Tour which every passenger should take. It was chilling, mentally and visually numbing providing a deeper understanding of the horrors of this war.
We plan our own itineraries placing a river cruise in the middle. Budapest and Vienna are too interesting and lovely to spend only a brief time. Therefore, we spent several days beforehand in Budapest, and flew back to Vienna for a couple of days following the cruise. We also spent days in NYC and Istanbul prior to Budapest and in Prague following our return to Vienna. If one wishes to see more than what is available on a river cruise itinerary, I suggest that other cities become book ends. The cruise is an absolutely delightful way to relax and recharge. Where next?????