I boarded the River Countess in Nuremberg for the 2009 European Holiday Market Cruise.
There were 76 passengers on board,the trip was exceptional. The room spacious and clean. Serviced regularly. the quilt and pillows made sleeping easy.
All of the crew from the Captain Jorg Zwaal and his wife the hotel manager, where friendly, thoughtful and helpful. Meals where well presented and plentiful, I especially enjoyed the breakfast and lunch selections. Evening dining was always relaxing. Wine and other beverages where plentiful throughout dinner. A highlight of the trip was being selected to dine at the Captains farewell dinner.
The average age of cruisers would have been in the neighborhood of 65, but there where several younger people on board, and many interesting people to meet and visit with.
The cruise was relaxing and the sights plentiful. The guided tours in our ports where very well done with the except I felt of Linz, where our particular guide seemed more in a hurry to have us off on our own. She did know the information and history but her presentation was a tad off.
Highlights of the trip was the time in Passau, the beauty of the interiors of the baroque churches, the Wachau Valley was lovely, watching the sailors of the boat make a snowman, watching the snow fall gave it a festive air. Vienna at the completion of the trip was another highlight, the beauty of the city and ease of getting around, make it an interesting experience. The extra excusion to the Schoonbrunn Summer Palace was excellent and well worth the time and dollars spent.
All the Christmas markets where different with different things to see and eat.Nuremberg sausages, the chai tea at the market in Vienna, Hot Chocolate at the market in Regensburg.
The tour guide Woulter went out of his way to ensure that the passengers had the opportunity to see and do the things they wanted to. The evening entertainment on board provided a diversion from a busy day, and a relaxing way to settle down prior to bedtime.
My cabin was on the second level,close to the coffee station, I would recommend requesting a cabin farther down the the hallway, activity could be regularly heard from the coffee station.
Prior to embarking on the ship I overnighted two nights in Frankfurt, to help with the Jetlag. On disembarkation I spend an additional two nights in Vienna.
I would recommend taking a cruise on the River Countess at any time of the year, the staff will make you feel as if your at home and a part of their family. I hope to be able to cruise again on the River Countess.