We selected this cruise to celebrate many milestones in our life. After reviewing many choices, our local travel agent was very helpful in assisting us to pick the option that "crusied" from Berlin to Budapest. We opted for a 3 ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate many milestones in our life. After reviewing many choices, our local travel agent was very helpful in assisting us to pick the option that "crusied" from Berlin to Budapest. We opted for a 3 day pre-excursion to Prague and a two day post-excursion in Budapest.
The accommodations were superior. In Prague we arranged for independent tours the first two days as the communication about the Viking tours was not stellar. However on the third day we were able to join an event that was planned for a group just finishing their cruise. The Viking staff in Prague was amazing and the hotel was superior. We then traveled by train to Berlin, with a Viking representative traveling with us. The cruise we purchased originated in Berlin (2 days) and then traveled to Dresden (2 days), not on the Danube, but was just an amazing experience. For this part of the cruise we traveled with a Viking representative (Alec-wonderful, knowledgeable young man) and chauffeur, George. There were only 3 other couples who had purchased this leg of the cruise, so eight of us (plus Alec and George!) were treated in grand fashion. Tours of this very interesting part of Germany, meals together with new found friends and bike riding along the Elbe are some of the most memorable moments of this vacation. Basic tours of the cities were included as well as breakfast in the luxury hotels. Other meals and extra tours were on your own.
We embarked on the vessel in Nuremburg on day 8 of our vacation to travel the Danube. The cabin was lovely. We purchased one with a veranda, which I enjoyed, but probably not necessary as the vessel is not huge and the sun deck was always accessible and most days were spent off ship. Sailing down the Danube lived up to my high expectations. Basic tours of all ports with local, knowledgeable and friendly guides were included in the cruise and most days additional excursions could be purchased. As we were interested in "seeing it all" we usually participated in these extra excursions. Some were worth it, some maybe not.
We docked in Budapest the day before their national holiday of St. Stephen's Day. I was very happy that we elected to do a post-excursion. The city was alive with activity! We participated in the Folklore Festival, the likes of which I have never seen--food and craft vendors lined the streets all the way up to the castle with entertainment along the way. The evening, our last on vacation, ended with the most amazing fireworks display along the river which we were able to enjoy from the hotel terrace.
The service on the ship was fantastic, friendly and entertaining. By walking and exploring the ports, first with a guide and then on your own, we feel we made the most of this experience. Every day we were up and out early with our sturdy walking shoes on and camera in hand, returning to the ship for dinner and conversation with new found friends. Of course there were places we wish we could have stayed to explore longer and some that required a bus ride to get to, but all in all in was an amazing adventure. Another Viking cruise to a new location is somewhere in our future. Read Less