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We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better service. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean cruise of the Western Med and were very pleased. We flew from Jacksonville, FL to Atlanta and then to Amsterdam using Delta Priority status and found that we did indeed have more seat room. Regardless that 8 hour flight was tiresome. Arriving in Budapest we were met by an AMA driver who brought us to the Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel where we had a lovely room and perfect service. We walked around the area and ate that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel which is located nearby in a gorgeous old castle. The next day we transferred to the AMAViola, a beautiful ship with the most hospitable staff and a comfortable room with a balcony. Later that day we had a guided tour of Budapest. Evening cruise for Budapest lights From then on each day was at a different city where there were morning guided tours with 3 choices: Active-which meant hiking or biking, Regular- generally a bus to the center of the historic district and then a guided walking tour or Gentle- usually a bus tour with less walking. Afternoons often had second included tours or optional events such as a classical concert in Vienna. Every cities was wonderful, filled with history and beautiful architecture. The guides were marvelous, they actually are schooled as guides for a minimum of 2 years. The regular walking tours were not strenuous but we easily fulfilled our daily 10,000 steps per day. Almost everyone we met understood English as most of these Eastern European countries require English education as early as 3rd grade. Although almost all tourist places accepted Euros you got change in the local currency. Be sure to carry sufficient Euros to tip the guides and drivers. All meals were on the ship and couldn't have been better. There were many meal choices, open seating, and tended to always include local and regional dishes. After the cruise we extended two Prague where the AMA tour manager accompanied us and was constantly available to lead us to both organized tours and free time activities from the Hilton Downtown hotel in the heart of the city. Suggestion: Dining at both The Portfolio restaurant and the White Horse restaurant were great experiences. Both had seating underground in old (like fro 1200AD) basements decorated in absolutely the finest taste. Food Was excellent, perhaps the best I ever had. Unfortunately, the water level in the Danube was very low. The AMAviola had a small draft but the other river ships, including Viking weren’t able to sail and had to tie up and bus their passengers. These folks were pretty upset. Weather was very hot, high 80s to low 90’s.

Danube River cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen, extended to Prague

AmaViola Cruise Review by LouDoc

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony and Outside Balcony
We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better service. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean cruise of the Western Med and were very pleased.

We flew from Jacksonville, FL to Atlanta and then to Amsterdam using Delta Priority status and found that we did indeed have more seat room. Regardless that 8 hour flight was tiresome. Arriving in Budapest we were met by an AMA driver who brought us to the Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel where we had a lovely room and perfect service. We walked around the area and ate that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel which is located nearby in a gorgeous old castle.

The next day we transferred to the AMAViola, a beautiful ship with the most hospitable staff and a comfortable room with a balcony. Later that day we had a guided tour of Budapest. Evening cruise for Budapest lights

From then on each day was at a different city where there were morning guided tours with 3 choices: Active-which meant hiking or biking, Regular- generally a bus to the center of the historic district and then a guided walking tour or Gentle- usually a bus tour with less walking. Afternoons often had second included tours or optional events such as a classical concert in Vienna.

Every cities was wonderful, filled with history and beautiful architecture. The guides were marvelous, they actually are schooled as guides for a minimum of 2 years. The regular walking tours were not strenuous but we easily fulfilled our daily 10,000 steps per day.

Almost everyone we met understood English as most of these Eastern European countries require English education as early as 3rd grade. Although almost all tourist places accepted Euros you got change in the local currency. Be sure to carry sufficient Euros to tip the guides and drivers.

All meals were on the ship and couldn't have been better. There were many meal choices, open seating, and tended to always include local and regional dishes.

After the cruise we extended two Prague where the AMA tour manager accompanied us and was constantly available to lead us to both organized tours and free time activities from the Hilton Downtown hotel in the heart of the city.

Suggestion: Dining at both The Portfolio restaurant and the White Horse restaurant were great experiences. Both had seating underground in old (like fro 1200AD) basements decorated in absolutely the finest taste. Food Was excellent, perhaps the best I ever had.

Unfortunately, the water level in the Danube was very low. The AMAviola had a small draft but the other river ships, including Viking weren’t able to sail and had to tie up and bus their passengers. These folks were pretty upset. Weather was very hot, high 80s to low 90’s.
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with French Balcony and Outside Balcony
Cabin AA 312
Plenty of room, nicely decorated, mini fridge, safe. Very nice and comfortable bedding. Good light blocking curtains. No boating engine noise.
Dining was very good to excellent. Many choices and always a regional favorite.
Very attentive wait staff. Beer and wine complementary at lunch and dinner and cocktails at 6pm.
Minimal on board entertainment: piano music, folk dance group etc but a classical concert in Vienna and beer fest in Germany.
Violin Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins