River Duchess Review

Low river disruptions, but still a great time

Review for Europe River Cruise on River Duchess
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2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Oct 2018
Cabin: Stateroom with French Balcony

We sailed in October 2018, when the Danube and Rhine were terribly low. Much of Europe was in a drought all summer, and the captain told us he's never seen the rivers this bad. It was affecting all of the cruise lines, not just Uniworld. So we had some disruptions, but we still had a great time.

We left Budapest a day early because of the river, but got an extra day in Vienna, which was great. Once we got as far as Vilshofen, the river was no longer navigable. We were still able to do most of the tours, but had to take a bus to get to the various towns for our tours. It's not what anyone hoped for, but the buses were comfortable, and the tours were quite enjoyable. Passengers who didn't want to go on a bus were welcome to stay onboard the ship. After 9 days (of a 15 night cruise), we packed up and rode to Frankfurt where we boarded another Uniworld ship to use that as our base for the next 3 nights while we had tours in towns in that area. The final 3 nights were spent in hotels in Cologne and Amsterdam. The hotels were quite nice, and Uniworld provided money for our meals while we were not on the ship.

I noticed that the Cruise Critic overview for this ship is a little out of date. Alcohol is included with this cruise, except for high-end drinks that are listed in a book at the bar. Also, on the Gala night and Farewell night, dinner is somewhat dressier, but not necessarily as dressy as described. A lot of men wore a jacket without a tie, some wore a tie but no jacket, and some just wore a dress shirt. Women dressed a little dressier than the other nights, but nice slacks and a dressy blouse were fine.

Cabin Review

Stateroom with French Balcony

Cabin 1

Our cabin was right next to the dining room, which was convenient for stopping by before and after meals. The only downside was that in the morning, passengers would sometimes congregate there while waiting for the dining room to open, and sometimes their conversation would wake us up.

The cabin is somewhat smaller than we've had on other ships, but was quite comfortable, and we had everything we needed.

Port Reviews


In Regensburg we took the BMW plant tour, which was fascinating. Afterward, we had time to walk around the town for a while and get the sausages they are known for. A great tour!


From Frankfurt we took the full day tour of Heidelberg. The castle architecture was fascinating, and it provided an opportunity to get some great photos of the town. After the castle tour, we rode the bus back into the town for a walking tour, followed by free time for lunch. I wish we had more free time to spend there.

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