Hi, been on two Viking river cruise, one in France and one from Budapest to
Black sea and back upriver to Vienna. Uniworld Budapest to Amsterdam.
Both are great we lean toward Uniworld cabins bit better but River Countess
is newer than Viking Danube. In either case very enjoyable trips, both these
ships are no smoking. Love Budapest need to spend extra time there.
Hello again. Only ports on this cruise are Budapest, Vienna and maybe
Bratislavia. Rest you dock on river and bus inland to Bucharest, Constanta
Bulgaria and Belgrade but enjoyed all.
Romania very poor but very happy to finally be free. Saw more US flags in
Romania than see at home. Would recommend either but not in late July
or early August. A/C on buses and restaurants iffy. Good luck and have
I haven't sailed on Uniworld, but my husband and I sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking and thought it was a wonderful cruise--so good that we booked it a second time! We love the country-casual dress code, the excellent shore excursions, and the great crew on Viking!
I kept a journal of our Viking cruise in Provence, and I'd be happy to send you a copy of it at your request. It will give you a detailed description of what you can expect from Viking.
We are interested in doing the Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking or Uniworld in 2006. We would like to spend an extra couple of days in either Amsterdam or Budapest. Which city would be the most interesting to spend those extra days?
Hi, not Shirley but have been in both cities and think Budapest would our
favorite. Amsterdam a little run down. Budapest has a lot to offer we
enjoyed both but relly like Budapest been there three times and still have
more to see. Enjoy.
They own their own ships; others lease their so they dont' control the operation. Food is good, shore tours are excellent. Staff speak English and the ships are non-smoking and very clean. Book a Category B cabin and get a window that opens.
Uniworld was just sold to Trafalgar Tours. They don't own all of their ships either.
I checked the Viking website and found some deals you could take to your travel agent or book direct with them.
Shirley, I would love to hear all about your cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. I will be taking the same cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on Uniworld in June. What were the highlights and best stops? How did women dress for dinner? I appreciate any info you can provide. Thanks
Just returned from China--Viking's Yangtze cruisetour--and it was a phenomenal experience! Everyone should go to China at least once in their lifetime! But more about that in a later posting...
We enjoyed the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise so much that we did it twice, and I have posted brief reviews about our wonderful experiences on those cruises.
In Amsterdam be sure to try to see the Anne Frank House and the van Gogh museum, in addition to the sights that Viking includes in its shore excursion. The van Gogh is just a block or two from the Rijk's Museum. I highly recommend that you visit the Red Light District after dinner--you will not believe your eyes!
The excursions in Cologne, Rudeshem, Mainz, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Bratislava and Passau are very nicely done; don't miss them. Nuremburg has been dreary and rainy both times I've been there--kind of befitting to its history. If you are docked in Rudesheim overnight, be sure to walk into town after dinner to participate in the festivities going on at the beer gardens: dancing, oompah bands, beerfests, etc. Don't miss the organ concert in Passau or Melk Abbey in Melk! They are wonderful!
In Vienna, I highly recommend that you use your free afternoon to take a tour of the opera house (if it is open). And take the optional excursion to the evening concert that Viking offers. As an alternative, if you just want to do something on your own, get tickets for the Mozart and Strauss concert offered at the opera house each evening. It is fabulous! Usually there are ticket vendors in costume in the square near St. Stephens during the day selling tickets for the same price as you would find at the box office. And if you love chocolate, make every effort to have a cup of the best hot chocolate in the world at Demil's (spelling?) in Vienna, right near the opera house. By the way, don't be afraid to use the Vienna subways--routes and stops are very clearly marked in English. YOu can walk to a station near where the ship berths and get into downtown Vienna in about five stops. Oh yes...I'd recommend that you go to Schonbrunne Palace (you can go on your own for much less than the optional Viking tour!).
Budapest is very special. You will probably be arriving late at night, and the city is a spectacle to behold! Don't miss it by going to sleep early! If you have free time in Budapest, try to take a guided tour of the interior of the awesome Parliament buildings and the opera house. The Doheny Synagogue (second largest in the world) is a wonderful place to visit--don't miss the silver tree in the rear courtyard. If you would like a private guide for an afternoon, get in touch with me and I'll try to arrange it for you. The guide I've used can make the necessary appointment to get into Parliament and the opera house; and sometimes he can arrange a docent for the synagogue. If you're into Turkish baths, the one found at the Gellert Hotel is world famous! If Viking is taking you to the gypsy restaurant, be sure to go. If they are offering a Hungarian Dinner on board instead, you might want to take that opportunity to have a nice dinner in time. The Hungarian dinner aboard was my only disappointment on the entire second-time-round cruise; while the dinner at the gypsy restaurant was one of the highlights first-time-round.
As far as souvenirs and keepsakes, Hungary is homebase for Herend porcelain and magnificent crystal. The music museum in Rudesheim has beautiful music boxes. Vienna also boasts lovely crystal. The gingerbread in Nuremburg is wonderful--and you might want to take home some as gifts.
ONe of the stops has the world's oldest bratwurst restaurant right where the ship parks. Be sure to have some--delicious and authentic!
Just returned last night from the 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Spirit. Have not traveled with Uniworld but can't say enough about our Viking crew and the complete trip (ship, crew, tours, destinations, etc.)! Our best trip yet! We loved the smallness of the ship and passenger size compared to the big cruise ships.
While you were on the Spirit, I was on Uniworld's River Empress. We were docked with you often. It was one of my best trips ever.
The ship was very nice and the food was plentiful, good and there was a nice variety. I especially loved their strawberries. I wonder what country they were from. The tomatos were also excellent as well as their soups. Our Cruise Manager, Wouter, was the most helpful and knowledgable of the destinations of any cruise I've been on. Our Hotel Manager, Frank, kept things running perfectly and he seemed well liked by the crew. Everyone on board seemed to enjoy their jobs and really deserved their tips.
We had 94 passengers on board. I agree, it can't be compared to an ocean cruise. I met so many interesting and nice people. We became like family. I'm glad I went with the 14 night cruise. It went by so fast and I wasn't ready to come home. I would do this trip again.
The included tours were also excellent. The local guides were great.
Cathy or Anyone: We will be Vienna to Amsterdam in October aboard Uniworld. I'm looking for anything about the ship, ports, food, shopping, shopping. sights. We will be 2 days pre cruise in Vienna. Any one know of any other websites with river board cruise reviews. Any info would be appreicated.
There is also a good message board on cruisecritic.com. On our cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, Rothenberg was an optional tour. I would highly recommend it. While we were docked in Wurzburg we took the tour. It was a full day. The next day we were docked in Wertheim and took the included tour back to Wurzburg. The Bishop's Palace was beautiful. The included tours were very good.
In Rudesheim, if you drink alcohol, try the Rudesheim coffee. It's coffee with a local brandy and whipped cream. The music museum was on the tour and it was interesting. After the tour we took the cable car on our own. I recommend it. The view was beautiful
The abbey in Melk is beautiful. Bamburg has beautiful buildings. The only stop we were not crazy about was Cologne, everything else was wonderful. The scenery is really beautiful and the towns were so clean and intersting.
I thought the food on board was very good and there was a nice variety. I was on the River Empress and it was very nice. The cabins have ample storage space.
I would recommend going to one of the Mozart and Strauss concerts in Vienna. You can do it as an optional tour or on your own since you will be there early. You can purchase tickets and compare the different concerts by looking for the period dressed college students in front of the Cathedral.
I would also recommend going to Schonnbrum Palace in Vienna on your own. It is easy to take public transporation there.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Danube River Cruise/Viking Spirit
Watch the pickpockets at the underground station outside Schonbrunn. I had my purse stolen last year. Luckily I only had a few Euros in it at the time but not nice feeling. Otherwise trip was great and Viking boats and staff very good.