European River Cruise onboard Viking Gullveig by Kismet Rodgers
I had the opportunity to take my first every river cruise on the Viking Gullveig sailing from Nuremberg Germany to Budapest Hungary. My adventure started with our departure out of Los Angeles on LOT Polish Airlines. Once we arrived into Nuremberg after many hours of flying and change of planes in Warsaw we just walked across the street at the airport and stayed at the Movenpick. Great hotel and great location. Rooms were nice and our rate included a great buffet breakfast the following morning.
We headed to the ship on the morning of October 19th and I was surprised by the length of the ship as I’m an avid ocean cruiser. Staff were waiting with a refreshing drink, took our luggage and directed us to the restaurant for a buffet lunch. Due to the location of our dock Viking offered shuttle buses to and from the city center of Nuremberg.
We had a “duck deck” stateroom on the main deck of ship. Our room was very nice and we had plenty of space. We didn’t have issue with it being at the water line in fact it was interesting when we went through the various locks along the river.
We took the included tour of Nuremberg and learned the early history of this city. I would say many of the included walking tours offered could be a challenge for those who have trouble walking. Viking offers gentle walker groups but it still could be a challenge due to the hills and cobblestone streets. Make sure you have proper shoes for these tours.
Leaving Nuremberg we got to experience the locks on the main Danube canal. Having been through the Panama Canal it was cool to see these locks operate.
Second stop was Regensburg Germany, which is the oldest city on the Danube and it was interesting to see the medieval town on the included walking tour from the ship though the streets of this town. We had German Sausage at the historic Wurstuche restaurant. Now it is only a walk-up to order and they have table and chairs where you can sit. It was our first taste of real German Sausage and it was great. We did have a scare that we might need to do a ship change but the river levels allowed us to complete our cruise on the same ship. We stopped next at Passau, the city of three rivers. We had and extended stay as our ship took six hours to arrive but were happy to see the ship as we didn’t want to change ships. Really enjoyed the next stop of Krems, Austria as we got to enjoy the Gottweig Abbey. The interior of the abbey was breathtaking.
My two favorite stops were Vienna and Budapest. I enjoyed these two stops as they were modern cities. If you weren’t on a tour, you could easily make your way around these cities on modern transportation. In Vienna we had the best Schnitzel.
We experienced UBER in both Vienna and Budapest. In Budapest we went to the indoor market, a bustling place where you could shop and have a huge dinner or lunch, all in one location. I can only imagine this location during the Christmas market times.
As an avid ocean cruiser, I had many people tell me that I would be bored on this river cruise. This was not the case as I had a great time on the Viking Gullveig . The staff, food and service in all areas were great. The chef made sure we had our favorite bread at dinner every night after our waiter mentioned to the chef that we really like the bread served on night one. Chef even made our table special chunky hot sauce every night again, after hearing that we needed something spicy. Question is, would this die hard ocean cruiser take another river cruise? The answer is a resounding YES!
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