I recently had the fantastic opportunity to spend 4 nights on the wonderful river cruise long ship the ‘Viking Ve’ and have had the most amazing experience! From the moment I stepped on the ship I was so impressed by everything, it completely exceeded any expectations I had!
The ship décor was elegant; however everything was laid out perfectly to create a very relaxing sociable environment. It had a real friendly ‘family-like’ feeling onboard the ship.
Although the entertainment on board was ‘low key’ every evening there was something different to experience. The highlight for me was the ‘Family Fortunes’ quiz night as everyone joined in and there were lots of laughs. The onboard musicians were also great and played an eclectic mix of songs so there is was something for everyone. When we were in Linz we had an Austrian entertainment trio on board one evening giving us the sounds of Austria, ranging from Mozart to songs from ‘The Sound of Music’.
The one thing which absolutely stood out for me was the service levels. Every customer on board had amazing service from everyone who represented Viking. The crew members and the tour guides were all so professional and went out of their way to ensure we all had a fabulous time. It was clear that everyone enjoyed working for Viking and took pride in their work.
Our trip was for the first 4 nights of the 7 night ‘Danube Waltz’ Viking itinerary. This took us from Passau to Vienna, passing through Bavaria and the Wachau Valley. The scenery was breath-taking with pretty Alpine villages and towns, vineyards and castles along the way.
On our first day we took walking tour of Passau. Passau is known as the ‘City of three rivers’ as it is where the Danube, Inn and Ilz all meet. The City is steeped in history which stems back to the Roman Empire. St Stephens Cathedral is the focal point of the city. It’s a baroque style church which is beautiful both inside and outside. It also has a distinctive organ with 17,974 pipes!
Day two we travelled from our next dock Linz over the border to the Czech Republic where we visited the beautiful town of Cesky Krumlov. It really is a picture postcard wherever you look. The focal point of the town is a beautiful castle which sits high above the town, across the river. The castle is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The town itself is full of renaissance architecture and has so many nice pretty shops and places to eat. As this was a full day excursion, we also got the opportunity to have lunch there and visit a traditional restaurant where we were able to sample some of the local delicacies. I had the national dish ‘Vepřo knedlo zelo’ which is a Pork, Sauerkraut and Dumpling dish.
Day 3 started with a leisurely morning sail along the Danube through the Wachau Valley to our next destination Krems. This was a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and pretty towns. In the afternoon, once docked in Krems, we had the opportunity to visit Gottweig Abbey which is a working monastery. The Abbey is set on the top of a hill, so the views are spectacular! This is a Viking exclusive trip and so it was such a special opportunity that only Viking customers get to enjoy!
Our final day started with a sightseeing trip to Vienna. This was a combination of coach and walking so we got to see most of Vienna. I was really looking forward to seeing Vienna and was not disappointed. The city is full of beautiful architecture from all periods of history. We even got to see the horses and stables for the famous Spanish Riding School. Once the tour had finished there was an opportunity to spend the remainder of the day in Vienna however our time on the cruise had ended so we had to fly home.