Great Rail Journeys wouldn’t normally have been my first choice if clients express an interest in river cruising… that was until I sampled their wonderful product recently.
Last week I was invited by Great Rail Journeys to sample part of their Five Star Danube cruise abroad the state of the art Amadeus Queen which is offered exclusively to Great Rail Journeys. It’s a beautifully furnished boat with 167 cabins, I was located on Haydn deck in a lovely modern furnished cabin with a marble en suite. My only observation was that is was quite dark in comparison to the cabins I visited on the two upper decks, some of which have large picture windows and balconies so I would definitely recommend those. The ship also boasts a spa room, hair salon and even a small pool which was definite bonus.
We arrived on board just in time for the ship’s afternoon tea, which is served daily in the panoramic lounge, this along with all of the meals on board were excellent, with great menu choices.
The panoramic lounge was one of my favourite places on ship, huge windows, comfy sofas opening onto an outdoor seating area. The lounge also hosts a wide variety of entertainment in the evening, we enjoyed the Hungarian Folklore Dance Troupe, a quiz, resident duo on board pianist and a singer.
I took in a couple of the excursions offered in both Budapest and Bratislava, disembarkation from the boat was seamless, great to have no queues which is a bonus as you can sometimes encounter with high volume Ocean cruises. It was great to have some free time after the tours to explore the cities on your own, Budapest market is particularly good for leather handbags.
The highlight of my short trip had to be the illumination cruise around Budapest. I really enjoyed gliding past the majestic building at night, made even more atmospheric with classical music playing in the background, it certainly made it a memorable experience.
Remember to take a jacket through as it gets a bit chilly up on deck if you go in September! My trip was really informative it’s a great way to see several cities and take in beautiful scenery at the same time. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Great Rail Journeys with their Rail and Cruise programme, having taken several ocean cruises I am definitely a convert!