Recently, our leader, Janice, and our lovely travel agent, Miriam, took to the Danube on a river cruise with Avalon Waterways! They had the best time, learning lots about the different things Avalon offers!
This exciting new 9-day vacation introduces you to the people and places along the Danube from Budapest to Linz in the most active, engaged and fun ways imaginable. We started our vacation with one night in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest before boarding our Avalon ship and heading for Visegrad.
There are so many choices when you board the Avalon. We had options like learning a little Hungarian in Budapest or attending a medieval knights’ tournament in Visegrad; take a jogging tour around Vienna, or visit the city when it first awakes; meet with a local produce grower in the Wachau Valley, or paddle a canoe; be introduced to a count in his castle or bike to an ancient border defence near Mauthausen or visit World War II’s largest concentration camp; taste locally produced cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks near Linz, or hike along an old smugglers’ route.
And all the while enjoy the comfort of our Avalon ship, with its delectable meals and warm, personal service. This ship certainly was our home away from home while we explored our new surroundings every day.
One of the excursions we chose to do was the visit to the concentration camp from World War II in Mauthausen. It was incredibly humbling to visit this place where such tragedy had occurred so many years before.
Our biggest highlight was the overall ship experience. Since the vessel was smaller than an ocean cruise ship, it gave us a chance to get to know many of the other guests on board. The service staff exceeded our expectations and so often went above and beyond to make our experiences positive ones. In each meal, the presentations were outstanding, and the options were delicious! We headed up on the top deck a couple nights, and watched the towns and cities go by – it was breathtaking. Docking the vessel into all the towns and cities of different sizes was an experience in itself. The excursion’s that were included in our booking allowed us to see and experience each city, go back in time in the history, and get in touch with locals! Talk about an authentic experience! We wanted to do as many excursions as we could. Some of our excursion highlights were the medieval knights tournament, meeting the Count Clam, & experiencing the true culture of Vienna. It seems that no matter what excursion we picked, it gave us memories to last a lifetime!
Cruising the Danube aboard an Avalon ship was definitely an amazing experience. We learned so much about this river cruise line, and can’t wait to share more with you! Let us know if you have any questions – first time river cruisers, we’d be happy to help.