Iconic Danube with Scenic River Cruises

It was snowing and quite cold on Monday morning when we landed in Munich Germany. We boarded our Scenic tour bus and settled in for an enjoyable narrated ride to our destination in Passau where the Scenic Amber awaited. Thankfully the weather in Passau was clear and sunny.

 We arrived early in the afternoon and joined the christening ceremony for the Amber later that day.

The officials gathered for pictures after the Amber’s christening. There is plenty of food and some entertainment for guests after the ceremony.

We spent our next day in Passau and it was time to start exploring! Our mornings started early with some exploring on our own. Of course, I had my eye on the castle across the river so that is where we spent our morning.


It was a bit of a climb but the views were worth the effort.


We returned to the ship in time for our guided tour of Passau. The Scenic guides were excellent, they were entertaining and informative. They kept us interested and engaged throughout the tour with the unique history of the area.

Our guide explained the markers on the wall depict the floods from previous years. The flood of 2013 is the second from the top.
The Cathedral organ is the largest in the world with 17,744 pipes and 233 registers.

We returned to the ship and spent the rest of the afternoon cruising along the Danube.

The next day we went out early to wander the streets in Linz before we boarded our bus to Cesky Krumlov. We enjoyed the city’s unique architecture and cafes.

This cafe is very different than ours at home, with its open areas and no traffic.  The town square is more open than our cities at home.

It began to snow on our drive to Cesky Krumlov, giving the castles a ghostly appearance in the distance. 
The day was overcast and cool, but that did not spoil the view from the castle above at Cesky Krumlov.

After a 20 mile bike ride through the countryside, who would think it could get any better. It did. We explored the shops of Durnstein and then we trekked up the 780 foot cliff to the castle ruins for a spectacular view of the valley.

It was like standing on top of the world. It is a bit of a climb but well worth it. From here we made our decent back to the village and enjoyed our sundowner event with Scenic at a local tavern.

With a warm and welcoming atmosphere and local entertainment, it was a perfect ending to a spectacular day.

 We boarded our ship for an evening cruise to Vienna. The next morning we decided to relax and just go out on the tour of the Spanish Riding School. The school is strict and does not allow pictures, but I could not resist a couple of shots of these beautiful stallions.
Touring Vienna by carriage was also an option if you like. You can go for 1 hour or a half hour. The price starts at 60 Euros.

For free time in Vienna, there is a bus to take you into the city. I chose to take the bikes out for a spin again along with the tailor made GPS. I took this phone picture that morning over breakfast. I am glad I did because it helped me to locate the ship when I emerged down river too far to locate it by sight. Of course the tailor made could have taken me on a guided tour but I decided to wander my own path and thankfully the GPS brought me safely back to the ship.
I arrived just in time to get ready for our Scenic enrichment event.
We topped the evening off with an evening recital at the Garden Palace Liechtenstein. The music was enchanting. I learned that a very familiar classical waltz was titled The Blue Danube.

Our next stop was Bratislava. With so many full busy days, I found myself slowing down and just doing the scheduled tour.
Bratislava had interesting architecture and unique statues, like this brass workman popping up from the ground. His helmet is shiny from everyone touching it for good luck. 
We spent our free time wandering the shops and we ventured into the museum before boarding the ship. I was amazed that these pieces were not behind protective glass. You could have reached out and touched them. Of course we did not touch anything, but it was amazing to experience such trust with these old artifacts.

An evening cruise brought us to our final destination, Budapest. It was difficult to choose our tour but we decided on a hospital in a rock. A very interesting tour that was like stepping back in time, unfortunately we could not take pictures of this unique piece of history. We did get some great pictures of the area leading up to the hospital. Of course morning sunrise is always my favorite.
This was our final day and I found myself too tired to venture out for the afternoon. We had enough time to go to the Turkish baths that afternoon but we decided to stay on board and enjoy the air show. The planes flew up and down the river right over our heads. This special event was due to their holiday that took place on May first. Sorry! It’s not a regular included experience!
Our final evening was spent on board with spectacular views of the parliament building at sunset. This was followed by a scenic river cruise up and down the Danube, displaying the beauty of Budapest at night.
Look for pictures of the evening cruise on my Facebook page along with a movie digest of our tours.







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