Written by Rhonda Brooks.
Before starting our 7-day Enchanted Danube River Cruise which begins in Budapest, Hungary and ends in Passau, Germany, we spent a couple days in Budapest. Budapest is a beautiful city in the day, but even more so at night when the city is lit up.
Highlights of Budapest include:
- Buda Castle
- Fisherman’s Bastion – beautiful views of the Parliament and the city
- Cave Church
- Hospital in the Rock
- Central Market
- Gellert Hill
- Dohany Synagogue
- Parliament Building
- Hop On – Hop Off Bus
We boarded the Uniworld River Beatrice cruise ship on the third day. For people that do not like the feeling of being herded in large groups on the larger ocean liner cruise ships, the smaller river cruise boats are a welcome relief. The smaller boats provide a much more personal and intimate experience, both from the size of the crew and the smaller number of passengers. After everyone had boarded and the sun had set, the boat sailed through the heart of the city providing spectacular views.
My husband and I have visited several European countries over the years coordinating our own itineraries and traveling from place to place primarily by trains, but we found the river cruise to be a more relaxing way to experience Europe as you can just sit back and relax enjoying the views along the river during the day and wake up in a different city or country with several excursion options to choose from. Depending on your interests, Uniworld offered three (3) excursion options each day: Go Active, Do as the Locals, and Gentle Walking tours. You could mix and match these each day with one tour always included along with optional tours you could do for an extra charge.
The food on the ship was top notch and Uniworld is unique in including unlimited beverages on board with an extensive selection of regional wines and beers. Other features include the use of bicycles, evening entertainment on-board, WIFI, no gratuities, and scheduled airport transfers. These all provide the passenger with an all-inclusive treatment and a no worries type vacation.
We toured several cities in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. Over the 7-day cruise, we were able to pack in a variety of activities ranging from hiking in the mountains, running and bicycling along the Danube River, wine tour/tasting at a 300-year-old family-run winery, attending a small chamber orchestra concert in Vienna, and a combination of walking and riding city tours learning about the unique history and culture of each destination.
Along the way, we made a number of new friends and found the whole river cruise experience a great way to see Europe and will be exploring other river cruise options to experience other destinations around the world that are on our travel bucket list.