An affordable Danube river cruise on a Swarovski crystal ship :
As the City of Three Rivers Passau offers many opportunities to enjoy cruises on its rivers. The town is a regular stop for many of the luxury Danube river cruises. But you don’t have to pay for an expensive river cruise to enjoy a pleasure trip on the Danube river. There are a number of local riverboat lines that offer various day trips from Passau.
Danube River Cruise
Wurm & Köck is one of the larger local riverboat lines offering a range of cruises out of Regensburg, Passau and Linz. We wanted to do a trip to Weltenburg Abbey, but the cruise would have taken the whole day and it actually didn’t allow you to get off at Weltenburg Abbey. So we decided to enjoy a lazy half day Danube river cruise from Passau to Schloegen and back. The return ticket costs €18.50 for the return trip per person, a real bargain.
Popular with German tourists
When we got to the pier, there was a already a long queue of passengers waiting to get on board. Luckily I had already bought our tickets earlier and so I didn’t have to queue for tickets as well.
People were very keen to secure prime positions on the upper deck, but there was no need to worry. The boat was a large one and there was plenty of space for everyone.
Made with Swarovski Crystals
From the window of our hotel (The Hotel Wilderman), we had daily views of the Wurm & Köck Crystal ships flashing their crystals at us. Yes, the ships are decorated with Swarovski crystals, approximately one million Swarovski crystals are embedded in the boat. The company has two crystal ships, the Crystal Princess and Crystal Queen – we were on the Crystal Princess.
A relaxing cruise
The ship sailed along the Upper Danube Valley to the confluence of the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube in Passau.
Along the way we passed a lock at Jochenstein and enjoyed the picturesque Danube landscapes. The highlight of this cruise is the famous “Schlögener Donauschlinge” landmark. Here the Danube winds so closely around the so-called “Schlögenberg” that it flows exactly opposite to the exit from the loop.
There are only a couple of stops on this cruise. A group of locals got off in Engelhartszell, a picturesque town with the Engelszell Monastery and the Mini-Danube Aquarium. They had two hours in Engelhartszell and picked up the ship again on its return trip.
Majority of the passengers were local tourists. Apart from an Italian couple, I think Tony and I were the only two non-Germans on board. Although the commentary was in German, it didn’t bother us as we were happy to just enjoy the scenery.
Food on Board
The service crew came around regularly to take orders for drinks and meals. The menu was limited with all the traditional meat-oriented Bavarian foods. By late afternoon, we were a little peckish and ordered an apple strudel to share. It was very nice.
Although it was not like being on one of the luxurious riverboats that we passed, it was a relaxing and enjoyable cruise. The boat made three stops along the way but the idea is that you stay on board throughout the whole trip.What about you? What do you think?