WHERE THE CRUISE WENT AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE:
The Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise: Introductory comments
Magnificent Europe, European Jewels or Grand European Tour – these are some of the names given to this 15-day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. This is one of the most popular European river cruises and all the major cruise companies like Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and Viking River Cruises have this tour in their catalogue of cruises.
All the operators stop at the following destinations: Cologne, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. The current itineraries have not changed from when we did our trip.
On this cruise you get to sail through five countries and experience three magnificent European rivers as well as the Main-Danube Canal, an engineering marvel. You can also do the cruise in the reverse direction.
Our River Cruise Experience
We did the Magnificent Europe river cruise with Avalon Waterways a many years ago – they are now part of the Globus group. Those were the earlier days of river cruising, but we could tell then that it was going to take off like hotcake … and it has.
Our cruise was very pleasant, the scenery along the rivers were stunningly beautiful, the food, service and our stateroom on board our riverboat more than met our expectations and the land excursions took us to really interesting historic towns and villages.
Some people had a problem with the vibration of the boat, especially when going through locks – and there were many of these. At night, the rumbling can disturb your sleep especially if you’re not a heavy sleeper. The new boats have improved engineering design aimed at reducing noise and vibrations. Many of the new boats now have internet access plus Wi-Fi hotspots, mini-bars and flat-screen satellite TV in the rooms, and complimentary wines and soft drinks seem to be a feature at meal time.
Based on the growth of the industry and popularity of river cruises, the passengers must be happy as more and more travellers are choosing river cruises as their holiday travel option.
Our river cruise with Avalon Waterways was aboard the MS Poetry, which has been replaced by a more upmarket MS Poetry II. We cruised on three rivers (Rhine, Main and Danube) and the Main-Danube Canal and went through five countries (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary).
Top Deck Stateroom
We had a cabin on the Royal Deck (ie the top deck) with a second cabin next door for Tony’s mother who was 89 year old at the time. Being on the top deck was convenient for her because there were no steps to negotiate on her way to the dining room and lounge. Barbara could not manage steps easily and in the early days of river cruising, most ships did not have elevators.
The links below detail the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise itinerary and cover what we did at each port of call, our experience and comments. Although we did this Avalon cruise years ago, the route and itinerary are pretty much the same today, except for the exclusion of Wertheim, but with more sightseeing choices available. The newer river boats also have more amenities and there’s more pampering services included.
You can jump to wherever interests you or just follow our links at the bottom of each page:
- DAY 1 Amsterdam. (Embarkation)
- DAY 2 Amsterdam.
- DAY 3 Cologne.
- DAY 3 Koblenz.
- DAY 4 Cruising the Middle Rhine.
- DAY 4 Rüdesheim.
- DAY 5 Miltenberg.
- DAY 5 Wertheim.
- DAY 6 Würzburg.
- DAY 7 Bamberg.
- DAY 8 Nuremberg.
- DAY 8 Continental Divide.
- DAY 9 Regensburg.
- DAY 9 Danube Gorge.
- DAY 10 Passau-Salzburg.
- DAY 11 Melk.
- DAY 11 Durnstein.
- DAY 12 Vienna.
- DAY 13 Bratislava.
- DAY 14 Budapest.
- DAY 15 Budapest (Disembarkation)
Here are links to Avalon web pages giving details of the ship facilities and accommodation. MS Poetry has been replaced by a more luxurious Poetry II, a member of Avalon’s new fleet of “Suite Ships”:
Be sure to check out our "Things to watch for" page too!