Amsterdam to Budapest – Magnificent Europe:
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 in 2005.
On this cruise you get to sail through five countries and experience three magnificent European rivers. 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 few 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 staggeringly 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.
There were a few little negatives, like the rumbling of the engines, excruciatingly slow internet connection and having to buy your own drinks at dinner, but things have changed a lot since we did this cruise.
Certainly one of the main problems was 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.