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Danube River cruise review

If a Danube River cruise is on your Bucket List, then you’ll love this review of the Amadeus ship and its 8-day itinerary…

Phillip Cassrels is the Business Development Manager at Francis Travel Marketing, and if you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll know they sent me to Europe to cruise from Istanbul to Nice. (You can see my quick video highlights of that cruise here >>>)

But Phillip had just hopped off the Luftner ship, Amadeus Diamond after cruising from Nuremberg to Budapest, so I picked his brains about what the cruise was like.

Budapest parliament buildings at dusk
The beautiful Budapest parliament buildings at dusk

The mighty Danube is 2860 km long and winds through 10 countries. On this eight-day cruise it stopped at Kelheim, Regensberg, Passau, Linz, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava and finished in Budapest.

Here are some of Phillip’s highlights on the Danube

The Amadeus Diamond gliding through Paris

Kelheim: Our tour to the Weltenberg Abbey was a great way to start the cruise. From the picturesque inlet we took a short walk to the square for a refreshingly amusing presentation in the magnificent Abbey. The interior is stunning – and the sampling of local beer and snacks afterward was excellent!

Regensburg: This is one of Germany’s oldest towns founded by the Romans in 179 AD. We walked through the lovely old city around the medieval city centre.

Passau: St Stephen’s Cathedral boasts the second largest organ in the world with 17,774 pipes and 233 registers. But instead we did the full day tour to Salzburg – the birthplace of Mozart. It is a long day but well worth while to see the incredible architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, Renaissance to baroque. It also included a delightful lunch in an old Monastery.

If you spend the day in Passau you can wander the old town and look for some lovely traditional restaurants to try the local Passau cuisine.

Passau on the river
The cute town of Passau

Melk: We pottered off on our own today, but the city is best known for the Benedictine monastery Melk Abbey – and I was told and the wine tasting was excellent!

Vienna: A beautiful big city with magnificent architecture and an excellent tram network for getting around. We did the night tour which ended in a local restaurant/bar being entertained by a couple of locals playing Heurigen music. As we over nighted in Vienna we took the city tour the next day featuring beautiful old buildings including the stunning Opera house.

Vienna museum
Explore Vienna

Bratislava: is in southwest Slovakia and spans both sides of the Danube. Again we enjoyed walking around this city at our own pace, visiting the Main Square, Bratislava Castle and the Imperial Palace.

Budapest: This city is split into two parts by the river, Buda and Pest. We did an excellent morning tour including Hero’s Square and up to Castle Hill, then walked for the rest of the day. It’s easy walking with some great old buildings, castles and churches. The night trip on the boat was fantastic, as all the beautiful architecture, statues and bridges of the city are lit up.

Highlights onboard the Amadeus ship:

The Amadeus Diamond is a state-of-the-art river boat. Each cabin has doors onto little French balconies so you can see the countryside going past. With only 62 cabins and 12 suites, all with generous sized bathrooms, this is a slow-paced and intimate affair on the river.

There is only 40 crew, so it doesn’t take long to get know everyone and the staff show on the last night is great fun. We also enjoyed the themed Bavarian and Hungarian nights.

Amadeus Diamond cruising along the Danube
Amadeus Diamond cruising along the Danube

Facilities onboard include the Panorama lounge/bar, library, hairdresser and gift shop. There is also a walking track, a small pool and a covered area with the Lido bar on the sun deck. But as the temps were only around 18 degrees we didn’t spend a great deal of time up there, although it was a great spot to take photos passing through the locks.

The food was a very good standard, the service excellent and the staff were delightful.

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!