Day 1 - Sunday 22 May
After our 6:25am easyJet flight from Gatwick to Munich, we were
met at the airport and boarded our coach for the 2-hour drive to
the riverside at Passau to board our cruise ship - the MS
Finally settling in to our cabin, we unpacked and watched as we
set sail at 6pm down river and enjoyed our first meal aboard - a
Welcome Gala Dinner - where we met our table companions.
Day 2 - Monday 23 May
The first real days cruising. Great weather for our slow meander
down the Danube - passing the Benedictine Abbey at Melk, where
other cruise ships were docked for shore excusions, but not for
Onward past some very picturesque scenery, arriving at out first
port of call, the famous town of Dürnstein - where King Richard
the Lionheart was imprisoned and ransomed on his way back from
the Crusades. We arrived just after 10am - and went ashore
for our 2-hour walking tour around the very photogenic
Back on board for lunch, we set off again for our next
destination - Vienna.
Docking at 5:30pm, we had our dinner and before setting off by
coach for a fabulous evening concert of Mozart and Strauss music
at the Kursalon Wien.
Day 3 - Tuesday 24 May 2016
After breakfast it was on to our
coach for an early morning trip around Vienna -
for which the weather had turned ugly with low
cloud and drizzle. In the city centre we
decanted from the coach and proceeded on foot.
Back on board for lunch - followed by a second
excursion, this time in bright sunshine to the
old royal palace at Schönbrunn. We could take
photographs of the exterior, but not inside.
A quick iced coffee and a beer was had before
re-boarding the coach at 5pm to return to our
After dinner, the MS Belvedere set sail at 7pm - Oh! Vienna.
Day 4 -
Wednesday 25 May 2016
Opening the curtains at 7:30am saw us passing Estzergom
Monastery - followed by breakfast and a lazy morning sunbathing
as we meandered down the mighty Danube.
We now had Hungary on both banks - and we caught sight of
Budapest ahead at about 11am - so lots of photos of both sides
of the city - Buda and Pest - before docking at 11:30.
Having signed up for the city tour, it was on to our coach after
lunch at 2:30am to visit Heroes Square, followed by the
Fisherman's Bastion and, in the rush-hour traffic, the Citadel.
Back on board for dinner, followed by an evening river cruise to
see the city lit up at night.
Day 5 -
Thursday 26 May 2016
Kay wanted to visit the famous market - so we were knocking on
the door before they opened at 6am!
Back to the ship for breakfast and onto our coach for an 8:30am
departure for the 1.5 hour trip to the horse farm at Puszta -
where we entertained with a cart ride and a display of
Back on board for lunch, the MS Belvedere set sail back up the
Danube - and in the afternoon we took the oportuniy to visit the
hi-tech wheelhouse and the immaculate stainless-steel kitchens -
where we all marvelled at how they could produce such fabulous
cuisine in such tiny surroundings.
The evening meal was a 'themed' event - Pirates Evening - where
all the crew dressed up in pirate gear. Kay and I joined in by
dressing up as best we could - but we were the only passengers
to make the effort.
The crew also put on a 'cabaret' in the bar lounge that evening
- with sketches and music - much to the amusement of those who
Day 6 -
Friday 27 May 2016
The early morning saw us berthed at Bratislava - so after
breakfast, it was aboard our 'Choo Choo' with our
English-speaking guide for the city tour - up to Bratislava
Castle and back down into town where we decanted for a guided
Free to make our own way back to the Belvedere, Kay and I had a
massive ice cream each - before a slow stroll took us back to
our ships moorings for midday.
After lunch, the MS Belvedere cast off and set sail upsteam for
a lazy afternoon sightseeing and sunbathing.
Day 7 -
Saturday 28 May 2016
Opening the curtains early on Saturday morning revealed the
mist-shrouded locks at Melk - although by the time we had
consumed breakfast, it was burning off to reveal a bright sunlit
Another day of taking in the passing scenery and sunbathing, we
arrived at our destination of Linz, where we docked at 3pm.
Our city excursion was by another 'Choo Choo' - although this
one wasn't so comfortable - so after the visiting the regular
tourist sights, we got off to have a restful beer and do our own
thing walking around the beautiful city of Linz.
By the time we got back on board for dinner, the weather had
turned decidedly nasty - with thick black clouds and a huge
Still, it made for a dramatic backdrop to the changing colours
of the Electronica Centre on the opposite bank.
Day 8 -
Sunday 29 May 2016
All the other passengers had early-morning departures, but we
had to wait until 1pm for our transport to Munich - so we had a
free morning to ourselves.
e found a taxi on the dockside, so Kay and I took it
to go into Passau - where we arrived to find the streets
deserted - well it was only 7:40am!
An interesting few hours was spent wandering around the very
photogenic city - finished off with a beer and coke - before
hailing another taxy to take us back to the Belvedere in plenty
of time to board our coach to take us to Munch airport.
The two-hour journey was uneventful - but our flight departure
was delayed by 20minutes due to the non-arrival of our plane -
and once we had boarded and settled down, the captain announced
a further 1hour delay imposed by Air Traffic Control due to the
many thunderstorms in the area.
We finally took off an arrived at Gatwick at 7:30pm local time.
This was a thoroughly enoyable cruise with
some amenable fellow travellers, we were made very welcome by
all the ships crew and we had a great time.
Ken Duffey - June 2016