Danube Cruise 2015

Kay and Ken's cruise down the Danube.

Link to a Ships Portrait of the MS Belvedere

Sunday 24 May 2015

After our Norwegian Airlines flight from Gatwick to Budapest, we were met at the airport and driven to the riverside to board our cruise ship - the MS Belvedere.
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


Monday 25 May 2015

Our first real day cruising - we were awakened at 6am and had to visit reception to have a 'Face Check' - matching the passengers to their passports by the Croatian authorities at the border at Mohacs.
At 1pm we arrived at Osijek in Croatia for our first excursion ashore for a City Tour.
Casting off at 6pm we continued on our way down the Danube before taking the evening meal in the restaurant at 7pm.


Tuesday 26 May 2015

We arrived at Belgrade at 9am and took the organised City Tour.
After dinner at 7pm we enjoyed some time in the lounge with onboard musician Marek - before retiring and setting our clocks and watches forward by 1 hour.


Wednesday 27 May 2015

I woke up early - just in time to photograph Golubac Castle as we sailed past in the early morning mist and rain.
All day was spent sailing down the Danube - through the beautiful scenery of the Djerdap national park and the Iron Gates Gorge.
We also went through the Iron Gates I and II locks - dropping some 27 metres in height as we did so. 


Thursday 28 May 2015

Arriving at Giurgiu in Romania and went ashore for our coach journey and City Tour of Bucharest.
The Belvedere meanwhile sailed on to Oltenia - where we re-joined after a hectic drive from Bucharest during which our coach driver was stopped and fined for speeding!!
We set sail at 5pm.


Friday 29 May 2015

Ukrainian bartender Maxim gave a cocktail demonstration at 11am in the lounge - which some attended.
We arrived at the mouth of the Danube - on the Black Sea at 'Kilometer zero' - during lunch and the captain took the Belvedere as far out into the sea as was safe.
Returning to the Danube we docked at Sfantu Gheorghe for our boat trip through the canals and marshes of the Danube Delta.
The evening meal consisted of a 'Pirates Dinner' - with the crew dressing up in appropriate attire.

Saturday 30 May 2015

Sailing back up the Danube we arrived at Cernovoda at 1pm - ready to board our coaches for the City Tour of Constantsa.
Arriving back on board, we set sail at 7pm.


Sunday 31 May 2015

Sunday saw us arriving at Rousse in Bulgaria at 8am - ready for another bus tour and walk.
Casting off at 1pm, there was a Towel Folding demonstration by the Housekeeping Team - for those who like such things!


Monday 1 June 2015

The whole day was spent sailing back up the Danube - relieved by an arranged visit to the galley - where we were shown around by Chef de Cuisine Krisztian and marvelled at how he and his staff managed to produce such superb meals in such a tiny kitchen.
At 10:45 we were treated to a Balkan-style 'brunch' - called Früschoppen - on the sundeck.
Bier and Würst before lunch on a hot day is an acquired taste - but very nice!
After passing back through the Iron Gates locks and Gorge, a visit to the wheelhouse had also been arranged - so we took advantage of it and fascinating it was too!


Tuesday 2 June 2015

Setting our clocks back by 1 hour, we had to go to the front desk to sign a border declaration.
We were treated to a visit to the engine room - accompanied by the captain - after which we arrived in Novi Sad
at 12:30.
Our excursion began at 2pm with a coach trip to a monastery in the hills and a visit to Sremski Karlovci, before decanting into the main square in Novi Sad for a walk - and a very welcome ice cream.
The evening saw us in the lounge for the 'Crew Show' - a set of sketches ably put on by the crew - the highlight of which was captain Vladimir's guitar solo tribute to ACDC!


Wednesday 3 June 2015

Our last day of cruising saw us arriving at Kalosca for a tour of the town, followed by a trip to a Paprika Museum - and rounded off by a visit to a Horse Farm to see a display by Hungarian - Magyar - cowboys.


Thursday 4 June 2015

We had docked in Budapest overnight and had a morning to kill before taking our leave of the Belvedere for the coach trip to Budapest airport - so Kay and I set off early to walk up to the Chain Bridge and across to Buda Castle and the Fishermans Bastion.
We spent an interesting - but tiring - morning exploring the sights before the hoardes of tourists arrived - finally making our way back to the ship at noon to say farewell.


It 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.

Heartily recommended.

Ken Duffey - June 2015