Monday 10 April 2017
After our British Airways flight from Heathrow to Zurich, we
were met at the airport and driven to Lucerne where we were to
stay for two nights.
We stayed at the Lucerne Raddison
- where, after unpacking, it was out to see the sights
of the city and take in an evening meal beside the lake.......
Tuesday 11 April 2017
We went on an organised early morning walking tour of the city
with our Viking Tours guide - see the market and visit the old
Later we were 'let loose' - so Kay and I visited the famous
'Dying Lion' and then discovered the 'Boubaki Panorama' - before
boarding the 'Saphire' for a cruise around the lake.
Back at the hotel, we were intrigued by the sight of a steam
boat on the back of a low loader in the shipyard opposite the
hotel - so we marched down and asked the lorry drivers about it.
They spoke perfect English (naturally!) - and told us that they
were leaving - under police escort - at 10pm to take the
1909-vintage 'Rudolf' to Austria.
After a stroll into town and an evening meal by the riverside,
we walked back to the hotel to watch the Rudolf leave for its
long and tortuous journey to Austria.
Wednesday 12 April 2017
We were not due to depart to Basel to board our cruise ship
until late afternoon - so we booked to go on a tour up mount
After an early morning stroll to a park near the hotel, we
boarded a coach and were taken to the funicular railway at
Stanserhorn - which took us up to the cablecar station for the
fascinating ride up to the top of the mountain.
The weather was kind - and we had some stunning views from the
top. We even braved the trek from the cablecar terminus up to
Returning from the trip to Stanserhorn, we boarded our coach for
the trip to Basel - where we boarded the Viking Idi and settled
in for our departure down the Rhine.
13 April 2017
Our first real day of cruising - the Viking Idi arrived at
Breisach in the early morning - and at 08:30 am we boarded our
coaches for the 'Black Forest Tour'.
Arriving at our destination - a local workshop - where we were
invited to watch demonstrations of glass blowing, cuckoo-clock
and cake making - and, of course to purchase some of the
products on sale.
On the way back, our guide was telling us the legend of a stag -
which I managed to snap through the windows of the moving coach
- before arriving back at the ship for lunch.
The afternoon was free, so we toured the castle and streets of
Breisach and relaxed before returning to the ship prior to
Early morning saw us arriving at Kehl (Germany) / Strasbourg
(France) - where we had a city tour booked.
Back on board, Kay was surprised at dinner by the arrival of the
waiters - who sang Happy Birthday and presented her with a cake
to mark the occasion.
15 April 2017
An early morning departure by coach to Heidelberg - where we
visited the old castle and spent the remainder of the day
photographing (me) or shopping (Kay) around the old town.
Back on board for lunch the Viking Idi set sail for Rudesheim.
The evening meal was a special one prepared by Chef Dimitar.
The Idi cast off from Rudesheim for a daytime journey through
the scenic 'Middle Rhine' with its profusion of castles perched
high on either bank.
Although the weather was cold and overcast, I managed to
photograph most of what we passed - before arriving in Koblenz,
where we docked at 1pm.
No time to take stock, we were on a coach by 1:30pm for a visit
to the old castle of Marksburg.
Returning to Koblenz for a free afternoon, we decided to take
the cablecar up to the fortress on the opposite bank. The kind
lady in the pay booth told us to wait for cablecar number 17 -
as it had a glass bottom - so we did.
Back down to earth, we wandered around the 'German Corner',
before boarding the ship for the evening meal - which was themed
as 'A taste of Europe'.
Having cast off from Koblenz in the early hours, the Viking Idi
arrived at Cologne at 9:00am - ready for our city walking tour
at 9:15am - where we visited the famous Cologne Cathedral.
After the organised city tour, we left our guide and wandered
around the city on our own - before returning to the ship for a
cultural evening of classical music on piano and violin.
We departed Cologne at 11pm.
morning of our cruise was spent
attending a 'Disembarkation Briefing' -
after which it was up on deck to
photograph the passing Dutch scenery.
We arrived at Kinderdijk at 4:00pm for
our planned shore excursion to see the
The weather was interesting - with
massive storm clouds and rain showers on
the horizon. We got caught in a huge
downpour of stinging sleet - which made
a lot of our group head back to the
Those of us who braved the elements (I
got soaked) were rewarded by a visit to
a small windmill museum and some
stunning views of the windmills agains
the stormy backdrop.
19 April 2017
Departure day - bags packed and accounts settled, we
were bussed to
flight back to
This was a
were made very
welcome by all
the ships crew
and we had a
Ken Duffey -