Danube 2012 Danube Danube Danube River Danube Cruise Danube

July 2011:  We received a Manitoba CAA brochure about a President's Danube River Cruise in late 2012, more than a year in the future. We conferred with our long time travel friends and they too were interested. We all planned our last trip together to Italy and Spain in 2009 but this time we could just relax, someone else would be doing the planning! We would be 4 retired, Canadian Seniors, Phil & Heather from Winnipeg and Denis & Hilda from Calgary plus a boatload of about 150 other CAA members, mostly from Brandon and Winnipeg.

November 2012:  We are back home in Canada now and the trip is already a memory, but what a memory. Other than the long traveling days to get there, cold weather, snow and rain, getting colds, everything else exceeded our expectations. Interestingly, although the voyage is billed as a Danube River cruise, the "river" is a canal from Kelheim to Nuremburg as the Danube curves away, West and South. We crossed the Continental Divide so technically the "river" would reverse its flow. However there is really no current in the canal but there are impressively deep locks!

  This photo-journal website generally follows the both the dateline and geography of our rivercruise. There won't be too many pictures of churches - we're still churched out from our trip to Italy in 2009! However, the excellent Preisman's website features a great many church pictures. They did the same Danube tour in 2009 and they visited all the churches they could - a daunting task indeed.

  As this webpage contains many pictures it was slow to load so a change was implemented.  
  As of December 5/2012 each country has its own webpage which means faster page loading.  

Direct-on-page links:   CAA information(Nov29),    AMA   Waterways information(Nov29),    general image & website information

Getting There: Danube Winnipeg Danube Toronto Danube Montreal


     Presumably because there were so many people from one area trying to get from Winnipeg to Budapest, we could not all get on the same flights. In fact there were two 'groups'; we left Winnipeg at 6:40am Monday while group 2 left Winnipeg at 10:00am. Our group had an extra connection (Toronto-Montreal) and we finally arrived in Budapest 10:00am Tuesday morning. Group 2 arrived later in the afternoon.

    Here we are waiting at Trudeau International and here comes our 'big bird'. During our 3hr wait for our next flight we went to Casey's for a bite to eat. 2 sandwiches w/fries and 2 beers came to $57. Don't recall the last time I paid $11 for a Rickarts Red...

    The AirCanada Boeing 777 was fast and comfortable and we were fortunate as both couples were separated by an empty seat for the long flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Dinner later that evening was chicken (quite acceptable!) and a pleasant Merlot.

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Danube            Hungary        Currency is the Florint Danube

     DanubeHungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine, and Romania to the east, Serbia, and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country's capital, and largest city, is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrad Group, and is a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian, also known as Magyar, which is part of the Finno-Ugric group and is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in the European Union." (Wikipedia).  Hungary was under Communist dictatorship from 1947 to 1989.

Press HERE to open a new tab and browse the Hungary webpage and visit Budapest.   Last updated January 11, 2013

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Danube            Slovakia         Currency is the €uro Danube

     DanubeSlovakia is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, NATO, United Nations, OECD and WTO among others. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family. (Wikipedia). Slovakia was under Communist dictatorship from 1947 to 1989.  Present-day Slovakia became an independent state in1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Press HERE to open a new tab and browse the Slovakia webpage and visit Bratislava.   Last updated January 11, 2013

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Danube            Austria         Currency is the €uro Danube

     DanubeAustria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country of roughly 8.47 million people. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,855 sq.km and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres, and its highest point is 3,798 metres. The majority of the population speak local Austro-Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. (Wikipedia). I would think that tourism is an important industry so most of the people we encountered, at least those in service industries, spoke quite good to excellent English.

Press HERE to open a new tab and browse the Austria webpage and visit Vienna, Durnstein, the Wachau Valley, and Salzburg.   Last updated January 11, 2013

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Danube            Germany         Currency is the €uro Danube

     DanubeGermany, (Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. Germany is in Western and Central Europe, with Denmark bordering to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France and Luxembourg to the southwest, and Belgium and the Netherlands to the northwest. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. Germany is one of the major political and economic powers of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields. (Wikipedia).

Press HERE to open a new tab and browse the Germany webpage and visit Regansburg and Nuremburg.  Last updated January 11, 2013

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Danube       Czech Republic      Currency is the Koruna Danube

     DanubeCzech Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. Prague is its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia and a small part of Silesia. (Wikipedia). The Czech Republic was under Communist dictatorship from 1948 to 1989.

Press HERE to open a new tab and browse the Czech Republic webpage and visit Karlovy Vary and Prague.  Last updated January 12, 2013

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Danube            CAA President's Cruise

     Danube When we attended the first (in Winnipeg) river cruise information night we had a good feeling and signed up that evening, even though the cruise would not be for another 14 months. Later in 2012 we were invited to river cruise orientation night and that was well done. It included speeches by cruise specialists and we were entertained with wine and cheese and excellent Hungarian dancers. Now we knew our original good feeling was right on.

Danube     Our tour was accompanied by (Manitoba CAA president) Mike and his wife Gail, and 5 other CAA tour representatives. To a person they all presented excellent service. Hotel accommodations in both Budapest and Prague were first class. Dinners at Budapest and Prague and the unexpected lunch at Karlovy Vary, were excellent. Bus transportation was always timely and the tours were quite good. Our group was fortunate to have an excellent guide, Irme(??) in Salzburg while I am given to understand the other Salzburg group was not so fortunate. The castle tour of Prague was not great either but in both cases, this is not the fault of CAA or AMA, rather the tour providers themselves. Sometimes it is the luck of the draw...

    Would we do this again? Unreservedly- yes but with one caveat. Next time we would/will arrange our own transportation from Canada to start destination and perhaps return as well. As seniors we found the initial long day of several connections to be very tiring and it took several days to get recover. We spoke with a couple from Calgary who had made their own air travel arrangements. Calgary offers direct flights to London so they did that and stayed in London for 2 days and then flew to Budapest. They planned a similar time for the return. Prague to London, a couple of days there, then return London to Calgary. A much more relaxing way to travel.

  AMA Waterways / CAA President's Cruise, move your mouse across the smaller images, F11 = full screen mode on/off   (gallery thumbnail hover info)  

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     Danube As it turns out, our Danube Rivercruise would be on the AMA Amacerto, a new ship launched earlier this year. It was, in a word, fantastic. Its vital statistics are: 135m long, 13.4m wide and carries 160 passengers and 49 crew. Sharp eyes will pick out the CAA flag flying on the bow (Austria, CAA, AMAwaterways

    To put that in context, the Amacerto is 100 feet longer than a CFL football field!

Danube     Our stateroom was 228 (starboard side) located on the Cello deck (or waterline deck) and was near the stern so we had a long walk. Good way to work off the calories. Denis and Hilda were across the hall (port side). BTW I did take the elevator once just to say I had tried it. Given the cold weather we did not use all of the on-board facilities such as the pool and hot tub although some of the hardier passengers did.

    Everything on the Amacerto was first class. Every evening an information sheet was placed on the bed for the next days itinerary, from where we were, tours, special events. Not only were the wines at dinner from the region we were cruising but we also received daily recipe cards featuring dishes from the area.
    Really, it's hard to imagine that any other tour company could be any better. Click to view the Blue Danube Discovery (Budapest to Nuremburg) cruise itinerary.pdfDanube

    Best of all were the staff - every single one we met were friendly and they always smiled. They made the trip very enjoyable in spite of the unseasonably cold and wet weather. Because the ship carries a maximum of 160 passengers the staff get to know you as opposed to an ocean cruise where you do not necessarily see the same crew members at every meal. And what a mixture of nationalities in the crew, they were from; Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Netherlands, and Indonesia to name a few countries.

    Our Tour Director was Maddy from Romania. She was superb; knowledgeable, friendly, well spoken, great sense of humour, and always available. Maidye; always present, always polite. Lazlo; seemed stern but that just hid his fun personality. Chris; always happy and smiling, soon to be married. And Bo, Mr. Personality, just an excellent server. AMA hires well.
Maddy (on the right...)      Maidye, Lazlo, Chris      Bo & Heather & ??      our captain, Jan

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« This 2009 photo was taken by Mike Preisman (website link at beginning of this page). Jan was then captain on the Amalyra so he has been promoted to AMA's newest flagship, the Amacerto.

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✧  General Website and Image Information  ✧

    ✧ This website features pictures of the sights, lodgings and restaurants we visited. Small pictures are thumbnails of larger pictures. For the most part the pictures are 1600x900. Many browsers will limit this image size to what can be viewed and then display a small + or - sign to indicate further image action, ie enlarge and then shrink. Although the website/page code is developed on a 1600x900 display, it is verified on a 1366x766 display.

    ✧ As you move your mouse over most images, a little hand will appear indicating that a left mouse click will load a large (in some cases a much larger) image.
        If you are moving your mouse across a picture gallery, see H O V E R info below.

Danube     ✧ Some thumbnail photos will feature a
red lower right corner. This indicates that clicking the thumbnail will load a LARGE (not 56k friendly) photo. If you click on one of these photos make sure you press F11 to view the full size image.

    ✧ Some thumbnail photos will feature a red
G in lower right corner. This indicates that the full size image has embedded Lat/Long information so with the appropriate program you can locate the exact location using GoogleEarth.

    ✧ Press the F11 key for full page viewing, then press F11 again to restore the normal window view.

    ✧ Press the F5 key for page refresh otherwise your browser may retain and display only previous data.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
✧ M O U S E     H O V E R     F E A T U R E ✧
    When viewing the "picture galleries", if you hover your mouse over thumbnails with a yellow triangle in the bottom left corner, the message "enlarge" will appear and if you click on this thumbnail the original much bigger image will appear.

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✧  Photos contributed by Denis, Bob, Heather and Phil  ✧

Please forward corrections or additions, and website comments, suggestions or photos to phlatlander

✧  This site was last updated: March 14, 2013  ✧