Luxury Travel Advisor Susan Reder shares her insight sailing along the legendary Danube aboard Uniworld’s distinctive S.S. Maria Theresa. This journey through Europe is the perfect alternative to your typical all-inclusive experience.
The Danube River offers a veritable showcase of the best of Central Europe. Begin in Passau, Germany and travel down this fabled river into Austria. Catch a glimpse at the country's rolling hills, castles, and vineyards, commencing in the cosmopolitan city of Vienna, continuing to Budapest and stopping in Slovakia along the way.
River cruising offers a unique opportunity for fresh takes on classic sites and an insider's peek at centuries of trade, artistic achievement, and historical events. Onboard, your experience is that of a luxury all-inclusive. Unpack once and enjoy your floating hotel as you hop from one destination to the next.
The S.S. Maria Theresa is beautiful, even “over the top” in some ways. You must take a step back and remember why the ship is decorated the way it is. You may think you’ve stepped back in time; the artwork, furniture, and detailed touches that surround you are quite amazing.
The beds are so comfortable that Susan declared she would have bought one! The bathrooms have heated towel racks and a heated floor to ensure you are cozy. The food is fantastic, with impressive wines flowing at lunch and dinner. No need to sign a check or think about much at all, aside from whether to indulge in another glass of wine!
The shore excursions are plentiful and fantastic. Uniworld even offers a “slow walkers” group for each excursion if you prefer a relaxed pace. There are a few amazing excursion options, prices are reasonable, and quality is nothing short of top notch.
The World War II tour in Nuremberg is fantastic. Visit the Palace of Justice and sit in Courtroom 600 where the Nuremberg Trials took place. Though controversial at the time, the trials set a precedent for the international community in handling future war crimes.
Susan’s husband Marty went on a BMW Factory Tour, which was the highlight of his trip! Tour the otherwise “off limits” factory floor and watch in amazement as the robots assemble these luxury vehicles. While Marty did the BMW tour, Susan went on a guided 24-mile bike ride along the scenic river with a group of approximately twenty-five riders. You can always mix and match activities to cater to everyone’s tastes.
You’ll adore the magnificent architecture, food, art, and cafés on every corner. The private Mozart and Strauss concert is excellent. If this is your first visit to Vienna, rest assured that you’ll be planning your return visit very soon! It’s difficult to see everything in a day. If Vienna speaks to your soul, consider visiting again during the holidays to see the lovely Christmas markets.