I have recently returned from a fantastic 3-night stay on the River Danube, onboard the beautiful Emerald Sun, which visited Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna.
Our flight departed from Birmingham via Munich to Budapest. The flights were on time and the journey was hassle free, however if possible, I would advise taking a direct flight from London. Munich airport is big and not easy to navigate, plus if you have any walking difficulties, there are long distances between the terminals.
We arrived at the ship where the check in process was very efficient and therefore took very little time, the ship was very light and airy with lots of windows and a modern décor. We were swiftly shown to our cabins which were also light and modern with lovely large windows which opened halfway.
It was soon time for dinner, and we were welcomed and guided to our tables. The dress code for dinner is smart casual and the menu is a la carte and had something for every taste. There were always local options on the menu and the chef frequently had his personal recommendations too! The restaurant also catered for all dietary needs.
After dinner we relaxed in the horizon lounge where there was always tea and coffee being served. For those who want to get involved there was low key entertainment with a local act or a quiz in one area, alternatively you could enjoy the quieter lounge if you preferred to chat or read. The friendly staff were also always on hand with anything you may need.
Our first full day started with a tour around the beautiful Budapest, taking in the sights including Buda Castle, the parliament building thermal baths and St Matthias church. Our guide was very knowledgeable and told us lots of historical stories about the country’s turbulent past. After some free time to explore we were taken back to the ship for lunch. We then set sail and sat in the lounge for a relaxing afternoon watching the beautiful scenery passing by.
On our second morning we docked early in the small city of Bratislava and here we enjoyed a walking tour of the city. The ship docked close enough to enable us to walk to the city centre within 10 minutes. There are many lovely buildings including Bratislava castle, the old town hall, and Michael’s gate which is the only remaining part of the old city walls. There is also an interesting restaurant on the top of one of the bridges called the UFO (if you look at the photo you will see why!), during the afternoon we enjoyed one of the Emerald tours to a local residents house to see how they live which was a great experience and something very different. We had tea and homemade cake, wine and plum port which was very strong. After dinner a local band and team of dancers joined the ship to provide us with an excellent entertainment – they were so good.
Our last day was in the stunning city of Vienna, the buildings are just beautiful and so many different types of architecture. The tour today was a combination of coach and walking to ensure we got the most out of the time we spent there. We passed the Spanish riding school, but the horses were not there which gives me a good reason to return! We were also given some free time to enjoy some coffee and cake in the main square watching the world go by. We returned to the ship for our last lunch and to pack our bags in readiness to return home.
This trip far exceeded my expectations and is one that I would highly recommend.
Get in touch
Please come and talk to me about my recent trip onboard the Emerald Sun, sailing up the beautiful river Danube taking in the fantastic cities of Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. Beautiful scenery, historic cities and sailing on a ship with modern décor, wonderful staff and simply divine cuisine. - 01453 806 186