News - Newsletter – ‘Let’s Travel’
Great value for money on the Danube
Members of The Odyssey Club in Essex enjoyed an Airedale Tours cruise on the Danube last September. Chairman of the club, Norma Henty, tells us all about it.
The Danube wasn’t blue but neither were the members of The Odyssey Club when they arrived in Linz to commence their Danube Cruise. A lunch-time flight from Stansted with Ryanair arrived five minutes early and a short transfer from the airport to river meant that we arrived in glorious sunshine at about 4 pm to be greeted on the quayside by the crew of the MV Esmeralda waiting to take our luggage on board.
Our rooms were swiftly allocated and, having unpacked,we were able to enjoy a drink in the bar before dinner at 7.30
pm. After dinner, some members relaxed on deck whilst others decided to investigate the delights of Linz at night.
A comprehensive buffet breakfast gave a kick start to a lovely day cruising the Danube towards Vienna. The glorious weather complemented the beautiful scenery along the way which we admired from the sundeck. Coffee and biscuits were served on deck so as not to disturb our relaxation and lunch in the restaurant provided a welcome break. Afternoon tea was again served on deck and this was to be the pattern throughout our cruise.
When we went out on an excursion during the morning, we were greeted with iced tea upon our return to the boat. Every evening we enjoyed a four-course meal and coffee which was always preceded by a happy hour at the bar when drinks were half price. During the evening when we were entertained in the bar by a keyboard player, we were served trays of nibbles. All this, together with a hard-working, happy and friendly Dutch crew who all spoke English. What more could we ask for?
During our week on the River Danube we paid visits to three capital cities – Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava – together with the magnificent abbey at Melk and the lovely riverside town of Durnstein, set on a hillside surrounded
We had a late afternoon flight back to the UK so we were able to spend our last half-day visiting Linz. It is a lovely town but somewhat spoilt at the moment by cranes and scaffolding all over the place, probably due to its becoming European City of Culture in 2009. Once all the restoration is complete, a return visit would be well worthwhile.
There are bigger, flashier cruise ships on the Danube but I don’t think you could have got better service or better value for money than our cruise on the MV Esmeralda. With flights directly into Linz from Stansted, it meant that our
journey was pleasantly relaxed throughout.
Work at Linz has yielded some great attractions sinceThe Odyssey Club visited in the autumn. You can check out what’s on offer at this European Capital of Culture by visiting the website www.linz.at