Danube River Cruise

A Danube River Cruise – now we’re talking. These cruises, even short ones, such as the one along the Wachau Valley, are a major tourist and visitor attraction, on this, one of Europe’s and certainly Austria’s major waterways – the Danube River, or simply, “The Danube”. As a waterway, the Danube River has been a major artery of commerce for much of Europe since early times.

Prinz Eugen riverboat on the Danube on the way to Durnstein, Austria

Riverboat on the Danube approaching Durnstein

Today, with the aid of a canal system in Germany, Danube River Cruises can take you to the North, all the way to Amsterdam or South, all the way to the Black Sea. In between you’ll travel historic lands, discover vineyard-lined valleys and explore grand old castles and beautifully preserved medieval towns in Austria as well as other countries such as Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Romania. The Danube River, often called the Blue Danube for its sparkling color, has been the inspiration for much music and even waltzes and is definitely a source of pride for the Viennese. When you want to enjoy a different kind of Austria, book a cruise on the Danube and watch Austria go by as you relax and take in the historic sights.

A view of the Danube in the Wachau from the pilot house of Prinz Eugen Riverboatcaptain

From the Riverboat Captain’s Viewpoint

The Danube Rive Cruise, actually a trip, along the Wachau, although short, is very special. Along the way you’ll see ruins of old fortifications, monasteries (Abbeys), terraced vineyards and the much photographed village of Durnstein, with its Blue towered church, which can be seen in the distance in the upper photo. What can make this short trip really special, is getting on a riverboat, like Prinz Eugen, that lets you off at Durnstein and then picks you up on its return trip, allowing you a couple of hours of exploring this medieval village with its narrow cobble stone streets and quaint little shops. When tired of walking and looking, sit at a local establishment have a glass of wine or a delicious ice cream cone.

A great day trip, may be a River Cruise from Vienna to Budapest and back. For more on Hungary and Budapest, go to Austria and Hungary. To the North, the Danube connects through a major canal to the historic Rhine River in Germany and a cruise can take you all the way up to Amsterdam in Holland. On extended Danube River Cruises you can stop at various destinations, enjoy the local sights and fare and then get back on the boat for the evening.

The Danube is such a integral part of Vienna and one of the must explore Things to do in Vienna. I’m ready for a Danube River Cruise, are you?


The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary

Would you believe that the Sound of Music 50th Anniversary is around the corner?

A great excuse to Austria. Check out some of the places to visit and tour to your right.

The Sound of Music musical written by Rogers and Hammerstein, has been responsible for introducing many tourists and travelers to Salzburg and Austria.

You can hear the Sound of Music near Ehrwald

The Fields and Hills are Alive With the Sound of Music

Although the spectacular scenery was and still is captivating, the story line was based on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp, was purely Hollywood. Nonetheless, the scenery and setting is all there in the Salzburg area. The original Sound of Music can be traced back to 1956 to a little known German-Austrian production Die Trapp Familie, which was followed by a sequel in 1958.  In 1965, Hollywood released it as a musical, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, and it was immediately embraced by its viewers as being representative of Austria. Well, let the truth be known, to this day The Sound of Music is still “that musical that tourists like” to Austrians.

Courtyard of the Hellbrunn Palace just south of Salzburg

Hellbrunn Palace & Gardens

Today, there’s quite a tourist industry that has sprung up in Salzburg around The Sound of Music (that musical), catering to visitors from around the world who want to reconnect with the scenery and especially the music. Take a tour of the nearby Hellbrunn Palace, visit the gardens and the Gazebo, where “going from 16 to 17 was sung, and re-live some of the Sound of Music Scenes. When in the gardens do look for the peacocks, who seem to make themselves to be the guardians of the grounds. In 2015 the release of the Sound of Music turns 50 and what a great time explore the sites that so vividly bring Austria to our minds.  If you’re in Austria or even in Europe take advantage of some of the great tour packages being offered by our tour Viator tour partner. Check this one out - Sound of Music tour. Also you may want to use Salzburg as a base to explore the surrounding area, find more insights at Things Do In Salzburg. We’d love to hear about your experiences in the Salzburg area relating to the Sound of Music. BTW, the movie will celebrate its 50 anniversary in 2015. 

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