Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Floating from Amsterdam to Budapest

On our return from our Rhine / Danube River Cruise in June, I was often asked, "What did you enjoy the most?"
My reply was always, "All of it!" That answer didn't seem to satisfy the questioners, so my answer became "the joy of being on deck at any time of day and evening."

My 'joy' came in many forms.

- I felt I could touch the river banks as we, almost silently glided by.

From the lounge.

From the deck.

From our cabin.

From the front of the boat.

- The sound of lapping water and birdsong accompanied us the length of the cruise, as we seemingly, slowly sailed the waterways.

- Balmy evenings on deck until darkness enclosed us about 10pm. As it is dark by 8pm during summer, where I live, this was magical.

- Sunsets and sunrises

 - A full moon

- Tranquill evening scenes, when photos were often taken through the window of the dining room.

It was tough having to tear myself away from the deck to dine, on these beautiful evenings, so the camera had to come too.

- Observing the beauty of the flora and fauna

- Watching the locals enjoying their summer warmth. These scenes were repeated constantly.

6pm  - a school walkathon. Wouldn't happen in Oz.

- Marvelling at the lock systems - 68 in total.

Going up!

Snug fit!

Going down.

Going up in the deepest lock, 24.7m.
Mid R - the lock door dropping slowly into place. Bottom R - We are about to exit. This is the view from the back of the boat.

Tight fit for two. 
Pic 1 - The Viking boat has just entered the lock. 
2 - Both boats are now in. 
3 - the lock is filling. 
4 - The Viking is sailing out. 
5 - Note that the wheelhouse has been lowered and all the decking and chairs laid flat to negotiate under the lock bridge structure.

- Surprise at the volume and style of river traffic.

- Reflections

- The wonderful colours of the countryside.

- Admiration for the Captain and his crew skillfully negotiating the locks and bridges.


Snug fit but the wheelhouse and deck remain intact.

The lowest, narrowest arched bridge - the deck and wheelhouse lowered fully.
Pic bottom R - the front of the boat is through but concentration required until the full length has exited the arch.

Readying for another low bridge.

Jayne taking action as we approach an extremely low bridge.

The approach, ducking, through and looking back. We were very fortunate that our Captain didn't close the whole deck.

- New friendships and a captain that went out of his way to make sure all on the boat were relaxed and enjoying themselves.

Here, he has climbed through the hatch of his wheel house to place a blue tooth speaker on top, allowing us to have a background of mood music as we sailed in the late evening. 

As we negotiated the narrowest arched bridge in the quickly fading light, his music of choice was Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries"

- Delight at the quaint villages and homes nestled on the riverbanks.

- Imposing castles, fortresses, chateaus and vineyards.

All this, along the romantic Rhine...............

along the engineering feat of the Mainz Canal ............        
[Our boat - Gate 1's ' Monarch Queen'.

and along the mighty Danube, seen here merging with the snow-fed River Inn at Passau.

- Ominous clouds to watch but thankfully only a couple of thunderstorms and a morning of showers  came our way during our 2 weeks on the rivers.
Arriving in Budapest was a tad damp. The bottom cloud formation was quite dramatic.

- Evening magic of cities.



I'm sure by now that you must  be aware as to just how much I loved being on this cruise. If there had been a prize for the passenger who spent most time on deck, I would have won hands down.

Adding to the enjoyment of our cruise was the amazing staff, food and entertainment.

The lower section is of the staff making sure Frank's celebration of another year, goes perfectly.

One final pic - the smiles say it all.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Wow---- a lot of wonderful images--- I love the church spire against the setting sun. I would love to take this trip. As always, thanks for sharing.

    1. We went with the US company 'Gate 1'. Very affordable in comparison to most companies, but we definitely didn't feel as if we were the poor cousins.

  2. What an amazing trip you had! I loved all your photos. Thanks for sharing this incredible journey.

    1. Yes, it really was. It was definitely my cup of tea.

  3. What a fantastic trip. So many delights.

  4. What a superb set of photos and commentary of how much you enjoyed the trip. So much variety of scenery and views to experience and really captured the spirit. Hoping we get some more detailed posts about the cities you visited :)

  5. Boy, it is difficult to choose favorites from this wonderful collection. But you know that I'm partial to sunrises and sunsets. However, the water reflections are close contenders. And I loved seeing the little ones waving at the boat. The food looks scrumptious, too. Thanks for sharing your journey. It's probably as close as I'm ever going to get, so I appreciate you taking me along for the cruise!

    1. It has been a joy to share and relive. There was rarely a moment when I wasn't captivated by the scenery and life on the river banks.
      Yes, I know farm life is 352 days a year but put it on your wish list.

  6. Wow!! What a feast of glorious photos. Amazing to see. Love every one of them. Thank you Helen.

  7. What a gorgeous trip! The views are truly magical.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures! xx

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