This blog was written by Nicola Michael, one of our cruise consultants at our parent company, WEXAS, when she travelled at the end of last year.
Well... First day to join the Amawaterways river cruise ship and the fog in London kept us in London for a little longer than we hoped. However, once on our way, the wind helped push us there and we arrived earlier than expected. On arrival into Munich our guide and driver was there to greet us and directed us to our (have to say) luxury coach.
The journey from Munich to Passau is 2 hours but as you travel on the famous or infamous Autobahn, you can travel at whatever speed you like - Yes, there is no speed limit on this motorway, and the driver managed to get us to Passau in 1.5hrs with traffic! Unfortunately we arrived at around 7pm German time, so it was already dark and it seemed the fog had followed us from London, stopping us from seeing the picturesque old town in all its glory! However the coach driver did do a loop around the river for us, so we could see a snap shot of the magnificent St Stevens Cathedral lit up at night and the old fortress at the top of the hill looking out over the town and river. I have to say from what I saw it's a very charming little town - Also known as the gateway to the black sea. They call it the city on three rivers as the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers meet here. On a good day, you can also see the different colours of the rivers as they split. The Danube - Grey, Inn - Black and the Ilz green.
The Amalegro docking position is in the beautiful old town... So it wasn't long before we glimpsed our lovely vessel and home for 3 nights! First impression for a virgin river cruiser - Very nice, and surprisingly spacious once onboard. She is one of the older ships but by no way tired! We were greeted at the dock by the bell boys who quickly got our cases off the coach and onto the ship leaving us free to board and be greeted by the Cruise Manager and his staff, who were all very welcoming. Check-in was quick and efficient and we were whisked off to our cabins in no time. The cabins are more spacious than I thought 170sqm (new ships up to 215sqm) with twin or double bed, small but adequate bathroom with large shower (spa shower as well!) a small chair in the corner, little desk in the opposite corner with wall mounted TV with a good entertainment system. This gave you a small choice of movies - new releases as well! TV, several music options to suit all tastes and remarkably, FREE Internet connection with keyboard, or Wifi from your laptop or phone! Having cruised a few times now, free Internet is not something you'd normally get and it was a welcome bonus as it meant I could call home without the huge phone bill! There's complimentary water in the room (replenished daily) but no minibar. My lovely stewardess Aneta quickly showed me around the cabin and explained how everything worked and asked if there was anything she could do to make my stay more comfortable.
First impressions, impeccable service and a great welcome. As we arrived late we had 30mins for a quick shower & change before going down to dinner. There is only one restaurant onboard but it has a great menu. Every night is different and reflects the local cuisine of the region you are in. I had my first sample of German Beer & Cheese soup with pretzel croutons -Amazing! And the local speciality of dumplings - Even better! All washed down with free flowing wines (again from the region), or beers and soft drinks for those who don't like wine.
After a few more drinks with the group in the lounge, I retired to bed. On arrival back at the cabin I was greeted by a double bed (originally made up as a twin). Aneta knew I wasn't sharing so she thought it would be nice to have a nice big bed to myself -It's all about the little touches! And she also left me a few chocs - lovely! First day over - On to the medieval town of Regensburg tomorrow!