MS Amalyra river cruise blog day 4
After another very comfortable night we arrived into Vienna at 08.15, having passed through the Slovakian capital, Bratislava during the night.
Breakfast for me was a light affair this morning but the options were excellent.
Our cruise manager, Maddie had arranged many excursions for today so we were split into small groups in order to get a taste of what was available. In our case, the ’taste’ was literal as we were going to be taking part in the ’Culinary Delight’ tour. This meant taking a guided coach tour of Vienna following which we went to the Hofburg Palace Cafe to experience that famous Viennese pastime of drinking coffee and eating ’Sachertorte’. (Unfortunately, the torte in question was very disappointing and either not very fresh or not the genuine article!) Since the cake was very stodgy we left the Hofburg cafe in need of some liquid, so where better than the home of Vienna’s most famous sparkling wine, the Schlumberger distillery, where we learnt all about its production and were taken on a tour of the winery, following which we all tasted - and ultimately bought samples for home. Certainly a very pleasant experience.
Our coach then took us back to the ship where lunch awaited those who were still hungry. In the afternoon, more optional excursions were available including one to the see the stunning Schonbrunn lace. For those who preferred to explore on their own, regular coach shuttles were provided to and from the city centre (approx 20 mins drive). Alternatively, this was a good opportunity to catch up on some rest or just experience the relaxing environment of one of the lounges aboard Amalyra. For me, it was a chance to meet up with my brother and his family who live about an hour outside Vienna. We spent the afternoon in a lovely local tavern in the charming district of Nussdorf, which is where the ship actually docks. (it cannot dock right in the centre of Vienna as the Danube does not flow through the city centre)
Another excellent dinner preceded our evening sightseeing options. Most people chose to go back into Vienna and see the stunning lightshow in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall) that is the Vienna Christmas market. This market was recently voted one of the Top Ten by tripadvisor and it is easy to see why. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes to be found at this - and indeed most - Christmas markets are very special and once experienced, will stay in your memory for a very long time!
Other guests chose to take in a classical concert performance - another must do on any Vienna itinerary - at the Palais Ausberg. After getting back to the ship, we immediately set sail for our next stop, the much smaller town of Melk.
’Wien’, as it is known in German, is a truly elegant and grand city with so much to see and do. There really is no end to the delights of this imperial city.
Read Day 3 here - MS Amalyra river cruise blog
Read Day 5 here - MS Amalyra river cruise blog