MS Mozart christening ceremony on the Danube
The ms Mozart, originally sailing under the Peter Deilmann umbrella, has recently be refitted and refurbished and is now available again to the UK market, offering Danube river cruises. The ms Mozart is the widest ship on the river Danube, and cannot cruise on any other river as she was specifically designed for this river.
The ms Mozart still retains that old world elegance that she was once so renowned for when sailing with Deilmann, and I wondered if her service and food standards would still be maintained, this was a well respected ship in the days when Peter Deilmann river cruises looked after her.
Boarding the ship in a cloudy Passau, I was glad to see that the warmth and character of this classic river boat had still been retained. The décor resembles that of a country hotel, Art Deco in nature, heralding back golden age of travel. Certainly a very different type of décor than the new Viking ship that I was on last week. This is a very wide river boat, in fact at 22 metres across, she is almost as wide as some ocean-going cruise ships. This allows her to have larger cabins and more public rooms, lending to a very spacious atmosphere.
As we made our way onto the gangway, charming room stewards assisted us with our bags, and once onboard we were escorted to our cabins. I was in 249 a French balcony cabin. For a river ship these cabins are very spacious and more like cruise ship cabins; plenty of room in the built in wardrobes and a very comfy double bed. This leads to a sitting area with sofa, flat screen TV, small table, writing desk and plenty of plug sockets too.
The room is decorated in warm yellow tones with blue carpet and the bathroom is a good size too, with a circular pod style shower with glass door - no clingy shower curtain. Good water pressure and a basket of herbal bathing products. There is a safe inside one of the wardrobes, two mirrors, mini bar set up and two bottles of water.
After unpacking I made my way back to the main lounge for a welcome aboard drink before the christening ceremony. Making my way up the stairs to the Don Giovanni Deck, I passed a beautiful sainted glass ceiling, that led onto a wide lobby area, with a rich red carpet, complimented by leather sofas and chairs. Oil paintings graced the walls and the atmosphere was like that of a gentleman’s club, a great place to sit and people watch. The evenings menu was displayed here too, however I like to be surprised at dinner time rather than taking a sneaky peek!
On this level there is a gift shop/boutique, showcasing fine jewellery, logo wear, handbags, and other souvenirs , this is the largest shop I have seen on a river boat. Next to that is the Vienna Café, where a tea and coffee station will be set up for when the UK guests arrive (us Brits do like to be able to have a nice cuppa, and are quite happy to make it ourselves!) The food here is set up buffet style and there is always fresh fruit available. Again oil paintings in the style of the old masters adorn the walls. There is a lot of rich, warm dark wood and brass onboard, adding to the Art Deco, golden-age feel and ambience.
The main lounge - the Don Giovanni Bar and Lounge - is very large compared to typical river boats, and had a spacious parquet dance floor, plenty of tables and chairs and a small raised stage too - unheard of on other river crises. We were given a chilled glass of wine and delicious canapés and mingled with the other guests, then it was outside for the christening ceremony .
Rudolf Staeuble, one of the Dertour directors, and the ships captain both made speeches, and then the godmother, Sandra Weinacht of Incantato Tours USA, gave a short speech and released the champagne that thankfully smashed first time against the hull, and the ships name was revealed from behind a tarpaulin - Dertour Mozart. The ship sounded its horns and we all cheered and clapped. Out of nowhere four opera singers started up and sang to welcome the ship to the Dertour family.
Back onboard it was time for a ships tour. As mentioned this is a wide river boat, and there is room for a library and a card room too, all on the same deck as the main lounge café and lobby.
One of the most surprising areas on board ms Mozart is the spa area, complete with a large, indoor, deep swimming pool, whirlpool and seating area. There are also saunas here and gym equipment .Next to the pool area there is the beauty salon.
The cabins onboard are very spacious, and either have a French balcony or picture window. One of the cabins has been specially designed to offer kidney dialysis, and it has two machines in place for this service in one of the lower deck cabins. Just a word on the lower deck, there is no elevator on here and some of the stairs are quite steep. This river boat also offers inside cabins, these were spacious and had a seperate seating area too. Some of the entry level cabins have sofas that are set up for sitting on during the day, and then convert into the beds at night; this is performed by your room steward whilst you are dining.
The restaurant spans the entire width of the vessel and is decorated with red carpet and dark wood chairs, with a white and yellow striped upholstery. Crisp white linens, silver chargers, Burgundy runners, and sparkling glasses and cutlery complete the sophisticated look. There is a buffet set up to the rear of the room for breakfasts, however during dinners this area is out of the way and not intrusive into the main room. Lots of tables by the windows and a number of tables for two as well.
What is unusual about ms Mozart is the ship has a wrap around promenade, meaning you can walk around the outside of the ship, perfect for those that want to keep a bit fit on board, or to burn off those extra calories from all the good food that is available. On the promenade there are chairs placed around, so a good place to sit and watch the scenery go by when the ship is cruising down the river.
Back up on the top deck were were all given postcards to fill out, which we attached to helium balloons and released into the grey German skies! Whoever finds a postcard can fill it in and send it back for a prize!
Dinner was a set menu, with a choice of main course - we had:-
- Amuse bouche
- Tartar from Alpine Salmon on small potato pancake, honey mustard sauce on salad
- Cream of Turnip soup with prawn skewer
- Marinated chilli-honey-duck breast on sautéed spinach served with linzer blue potatoes chips
A choice of main course:-
- Pink roasted Tenderloin of beef on red wine gravy, served with wrapped beans
- Fried fillet of Arctic char with saffron foam on zucchini and tomatoes with dill potatoes
- Penne with creamy sauce, vegetable strips and fresh parmesan
Desert was a "Mozart triologie".
The food was very, very good, all meals were hot and the service was excellent too, the trio of deserts very yummy. Presentation was very good and the complimentary wine was free flowing! In between courses we were treated to four opera singers, including Mike Sterling who played the phantom in Phantom of the Opera in the West End. They were excellent and voices were really powerful.
After dinner we returned to the lounge for more entertainment, a popular German magician and more singing from the opera stars - then it was time for bed!
After a good breakfast, we had a walking tour of Passau, led by a lady in period costume who really envolved the tour group.
The ms Mozart is a wonderfully unique river boat, decorated in an art deco style, with spacious accommodations, great food and service too.
She sails 7 and 14 night itineraries from Passau to Budapest and back, or down to the Danube delta and back.
Guests can fly to Munich and transfer to Passau (about 1 hours 45 mins), or fly to Prague for a pre-cruise stay and then transfer to Passau (about 3 hours). The town is situated at the confluence of three rivers - the Danube, the Inn, and the Ilz, and is also known as the "Dreiflüssestadt" or "City of Three Rivers". The oldest lock on the Danube is located in Passau and has an impressive nine metre drop - there are 11 locks from Passau to Budapest. Passau gets about 2000 riverboat landings a year.
Shore excursions are included in the price. The fellow guests are German, and once there are 20 English speaking guests then the tours will operate in the English language. On the tours they use the quiet vox system, where the tour guide wears a transmitter and the participants wear an ear receiver. All the crew speak excellent English and most of our fellow German guests did too, so there really was no language barrier.
Speaking of the crew, many of them have been with the ship since she was with Peter Deilmann, so they are like a family on board, welcoming you into their home; there is a lovely atmosphere onboard and nothing is too much trouble.
I would recommend the ms Mozart for guests who want a traditional style of river cruise, with spacious accommodation who enjoy travelling with fellow Europeans, who enjoy fine dining with good courteous service.
The Luxury Cruise Company can offer luxury river cruises on ms Mozart. Contact us for latest rates.