Waking Up in Europe: I'M ON A BOAT!

To say ‘waking up’ suggests I actually slept on my overnight flight to Nuremberg (via Calgary and Frankfurt), but of course, I did not. Can anyone actually sleep sitting up? However, I’m not about to complain, because stepping off a plane into a medieval European city is just about the best way to start any day, sleep-deprived or not. 

Now, why exactly did I wake up in Nuremberg, Germany? Because this was the starting point of an eight-day cruise down the “Romantic Danube” with Viking River Cruises, an itinerary that also brought me to Weltenberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna, and Budapest.

Lindsay and I were invited to experience the cruise, but because of some scheduling conflicts, she wasn’t able to make it. While we’d already had a laugh about going on a romantic cruise together (though practically life partners, we are, unfortunately, both still straight), we laughed even harder when we realized I’d be going on my own. What would people make of me? The young Canadian on board a romantic cruise by herself???

Yes, it was sad to venture abroad without my bestest travel buddy, and there were many times I wished Lindsay was sitting in the next chair, watching the countryside pass and belly laughing at my endless stream of witty jokes.

However, I ended up meeting so many interesting people on board the Viking Jarl, I completely forgot she even exists!

Jk, Linds. jk.

We usually set sail in the evening or over night, and there was plenty of ways to keep entertained on board the ship. Spanning almost the entire length of the ship was a sun deck equipped with a putting green, plenty of lounge chairs, and even an herb garden!

There was also a lounge where you could get drinks any time of day, with locally-sourced entertainment every evening. You could attend strudel demonstrations, have a tour of the wheelhouse with the captain, or even learn more about the regions through the lecture series on board (“Viennese Coffee Culture” was an actual topic!)

Of course, let’s not forget about the food. There was a ton of it. A number of the dishes on board reflected the cultural cuisines of regions we sailed past, and a team of nine chefs prepared three square meals a day (plus plenty of snacks) for the 200+ people aboard.

My brain is still trying to comprehend how it’s possible to complete such a task in a small kitchen ON A BOAT! Then there were all the treats awaiting us in each city…..but more about all that later.

Prior to this trip, I’d never been on a cruise of any kind, and I must say, waking up in a new city every day felt like a special kind of magic. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share my experiences in each port, and you’ll also get to see just how much cake I consumed…

Black Forest Cake, served during a German tea time on board



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