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Unpack once and cruise through Europe

Author: Pat W.
Date of Trip: October 2009

The highlight of the Vienna city tour was Mozart’s House, where guests learned the child protégée became ill traveling to winter concerts throughout Europe in horse-drawn carriages. An optional classical concert in famous Musikverein was well worth the extra charge. Whenever I hear a Strauss waltz, I remember that magical night in Vienna.

We stayed at the Hotel Radisson Blu Style on our extra day in Vienna. This contemporary hotel (which looks old on the outside) is just around the corner from Central Café, an informal meeting place for politicians, musicians and writers.

vienna hofburg palace austriaNearby are St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the State Opera and the Imperial Hofburg Palace, as well as Kohlmarkt, Graben and Freyung, Vienna’s principle shopping streets. Besides comfy rooms with contemporary design, Hotel Radisson Blu Style offers a delightful free minibar.

Throughout the 900-mile cruise we were entertained by onboard musicians as well as a German men’s chorus, an oomph band and a versatile folk singer. River Duchess guests came from throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Australia and New Zeeland. The hard-working, English-speaking crew hailed from Eastern Europe, the Netherlands and Germany. Debarkation was like a carefully choreographed ballet with tour manager and ship officers handling luggage.

Most Europe shore excursions are walking tours on uneven cobblestone streets (some uphill), so wear study walking shoes.

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