I tend to take at least one or two cruises a year, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a style of travel I really enjoy and have come to embrace over the years. There are many different types of cruises though and one of my favorites is the river cruise. I’ve taken river cruise trips in Africa, Asia and of course Europe, and it’s the latter where I will find myself next week. Working with Avalon Waterways, I will be sailing from Budapest, Hungary to Linz, Austria on one of their Active & Discovery trips and I honestly can’t wait.
Avalon Waterways and their Active & Discovery Voyages
I always tell people that doing their research before booking any type of cruise is essential, because each cruise line really does have its own personality and special features unique to only them. This is my first time cruising with Avalon, but after having done my own research I’m very excited for the experience. Part of the reason has to do with the ships themselves. Avalon has what they call Suite Ships®, featuring one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites with the widest opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony and beds facing the incredible views. With larger cabins and more amenities to enjoy onboard than many other river cruise lines, I can’t wait to experience it all first hand. Not only that, but I’m joining one of their immersive Active & Discovery trips.
The Avalon Active & Discovery trips go beyond the average river cruise. These itineraries offer guests unique opportunities to spend more time exploring the destination while getting to know it on a very personal level. If you’re in Vienna you can take a cooking class or in Budapest learn some local slang as you tour off the beaten path sections of the city. Avalon understands that people travel to experience new cultures and traditions and these itineraries provide that and more.
What I’ll Be Doing & How You Can Follow Along
One look at the optional excursions and I could immediately tell that my week onboard the Avalon Impression will not be your average river cruise. While it has hard to pick excursions at each stop, I finally stopped waffling and decided on a set of experiences that I think will provide me with incredible insight into the local communities, even ones I’ve been to before. I won’t share everything right now, but here are a few experiences I’m most excited about:
Fungarian Tour in Budapest – This walking tour around Budapest will share some of the city’s most iconic sights, but it will also provide me with a little cultural immersion as well. Led by a local resident, they’ll teach us what they call Fungarian; local words and phrases that will be useful during my time in Hungary.
Austrian Chef for a Day – I love taking cooking classes when I travel since they’re great examples of sustainable tourism done in a way that’s fun and informative. When I saw that in Vienna Avalon offers access to a class that prepares one of my favorite meals, I couldn’t say no. I’ll be spending a leisurely afternoon learning how to properly make Wiener schnitzel, Kartoffelsalat (potato salad), and Strudel – followed by a lot of eating I hope.
Hike Through Danube-Ipoly National Park – The Danube Bend is a scenic area where the Danube River takes a pronounced, sharp turn between the mountains. It’s here where I’ll join an organized hike to discover this very unique landscape with the final reward being unforgettable views of the mighty Danube, the green hills and the quiet villages below.
The full itinerary includes these stops:
This is going to be a fun adventure and I can’t wait to share with everyone my experiences not only along the Danube, but sailing with Avalon Waterways as well. To follow along, please visit my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts all week as I share as much as I can. To see what all the participants are doing, simply search for #AvalonAD on any platform.