Arriving in Nuremberg, Germany a day prior to our very first Viking River Cruise on the Danube to explore the city, taste regional delicacies and drink like the locals was such a great idea! For that I need to thank my great friend and fellow travel companion Marian also known as @travelshopgirl who suggested it as she has lots of experience (she’s been on over 30 cruises!)
Not only it is rich in history and culture, it is also thriving, dynamic and a fun German city to visit right in the heart of Europe!
Quite frankly, 36 hours were simply not enough for us to see everything it has to offer but believe me that a return visit is already in the travel radar before the year ends.
After having a great lunch at Heilig Geist Spital restaurant, we came back to Hotel Drei Raben to pick up our luggage and made our way to Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station), purchased a ticket to Erlangen which is only 20 minutes away.
If you’ve been to Germany, you know that their national transportation system is very efficient and on the dot as we would say!
We boarded the train and we left Nürnberg behind. We were admiring the countryside and were taking all the beauty in. I was very happy that Marian is bold and adventurous enough to have come along and didn’t mind taking public transport, it sure meant a lot to me to be able to share this adventure with her!
Two stops later, we arrived at our destination.
We then looked for the taxi stand and gave the directions to the driver.
He brought us to Am Hafen 17 where our Long Ship, Viking Atla, was docked and waiting for us. It would be our home away from home for the next 8 days!
Now let me tell you, nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience. Moreover, can I be completely honest with you? I was a bit scared. I probably drove Marian and another great travel blogger and friend (@JeffTitelius on Twitter) nuts with my 101 questions during the days and weeks leading to our departure.
Not only they reassured me that this was going to be less intimidating than ocean cruises but they suggested of simply going with the flow and enjoy myself. After all, how often do you get to go to Europe and visit charming historical cities and towns right by the Donau?
What I feared most was suffering from motion sickness or being in a confined space for too long (remember that I can’t stay still for too long). Last time I was on a ship or vessel was in the 1000 islands near Gananoque in Ontario and I spent a fair amount laying on the floor with a brown bag next to me, not exactly the best memory but it happened. (Little did I know my entire experience would changed my view, 360 degrees that is)
As soon as we arrived, there were two attendants who welcomed us and asked us which stateroom number we were going to be in. We gave them the information and they took our luggage on board.
Then we embarked and went directly to check in at the front desk in the lobby. A friendly and smiling
Olivia welcomed us and gave us our room cards.
She gave us instructions on how to find our way and off we went. As we walked along the hallway, we noticed that other passengers’ luggage was waiting right outside their door and once we approached our stateroom, our attendant Marius was standing in front to show us around.
The State Room’s size is 205 sq. ft. in total.
Its Hotel-style beds can be configured to a queen size bed or two twin beds which was what we opted for.
The floor to ceiling sliding glass doors open to a full-size veranda with two chairs and a small table.
The bathroom comes equipped with a shower and L’Occitane products which are replenished daily and the cotton-combed, fluffy towels are replaced as necessary.
TV / Phone / Power outlets
A Sony 40-inch flat-panel TV with premium channels is found as well as a telephone, small refrigerator, safe, hair dryer and complimentary bottled water (you can ask for extra bottles every day) are available for your convenience.
There is no need to worry about recharging your electrical devices if you don’t have a converter. There are 220 and 110 Volt outlets (as in North America) over your night table, and on the wall near the TV and next to the hair dryer. There are also USB ports and reading lights on the headrests. All you need to recharge batteries and get ready for your land excursions!
Fresh fruit is also provided everyday and it is a lovely touch.
Our welcome note made me smile and we knew we would have a fabulous time right from the very start.
The stateroom has space under each bed to store your suitcases that is in addition to the wardrobe and many drawers.
What I really liked is the fact that it is almost like a floating 4 star hotel and all you need to do upon arriving is to pick your favorite side, unpack and not worry about anything else for the next week! Everything else is taken care of. The only thing you need to give some serious thought is mealtimes and keep yourself busy or entertained while sailing away 🙂
Speaking of food, one of the most fun parts of the journey is Dinner Time.
Since it was our first evening on board, we were invited to the restaurant and get to know fellow passengers.
Now what’s great about it is that you can choose any table you want, no RSVP or reservations required. This way you can sit at a different table every night and meet different persons from all walks of life and different parts of the world!
Stay tuned for Day 2!
I was a guest of Viking River and was not influenced in any way or matter and as always, you will get an honest review and opinions.