Danube River Cruise: A Peek Inside The Sound Of Music.
We’ve written quite a bit about our time cruising the Danube River from Austria to Germany with Gate 1 Travel, but we have yet to give you a glimpse inside the Sound Of Music – the boat we cruised on.
Two of our readers booked the same trip as us after reading our stories and they wrote to us wanting to know what the boat was like inside. We told them the ship was great and that the rooms are bigger than most, that the food was fantastic and the staff phenomenal. And it’s all true. We had a lot of fun on the Sound Of Music – it’s a perfect size (not too big, not too small), relaxing and the crew is unbelievable. Everyone from the waiters to the tour guides were exceptional. For instance, if you have a particular diet your waiter will remember it and make sure all of your food is cooked accordingly and they can handle all sorts of diets – from vegan to gluten free to kidney specific. Just tell them and they will cook for you specifically. They also put a lot of care into the food and make as many regional dishes as possible.
Here is a glimpse inside the Sound Of Music. Enjoy!
Rooms & Common Areas: The rooms and common areas were always clean. They clean your room about 3x’s a day and in good cruise ship fashion, create plenty of little animals out of towels. They also leave a chocolate on your pillow each evening. The bathrooms are the largest I have ever seen on a boat of any size.
Additionally, each time you come aboard from a day exploring they have hot hand towels and a warm drink (we were on the ship in November, they probably give you cold ones in the summer) waiting for you the minute you step aboard. A really nice touch!
The food: As I stated above the food was great and even better was the menu customization and the attention to details. They even made a Sound of Music sundae!
The Staff: They really are fantastic. Everyone is knowledgeable and personable. We met a fellow cruiser who was on their 14th Gate 1 journey. After seeing the attention to detail from the staff we could easily see why. This is the kind of trip where you don’t need to worry about much. The staff does a very good job of informing you about the local area and taking care of anything you might need. In order of the photos below, we have the captain, the head chef, the general manager, the ship’s tour guides and the captain as well as Gate 1’s most senior tour guide (he’s been working for them for almost 30 years).
Entertainment: The nights aboard were very entertaining–dancing (or lounging), hilarious staff shows and/or local music. Hansi, for example, was hired to come aboard the ship and play his accordion heart out for our last night of the cruise. He was hysterical, played several instruments and even got the cruisers in on the act. Everyone had a great time – I even bought his CD!
Freedom To Explore: When the boat is in port you are free to come and go as you please. This ship is a small river boat (as opposed to a huge sea going cruise ship) so you literally walk on and off whenever you choose. One of the best things about this cruise is that you have a lot of personal time. You can choose to go on any of the dedicated tours or you can simply explore on your own – during the day or at night. The flexibility of this cruise makes it perfect for exploring at your own pace and enjoying the things that interest you the most at each location. Or if you want, you can simply stay on the ship and enjoy the water views!
[stextbox id=”info”]Know Before You Go:
We took this trip with Gate 1 and you can check out Danube River cruises on their site to find available dates. Our cruise was 6 days long and went from Vienna, Austria to Regensburg, Germany. For similar cruises, prices start at $3,169pp (cruise and RT flight from the US) or $2,200 for the cruise only.
You can add on additional land days to extend your trip with Gate 1. A few people we met on board tacked on a couple days in Prague or Budapest. Gate 1 also offers independent tours. You go on your own and they provide the accommodation and/or food and tours. This is a great way to travel to a new place independently but not worry about your hotels and other travel details. We met people on board that did these types of tours with Gate 1 and really enjoyed them.
All food is inclusive on the ship. Free beer and wine is served at dinner and lunch. Drinks in the lounge are reasonable – about 3 Euro for a beer. Save a few bucks by ordering an extra drink or two at the end of the meal – you can take it with you into the lounge.
Wifi is available and free on the boat. It is mostly only available in the common areas but we were able to get it in our room. You’ll need to get a code at the reception desk.
Walking tours of each city are included in the cost and give a great overview of the area and it’s history. You can add on optional tours as well at varying price points.
The ship has some stairs but otherwise Gate 1 is very accommodating for people of all abilities. They can even arrange to have a wheelchair for you off the ship so if you have difficulty breathing or walking you can still see some of the sights.[/stextbox]
Want to read more about our Danube River Cruise With Gate 1? Check out our other posts: