As soon as we finished our lunch at the Stiftsrestaurant Melk, the lovely restaurant in Melk Abbey, we rushed down to the Danube river bank for the cruise. It is a short 10-min walk from the Melk Abbey through the town, and part of the Danube (Wachau) Valley Tour (Read — Danube Valley Tour)
The boats have a fixed time of departure and we wanted to catch the 1.45pm boat. Makes sense to reach a little early since there is a reasonably good crowd of tourist.
Where to get the tickets for the Danube River Cruise, Austria? There is a small counter close to the river bank from where you can pick up your tickets. It is smarter this way, for, you can check the crowd in the boat before you opt for a particular one. We chose Brandner Schiffahrt as the rush was less. This was the boat leaving around 1:45 pm. The other choice (DDSG Blue Danu) leaves just 5 minutes later.
Experience at the Danube River Cruise, Austria
The Danube river cruise was, by far, one of the best experience in our Austria trip. The 3-hour cruise with stopover at the Durnstein and Krems towns went past beautiful Austrian countryside, vineyards, castles, churches, little towns.
Big boats with seating arrangements both in an air-conditioned restaurant inside, as well as on the deck, we chose the deck for obvious reasons – the fresh air and the fresh air of the Danube Valley! It was a reasonably sunny day, and we quickly layered ourselves with generous amount of sunscreen, determined not be cowed down by the sun.
Beer, wine, basic snacks, coffee, ice-creams are available onboard and every once in a while, you will find the boats crew breaking into traditional Austrian songs and dances, adding to the experience. The cruise takes you past hills with thick cover of forest, opens into little hamlets, shows you so many castle-like structures (homes or otherwise we couldn’t tell) perched in cliffs as if straight out of storybooks, long line of vineyards — Needless to say, we had fallen in love with the Austrian countryside, and so badly wanted to walk past it. This wish too came true when our boat docked at Durnstein and Krems and we loitered in those two lovely towns to our hearts fill….
P.S: For a complete Austria itinerary and tour details, read — A Perfect Summer Holiday in Austria