This past year, our staff along with their friends & family traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world! Our journeys have left us with a lifetime of memories and a million stories to tell. Nothing fills our hearts quite like travel does!
This blog highlights just a few of our favorite photos from our travels in 2018. We cannot wait to see where 2019 will take us next!
This past August, Travel Consultant Michelle Busse and husband Jim went on a European River Cruise along the Danube River with Avalon Waterways aboard Expression. The itinerary was called The Blue Danube Discovery with stops in Hungary, Vienna, Dürnstein, Passau, Regensburg & Nuremberg.
Michelle knew that after years of recommending clients to fly in at least a night or two before the cruise embarks that she must do so also! They flew into Budapest three days before embarkation and she was SO glad they did! Doing so gave her and her husband an extra three days & two nights in the beautiful city. Those two nights pre-cruise, they stayed at the Marriott in Budapest and Michelle would recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Budapest!
Their cruise ended in Nuremberg, where they decided to take the train from Nuremberg to Munich where they stayed their final night at Le Meridian Munich. They loved this hotel also!
“I would DEFINITELY recommend adding pre AND post accommodations when doing any river cruise. Pre-accommodations is a must in case something was to happen with your flights into the city. Post accommodations will allow you to see more of the beautiful cities that you are seeing via the river.”
The Avalon Experience
Michelle thought that cruising with Avalon on Expression was like staying in a beautiful, boutique hotel on a ship. She thinks that river cruising really allowed them to experience the culture of each city and that it gave her and Jim a chance to experience Europe like they never have before. All the rooms on board are all suites and there are 144 total. They stayed in a “Panorama Suite” and the couple thought it was WELL worth it! There was no balcony, but the floor to ceiling windows had a little seating area near them which really brought the spectacular views into the room. Michelle specifically noted that the service on board was absolutely amazing and that the food was excellent!
"The largest and most comfortable Suites on the rivers." -Michelle Busse
To see pictures of Avalon Waterways' Panorama Suites & lifestyle on board Expression, click through the slideshow below:
Michelle could not stop talking about the pure beauty that she and her husband experienced, and they owe it all to this great itinerary! Because with stops in Hungary, Munich, Vienna, Dürnstein, Passau, Regensburg & Nuremberg, how could anyone disagree?
Day One consisted of the couple boarding the river cruise vessel, Expression with a Welcome Dinner giving the travelers a chance to meet the crew and other passengers on board.
They awoke on Day Three ready to experience the magical capital of Austria, Vienna. The included city sightseeing tour took the couple to must-see Vienna sights such as the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and much more!
Day Four took Michelle and Jim to the very small town of Dürnstein. With a population of less than 1,000 – they were guaranteed to experience the culture like the residents of this town. Travelers were given the chance to partake in the INCLUDED walking tour to learn about the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town.
After the walking tour, passengers boarded the vessel again for lunch & to sail the picturesque Wachau Valley with an arrival in Melk. While in Melk, Michelle and Jim joined the included guided visit to Europe’s largest monasteries and the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Back on board that evening, they got to sample some of the Wachau Valley’s famous wines back on board the ship!
Day Five started with an arrival in Passau, Germany. Avalon Waterways had quite a few full-day optional excursions to choose from while in Passau, but Michelle and Jim decided to take the included guided walk to experience the highlights of Passau. This included excursion took the couple on a maze through the narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses, dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The rest of their evening was spent with dinner on board the ship before embarking for Regensburg.
The couple started Day Six with an included guided walk of one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, Regensburg. Regensburg was established during the Holy Roman Empire and was the only German city not bombed during WWII. The included walk took the couple to see the architectural highlights of this beautiful, old city. They wandered through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers built by wealthy families to emphasize their status and wealth. They went to Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and on to Porta Pretoria, the gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Halfway through their day, Michelle and Jim enjoyed an included snack and German beer at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). The day continued with a walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Back on board the ship, they were introduced to some of Germany’s famous beers before sitting down for dinner.
On Day Eight, Michelle and Jim enjoyed breakfast on board and continued on to their post-cruise plans.
They took the train from Nuremberg to Munich where they experienced more of what Munich has to offer. Michelle thought Munich was just absolutely beautiful! Here, they stayed the night at the Le Meridian hotel in Munich.
Michelle and Jim cannot wait to take a river cruise with Avalon Waterways again! (Hopefully, soon!)
Interested in a European River Cruise?
Contact Michelle at (314) 439-5700 ext. 117 or send her an email to begin planning a trip of a lifetime!
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