My review on Viking Cruises: Viking Longship Magni; which is their new long ship!
Day 1: Sunday
At 6.a.m. I arrived at the international airport in Amsterdam ( Amsterdam Airport Schiphol) It was a rainy day in Amsterdam but I had my close friend Terry (Alway great to have a good friend with you!) with me and with the excitement brewing in the air, we became like school children getting ready for a field trip. Viking River Cruises sent a big bus to pick us up with the rest of the passengers. At the end of the bus ride we found the Viking crew ready with cute and quaint small boats to take us to the long ship waiting which were docked in the main section of Amsterdam, adjacent to the central train station. When we boarded the ship, the deckhands gave us wonderful umbrellas and welcomed everyone onto the ship. The crew was gracious and very charming. We were taken to breakfast as our rooms were not yet ready for us, but around 9 a.m., we were escorted to our room.
The room was cozy. Just the right size for two beds, all your luggage, and a love one. After a restful two hour nap and a hot shower, we made it to orientation. There, we got to see the other 184 passengers all in pairs too. Mostly Americans and a handful of Canadians too. They appeared like a very lovely group of people. Terry and I walked up to the bar and grabbed a Martini and cheered away to a fun and relaxing trip!
Dinner was served at 7 p.m. and all the passengers ate together. No reservations were deemed necessary!Wine and beer were complementary, so after dinner Terry and I were feeling very happy and relaxed. We went to bed right after dinner to sleep off the rest of the today’s traveling. Fell right asleep and looking forward the day to follow tomorrow.
Day 2: Monday
We pleasantly awoke at about 7:30 a.m. and had a wonderful breakfasts. The long boat was docked in the town of Kinderdijk, Netherlands; the city’s name means Children’s river dyke or canal in English and it was a secluded town. The main interest here are the Windmills. So at 9:15 a.m. we had a walking tour and got to learn all about the rich history, how to they are built, and how they work. The tour was relaxing and interesting. It was nice to close your eyes and listen to the Windmills spinning away as we were told of the legends of this town; including one about a boy who used his finger to plug up the dyke. Near the windmill, there is a pond which becomes a skating rink in the winter time. Would be such a great scene seeing ice skaters and a tranquil windmill backdrop.
When we made it back to the long ship we had our safety drills with life preservers. It was very informative! But we all hoped the knowledge will not be needed. The rest of the day is spent on the boat listening to educational lectures as the scenery goes by and playing games. Later that night we had the captain’s dinner, the only formal night where dinnerware were present. At dinner we got to sit with a very interesting group of people to play a trivia game. We played in a team of six and became the underdog when we named ourselves The Cheaters. In the end, we didn't win but we didn’t embarrassed ourselves either. It was a lot of fun!
Day 3: Tuesday
I woke up in Cologne, Germany not feeling 100 percent. So I went to see a doctor for sounding like a car horn honking went I talked, but I sent my friend Terry out to have a good time on a walking tour of a chocolate factory and flea market. There was also a Christmas market opened during this time too.
Day 4: Wednesday
We arrive in Koblenz, Germany. In the morning we took a mini-train to get to our tour of Marksburg Castle and the Rhine River. The ship continue without us and we met back up with it in Braubach. This night was the best time! Terry and I had dinner in Rudesheim, we enjoyed traditional German fare and local music in Drosselgasse. There was live music, singing, and dancing into the night, and of course a drinking game!
Day 5: Thursday
This morning the ship dropped us off in Heidelberg at 10 a.m. and picked us back up in Speyer, Germany around 3:30 p.m. We took a motorcoach then by bus ride to journey though Heidelberg and got to visit an imposing castle and do some walking on the grounds. When we got back to the long ship, they have late lunch ready for us and during dinner that night we got a tour of the Kitchen on the Ship. It was fascinating that they could serve so many passengers when the quaint kitchen that the ship was outfitted with.
Day 6: Friday
We landed in Strasbourg and the first activity was a walking tour, I was still not feeling the best so I decided to relax on the ship until the afternoon. Where we got a choice of doing a sightseeing tour of a Mercedes Benz Factory or do a Wine Tour and stroll through the town of Obernai. Of course I took the wine tour and enjoyed the ride in the coach to the beautiful and historic village. Once there we given a tour and sampled some wines and then whisked back.
Day 7: Saturday
In Breisach we went for a tour of the Black Forest. Taking in the scenic excursion throughout the area’s renowned mountain landscape, rolling hills, and dense forest. I stopped at one resting place to see a cuckoo clock demonstration happening where you could buy one of these charming clock. You could then continue on the hike (about 2 miles) or sample some of the Black Forest Cake they were selling. I wrote down the receipt so I can make some when I got home for friends. That night we had a farewell dinner with the Captain. A great way to end a lovely trip.
Day 8: Sunday
Landing in Basel, Switzerland. we were given until noon to pack up and exit the ship. From there we took a taxi to our post hotel; Basel Airport Hotel. The room we stay in was huge! It felt like we were in a mansion. There was a free shuttle to the airport and they give you a free pass to travel on the tram & bus. The city center was 10 minutes away and the service was wonderful! We enjoyed the city of Basel so much we stayed 2 nights. By the time it was time to leave the shuttle was there to take us to the airport, it was a slow travel day so no wait to get through security and get on the plane. A suggestion I would give anyone trip over 11 hours non-stop, paid for the premier seats. Delta gives a great value for their premium seat holders. All in all it was a great trip!
Any questions I will be delighted to answer them!