After nearly 24 hours in Vienna, the time came for Viking Atla to head toward Budapest and unfortunately, that meant for us the end of our cruise and time onboard.
Although we wished we had more time to explore this great city, we were looking forward to our dinner on the Danube as we departed Vienna.
We passed under this odd looking bridge in Schwechat, a town southeast of Vienna known for the Vienna International Airport and Schwechater beer. Upon closer inspection I noticed that this was not a pedestrian footbridge or even a bridge for cars or trains. Instead, it was a pipeline bridge, which explains everything.
We continued on and along the Danube River as the sun began to set and I spotted these strange-looking elevated homes that kind of looked like tree houses along the river. I’m all for Tiny House Nation and to have a tiny house on the Danube, what could be better?
We all met up in the lounge before dinner for a drink and all of the crew was there to greet us and interact with us, including the cruise director. Drinks and conversation were flowing and everyone was having a great time, but it’s hard not to when you’ve spent the week cruising and exploring Germany, Austria, and soon, Budapest.
On this night we were having our farewell dinner. While it wasn’t our last night onboard Viking Atla, it was probably for the best as many passengers were going to miss the last night’s meal while we docked in Budapest overnight. One of the many benefits of river cruising is the having the ship port overnight in a city, which allows you to stay out as late as you like to experience all of what is available both during the day and at night.One of the many benefits of river cruising is the having the ship port overnight in a city, which allows you to stay out as late as you like to experience all of what is available both during the day and at night.Click To Tweet
After drinks in the lounge, we moved down to the dining room for dinner. My starters were a dinner salad and Pumpkin Mousse Ravioli, creamy ravioli with a sweet chili sauce minus the accompanying lamb loin. Karla opted for the rich and velvety Roasted Forest Mushroom Velouté with crisp bacon, mushroom chips, and a truffle sabayon, and the Tandoori Chicken, which was super crispy.
As the entrees this evening were all meat based, the chef prepared a special vegetarian entrée for me of gnocchi and vegetables. Karla chose the Deconstructed Beef Wellington with sautéed vegetables, pommes duchesse and Cognac sauce. When her plate first arrived at the table, the meat was extremely rare, but after speaking with our server, Ivan, he took it back to the kitchen for it to be corrected, which it was immediately. Remember, they’re there to provide you with great service so if you have a problem let them know to allow them to remedy the situation.
I always think the best part of any meal is dessert and this was certainly the case on this night. While the dessert was a beautifully presented Mascarpone and Sour Cherry Cake, the star of this dinner was the surprise of truffles. Had I known truffles would be made available, I would’ve skipped my meal entirely and gorged on truffles!
Throughout the duration of the cruise, we had passed through many river locks, many of which were during the night while as we slept. But as this would be our last time sailing on Viking Atla, most passengers were sitting on their balconies or up on deck to experience the last of sailing on their Romantic Danube River cruise. Later that evening after dinner, we cosied up alongside another longship, this one from Uniworld, as we passed through yet another lock along the Danube River.
Here’s my super short video of what it looked like in one of the locks. Ignore my attempt at getting Karla a date with the captain of that ship, too, please. You can see on video that it’s much darker and the lights on the ship are much brighter.
Up next: We arrive into Budapest for the end of our cruise and the beginning of a few fun-filled days.
I was a guest of Viking River Cruises for this cruise, but as always — all opinions and photographs are my own.