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River Cruising Down The Danube

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

Paul shares his experience on an Avalon Waterways river cruise.

My friend and client Paul Spackman recently returned from a river cruise on the Danube River, which began in Budapest, Hungary and ended in Deggendorf, Germany. He and his wife Kerri cruised on the Avalon View, a beautiful new ship, and loved their experience. In addition to the cruise, they spent a few extra days in Switzerland after disembarking. They had a fabulous time! Here are some excerpts from our conversation, with highlights of each stop along their cruise.


Paul & Kerri arrived a day early in Budapest, so not only did they enjoy the bus tour sponsored by Avalon as part of the cruise, but they also had a day prior to boarding to experience this amazing old city. Budapest is split into two halves by the Danube River; they had fun exploring both Buda and Pest.


In this little town, Paul talked about seeing a statue called “Man at Work.” It depicts a man leaning on his arms, looking upward with a smile on his face. Rather than enjoying his job, the story is that this man is working down in the sewers, but looking up under the women’s dresses as they pass by.


In Vienna, Paul & Kerri took a bus tour. Because it was a Sunday, most of the shops in the city were closed, but they were able to visit the St. Stephens cathedral, and marvel at the architecture and beauty of the city.

Durnstein & Ybbs

They were able to visit both of these small towns in a single day. In Durnstein, a tiny village with just 60 residents, they took a guided walk and enjoyed seeing a deserted tower castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned for a year.

In Ybbs, they visited a castle/museum where Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Isabella lived prior to their assassination which prompted World War I. They also were surprised to meet a member of the current royal family, who came and visited with their tour group.


Every town in this region of Austria claims Mozart as their own, but he actually lived in Linz for about a year. Paul & Kerri took a walking tour of the city center, and admired one building which had an aerial map of the city on the floor under their feet.


Passau, Germany is known as the City of Three Rivers, because it’s where the Danube, the Inn, and the Ilch rivers meet. The Inn River is an especially beautiful turquoise color, in contrast to the Danube, which was more muddy and brown. They took a walking tour of the original St. Stephens cathedral, rather than a copycat St. Stephens, which were found in most of the other surrounding cities.

Deggendorf to Bern

The final day of the cruise was in Deggendorf, but Paul & Kerri didn’t see much of the city because they were quickly were transported to the train station, where they traveled to Bern, Switzerland. They stayed in a hotel in Bern for a few nights.


In Bern, Paul & Kerri tracked down some ancestors, bought some amazing Swiss cookies to bring home to their grandchildren, visited the Bern LDS temple, took buses and trams all over the city to see everything they could, and did a 3-hour walking tour with a private guide. They had a great time.

Their final night was spent in Zurich. They enjoyed finding an unexpected marketplace, staying in a beautiful hotel, and exploring the city for a few hours on their own.

Paul and Kerri had an amazing time. He told me that although they started planning this trip with the idea that it was a “once in a lifetime” experience, they enjoyed it so much that they’re thinking of repeating it on another river and different cities!

If a river cruise or another travel experience is calling your name, let me know! I’ll be happy to hook you up. Just respond to this e-mail or give me a call and we can get started.


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