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  • Writer's pictureMike Sullivan

Lessons Learned From My Latest River Cruise

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

I recently returned from my Viking river group cruise on the Viking Ingvi. It was the Danube Waltz itinerary – Passau to Budapest. Here are some lessons I learned while traveling with this group in no particular order.

1. Make sure your passport is current. That means that your passport should be valid for 6 months after you are due home from your trip.

2. Make sure the name on your passport matches the name on your plane tickets- perfectly. If your name doesn’t match your passport, you won’t be allowed on the plane- period. One of my clients made this mistake and it cost her $720 for reticketing fees and a price differential. And she lost her reserved seats. We straightened it out, but it was stressful for all involved.

3. When you participate in a toast, make sure your glass is full and you look your toaster straight in the eyes.

4. When you enter a shop, say hello to the shopkeeper. If you don’t, they will suspect you may be a shoplifter.

5. When you order food in a restaurant, point to the item on the menu so you communicate clearly what you want. In Vienna, I ordered the Wiener Schnitzel plate on special price and when I received my check, the waiter tried to charge me 13 Euros more than the special. I pointed it out to him and he adjusted the bill. So, be slightly wary.

6. Learn the local money and count your change after cash transactions.

7. Learn how to use the local public transport. It’s the cheapest, fastest way to get around. We used the subway to go 3 stops in Munich in 10 minutes. The same distance took 45 minutes to walk.

8. The beer in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic is way better than U.S. beer.

9. The Silver Spirits Package on Viking is the best deal in all of cruising. $150 for unlimited drinks of all kinds for one week. What a deal!

10. Have dinner on the Aquavit Terrace while you sail at night. We had dinner while sailing from Passau to Linz as the sun was setting. We arrived in Linz as the colorful building lights were coming on. A memorable experience. Ask me how to arrange it.

11. Consider going on your river cruise as a group. It’s more comfortable to travel with your friends for people who aren’t that social. Plus, as a group you may get a price break.

12. I found most locals are very friendly and helpful and they really appreciate you visiting their country- if you treat them nicely.

13. River cruising is a great way to travel!

With these lessons in mind, you'll be prepared for your next River Cruise! To plan your next vacation, click here.

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