The Journey Begins: A Luxurious River Cruise Experience
Luxury means different things to different people. For some, it’s a penthouse suite in an uber-posh hotel; for others, it’s a private jet whisking them away to exotic destinations. But for me, and perhaps you too if you’re a fan of water, serenity, and breathtaking sights, luxury is embarking on the world’s most lavish river cruise aboard the Riverside Mozart.
Setting Off from Budapest, Hungary
The adventure begins in Budapest, Hungary. A charming old town, rich in history and culture, where we are collected from our hotel and transferred to the River Danube, our gateway to a three-country river cruise tour aboard Riverside Mozart: a cruising vessel that holds the title of being one of the largest and most luxurious in the world.
Quite impressive in size, the Riverside Mozart is over double the width of most competing cruises, standing at about 400 feet in length – 100 feet more than the height of the Statue of Liberty. Upon stepping on board, we’re greeted with cheers of welcome and a glass of bubbly Champagne as we check-in.
Suite 222: A Class Above the Rest
Our journey’s comfort hub lies in Suite 222 – a two-bedroom owner’s Suite spanning approximately 880 square feet, a dimension that is unusually spacious in the world of river cruising.
The suite’s lounge is graced with cozy armchairs, perfect for delving into one of the coffee table books. The room also features a marble fireplace and opens to one of our three French balconies, offering an arresting view of the riverscape. Adjacent to the living room is a dining room under a chandelier, where you can order room service meals round the clock.
The Suite’s wings feature massive walk-in wardrobes filled with a king-sized bed and a luxurious marble bathroom with a Toto Japanese toilet.
Voyaging Up the Danube
With a smooth sailing off the Budapest pier, our 72-hour journey up the Danube begins. As night falls, Budapest’s parliamentary building illuminates the river, and soon the Riverside Mozart is a gliding sight to behold from the mainland.
The next day starts off with a hearty breakfast in the Waterside Restaurant, the ship’s main dining room. With an enticing seven-course menu, we’re determined not to let an inch of our stomachs remain vacant. Our appetizers include cured Alpine salmon with a citrus salad, Dill mustard sauce, and Beef Carpaccio served with chili mayonnaise and rocket.
Following the appetizers, a baked onion soup, accompanied by Austrian cheese croutons, make for a delightful soup course. Mains came in the form of a local special catfish and a trendy treec Bok beer-marinated flank steak served with a warm cabbage salad and homemade curry BBQ sauce. Rich mango tiramisu beautifully concluded our meal.
Thrilling On-board Activities
Between the sumptuous meals, we indulge in ship activities like strudel-making lessons with the head chef, in which we learn how to whip up this traditional Austrian-German delicacy. There’s also a mixology session in the Cove piano bar on deck 3, where we prepare the ever-popular Italian cocktail – Negroni.
Visiting Slovakia and Austria
Our first stop takes us to the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. Exploring the city is made possible through on-board excursion services. We stroll around the city center and head to the UFO Bridge to get a fantastic view over the city and the river. However, the tour takes a back seat when it’s time for lunch at the Blue Deli.
The next day we dock in Austria for a brief exploration before ending our voyage.
Reflections on the Luxurious Cruise
So, what’s the price tag for this luxurious experience? The cost of the owner’s Suite is quite a round sum, but for the amount of luxury, comfort, food, drink, and activities provided – it’s well worth it. However, you also have options for less indulgent rooms, like the Penthouse Suite or the entry-level room, all with full access to the opulence that the ship offers.
All in all, this river cruise on the Riverside Mozart proved to be a luxury experience like no other. The fine dining, the opulent spa facilities, the quality time spent with family, and the classic charm of the countries toured made for a fantastic and unforgettable journey. In the world of luxury, it doesn’t get much better than this!