A Romantic Cruise on the Blue Danube
The Blue Danube, a fascinating and romantic idea from the waltz, drew us to sign up for our second Viking river cruise, with the same stateroom number, before the first cruise down the Rhine was even finished. We spent a whole year anticipating the voyage.
It’s 3:00 AM, flying over the Atlantic, with darkness still on the water. A bright pink streak of a high, thin cloud, brightened by the morning sunlight, floats in the distance, only to be gone in a few minutes. A pleasant interlude to a hectic start of the trip.
Compared to an ocean cruise ship, huge, impressive, like a skyscraper on its side, the sleek Viking river cruise ship rests quietly on the water. With 185 passengers instead of 7 thousand, it is uncrowded, peaceful. Everyone fits into the restaurant. With no reserved seating, it is an excellent way to make new friends.
The ship itself glides through the water when moving to a new port. Other modes of transportation, such as planes, ocean-going ships, trains, and cars, bounce or sway. Not a Viking river cruise ship.
The trees moving past the windows, or the walls of the locks sliding up or down, are the only indication of movement. It is the smoothest mode of transportation that I have ever experienced.
The ship travels mostly at night. We joined small tour groups every day, so didn’t spend that much time onboard, except for meals and in the evening.
Dancing in the lounge
Monster ships may have major bands and large dance floors, but our entertainer, Jozsef Nagy from Budapest, took requests and added his own uniquely beautiful enhancement to the music. Two professional singers from the audience joined in at times.
Other passengers noticed and commented about seeing us on the dance floor every night. Dancing and smiling at each other so often wasn’t much different than home, but the atmosphere was better.
The color blue
Many stories explain why people say that the Danube is blue.
According to our guide, the French uniforms of the soldiers under Napoleon were dyed blue with a water-soluble dye. When they fell into the Danube, the dye changed the water from brown to blue. That is a rather gruesome story. I don’t believe it.
From a technical basis, sometimes the water appears green when light reflected from the trees on the river bank is reflected by the water. So, perhaps light from an intensely blue sky could do the same thing. I don’t really believe that’s a possibility, either.
It was a general topic of discussion. People presented numerous theories throughout the week. None were conclusive.
I once heard, don’t know where, that the Danube looks blue only through the eyes of one standing next to their own true love. I truly believe that, based on personal experience.
A river cruise certainly provides a relaxing setting to recoup your senses. There’s no hectic rushing to do anything.
Even the historical morning tours, included with the cruise, start after a leisurely breakfast with small groups, no larger than one bus. You can go on an optional afternoon excursion, or relax in the lounge or on deck. You finish the day with live music in the evening.
The tranquility gives you the chance to appreciate your own state of affairs. I met my wife on Match.com 18 years ago. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Dancing on the Square to Live Concerts — Every Day
Sit and listen to high energy songs or slow, romantic music. Enjoy a half-price happy hour in a laid back setting…
by Bill Myers, Medium.com, May 10, 2019