Recipe: Traditional Hungarian Goulash
Though many variations of Goulash exist, AmaWaterways is sharing this traditional, authentic recipe from the very heart of Hungary.
A Dish with Humble Beginnings
This classic Hungarian dish harkens back to cool fall nights in Hungarian fields. Imagine the herdsmen of Hungary’s history gathering to stir and savor Hungarian Goulash as it cooked over an open fire, the cold air nipping at their noses but a warm and tasty meal to keep them comfortable. Made with the freshest ingredients the Hungarian countryside can provide, this style goulash has been a cultural favorite for centuries. Everyone from shepherds to nobles fought off the fall chill with a bowl a goulash, but the dish owes its name to herdsmen, or “gulyás” in Hungarian, that first filled their cauldrons with the stewy combination of meat, spices, and wild vegetables.
Hungarian Culinary Culture
Hungarian Goulash is unique for its use of the spice that sets the country’s cuisine apart from the crowd – paprika. Considered the national spice by many, paprika was introduced to Hungary by the Turks around the 16th century. Since then, pinches of the rich, sweet, peppery powder have defined not just Hungarian Goulash but an entire culinary culture in which an abundance of paprika can be found in kitchens, gardens, and restaurants throughout the country.
While in Budapest, experience a true taste of Central Europe. It is a treat for the taste buds as much as the senses.
2 onions, sliced
½ cup¬corn oil
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
2 cups hot water
2 tsp. salt
3 bay leaves
OPTIONAL: Potatoes, chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet; add the onions and sauté lightly. Add the garlic and continue to sauté. Next add the meat, stir well with the other ingredients, and season with salt. Cover and let cook gently until meat browns. Add the sweet paprika, caraway seeds and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until meat has picked up the flavor of the seasonings. Adjust heat so that the goulash simmers very gently and let it cook for approximately one hour, or until meat is fork tender. Serve over buttered noodles or rice.
Makes 6 servings.
Danube Christmas Markets Cruise
My niece and I were so excited to take our first ever cruise and to go on a river cruise was a great way to experience Europe in a way we never thought we would. Especially during the holiday season and visiting the Christmas Markets.
We flew from Toronto to Budapest (with KLM) with a connection in Amsterdam. On the way home we flew from Nuremberg to Toronto (with KLM) also with a connection in Amsterdam. Surprisingly there were quite a few storms within Europe so we were glad we decided to fly a day earlier since you never know what could happen!
We spent one night at the Hilton Budapest City, which is centrally located, close to the train station, restaurants and shops as well as above West End City Centre Shopping Centre.
The rooms are large and clean. All rooms, the lounge and restaurants have complimentary WiFi. Modern fitness facility available. Upon check in we purchased a package that included buffet breakfast. Buffet had a wide selection of items i.e. cereal, croissants, Danishes, sausages, cold cuts and fruits. Coffee, tea and juices readily available.
Front desk and hotel staff were friendly and efficient and they all spoke English.
The cab ride from the airport to the hotel took about 35 mins and cost approximately EUR40. The cab ride from the hotel to the dock was approximately 15 mins drive cost EUR25.
Finally the day arrived and we travel by cab to the dock to board AMA Serena which will be our home for the next 8 days!
The AMA Serena is a beautiful vessel and is a glow with decorations to celebrate the Christmas season. From the minute we stepped on board we were greeted by the extremely friendly staff and crew. We were given a glass of champagne and warm towels and were seated comfortably waiting to be checked in. Everything went very smoothly. There is no line up or waiting at the registration desk. I strongly believe all check in procedures should be like this!
As a part of the check in procedure we each had a photo taken which is attached on their reservation/registration system to our room key fob. Security and safety is key so whenever you are leaving the ship for any reason (i.e. Shore excursions) you must have your key fob scanned. This helps the crew to know who is on board the ship at any given time (no one gets left behind! J).
There are 4 decks – the Sun deck with the heated pool, walking track, navigation bridge, bicycles, sun deck and lower sun deck, the Violin deck which has the reception, main lounge and piano bar and gift shop, 32 staterooms which includes 3 suites, the massage and hair salon, the Chef’s Table Restaurant, Fitness room, the Cello Deck with 33 staterooms, elevator down to the main dining room and the Piano Deck (our deck for our voyage) with 16 suites.
Each Stateroom had twin beds (in most cases) an en-suite bathroom, flat screen TV and keyboard (featuring various news and movie channels as well as a ship safety channel), 2 wardrobes, safe, telephone, coffee table and 2 chairs, 2 robes, hairdryer, a 110V socket as well a few more 220V sockets, and a bar fridge which is stocked with water (replenished daily). Although the beds were small they were very comfortable. Staterooms on the Violin and Cello decks have French balconies.
Staterooms on the Piano deck (our deck for the trip) do not have French balcony but have porthole windows.
All decks are easily accessible. There is an elevator which runs from the Violin to Cello deck as well as to the Main dining room.
In the lounge you will find a bar with a piano and very comfortable couches, chairs and coffee tables throughout. Most of us loved sitting in the lounge to mingle, read a book, while having a few drinks and looking out at the beautiful scenery. All entertainment on board takes place in the lounge. In the lounge daily there is a light lunch at 12 noon should you not want to eat in the dining room, tea time with tea, coffee and cakes between 4 and 5pm and at 10:30pm a light snack.
Off of the lounge there is a small library with daily news from the US and Canada depending on the guests nationality. There were 4 Canadians (including us) and of course 2 Jamaicans (my niece and I) but no Jamaican news?!?!? J
There is also a 24 hour hot beverage area with seating off of the lounge and across from the gift shop. Here you are able to sit and have coffee, an assortment of teas, hot chocolate, lattes, cappuccinos etc. or make a hot drink and take it to the lounge.
Whether you are seated in the lounge, library or the hot beverage area, you are able to see the various cities while cruising.
The entertainment on board consisted mostly of our pianist – Peter who was also a very good singer, or depending on the city we are visiting we had various entertainers i.e. an acapella group from Regensburg.
All meals and dessert on board were exquisite. Breakfast and lunch were usually buffet style however you were able to order off of a menu.
The crew were very helpful and accommodating and by the 2nd day they knew each guests likes and dislikes. They had very long hours but you would never know that they were tired as they were always full of energy and with a genuine smile.
I do feel that Riverboat cruising is quite suitable for a small group but during our cruise there was a group of American Real Estate Agents and it did tend to get quite loud in the lounge at night.
As this was my first cruise and being on a small ship made me think that this is the only way to cruise. There is a smaller number of guests and so friendships among the guests and crew are formed very quickly.
Our first evening was an Illuminating cruise on the Danube of Budapest’s Riverfront. Budapest at night is quite beautiful. We cruised along the banks and saw many illuminated buildings such as the Chain bridge, Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament Building and Fisherman’s Bastion to name a few. We docked for the night in Budapest. On the second day we were taken by motor coach on a city tour of Buda as well as Pest. We visited Heroes Square, Mathias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, the opera house and various highlights of Buda City. We also visited the Pest side where we saw St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its spectacular views of Pest and Buda. Our tour ended with our first Christmas Market visit. That night we set sail for Austria. Our first city to visit….Vienna.
We sailed all night and woke up in Vienna, Austria. The day began with a motor coach tour to Vienna where we drove by the opera House, the former Imperial house of the Hapsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall and Vienna University. Our tour ended in Vienna’s historic city centre where we were given a walking tour of the city, visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and other historic city landmarks. At the end of our city tour we visited the Christmas Markets of Schönbrunn and Karlsplatz Schwedenplatz, Maria-Theresian-Platz and Rathausplatz. After a long day we had a delightful dinner on board and sailed on to Melk.
On this day we arrive in Melk and were taken again by motor coach to Melk Benedictine Abbey were we are given a walking tour.
The abbey sits perched on a rocky hill above the quaint little village of Melk. The abbey is still to this day a functioning abbey with approximately 7 monks and schools approximately 900 co-ed students. We were not able to take photos of the interior. The Abbey is quite spectacular with gold frescoed ceilings and columns as well as one of the largest libraries in the world. The view from the Abbey is quite spectacular as you are overlooking the River Danube and the village of Melk.
Passau & Salzburg, Austria
We sail overnight to Passau where we are taken on a 2 hour motor coach ride to Salzburg, the home of The Sound of Music, my favourite movie J! And also of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Enroute our tour guide gave us a little history of Salzburg and of course the movie. For example at the end of the movie when the Von Trap family escapes the Germans over the mountain to Switzerland? Well on the other side of that mountain…… is Germany! J
We arrived in Salzburg where we went on a walking tour through the historic town to the Christmas Market. On the tour we pass Mozart’s birthplace, Mirabell Gardens (you know the place where Do Rei Me was filmed! J) and get a glimpse of Hohensalburg Fortress which overlooks the town.
Regensburg & Thurn and Taxis Christmas Market, Germany
We sailed overnight and arrive in Regensburg, our first Bavarian city. Regensburg is well known for its High Gothic Cathedral and very quaint and charming cobblestone street, where we go on another walking tour of the city. Close to the dock and next to the Stone Bridge is the oldest restaurant in Germany, Wurstkuchl (Sausage Kitchen), famous for its delicious Bavarian sausages. Unfortunately the line-up was really long so we did not get a chance to partake is this delicious feast.
After lunch on board the ship, we are taken by motor coach (approximately 5 – 10 min drive) to the Thurn and Taxis Christmas Market. This market is located on the grounds of the Palace Emmeram where Emperor Franz I family still resides. The matriarch (Princess Gloria) has preserved the castle and all its surroundings and still runs the family business. She is a collector of modern art and thus has assembled a large array of local artists and craftsmen for this very unique Christmas Market.
This was our second to last evening on board AMA Serena and so the staff and crew serenade us to say goodbye at the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail. We were also visited by Santa Claus who has presents for all on board.
Roth & Nuremburg, Germany
The sailing from Regensburg to Nuremburg (with a technical stop in Roth) is mostly done during the morning. The cruise enters the Main-Danube Canal (the European Panama Canal). When we arrived in Nuremburg we were taken by motor coach on a city tour. The city is famous for the Nuremburg Trials which was of a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces under international and also laws of war after World War II. Nuremburg was also known for its location of the Annual Nazi Rally’s. This was by far the coldest day on our trip and actually seeing the site and where Hitler stood making his speeches had us all thinking back to what it could have been like during his reign of terror.
At the end of our tour we are taken to the largest Christmas Market in the world which is in Nuremburg. There is so much to see and so many people!
On this evening we are able to get a reservation to have dinner at the Chef’s Table Restaurant. The meal consists of a delicious tasting menu accompanied by various wines. Each course is described by the maître d’, and served by 2 waiters with a specific wine pairing. Not only was the presentation beautiful but the meal and wine delicious.
Contributed by Kathy Gooden
Vision Travel, a Direct Travel Company
The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences
Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.
Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.
Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.
1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine
Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.
Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.
2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow
Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.
3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In
You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.
Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.
4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat
There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.
5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat
Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.
Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.
6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut
Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.
7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony
Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.
Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.
8 – Spend All Day At The Spa
Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s
9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat
Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.
Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.
10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces
Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.
Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.
11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi
The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.
Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.
12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River
From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.
Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.
13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef
The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.
Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue
Generations Collection with Uniworld
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises believes that world travel is a family affair and have created their Generations Collection of voyages to reflect that. Every Uniworld Generations cruise includes special programs, events and excursions designed specifically for your world travellers in training.
SPECIAL GENERATIONS AMENITIES
- 25% off the fare for travellers 4 to 17 years old when traveling with an adult (suites excluded)
- Exciting shore excursions tailor-made for families and hosted by local experts
- Kid-friendly menus for each meal and unlimited beverages onboard
- Young Travellers’ Table, a special dining table reserved on certain nights just for our younger guests and Family Hosts
- Onboard activities just for kids, such as cooking classes and dessert-making with the ship’s chef and pastry chef
- Hands-on craft workshops tailored to the destinations you visit
- Young travellers’ lounge and game room, complete with PlayStation, games, movies and local treats
- Two dedicated Family Hosts to oversee all activities for Junior Cruisers (ages 4 to 12 years) and Teen Cruisers (ages 13 to 17 years)
- Opportunities to “Live the Lingo” and learn words and phrases in other languages from our Family Hosts
- Kids-only movie nights, where kids can enjoy popcorn-fueled screenings of family-friendly films along with their new onboard friends and Family Hosts
- A special VIP ship tour with the Captain or Hotel Manager
- Complimentary bicycles, helmets and Nordic walking sticks for use onshore
- Young travellers will receive special surprise pillow gifts for each night of the cruise
- Convenient departures scheduled during summer and winter breaks
Uniworld specializes in personalized travel, with the Generations Collection of voyages they have included extra special options for the younger travellers. Since everyone has different likes there are a range of onshore excursion and onboard activities available. Some are geared toward children while others are tailored for tweens and teens. Options such as these …
ART LOVERS – excursions and hands-on activities to inspire creative expression
Sample: Glassblowing and Mask-making in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages
CURIOUS MINDS – Excursions designed to cultivate a greater sense of curiosity
Sample: NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages
LET’S GO – Exhilarating outdoor pursuits geared especially towards tween and teens
Sample: Gondola rowing in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages
THRILL SEEKERS – Exciting adventures that will appeal to junior adrenaline junkies
Sample: Climbing Forest in Germany on select Castles along the Rhine voyages
ASPIRING FOODIES – Tasty activities for adventourous eaters seeking new flavours
Sample: Pretzel-twisting workshop in Wertheim on select Classic Christmas Markets voyages
MYSTERIOUS STUFF – Excursions for young people who love intriguing tales with a historical twist
Sample: Nuremberg’s secret tunnels on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages
With a Uniworld Generations Collections voyage you can be sure children, teens, tweens and adults alike will come home with memories to last a lifetime.
Exploring the rivers of Europe with Viking
Are you charmed by the idea of exploring Europe but do not want a traditional coach tour? You want to be right in the heart of the towns and villages but still want the comfort of having a guide? Then a river cruise sounds just about perfect for you! Immerse yourself in the Old World as you sail Europe’s most iconic rivers. Discover Danube gems like Vienna and Budapest. See storied Rhine castles. Trace French history along the Seine. From the Main to the Moselle, the Douro to the Dordogne, the Viking experience is unsurpassed.
Why Cruise the Rivers of Europe with Viking?
Viking takes you to the heart of Europe via its grand waterways, providing you with boundless insight into the continent’s cultural and historic treasures. Immerse yourself in the storybook villages, vibrant cultural centers and picturesque landscapes of The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland, and unlock a whole new world of discovery. Here is a sample of what you will see on one of their European river cruises:
- Culinary delights in Lyon, France
- Medieval Prague, “City of a Thousand Spires”
- The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
- Historic Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther
- Fairytale windmills of The Netherlands
- Wine tastings in the quintas of Portugal’s Douro Valley
- Budapest’s regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
- Vienna’s inspirational legacy of classical music
- France’s famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond
The Viking Difference
Award-Winning Viking Longships – Viking’s Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined Scandinavian design with understated elegance, and provide you with unprecedented levels of comfort designed to connect you to your destination.
Unparallelled Staterooms & Suites – with their exclusive patented corridor configuration, Viking is able to offer a variety of stateroom choices that include spacious Veranda and French Balcony staterooms. As well as Veranda and Explorer Suites.
Destination Focused Dining – Menus include regional cuisine and always available classics enhanced with locally sourced ingredients, so you can explore new cultures through food.
Award-Winning Service – Viking has over 7,000 staff members worldwide devoted to making your stay on board as memorable as possible. And with 90% of their staff returning year after year, you can expect the same quality service, cruise after cruise.
Onboard Enrichment Programs – While sailing you’ll want to take advantage of Cultural enrichment programs to supplement your onshore experience such as Guest Lectures & Port Talks, Destination Performances, Craft and Cooking Demonstrations and Destination Insight films available right in your stateroom.
Onshore Experiences – You’ll enjoy an included guided excursion in every port, plus The Viking Way® of exploration.
THE RIVERS OF EUROPE
Danube River Cruises
Coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea, the Danube is the soul of Central Europe. Join us along these culture-rich banks, whose scenic vineyards, ancient monasteries and elegant cities have inspired travelers for centuries.
Rhine River Cruises
Raise a glass of Riesling to our acclaimed Rhine River cruises through Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. See how the Rhine, Main and Moselle river systems unfold to create a spellbinding display of storybook villages, Dutch windmills, German vineyards and Gothic cities.
Elbe River Cruises
Sail the Elbe to reaches seldom seen in Germany and the Czech Republic. Insights greet you at every bend as you explore majestic Berlin and Prague, delve into Wittenberg’s religious history and contrast the delicacy of Meissen porcelain with the rocky brawn of Saxon Switzerland.
Main River Cruises
Winding between Mainz and Bamberg, the Main passes through 34 locks—16 more connect it to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal. While this engineering feat enables river travel across the entire length of Europe, it also unlocks a trove of unspoiled landscapes and historic towns.
Seine River Cruises
The Seine meanders on a serpentine path through the Norman countryside, an historic region of great pastoral beauty. Drift along dreamy apple orchards and medieval ruins. Explore elegant Paris. See Monet’s Giverny home. And honor World War II heroes on Normandy beaches.
Moselle River Cruises
The romantic Moselle winds through an enchanting landscape of castles, picture-book villages and terraced slate hillsides that form one of the world’s richest wine regions. With a settled history that predates the Romans, it is yours to discover on one of our Moselle river cruises.
Saône River Cruises
Cruise the Saône with Viking, as gentle countryside and historic cities unfold before you. Savor Lyon, France’s traditional gastronomic capital. Taste ruby-red wines in the lush vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy. Join us to experience this rewarding corner of France, up close.
Rhône River Cruises
Enjoy the diverse pleasures of life along the Rhône with Viking. Savor Lyon, France’s gastronomic heart; the Beaujolais wine region; quaint Provençal villages; and historic Avignon and Arles. For those who love fine food, beauty and riveting history, Rhône cruises are pure bliss.
Douro River Cruises
Our Portugal cruises uncover one of Europe’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. Cruise the Douro River through ancient wine estates, passing barcos rabelos laden with casks en route to Porto and Lisbon. A sublimely scenic corner of Europe, with equally sublime food and wine.
And although not traditionally “Europe” river cruises through Russia and the Ukraine are not to be missed!
Russia River Cruises
The Viking fleet is the finest operating along Russia’s rivers today, delivering eye-opening experiences in historic Moscow and canal-laced St. Petersburg. Beyond, see the domed churches of Uglich and Yaroslavl, and witness the seldom seen rural tranquility of this enigmatic country.
Ukraine River Cruises
Uncover Europe’s best-kept secret as you sail Ukraine’s Dnieper River through a maze of whisper-thin tributaries and village-studded bays. Colorful folk traditions, hearty cuisine and rich culture lead the way from the Golden Gates of Kiev to the Odessa Steps of the Black Sea.
Destination focused. Culturally enriching. Carefully curated. Isn’t it time you discover what makes Viking the world’s leading small ship cruise line? Check out Vikings current offers here
Bea Tollman’s legacy of delicious cuisine
Bea Tollman’s culinary career began in the kitchen of her and her husband’s first hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa—The Nugget. What started out as helping prepare starters and desserts turned into a passion for creating recipes that would become staple dishes for their guests. Since then, her traditional home cooking has dazzled guests for decades, becoming a cornerstone of Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld River Cruises alike.
Recipe: Viennese Beef Goulash
This Austrian beef stew with paprika and caraway seeds is a standard in Salzburg pubs and Viennese coffeehouses. Viennese Beef Goulash can be served over noodles or potatoes, it is hearty, warm and filling. While the ratio of onion and garlic to meat may surprise you, these cook down to form a savory sauce, and we are certain this dish will become one of your favorites.
½ C (118 ml) vegetable oil, divided
4 med onions, finely chopped
1 head garlic, cloves separated and minced
2 lbs (896 g) beef stew meat, cut into 1¼-in (32-mm) pieces
½ C (65 g) cornichons, minced
Peel from ½ lemon, minced
1 tsp (2 g) caraway seeds
4 T (28 g) paprika
2 T (32 g) tomato paste
2 T (30 ml) red wine vinegar
2½ C (591 ml) low sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat ¼ C (59 ml) of oil in a medium pot and sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until golden brown, stirring to ensure garlic does not burn. Place remaining oil in a large skillet and sauté meat in batches until well browned. Transfer meat to pot with onion and garlic. Add all remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours or until meat is tender. If needed, add a bit more beef stock. Before serving, discard bay leaves and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, or over wide egg noodles, dumplings or potatoes.
Prep time: 22 minutes. Cook time: 3½ hours.Makes 6 servings.
Recipe shared by Viking Cruises
Avalon Waterways introduces shorter itineraries in Europe
It’s no secret that Canadians love their vacation breaks. From weekend getaways to shorter stays in more exotic destinations, it seems we like to vacation for a shorter time – and more often.
In 2020, Avalon Waterways will be the only river cruise company offering time-starved travellers – or those wanting to dip their toes in river cruise waters for the first time – a choice of 4, 5 and 6 day river cruise itineraries comprising A Taste of the Rhine, Heart of Germany and A Taste of the Danube.
Priced from $2,586 Cdn (all prices exclude airfare), the new A Taste of the Rhine is a 5-day cruise featuring immersive opportunities to explore must-see sites along the Rhine River including: a culinary walk through Amsterdam, a guided tour of Cologne, a wine-tasting in Boppard, free time in Rudesheim and of course, cruising through the picturesque, castle-dotted Rhine Gorge.
Formerly a Christmas markets cruise, the new 6-day Heart of Germany will be offered year-round in 2020. Priced from $2,743 Cdn, this itinerary features stops along the Main River and Main-Danube Canal including a guided walk through a picturesque Bavarian village, time in Würzburg with its towering fortress and Baroque Bishop’s residence, enjoying Bavarian wines in Kitzingen, partaking in an onboard beer-tasting near Volkach, and taking in the sites of Bamberg, a Bavarian oasis built on seven hills. The cruise concludes in Nuremberg.
Priced from just $1,449 Cdn, the 4-day A Taste of the Danube has become a very popular itinerary for first-time river cruisers and time-starved travellers alike, with visits to Budapest, Bratislava, Melk and Dürnstein. The cruise ends in Vienna.
For those travellers who are testing the river cruise-waters but want to add on time on land in popular European destinations, Avalon Waterways is introducing three Your Way options in 2020: 1) An Avalon Waterways land extension; 2) A Monograms independent vacation package or 3) A Globus escorted touring vacation.
“With our new Your Way program, we’re making it easier for travellers to extend their river cruise vacation with land itineraries that are perfectly suited to their preferences and budget,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In addition, with our exclusive onboard Avalon Choice feature on every itinerary, our guests have their pick of the widest array of included excursions, from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.”
All cruise itineraries – short and long – sail on Avalon Waterways’ signature Suite Ships which provide guest two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous.
Outlander author to escort Avalon Waterways European river cruise
AVALON INVITES TRAVELLERS TO BOOK A NOVEL VACATION IN 2020 PLUS OTHER NEW “SPECIAL INTEREST” CRUISES
It’s bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime): author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting a NEW Author Cruise on the Rhine River, giving fans the chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight with their favourite author for a week in June of 2020.
“Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on W Network – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. On the June 9, 2020 departure of Avalon’s Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.”
A MAGICAL JOURNEY: From the German Black Forest of fairy tales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, Avalon Waterways and Diana Gabaldon invite travellers to savour the magic of the Rhine River. This week-long vacation on board the Avalon Expression (with a capacity of just 166 passengers) delivers cruisers to the heart of Europe to explore towns and cities along the Rhine River while they enjoy panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops day and night.
Also NEW for 2020 is themed cruise Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts hosted by Brenda Tharp, photography veteran and co-author of EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Avalon Waterways invites photography enthusiasts and aspiring shutterbugs on this picture-perfect itinerary along the Seine River to learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau de Malmaison.
“Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Hoffee. “In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed vacations and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas markets. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled vacations have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”
Other 2020 Special Interest cruises include:
Palate-Pleasing Adventures: NEW Culinary Cruises.
Enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! These river cruises invite travellers to enjoy delectable flavours, decadent aromas and delightful textures sure to send taste buds into overdrive.
NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 31 departure)
NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)
The World in Red & White: Wine Cruises.
Whether travellers are weekend-sippers or wannabe sommeliers, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of the world will unite with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers and wine masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.
NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, October 20 and October 25 departure)
Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Adventure is Brewing: Beer Cruises.
Pairing fascinating history with a beverage that goes just as far back in time, an Avalon Beer Cruise promises incredible scenery and visits to the greatest beer scenes in Europe.
Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)
Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)
Holiday Joy and Jolly Abound on Festive Time Cruises.
Experience the holiday season the European way! Travellers will enjoy the jolly atmosphere on their festively decorated Suite Ship as they delight in the sights, smells, tastes and local traditions of Europe’s Christmas markets. In 2020, Avalon Waterways is offering 16 Christmas Market Cruises throughout Europe.
Wonder in Bloom: Garden & Nature Cruises.
Spring in Holland and Belgium is no time to tiptoe through the tulips. It’s time to sail and stroll through their glorious splendour.
Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)
Remembrance on the River: World War I and II Cruises.
All river cruises venture back in time. These World War I and II-themed history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fearless and fallen who fought for freedom.
Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WW1 Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)
Once Upon a Castle: Habsburg Cruises.
In fairytale settings of Germany, Austria and Hungary, Avalon Waterways is rolling out the red carpet for travellers sailing along the Danube. From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, it’s time to sip Champagne in the same reception rooms and walk the same art-filled corridors of Europe’s royal past.
Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (July 11 departure)
From the Danube Delta to Prague with Habsburg & Royalty (July 2 departure)
Under the Star: Jewish Heritage Cruises.
History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and learn the touching stories behind them all.
Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)
Passion for the Passion Play.
Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every 10 years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering an unforgettable cruise experience and preferred seating at the Passion Play.
Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)
Adventures By Disney Announces New River Cruise Vacations for 2020
In 2020, Adventures by Disney® will offer more European river cruise sailings than ever before, including a brand-new vacation on the Rhone River!
For the first time ever, you can sail through southern France including Provence, a diverse region rich with cultural, artistic, historical and culinary delights. During the Rhone River vacation, Adventurers will explore ancient cities, quaint hilltop villages, fairytale castles, rolling hills of lavender, romantic vineyards and much more.
The new Rhone River itinerary joins Disney’s existing line-up of sailings along the Seine, Rhine and Danube Rivers. These all-inclusive vacations offer the legendary service and amenities of AmaWaterways, a leader in luxury river cruising, combined with Adventures by Disney’s ability to bring the world to life for families in unique and exciting new ways.
Each Adventures by Disney award-winning river cruise features the services of up to eight Adventure Guides, who are your hosts in each destination and onboard the ship. Disney’s expert team of trip developers have curated a diverse line-up of active, hands-on activities and engaging, authentic cultural experiences in every location, and all that family fun is balanced by special activities designed for kids and adults to each enjoy
More details about their newest river cruise itinerary – and even more exciting new vacation options for 2020 – will be revealed on Jan. 24, 2019.
Information supplied by: Disney Destinations
January 08, 2019