Budapest to Amsterdam July 2nd 2015 cruise

Well I have arrived back home again after the 2 week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and another week on my own in Berlin, Germany.

I was one of many lost souls getting aboard the Ms.Esprit on the 2nd of July. Most passengers were couples and a few singles also. The passenger age was between 18 and about 90 years of age. Most I would guess in the 50 to 70's range. Every afternoon there was a briefing for the next day’s activities and the tour choices if there were two tours offered. When you returned to your cabin after dinner a small chocolate bar waited for you and the booklet with all of the next day’s activities outlined. For breakfasts, lunches and well as dinners a choice was the Bistro restaurant at the stern of the ship. Dinners required a reservation at the Bistro.

There were too many staff to recognize, but the 4 Tauk tour directors Yener, always helpful. Anna the serious knowledgeable one. Iris also more serious and as knowledgeable. Last but not least, Dina. Knowledgeable and always hilarious and with little tidbits about the different sights.

Then on the Scylla staff, there is Gabor the bar manager. Made super drinks. In the dining room Maria always a smile. Ineke the house manager always around, does she ever sleep???
There were many more whose names I cannot recall.

Day 1) After a short briefing everyone went to dinner. This meal and all others were just superb. Great food and great liquid libations. Not too long after dinner the captain took the ship out on a night cruise on the Donau (Danube) for some spectacular night viewing of Budapest. The castle and bridges as well as many other buildings lit up made for an amazing sight.

Day 2) After breakfast we boarded buses for a guided tour in Buda and Pest as well as Castle hill. Then returning to the ship, we left for Bratislava at 11:30am.

Day 3) The next morning found us in Bratislava, Slovakia for a walking city tour led by a local guide. Afterwards Tauk treated everyone to a Bratislava bagel, a local specialty and a drink of choice. Then we returned to the ship to travel on to Wien (Vienna) where we arrived early in the evening. A short time later we boarded buses to take us to the Palais Pallavicini for dinner and Wiener baroque musical entertainment. After that our buses took us on a tour showing us Wien at night.

Day 4) In Wien two guided tour choices were offered, the Schoenbrunn Palace or the Hofburg Complex. Then everyone was taken to the Albertina and for some free time to explore Wien on our own. Then at 8pm we again boarded buses to the Kahlenberg Mountain where there is a spectacular view of Wien. There we were treated to Champagne and strawberries.

Day 5) Still in Austria and on the next day we arrived in Duernstein were a castle ruin which is where Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom, some people climbed up to it others just walked around Duernstein. From Here 10 brave people decided to cycle along the river to Melk, our next port of call. While traveling on the river a live dialogue was broadcast on deck and cabin speakers. In Melk a walking tour from the ship to the town and a heck of a steep set of stairs took us up to a 900 year old Benedictine abbey for a guided tour. But for the less hardy a bus was a laid on too. Back to the ship for dinner and after dinner musical entertainment was provided by a trio.

Day 6) Today we crossed into Germany from Austria. Along the way Dina gave some hilarious German lessons. In Passau was a walking tour of this baroque town and again a bit of free time. We continued on to Regensburg that evening.

Day 7) Regensburg was also a walking tour since buses could hardly maneuver the narrow streets of the town. A local guide schlept us all over the town and we again had free time to roam the town before returning to the ship.
We left Regensburg to take us to Nuernberg.

Day 8) Along the canal a running dialogue was done by a local guide explaining the canals history. In Nuernberg two different tours were offered. One to the old Prince Regent Palace and the other was a WWII tour. Later in the afternoon we were all taken to the Prince Regent's palace again into the wine cellar for some 3 different wines tasting. We left for Bamberg, our next port of call.

Day 9) Now in Bamberg we went on exploring the old 13th century cathedral and some unique architecture of the town. Early afternoon saw us depart Bamberg for Wuerzburg-Rothenburg.

Day 10) Again there were two tours on offer. Wuerzburg or Rothenburg. In either case Tauk gave everyone 20 Euros to have lunch in either town at a place of your choice. That evening live Bavarian music entertained us before going to dinner.

Day 11) This day saw us traveling all day and night to get to our next destination, Ruedesheim. While underway a glassblower came aboard to show how it is done and also sold his handicrafts. This day Sunday July 12th also was a celebration of TAUKS 90th year anniversary. That evening after dinner we were presented with the Scylla Crew Show which was well done and quite entertaining.

Day 12) This morning Anna, one of the tour directors did a talk on the Nibelungen. For that she needed 6 suckers, ooops sorry I meant volunteers to help out. I was one! At about noon we arrived in Ruedesheim. A sightseeing train took us from the ship to the Ruedesheimer Schloss for lunch, local musical entertainment and more. After lunch the waitresses brought out a 6 foot long plank with six shot glasses attached to it. Again volunteers (suckers) were required; again I was one of them. They filled these shot-glasses and at the count of 3 we had to turn the plank and drink the liquor in them as fast as possible. This was watched by the whole assembly with great hilarity. I don't know why but I got volunteered once more with hardly any protestations on my part. From then on this went on throughout the restaurant.
After lunch we were taken to musical instrument museum. Lots of organs there including hand organs. Does it ever make you feel old when you remember them from your own childhood?
We left Ruedesheim at about 4pm for Koblenz. At about 8pm we arrived in Koblenz and were taken to see a statue of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm. The statue is so big that a horse’s hoof is as tall as a man. There was also a memorial to the torn down BERLIN wall. We traveled all night for Koelln (Cologne) where we arrived during the night.

Day 13) Buses took us after breakfast to see the Koellner Dom where tour guides met us for a guided tour of the Dome and after the Roman-Germanic museum. After returning to the ship, those who were interested where given a tour of the Bridge (Wheelhouse). That evening was the Captains dinner for which passengers dressed up in their fineries. We traveled all night to see us arrive in Amsterdam during breakfast.

Day 14) After breakfast buses took us to the Rijksmuseum and afterwards a boat tour of Amsterdam's canals followed with lunch and your choice of drinks included. Some free time followed that before returning to the ship.
At about 4 pm Dina, one of the tour directors took us on an educational tour through Amsterdam's red light district. Her commentary as usual was hilarious.
Then back aboard for a trio playing classic and other music before dinner.

The next morning people were leaving at various times for the airport or train-station and even breakfast was already much less busy. Then sometime around 10am some new passengers started to arrive. I think we all felt our home for the last 2 weeks is being invaded. But I’m equally sure the lot before us felt the same way. Some of us sat around like lost sheep waiting for their departures. I took a short stroll into Amsterdam and took some more photos’ I could not the day before, because of the rain we had. By noon less than a handful were left. I had lunch aboard still and my own departure came shortly afterwards.


BTW: To those contemplating such a cruise, you will need very few Euros unless you intend to spend lots for gifts to take home or go crazy in your free time in any of the towns visited. The on board ship store accepts major credit cards.


  • Excellent review Rudy. Sounds like you had a great time.
  • My husband and I are going in October this is wonderful information thank you.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file