The insider’s guide To cruises
Messing about onTheriVer
The enchanting danube,
aboard uniworld’s river beatrice. by Roderick Gilchrist bethel from nashville sits on the sun deck and says: ‘it was either this trip or a new kitchen and i’m sure glad i decided the kitchen could wait.’ We are aboard river beatrice, a £20 million, 410-foot-long white-hulled vessel with room for 162 passengers. There are elegant lounges furnished in the egyptian revival style by the owner’s wife, after whom it is named, capacious suites as large as most hotel rooms, a gym, massage room and bicycles carried on deck for towpath cycling. The passengers are mostly, it seems, contented American retirees from the sunbelt, seeking a connection with their roots as well as cultural inspiration, all happy to tell the patient croatian waiters about ‘the little town in these parts’ from which their grandfathers emigrated.
The beatrice makes the eight-day 300mile voyage from Passau to budapest once a fortnight, passing through landscape of unparalleled beauty, offering an often completely uninterrupted panorama. in the unpronounceable Tyrolean district of schlogen schlinge, we cruise past mile after mile of steep, mysterious pine forest, ruined hilltop castles and virginal meadows — the untrampled foothills of the Alps.
it’s amazing what you learn floating down
4 InsIder’s GuIde to CruIses n Dining al fresco the danube in the heart of Austria with a bunch of sprightly American septegenarians in search of the land of their fathers. The young hitler, i was told, almost drowned in a tributary of the danube at Passau and had to be fished out of the river at the ilz, which springs from czechoslovakia. could this early indignity be a hitherto overlooked motive for the invasion of Prague in later life, i wonder fancifully?
in Melk, we discover that the spooky, fortified baroque abbey, which lords it over the danube 1,000 feet above the rushing river, was the inspiration for umberto eco’s monkish murder mystery the name of the