Tag: Viking River Cruises

Hillsdale’s Alaska on “Crystal Serenity”

Hillsdale’s Alaska on “Crystal Serenity”

North to Alaska

The 2016 Hills­dale Col­lege cruise of south­west Alas­ka aboard Crys­tal Seren­i­ty (27 July-3 August) pro­vid­ed an impres­sive vis­it to a spec­tac­u­lar state. Accom­pa­ny­ing the fine din­ing and enter­tain­ment was a crew which could not have done more. Crys­tal Cruis­es seems to own all the high­est rat­ings in the busi­ness, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no sep­a­rate bar bill, and they’ll deliv­er up to two bot­tles a day to your state­room. No one could drink this much! Tips are includ­ed, nobody duns you for hand­outs, and you’re not pre­sent­ed with a list of “esti­mat­ed gra­tu­ities” on your last day aboard.…

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Viking’s Danube Waltz (6)

Viking’s Danube Waltz (6)

con­tin­ued from part 5…

June 6: Pas­sau, Ger­many

Once called “Batavia” or “Batavis,” Pas­sau is a charmer of a medieval Bavar­i­an town at the con­flu­ence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz, the last out of the Black For­est, spew­ing dark peaty water into the larg­er, faster-mov­ing rivers.

With a pop­u­la­tion the same as Man­ches­ter, New Hamp­shire, it draws 1.6 mil­lion vis­i­tors per year, com­pared to 1 mil­lion down at Durn­stein, pop­u­la­tion 400 and a tenth the size. Result: you can move around with­out mass­es of crowds and enjoy the tran­si­tion archi­tec­ture, Goth­ic to Baroque.

St. Stefan’s Cathe­dral has one of the largest organs in the world and the recital there is tremen­dous.…

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Viking’s Danube Waltz (5)

Viking’s Danube Waltz (5)

con­tin­ued from part 4…

June 5: Linz-Salzburg-Linz & Viking Cui­sine

Tur­is­mus Salzburg

The qual­i­ty of Viking’s Danube Waltz cui­sine is uni­form­ly high. There is always a choice of three or four first and main cours­es, nice­ly bal­anced between meat, fish and veg­e­tar­i­an, with excel­lent soups (and again, there’s no rea­son why you can’t order both a starter and soup). At din­ner, sev­er­al sta­ple items always accom­pa­ny the choic­es: Cae­sar sal­ad, sautéed salmon fil­let and rib eye steak. Meats tend to be over­cooked, so spec­i­fy medi­um-rare if you mean medium—and some are tough, for which there are two solu­tions: send it back and ask for anoth­er (nev­er a prob­lem), or bring your own steak knives (unless they’ve accept­ed our sug­ges­tion that these be pro­vid­ed.) We record­ed our favorites (aster­isk = region­al spe­cial­ty):

Starters: Hun­gar­i­an Farmer’s Plate*—salami, ham, pick­les, körözött (goat cheese), roast­ed egg­plant and gar­lic soup, antipasti and pesto, pota­to crust­ed mas­car­pone cheese, seared quail with aspara­gus risot­to, veg­etable spring rolls, Greek sal­ad, smoked fish plat­ter, Par­ma ham & mel­on, stuffed arti­chokes

Soups: car­rot gin­ger, roast­ed toma­to, cream of white aspara­gus, pota­to leek.*

Entrees: rump steak (if it’s a good cut), seared mahi mahi and cur­ry sauce, sauteéd tur­bot, sepia pas­ta and aspara­gus, zwiebel­rost­braen and onions*, braised short ribs with sauteéd mush­rooms, Tyrolean cat­fish in horse­rad­ish crust*, pump­kin ravi­o­li with lamb loin, decon­struct­ed Beef Welling­ton, sea bass and saf­fron velouté.…

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