We couldn't help but notice (and laugh a little) at some of the subtle differences in the two ships. For example, the cucumbers were sliced rather than chopped, and our bathroom door was much heavier.
Although we were happy to be "heading in the right direction", the captain warned us that we might now be stuck in Linz, since there were very low bridges upstream. If the Viking Pride could not sail under them, we would have to take a bus to Nuremberg for disembarkation.
Linz is only the third largest city in Austria, but it has numerous museums and cultural centers, with three new cultural sites located right on the Danube River. In 2009, Linz was named a European Capital of Culture.
Our time in Linz was short, but over dinner, several passengers commented on how well planned our move and tour of Linz had been executed. Viking certainly got an A+ for the transfer process.
Passau was as delightful as I remembered. We all paid very close attention to the flood marker, noting that this "minor" flood (the worst in six years) would not even warrant a mark.
Most passengers took the walking tour and attended the organ concert at the cathedral. We did the tour, but split off on our own for more free time in Passau.
Sailing from Passau Upstream
He laid out the plans. We would sail as far as possible towards Regensburg during the night. The next morning, buses would meet the ship and transfer us to Regensburg for a half-day tour. We would then ride the buses to Nuremberg, where we would have lunch and a short tour. Finally, we would rejoin the ship "somewhere on the Danube". The "somewhere" depended on the height of the river and how quickly the ship could sail upstream. It sounded exhausting.
That evening, Marek gave an excellent presentation on Romania's most famous citizen - Dracula.
The bus ride to Regensburg was not as long as expected, although I fondly remembered previously docking just steps away from the stone bridge in the old town.
Everyone loved Regensburg, and we were there on a festival day, so the streets were packed with visitors, musicians, and kiosks selling all sorts of wares. We had another informative walking tour, with the highlight being at least five wedding parties. A Saturday in June is a popular choice! With over 1000 historical buildings and no bombings during World War II, Regensburg's World Heritage Site designation is easy to understand.
After an exhausting day, the buses were quiet on the way back to the ship. The good news was that the Viking Pride had made it under the lowest bridge, with 2 inches to spare! It was time to pack for home.
The complicated changing of ships and tours were well-planned and executed, and the efforts of Viking River Cruises to make our cruise a great one will always be appreciated.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.