WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

If you are a regular WAVEJourney follower you know that we LOVE to explore by river cruising. The convenience of unpacking once and then touring for days along historic rivers is hard to beat. When it is time to set sail, the stress is gone and the journey begins.

River Princess Cruises the Danube in Eastern Europe

River Princess Cruises the Danube in Eastern Europe

The summer of 2012 WAVEJourney adventured into new territory — Eastern Europe with Uniworld on the River Princess, a shining star in their Boutique River Cruise Collection. We called this luxurious ship “home” for nearly two weeks as we cruised the Danube from Bucharest to Vienna.

Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer

Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer

The itinerary for this Eastern Europe Explorer allowed us to visit seven countries and five capitals.

Folklore Dancers on Uniworld River Princess

Folklore Dancers on Uniworld River Princess

The length and luxury of this cruise opened our minds to this area of the world overflowing with folklore and traditions, rich in  history and a transitioning political landscape, and of course, remarkable food and drink.

1st Captain Stefan Ivanov

1st Captain Stefan Ivanov

If you have ever considered river cruising or have an interest in Eastern Europe, read on and learn just what Uniworld has to offer.

River Princess Lounge

River Princess Lounge

Uniworld is top drawer when it comes to cruising, in both quality and service. We found the attention to detail, outstanding crew and dedication to the best in customer experience beyond our expectations.

River Princess Dining

River Princess Dining

Pros and Cons of an Eastern Europe River Cruise:

River cruising is an unparalleled way to explore and experience villages and towns designated as ports of call on a given journey. From our experience on many different rivers and itineraries, we have found that often it is the case of simply walking off the ship and right into the village.

Our adventure in Eastern Europe along the section of the Danube between Giurgiu, Romania and up to Budapest, Hungary, presented a different kettle of fish. By nature of the physical locations of many of the towns and sites visited, we often rode a motorcoach to the different points of interest.

Please bear this in mind when considering any river cruise where the itinerary travels along the eastern Danube.

Itinerary Pros:

  • Visit Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria on one cruise
  • Visit the major cities of Bucharest, Varna, Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna
  • Cruising the Iron Gates – spectacular scenery included seeing the Statue of Dacian King Decebalus, a 40-meter high statue that is the tallest rock sculpture in Europe
  • Only unpack once on this 12-night river cruise = priceless!

Itinerary Cons:

  • Most sights required taking a motorcoach ride to reach them
  • In our opinion, this stretch of the Danube river is not as scenic as parts further west
  • The weather can be very hot in the peak summer months – temperatures of 105F+/40C+
  • Only 4 locks on the entire route between Giurgiu, Romania and Vienna, Austria (lock enthusiasts may find this disappointing)

WAVEJourney thinks this Eastern European river cruise itinerary is ideally suited for one’s second or third river odyssey, and for those that specifically want to visit the included destinations.

Bottom Line:

Uniworld wows us once again! This was a river cruise of a lifetime and not just because of the wonderful cities and countries we visited along the way, but due to the excellent quality and value that Uniworld provides for their passengers. Then there are the officers and crew… some of the most professional and knowledgeable in their industry…  that go out of their way to make each and every guest their number one priority. In our opinion, it’s hard to beat any of that!

If You Go:

Continue Reading WAVEJourney’s Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review:

Cruise Overview | Bucharest | Peles Castle | Bran Castle | Bucharest City Tour | Uniworld River Princess | Giurgiu: Embarkation | Rousse to Varna & the Black Sea | Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi | Captain’s Welcome Gala | Vidin, Belogradchik & Baba Vida Fortress | Iron Gates | Donji Milanovac | Viminacium Archaeological Site | Sava River | Belgrade City Tour | Deck Dining | Vukovar & Osijek | Cruising the Danube to Budapest | Budapest City Tour | Budapest Parliament Building Guided Tour | Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Dam and Lock | Bratislava City Tour | Captain’s Farewell Dinner | Vienna City Tour |

Notes: WAVEJourney travelled from Bucharest to Vienna as guests of Uniworld River Cruise Collection from July 25 to August 8, 2012.

 

4 Responses to WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

  1. You know how much I love River Cruising and now, my wanderlust is burning brightly once again! I can’t believe the length of your journey and the all of the places you saw. Wow!! One day, we’re going to do this together! Keep the posts coming…I want to savor it all!

    Jeff Titelius 10/02/2012 at 4:14 pm
    • Jeff, a highlight to any cruise would be doing it with you. We could all do a fab job of promoting river cruising through our social media networks and websites. We should see if there is one that fits into all our schedules for next year. Although, we REALLY want to take a Christmas Market cruise. 🙂 Cheers, Viv and Jill.

      Viv 10/04/2012 at 9:33 am
      • I myself have never been on a curise but Ihave heard them to be lots of fun.You seem to be (from your blog description) that you really enjoy some good eats! Buon Appetite!

        Ayman 10/26/2012 at 8:50 pm
        • Ayman – River cruising is one of our favorite modes of travel. You should try it when you get time, we’re sure you will be hooked. And, yes… Uniworld does a fabulous job in the “good eats” department! Cheers, Viv and Jill 🙂

          Viv 01/05/2013 at 10:21 am

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