WJ Tested: Austria – Vienna City of Fine Arts Tour

WJ Tested: Austria – Vienna City of Fine Arts Tour

Uniworld Vienna, Austria – Choice Tour: Vienna City of Arts with Art Historian

WJ Tested: Austria - Vienna City of Fine Arts Tour

WJ Tested: Austria – Vienna City of Fine Arts Tour

Day 14:
Uniworld River Princess arrived in Austria’s capital city Vienna early in the morning and docked at Liegestelle on the Danube canal. Vienna is a very popular river cruise port on the Danube so we awoke to find quite a few other river cruise ships also tied up. Shortly after breakfast we met with a local art historian tour guide for Uniworld’s included Choice Tour (Vienna City of Fine Arts).

Austrian Academy of Sciences

Austrian Academy of Sciences

Vienna History:

  • First settled by the Celts in 500 BC
  • The Romans fortified the city in 15 BC
  • During the Middle Ages, the Badenberg dynasty ruled in Vienna & in 1440 it was the Hapsburg dynasties
  • During the Napoleonic Wars, it became the capital of the Austrian Empire and later that century the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • After WWI it became the capital of the Republic of German-Austria
  • In 1919 it became the First Republic of Austria
  • After WWII it was divided by a four-power occupation until 1955 when the Austrian State Treaty was signed

    Hundertwasser House

    Hundertwasser House

The 3.5-hour guided tour included driving into the heart of the city, a stop to see Hundertwasser House, a visit to the Jesuit Church near Bäckerstrasse, and then a guided tour of the Kunst Historic Museum.

Jesuitenkirche - Jesuit Church in Vienna, Austria

Jesuitenkirche – Jesuit Church in Vienna, Austria

Jesuitenkirche Baroque Interior - Jesuit Church in Vienna

Jesuitenkirche Baroque Interior – Jesuit Church in Vienna

Our guide was excellent and was thoroughly knowledgeable of the paintings and artifacts she showed us. The time we spent in the Kunst Historic Museum was just long enough to provide a brief overview, but this is a museum we could spend days revisiting in order to see everything on display.

Viennese Culture:

  • Rich in musical legacy, it is known as ‘The City of Music’
  • Was home to Sigmund Freud and thus is also known as ‘The City of Dreams’
  • Theater, opera, art, music & architecture help define Vienna
  • The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Has a well known coffee culture

    Kunst Historic Museum

    Kunst Historic Museum

Kunst Historic Museum Guided Tour

Kunst Historic Museum Guided Tour

Gustav Klimt in the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Gustav Klimt in the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

When our time at the Kunst Museum was over we returned to the coach for the drive along the Ringstrasse (a large road that circles the city) and past many famous landmarks including the Austrian Parliament Building and Vienna City Hall. We found the tour ideal for passengers that have previously visited Vienna, and also have an interest in some of the world’s most famous works of art.

Austrian Parliament Building Vienna

Austrian Parliament Building Vienna

Vienna City Hall

Vienna City Hall

Those that wanted to remain in the city center for the afternoon could easily do so, or could stay on the coach for the return journey to River Princess. For those staying in the city it was then possible to take a cab directly to the ship (20+ euro), or the U-1 (2 euro per person) to the Vorgartenstrasse metro station (we found the Vienna metro system one of the easiest to navigate) and a 5-minute walk back to the ship.

We returned to River Princess in time for cocktail hour in the lounge, followed by our final dinner in the restaurant. Our meal started with a delicious baked goat cheese appetizer, transitioned to the traditional Weiner Schnitzel entree, and was completed by the Pastry Chef’s version of Sacher cake – a fine ending to a successful and insightful river cruise!

Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer

Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer

Traditional Wiener Schnitzel

Traditional Wiener Schnitzel

Sacher Cake

Sacher Cake

Local Viennese Food & Drink:

  • Wiener Schnitzel is a bread-crumbed and fried veal escalope
  • Knödel dumpling may be sweet or savory
  • Tafelspitz – boiled beef with potatoes and horseradish, is traditionally served on Sundays
  • Don’t forget the Apfelstrudel or Sacher-Torte
  • Top notch wines – mostly white and high quality beers and Schnaps
  • National soft drink called Almdudler – a lemonade with herbs

    Gaststatte Pfudl Along Bäckerstrasse

    Gaststatte Pfudl Along Bäckerstrasse

Uniworld Optional Tours in Vienna:

  • Uniworld offered passengers the opportunity to take an optional afternoon excursion to Schönbrunn Palace
  • After dinner an optional tour was available for a Vienna Concert (the music of Strauss and Mozart)

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.

 

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