Tauck’s Danube Reflections, Part Three

Part Three of Knego’s latest Tauck trek includes an excursion to the Czech Republic’s UNESCO World Heritage site of Cesky-Krumlov and a walking tour of Passau.

Tauck

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THE SANDS OF ALANG: The latest DVD about shipbreaking in Alang, India

All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2015 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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MS SAVOR at Linz.

During the wee hours, the MS SAVOR quietly berthed in Linz, Austria. We awoke in time for a quick bite in Arthur’s and then filed off on excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cesky-Krumlov in the South Bohemian region of the nearby Czech Republic.

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Bohemian Rhapsody.

After transiting autumnal forests and rolling hills for some two hours, our first glance of the Old Town was breathtaking.

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Cesky-Krumlov Castle Tower.

Spared destruction in World War Two but left to decay in the Communist era, the recently restored Cesky-Krumlov brims with pastel-fronted storybook architecture. After a short guided tour of the town, we had enough free time to scale its most precipitous monument, the Castle Tower.

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Vlatava bend.

From the observation deck of the tower, there was an enchanted view of the gorgeous Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque structures lining the banks of the Vlatava River.

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Cesky-Krumlov Palace Theater.

Tauck provided a guided tour of the Castle with its vast collection of art and artifacts. The tour concluded with a visit to the Palace Theater, which was built in 1682 and rebuilt in 1766, boasting elaborately painted backdrops. From there, it was off to a buffet lunch in the Winter Riding School, an indoor stable once used by aristocrats but now a concert and social venue.

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The steamer SCHONBRUNN at Linz.

After our return to Linz, we crossed the Danube for a closer look at the 1912-built paddlewheeler SCHONBRUNN, then headed back for a walk through the busy town, once the childhood home of Hitler but eventually the first major Austrian city to openly acknowledge and deal with its Nazi past.

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Hauptplatz, Linz.

Brightly colored street cars whisked evening commuters in each direction as we explored the Hauptplatz city square, which has a monument to those who died in the plagues. There was so much more to see and do in Linz, which has some 43 major art galleries and is now part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities network.  Next time…

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Table for three at Arthur’s.

Back aboard the beautiful MS SAVOR, the lights were dimmed and tables elegantly set in Arthur’s, which offers a nightly open-seating alternative to the more formal Compass Rose.

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Surf and turf on the river.

We joined our friend and Deck 2 neighbor Patsy for a delightful dinner, capping off yet another day of adventure and exploration with Tauck.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Flood marks.

We awoke in Germany’s picturesque Passau, which is located on a peninsula at the convergence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers. As soon as we stepped off the ship, our guide led us to the the Old City Hall, where marks indicated peak flood elevations since 1533. Every five or so years, Passau’s banks overflow…

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Praline demo.

We were led through the charming town’s cobblestone streets to the Cafe Simon for a praline-making demo.

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St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Steps away, there was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a triple onion-capped slice of Baroque architecture dating from 1693.

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Baroque acoustics.

St. Stephen’s ornateness is only overshadowed by its organ, the largest cathedral organ in the world and the largest in Europe with its 17,774 pipes and 233 registers.

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Pipes in the rafters.

Tauck treated us to an afternoon organ concerto before we returned to the MS SAVOR for a quick lunch.

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Passau overview.

After lunch, we had time to cross the Danube and hike up to the 13th Century Veste Oberhaus fortress for an overview of picturesque Passau.

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Folding down the deckhouses for the post-Passau passage.

Up on Sun Deck as the MS SAVOR cast her lines and glided past Pasau’s riverfront, the tallest deckhouses were folded down to allow clearance for the bridges en route to our final stop at Regensberg.

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MS SAVOR Forward Sun Deck.

On the slightly terraced down forward part of Sun Deck, only the mast was lowered for clearance.  This would be our final segment of scenic cruising before nightfall and our arrival in Regensberg.

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Pasta perfecto in the Compass Rose.

Back in the Compass Rose, we enjoyed yet another beautifully presented dinner.

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Chops in The Compass Rose.

After dinner, the crew put on a show in the Panorama Lounge before we adjourned.

End of Tauck’s Danube Reflections, Part Three

More To Come…

Special thanks: Tom Anderson, Mark Helbig, Aaron Saunders

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego
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