Sunday, December 16, 2012

Linz, Austria to Passau Germany - Sunday December 16, 2012

We had an opportunity to take a trip to Salzburg but decided to stay aboard the AMALyra. The decision was based on several factors: 1) it is cold (33 degrees Farenheit); it is rainy; it is very foggy; all the shops are closed on Sundays (except the Christmas markets); four of the seven hours of the trip were on a bus; it cost $ 100 a person; I like to relax on the ship. The ship is not too far from Passau as I write this. The rest of the group will join us in Passau.
Our morning started with an entertaining and informative visit to the wheelhouse. As you can see in this picture, there is no "wheel" just screens, joy sticks, and computers. The captain gave us an entertaining history of how he came to be a captain. It is genetic. His grandfather, father and he were all born on boats and all have been captains. I am not sure what happened to the genetics recently since none of his three grown children are captains. The ship has a retractible wheelhouse that allows the ship to pass under low bridges on the Main-Danube Canal which we will enter sometime tomorrow. We were in the wheelhouse for a demonstration. Lots of fun.
As we were in the wheelhouse we entered the first of three locks encountered today. The fog was so thick that I did not see the entrance to the lock until we were there! We were the only ship in the lock for the first two locks. In the third we were one of three ships in the lock going upstream while at least one ship (sister ship to the AMALyra) was in the downstream lock. You need to see the collection of pictures to get a feeling for what happens. in this picture the lock has almost filled with water and we are to leave shortly after this picture was take.
castle now a home of Hapsburg family

Continuing on in dense fog we passed one of several castles that would be visible under normal circumstances. We could not see most because of the fog. Despite the fog, I was able to get a picture of one of the castles standing on a hill above the Danube. It is currently occupied by members of the - yes - Hapsburg family.
Castle now a hotel on huge rock over Danube River
I also got a picture of the castle that stands where the Bishop of Passau had a castle in the 17th century. The ruins were purchased about 1850 by a private family. A hotel was built as a castle and is still operated by the family. From what I can tell the guests must be lowered by rope from a helicopter.
Austrian village on the Danube
Shortly after we left the third lock the sun appeared - for about four or five minutes. Just as the fog rolled in again I was able to take a few pictures including this one of a picturesque Austrian village on the port side of the ship. If the village had been on the starboard side, it would have been in Germany.

After we docked in Passau we took an hour tour of Passau. We were unable to go inside St. Stephen's Cathedral, however, because of a Christmas concert.

Coming Soon
I will expand on these items in a later report:
Room - Excellent. The bathroom is especially nice for a ship and standard room.
Staff - Excellent
Guides - charming, attractive (especially Kati at Melk) and excellent
Breakfasts - Excellent
Lunch - Very Good Plus
Light lunches in lounge - Excellent
• Main courses of regional food: Very Very good to Excellent
• Vegetables: Good regional choices
• Presentation: Excellent plus
• Service - Excellent
• Permanent menu items OK
• Hamburgers: started cooking yesterday. Inedible by me.
• White wines; good to very good
• Red wines - Poor to fair
• Overall: A delightful experience so far. Highly Recommended.


  1. Hi Mom and John...sounds like ur having a good time, but cold! It is 50 here and after 83 in Hawaii...I can't get warm! Yesterday I was wearing my winter coat and gloves inside the house. Cojo books nice..and different. Have a good day...stay warm and watch ur step..

  2. I'd love to be by a fireplace at that Austrian village! I hope you find some better red wine...keep us posted.

  3. Sorry to hear about the disappointing hamburger, but it sounds like the trip is overall a success - especially since your guide, Kati, is excellent!

  4. ...and the fog makes the pictures of the castles so much more romantic!