Posted February 21st, 2013, 06:28 PM
Ricki, the posters above are correct. I used to wonder about this too, before we took a few river cruises. Then I learned:
- It's random as to which side of the river the docks or landings in the small river towns are located. I think it was about 50/50 as to which side of the boat faced the shore vs out toward the river when we were tied up each day. A few times the dock was on the opposite side of the river from the town, and to go touring we crossed via a bridge. You can't tell ahead of time unless you've been on that route before. And even so, there are multiple dock locations in some towns (such as Bratislava and Vienna). No way to know which side would be 'better.'
- When docked, there may be other ships tied alongside which can block the windows on either side of the boat.
- At some stops the shore can be so high relative to the river height that it's like a de facto 'wall' outside your window. This varies as the river heights change. But as an example in Budapest where we embarked last year, the ship was way below the shore at our dock. Even the sun deck was lower than the sidewalk along the shore.
Your friend will have great views from the public spaces on the ship, both in the lounge and on the open decks. They will probably also have some nice views from their cabin window, although honestly river cruises are so busy they will probably not be in their cabin much!
If traveling when it might be cool, I suggest they bring gloves, a scarf, a windproof layer and maybe a hat. It can be breezy while the ship is moving, but so pretty your friend may not want to go inside. The Budapest to Passau route is a nice one; hope your friend enjoys it!