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4,355 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
A friend is taking a river cruise from Budapest to Bratislava to Vienna to Durnstein/Melk and ending in Passau. They will be on the Amadeus Elegant the end of September. Does anyone have an opinion as to which side of the ship might have better scenery, or is it all lovely?

I posted this on the River Cruise Ports thread, and received a helpful response from a poster who said the side does not matter on a river cruise, that most people spend time on the upper deck, and are able to see both sides of the river. I thought I would post on this thread to see if there are any other suggestions given that the weather might be cool.

Thanks in advance.

London, England
240 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
IMHO it really does not matter which side you have as you will find cabins are for sleeping and changing. I have cruised Melk-Estergom , Luxor-Aswan and Brussels-Amsterdam and if I had spent time in my cabin I would have missed so much on the other bank. You will find ships have panoramic lounges which are ideal should the weather turn chilly.
1,988 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
I agree with squarevanman. And...you can't figure out which side is "best" anyway because the captain might pull in differently that you think he will.

At some ports you might have another river boat tied up tightly next to you so that your "view" is not there.

Go up on top and enjoy the 360 which you cannot get no matter if your cabin is port or starboard.
Northern California
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
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!
4,355 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Thank you Squarevanman, cbb, and Andromeda93-- your advice is very helpful, and I have advised my friend of your suggestions.

Happy cruising to you all!