Sailing through Austria with Viking Cruises

Our third day on the Viking Embla was a much more relaxing day than the previous, though I wouldn’t trade my time in Salzburg for anything.

The first stop of the day was in Melk and Tracy decided to go visit the Abbey, which I heard was filled with beautiful art (and wine made by the priests). 

I chose to stay on the ship for a relaxing breakfast and to catch up on some work.

Tracy was back in time for our Viking River Cruise Austrian buffet lunch. It included a selection of meats such as bratwurst, as well as local wine, beer, and apricot schnapps. During lunch we were serenaded by an Austrian accordionist.

The ship sailed along the Danube River in the afternoon, arriving in Durnstein, Austria in the evening.  

We had dinner before heading out to the town. I ordered the Greek appetizer plate which consisted of perfect portions of tasty baba ganouch and hummus, followed by a wonderful Porcini Ravioli, though the beef filet was a bit two rare for me.

Tracy enjoyed the cheese plate for dessert while I had the flan and ice cream.

After dinner we were led by guides from our ship to the Domaine Wachau winery. While the guests took the tour I asked for a private tasting so I could discuss the wines in detail. 

I didn’t have a lot of experience in Austrian wines and I was very curious to see what they had.

I heard all about the winery, which has been there for more than 300 years. It had originally belonged to the monastery and is now owned by a cooperative of local farmers.

We talked about the varietals of the area, including Muscatal, Gruner, Veltliner, and Riesling. We also talked about the popularity of apricot in this area and how it was the best apricot around.

I tasted quite a few wines and I actually liked all of them. 

My favorites were the 2012 Riesling Smigel, a wonderful white peach; 2012 Gruner Veltliner, with an aroma of kiwi and honeysuckle; and the Trockenbeerenauslese, an incredible late harvest of which I purchased two bottles to take home, though I’d never try to pronounce it.

In addition to the wine, Domaine Wachau sells many other products, including jams, chocolates, and evening clothing items.

We all walked back to the ship in the moonlight. It was a chilly night, but we had a nice view of Castle Durnstein. It was once again time to retire early. I was especially eager as the next day would bring another city on the Viking River Cruise I was anxious to explore, Vienna.

*Christmas in August? Yes! I was running a bit behind and I decided to just save my Viking River Christmas Market Cruise report until summer. After all it’s a perfect time to start thinking about booking one of your own while the prices are low!


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