We can hear him now, Ivan our Hungarian steward asking: Haf you enjoyed?
Well, how could we not, Ivan?
Sailing aboard the MV Mozart, flagship of the Peter Deilmann Cruises river fleet, complete with exquisite menus, beautifully appointed cabins, nightly entertainment and dancing, and a constantly changing landscape of fortresses and castles, abbeys and churches, vineyards and mediaeval villages it would have been impossible not to have enjoyed our picturesque cruise along the Danube.
Recently refurbished and resplendent in rosewood and original art, the MV Mozart is distinguished by the size of her staterooms and the number of public areas available.
We were on the Sun deck, where there are plenty of deck chairs (and blankets if needed) as we sailed from Passau, the Bavarian town with charming cobblestone streets and graceful arches not to mention the largest pipe organ in the world at St Stephens Cathedral when Kathrin Manzoni, the MV Mozarts exuberant Cruise Hostess filled in some of the details we may have missed, sketching in the history of the region as she was to continue to do all along the route.
On our first night, and in keeping with the origins of our journey, the Bavarian-theme dinner began with a cheese roulade served with herb sour cream, or the alternative smoked goose breast with cranberry mousse and from these auspicious beginnings, we continued to east our way through an exquisite range of dishes at every meal.
The MV Mozart features six meals daily: hearty and extensive breakfast buffets, mid-morning bouillon, delectable, five-course lunches, traditional afternoon tea with a variety of pastries and sandwiches, superb international cuisine (not to forget the Hungarian and Viennese themed dinners, or the hilarious and unforgettable Pirates dinner), and as if there could be room for more, a mini-buffet late at night.
Dinner is followed every evening by entertainment from chamber music ensembles, Hungarian gypsy bands or flamenco dancers, and on one memorable evening from the crew who presented an entertaining variety show including a virtuoso performance of, what else, Mozart, on the baby-grand from our steward, Ivan.
And for those rising with the birds there are mouth-watering croissants and Danish, and several times during our cruise along the Danube, the ship's company decided on a spontaneous, open-air party on deck.
The cabins on the five-star MV Mozart are spacious and beautifully appointed. They are all air-conditioned, have private bathrooms with shower, intra-vessel telephone and four-channel radio, a mini-bar and television and those decadent European style duvets with feather pillows and eiderdowns. Synthetic materials are available upon request.
With such splendid accommodation and the high level of service, with the magnificent surroundings and the breath-taking landscapes that are a constant feature of this cruise, it is easy to see how Peter Deilmann Cruises are making such a success of their more than 180 leisurely voyages aboard four and five-star vessels that sail the classic rivers of Europe.
The seven-day cruises aboard the 204-passanger MV Mozart and the 148-passanger MV Danube Princess visit the historic capitals of Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava, and Austrian villages and towns noted for wine-making and Gothic and Baroque architecture.
It was with regret that it all had to end, that finally, after a blissful seven days, we were back on the cobblestones streets of Passau.
And yes, Ivan, thank you. We haf enjoyed very much!
Photos: Peter Deilmann Cruises
For more information visit the Peter Deilmann Cruises web site at www.deilmann-cruises.com