An all-inclusive European river cruise holiday is unlike any other. Luxurious 5-star ships take you through fairytale landscapes, with each new day more magical than the last.
As you wake each morning, you’ll find an exciting new port to explore – often in an entirely new country, with an included shore excursion to immerse you in the region and culture.
One of the best examples of shore excursions is Scenic’s ‘Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show‘. A spectacular day filled with fun, laughter, food and singing that we will never forget.
A typical day onboard our Scenic European river cruise began with a gentle wake-up call from our butler with freshly brewed tea and warm toast. Just one of the many Scenic all-inclusive luxuries, it’s enough to make even the most morning-weary person eager to start the day.
After a delicious full breakfast in the elegant Crystal Dining room, we board one of Scenic’s luxury coaches. These comfortable coaches, with leather seats and an onboard bathroom, follow the route of the cruise and were always at the ready.
Every shore excursion is accompanied by a local tour guide, who is not only fluent in English but an expert on the destination and its history. As luck would have it, we had the high-spirited Eva as our tour guide, with expert commentary delivered in a fun and interactive way.
Soon after setting off from the medieval German port of Passau, with its charming cobblestone streets and gothic architecture, we cross the border into Austria, heading south for Salzburg, around an hour-and-a-half journey time. At roughly the half-way mark, a convenience stop is made at a beautiful mountaintop lookout, with incredible views overlooking an enchanting valley and lake below. From the onsite bakery, purchase a slice of traditional Austrian Sacher Torte. This rich and dense chocolate and orange cake pairs perfectly with the strong Austrian coffee.
On arrival into Salzburg, a guided walking tour of Old Town highlighted the many attractions of this classic European city on the banks of the Salzach River, with ample free time to explore on our own. On Eva’s suggestion, we head straight to Getreidegasse, an irresistibly charming street and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the city.
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It’s not only where you’ll find world-class shopping and cafes, but also the birthplace of Salzburg’s most famous son – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The bright yellow house at No. 9 Getreidegasse is now a classical museum filled with artefacts and belongings, including Mozart’s violin and clavichord.
As you continue your stroll along historic Getreidegasse, take note of the ornamental and decorative wrought iron signs above each store. A Getreidegasse requirement, these intricate signs are still handcrafted today by the talented blacksmiths at Wieber shop, located at 28 Getreidegasse.
You’ll also find several ‘Through-Houses’, or arcades, that link Getreidegasse with other streets and squares. A popular Through-House is Schatz House, located at 3 Getreidegasse, which leads into University Square where a wall painting of Madonna with the infant Jesus draws a curious crowd.
After ample free time on our own, we’re back with our tour guide Eva to head to the rolling hills for the grand finale. Yes, those very hills where Julie Andrews sang and danced to the opening scene of the movie, proclaiming the “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” And they certainly were.
The ‘Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show’ is an exclusive Scenic Enrich experience, not available to the general public, held at Zistelalm, a traditional wooden Austrian chalet perched 1,100-metres above sea level. As we walk through the garden entrance, Austrian musicians in traditional dress greet us with an uplifting musical performance, all set against a stunning mountaintop backdrop.
Walking inside the large banquet chalet, long wooden tables were beautifully set for a tasty traditional lunch. Beer and wine were served, and as we ate and drank, the entertainment kicked into high gear with a 12-piece band, and local singers, including several children. What followed was an interactive afternoon (where audience participation is encouraged) filled with delightful music, songs to sing along to and an introduction to Austrian culture.
Back on the Scenic coach, the festive cheer continued as we headed back to Passau. Safely back on board our beautiful Scenic Space-Ship, with such a memorable day behind us, we couldn’t help but wonder over cocktails that evening what further exciting shore excursions Scenic had in store for us next.
Scenic cruises including ‘Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show’
- Jewels of Europe – 15-days Amsterdam to Budapest
- North Sea to the Black Sea – 23 days Amsterdam to Bucharest
- European Sojourn – 26 days Paris to Amsterdam
Scenic cruises that include Salzburg
- Grand Alpine – 14 days Zurich to Vienna
- Danube Christmas Markets – 8 day Nuremberg to Budapest
- Grand Alpine Escapade – 12 days Munich to Zurich
- Gems of the Danube – Budapest to Nuremberg
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