The Vikings Arrive in Bratislava

Today, guests aboard Viking Baldur had the chance to explore the Christmas Markets of Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

December 2, 2014
This morning, guests onboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Baldur had the chance to sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning of scenic cruising along the Danube. With our scheduled arrival time in Bratislava, Slovakia slated for 14:00 this afternoon, many guests chose to do exactly that, resting up and escaping the last of the jetlag from their long journey’s from North America.

This morning, guests aboard Viking Baldur got their first taste of what it's like to transit one of the Danube's many locks. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

This morning, guests aboard Viking Baldur got their first taste of what it’s like to transit one of the Danube’s many locks. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Guests onboard this sailing are predominantly from the United States, but there are a handful of Canadians like myself onboard, and a few couples from the United Kingdom as well. In fact, the UK is a rapidly growing market for Viking and other river cruise lines, as residents there look to see Europe in a vastly different way.
But just because it’s a relaxing morning here onboard doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of things to do. The Wheelhouse was open for guest visits this morning from 10:00 on, and at 10:30, a presentation on the coffee houses of Vienna was given to help prepare guests for our day in the Austrian capital tomorrow.

Inches to spare. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Inches to spare. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Nearly raised up, Viking Baldur prepares to leave the lock and continue her course for Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Nearly raised up, Viking Baldur prepares to leave the lock and continue her course for Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

For many, this was their first chance to see Viking Baldur pass through one of the many locks that line the Danube. The fascinating process brought guests to the upper Sun Deck to watch the entire event unfold. For me, even after countless river cruises, I am still intrigued by the raw mechanics involved in raising and lowering a ship like ours.

An Unscheduled Diversion: one of our guests required medical attention, and both Viking and paramedics handled it perfectly. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

An Unscheduled Diversion: one of our guests required medical attention, and both Viking and paramedics handled it perfectly. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

There was also a bit of an unscheduled diversion: a guest onboard had a medical emergency. Normally, I would never mention something like this here, but I feel its worth noting: an ambulance and an escort car raced onto the access road just west of the lock as we were transiting through it, and once we had emerged, Viking Baldur moved quickly alongside the pier, where paramedics from the ambulance jumped onboard. That’s the thing with river cruising: ships don’t have onboard physicians simply because they are not needed. In this case, the guest was taken off the ship and quickly whisked away. The entire process took mere minutes, and my understanding is that the guest is doing well and will be fine.

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The post Viking Baldur Danube Live Report – Day 3 appeared first on From The Deck Chair.

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