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March 21, 2010
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, Mar. 21, 2010/ Bon Voyage / — River cruises that last for a week or so are a great way to see the towns along the Danube. But if your time is short, you can always hydrofoil the Danube and enjoy the highlights.
Hydrofoils regularly travel between Budapest, Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna (Wien), Austria. Departures are daily in August, and three days a week from May to September. There are generally no departures in the off season.
These cruises take you speedily along the “Danube Bend” (Dunakanyar), past a number of cute little towns including Szentendre, VisegrÃƒ¡d, and Esztergom, and castles. . This can easily be a day trip since they are all within a couple of hours of the city.
Most passengers, however, travel from Budapest all the way to Vienna, or the reverse. Make sure you have a reservation if you wish to stop in either Bratislava or Visegrad however.
Your trip will be narrated in Hungarian, German and English, so you will know which towns and important sights you are seeing, however briefly because of the speed of the hydrofoil.. There are snacks and drinks available for purchase on board.
The hydrofoil steward will alert you as you approach either Bratislava or Visegrad. The hydrofoil will moor at the dock and you will then disembark with your luggage. As soon as you have disembarked the hydrofoil takes off up the river, leaving you standing alone at the dock, so if you have any questions ask them on the approach.
There is no customs house or information booth in Bratislava, although it isn’t really a problem however.
Bratislava tourist friendly
Bratislava doesn’t straddle the river like Budapest does, but the main part of town is a short, very manageable walk from the dock. There is a great hotel only a block away. All of Bratislava is walkable and tourist friendly.
If and when you return to Budapest from Bratislava, you will have to search a bit for the departure dock because it is not the same dock where you were dropped off. It is only about a half a block away in a cruise terminal building.
Don’t resist the opportunity to hydrofoil the Danube. It is a great way to maximize your travel experience.
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