Danube 2022 – Day One – Thank you Tui

Never has there been a more stressful start to a holiday than this. The rumbling on of the pandemic means that there are more hoops to jump through before you can, in our case, set sail to foreign climes.

This started a few days before we were due to fly out to Budapest for the start of our river cruise. Originally we were due to be flying from Heathrow at a very reasonible 13:20. A few days before an email arrived from Tui which looked exactly like the email I’d had just the day before confirming all the holiday details. On closer inspection however, it transpired that the flight time had been changed to 7:30. Forward another day and another email arrived, this one specifically detailing the fact that our return flight back had been cancelled and we were now coming back an hour earlier.

We had read in the news that flights were being cancelled due to staff shortages. Similarly I’d also read that some flight weren’t having their bags loaded due to a lack of baggage handlers. This led to us deciding to only take cabin bags as the thought of BA trying to get our bags to a moving boat was laughable.

The other preflight stress was the need to get a Covid test done and certificate to prove that you were negative and this had to be done less than 48 hours before you were due to fly. The afternoon before departure we were sat in a shop in Reading having an “official” lateral flow test done and then retired to wait nerviously for the results. Both of which were thankfully negative – we could go.

The journey was uneventful and we were soon on the banks of the Danube. One of the things about cruising is that you have no idea where you will dock compared to where you want to be. For example the Greek port Piraeus is the closest place to Athens but is still a good train ride away. Here we were right by the Liberty Bridge and a five minute stroll to the heart of Budapest. The cruise starts and finishes here so we will have more time to explore on our return.

We set sail from Budapest, Hungary at 21:30 and it was a beautiful sight to see the place lit up – especially the parliment building.

Tomorrow Bratislava, Slovakia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.