We arrived in Budapest, Hungary from Manila, Philippines after a long day of travel. We embarked on our 7-night river cruise here in Budapest (pronounced Booda-pessht). Budapest is two cities (Buda and Pest) unified where the Danube River flows through. Buda is the hilly district overlooking the flat Pest. They are connected by bridges. The most popular one being The Chain Bridge.
We were met by our Amawaterways representative at the airport and led to our bus. And although the sun was out, it was pretty cold. But it was our first time on European soil. So as soon as we checked-in at the ship and took hot showers, we went to our first Christmas Market. The Christmas Fair at Vorosmarty Square was walking distance from where the AmaSerena was docked.
On our first night aboard the ship, we were treated to The Illuminations Cruise along The Danube River. All the prominent buildings along the riverbanks were lighted in similar ways. It was just magical! It was a special ending to our first day aboard AmaSerena. The crew handed out blankets on the deck because it was freezing cold even with our down coats on.
As part of our cruise, we went on a city tour. It was a panoramic tour with stops at Buda’s Castle District and at the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Fair. The english-speaking guide was very informative and engaging. All the guests were wearing their QuietVoxes so the guide does not have to yell indoors and outdoors. We passed by The Chain bridge, Gellert Spa, Heroes Square and The Shoes on the Danube bank.
We ended the day by being up on the deck while we watch the ship go through its first lock. It was really fascinating to watch. Such an engineering marvel. I am always in awe of things like this. It was a great start to the European leg of our #AsiaEurope2016 trip.