My wife, Janet Quinn of Trophies N’ Tees, and I recently returned from a 14-day trip in Europe visiting Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, Austria, Bratislava and Budapest, Hungary aboard the AmaWaterways River Cruise Ship the AmaVerde sailing the beautiful Danube River.
Upon returning I have had many people ask the question, “Is now a suitable time to travel?” I am not going to get into a debate with anyone on whether COVID
-19 conditions should stop anyone from traveling, that is a personal decision. However, travel is in my blood, so to speak and I have chosen to travel whether conditions are optimal or at least doable. I have assisted Janet in the travel business as an independent affiliate of Avoya Travel for 14 years traveling through 49 of the 50 United States, and 42 foreign countries, and I can emphatically state that while travel might not be optimal right now, travel is very doable but different in many respects from pre-2019 travel.
So, “How difficult were the pre-flight, pre-trip preparations?” you may ask. To prepare, Janet and I decided to both get vaccinated and have not experienced any negative side effects. Again, I am not going to debate the current national and international vaccination disarray, and debate whether we need to or should be vaccinated as that too I feel is a personal choice. I will, however, say this - all cruise lines, including AmaWaterways are now requiring COVID
vaccinations as are a lot of airlines, entry into countries, restaurants, hotels etc. so we did what we had to do to make this trip as enjoyable and stress free as possible. In addition, although the country of Germany did not require us to have a negative COVID
-19 test to enter Germany, we decided to get a PCR test at Walgreens three days prior to flying just to give us peace of mind that we were healthy and COVID
-free before showing up at the airport.
Our AmaWaterways cruise took us along the beautiful Blue Danube River from Vilshofen and Passau Germany to Linz, Weissenkirchen and Vienna Austria, Bratislava Slovakia, and Budapest Hungary. There were several included shore excursions in each town to choose from or you could explore on your own. Janet and I started with the City of Three Rivers Tour in Passau, the Durnstein and Melk Abbey tour near the Wachau Valley, the City of Waltzes tour in Austria, the St Martin’s Cathedral and City tour in Bratislava, and the Budapest City Tour in Hungary. Each tour was led by a professional guide who grew up in the region and spoke wonderful English and their native tongue.
AmaWaterways’ River Cruises then prepared us for our individual journey’s back home. They contracted with a local pharmacy company to come on board and administer a COVID
-19 test, which is now required for entry back into the United States. All our ship’s guests’ tests came back negative. On our return transiting through Budapest Airport was a breeze, the flight to London uneventful, and our connection to Phoenix was at the same terminal we landed in so proceeding to our next gate was easy. After our 10-hour flight back home we were exhausted, but thrilled we had just sailed through one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
“To travel or not to travel is the question.” You must decide what is right for you as it is a personal choice. Traveling is the only thing that truly makes us rich. While onboard AmaWaterways, Janet and I signed up for Europe’s 7 River Cruise for sailing in August 2023. This 46-day grand river experience will take 144 guests through 14 European countries and sail along the Seine River in France, the Saone and Rhone Rivers, the Rhine, Moselle and Main Rivers from Basel and the Danube River from Vilshofen to Romania.