DDSG Blue Danube River Cruises

The DDSG Blue Danube company offers a variety of river cruises around Vienna and its vicinity, and internationally. The cruises vary in duration, from a couple hours to all-day events. Some of the cruises include tickets to nearby local attractions: for example, the Wachau Valley cruise can include a ticket to visit Stift Melk. The boats offer full-service dining to include light bites, full meals, sweets, and a full range of drinks. Most of the evening, themed cruises have a dinner buffet, and there are also brunch cruises.

All aboard

All aboard

I took my parents on the cruise around Vienna, which boarded at the DDSG dock at Schwedenplatz (accessible by the U4 and U1 trains, as well as the 1 and 2 S-bahn trains) and ended at the Reichsbrucke (a 5-minute walk from the U1). I pre-purchased our tickets on the company’s website, which is in both German and English. It is possible to buy tickets in the office at the dock, and the staff all appeared to speak English. The dock was well sign-posted and easy to navigate.

The staff aboard the boat were all very friendly and, again, most of them seemed to speak English. The first level of the boat was completely enclosed and had tables, and the second level was half enclosed with tables and half open-deck seating. It was first come, first serve with the seating, but we opted for indoor seating since the inside of the boat was air-conditioned. We were promptly greeted by a staff member to see if we wanted anything to eat or drink.

The boat ride was very relaxing. There were not too many touristy “if you look to your left, you’ll see…” type announcements, but there were a few announcements about the history and specifications of the canal itself. The announcements were loud, clear, and in multiple languages, so they were easy to understand. The coolest part of the whole journey was when we had to re-enter the canal from the river and go through the lock.

Approaching the lock

Approaching the lock

We were entertained by watching the boat’s staff lash the boat to the side of the lock, then watching the boat slowly rise to meet the level of the canal. Very slowly: it took a full 20 minutes. We found this to be a good time to walk around and explore the boat. There was also an announcement explaining what the lock was and how it worked. Cool stuff!

When we disembarked, the boat’s staff lined up at the ramp to the dock to wish us a farewell. I thought it was the perfect ending to a great experience. This was actually the second cruise that I’ve done through this company (they operated the cruise portion of the Wachau Valley tour that I described here), and I plan to do more. I highly recommend that you consider doing the same!



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