Ever since we began our marathon travels in 2006, Jim had his eye on the various Amsterdam to Budapest river cruises. We reviewed many different varieties, but something else had always taken precedence. As part of our 2016 Provence adventure, we spent three days on the Rhone River in a riverboat and didn't enjoy it much, but in 2017 Road Scholar offered a new version of the Amsterdam-Budapest cruise on a brand-new river ship: the Crystal Mahler. This excursion involved many fewer people than were on the Rhone boat, er, ship, and a larger ship to boot. Jim carefully reviewed the sizes and floorplans of the rooms and we decided to give it a whirl. Good choice!

The map shows how it all fit together:

Trip Map

Friends wondered at our choice of taking a river cruise in November -- the days are short, the weather is chilly and rainy -- but there are MANY fewer tourists at popular sites! Besides it was much cheaper and we are used to traveling in the winter. The days weren't that much shorter than we experience in Virginia at this time of year. As for the weather, it was all over the place: sun, rain, sleet, snow.

A comment on spelling. During my studies in Germany I learned the spelling Rhein rather than Rhine. After making an effort to use Rhine, I've regressed to the German spelling. In Dutch, by the way, it's spelled Rijn. All of these are pronounced the same way.

There are a couple of ways to follow us on our trip. I've tried to make the narrative a complete summary, but I've used many links to other web sites to provide additional details and sometimes pictures. You can either stick with the basic narrative or explore the various links. At the time this album was created the links were all valid, but the WWW is in constant flux and that can change. If you encounter broken links, please send us some email.

Check out the quick overview or follow us day-by-day using the links below.

Click your "back" button to return to the previous page or click for our picture album.