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Danube Cruise – Melk to Krems

Danube Cruise – Melk to Krems

May 30, 2010 – Melk, Austria

On our last day in Melk, we take a romantic Danube river cruise on board the MS Wachau (named after this picturesque river valley where Melk and Krems are located).  The boat cruise lasts about 90 minutes and takes us along a 36 kilometer stretch from Melk to Krems.

When we depart on this overcast day from Melk, we leave behind the beautiful Benedictine Abbey that we explored on our first day in Melk.  The abbey looms above the city on a hilltop.  Built between 1702 and 1739, the abbey with it’s baroque church and library is acknowledged as being one of the most striking monasteries in the world.

On our leisurely journey to Krems, we pass by several important features of the Danube river valley.  First we see the Schonbuhel Castle.  Next we see the Aggstein ruins of Kuenringer Castle perched on a rock high above our boat.  These ruins remind us of medieval times when lords ruled the river.  We dock briefly at the little town of Spitz to let on new passengers for Krems.  Spitz features a late Gothic church and an interesting navigational museum.  It is also famous for its winery and many vineyards.  Weissenkirchen is one of the many wine growing villages that also has an impressive church in the center of the city.  We glide past Durnstein which is famous for its historical city center.  Above the town is the castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart was held captive.  He was kidnapped on his way home from the crusades.  Just as we approach our final destination of Krems, we see the impressive Gottweig Abbey on a hilltop opposite Krems.  The abbey was founded in 1083 and was rebuilt to its current form in 1720 after a fire almost completely destroyed it.

Krems is a thousand-year old trading center and harbor town on the Danube.  It is the gateway to the Wachau valley.  First explored in the 12th century, Krems is located at the confluence of the Danube and Krems rivers, about 55 miles northwest of Vienna.  The town is over a thousand years old.  Many historical buildings line the city streets.  Krems is a town of courtyards, antique churches, and ancient houses in the heart of vineyard country.

We don’t get off the boat at Krems.  We stay on and enjoy the peaceful return journey to Melk.

Video from our visit:


Photos from our visit:

About Chris Disdero

Occupation: Software Engineer; Favorite Languages: C++ C# Objective-C; Favorite Challenge: Connecting complex programs together so that elements of one UI interoperate within the other UI; Passions: Learning new things. Photography. Electronic Music. Astronomy. Model Railroad Miniatures, Designing web sites; Favorite Getaway: San Juan Island; Personal Motto: “No matter where you go, there you are.” View all posts by Chris Disdero

6 Comments to Danube Cruise – Melk to Krems

  1. Terri Shouldice

    Dear Chris,
    My sister and I are going to be in Vienna in July 2011 and want to do the Danube boat trip from Melk to Krems. We will take the train in the morning to Melk, see the Abbey and have lunch there, then take the boat to Krems and return to Vienna from there via train.

    Do we need to pre-book the boat now? And the train?

    Look forward to your helpful knowledge.


  2. Greetings, Terri! Thanks for visiting my web site. You should have great weather on your trip to Vienna in July. Hope you enjoy it as much as my wife and I did. We didn’t take the train from Vienna to Melk because we just drove to Melk after we finished our visit to Vienna. Then we stayed in Melk for several days. So, I’m not sure about pre-booking the train from Vienna to Melk, but I suspect buying a ticket in advance of the trip is a good idea as the spaces on the train may fill up fast. However, it’s a different story for the boat from Melk to Krems. You do not need to pre-book and in fact we could not, according to the operator. You just need to make sure you have the latest schedule and be there at the dock in Melk promptly before the sailing you are interested in. We found that by being among the first in line was important as it fills up fast. Go to the little ticket shed about a block away from the pier about a half-hour to 45 mins before the sailing and purchase your tickets, then run to the pier and wait in line. That’s what we did. Hope it helps. Enjoy your trip to Vienna!

    – Chris & Xiaohong

  3. Jenna Wiggins

    Hi, Chris, my husband and I are going with friends to Vienna in September. We are planning to drive to Melk and take the boat to Krems. We would like to get off and look around a little. If we want to ride the boat back to Melk, would we need to buy round trip or one way tickets, and can we even do so?

  4. Hope you have a great trip! We sure did. It’s a great boat trip through some beautiful parts of Austria. Don’t forget to visit the abbey while you are in Melk. In terms of the boat ride, you can do either – you can purchase a round trip ticket like we did and then spend some time in Krems, then board a returning boat to Melk. Or you can purchase two one-way tickets. I’d suggest a round trip, unless you are planning to stay over one day in Krems. Send an e-mail to the boat operator if you have additional questions – they are very helpful.

  5. John Kabesh

    Hello I can a cross your web site when I searched for model railroad stores in Austria. I see you listed Model Railroad miniatures as a passion. I wonder if you came a cross any good model railway stores in Vienna. I am taking a Budapest to Nuremberg cruise.

  6. Good luck on your cruise – sounds nice. We didn’t find any model railway stores in Vienna, although the Austrian Railway Group lists some shops in Vienna: Hope you can find one that’s suitable.

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