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A different experience in the City of Music

A different experience in the City of Music

Regarded as the City of Music, an evening in Vienna would not be complete without attending a musical performance. Vienna is filled with palaces including the beautiful Hofburg Palace, initially built in the 13th century and was the seat of Kings and Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It has been home to some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history and is currently the official seat of the President of Austria. Following the end of WWI and as a result of the skyrocketing costs of the war, mostly financed by borrowing, the country experienced tremendous inflation that wiped out the savings of many middle-class Viennese. Nobility was abolished in 1919 with the fall of the Austria-Hungary Empire when it collapsed as a result of defeat in World War I and families lost not only their titles but also their homes (palaces). Today, their homes (palaces) are government buildings, museums …. and musical venues. On every River Cruise visiting Vienna, there is usually an opportunity for guests to attend a musical performance, whether this be included within the initial price or offered as an option, it is a memorable evening. A typical Vienna experience will see guests returning to the Riverboat mid afternoon from a morning and early afternoon exploring the city in time to prepare for an early dinner (4:30pm) onboard their Riverboat (don’t worry, there is usually a late supper when you return). The riverboats are docked about 15 minutes from the centre of town therefore after dinner coaches take the guests back into town to one of the many palaces to experience ‘an evening in Vienna’. The Hofburg Palace is a very popular and well utilised Musical Venue. When guests arrive, typically they are given a ticket to collect a drink at intermission and seated theatre style in a large ballroom along with guests from other Riverboats and visitors from around the world who some may have only purchased their ticket that day from a guy in the street who looked like Mozart. There can be up to 500 guests at any one performance. Remember that the ballrooms in these palaces were not built for Musical Performances, they can be a little hot and stuffy and the facilities for catering and use of the bathrooms are limited. You sit on folding chairs on one level and look to the small stage at the front of the ballroom to watch the performance. Once the music begins however, guests are in awe. They remember they are in a Royal Palace where the acoustics are fabulous and they are listening to some of the greatest Musicians in the world. The fact that many don’t get a drink at half time because the queue is too long or they need a map to find the bathrooms is soon forgotten – it is an enjoyable evening and of course they have supper back on their floating home away from home to look forward to on their return. In the last couple of years, a few operators have introduced a Champagne Reception in another ballroom or Palace in addition to and prior to the main performance.

With Tauck, the experience is a little different…

When you travel with Tauck, the evening in Vienna is a true Tauck highlight and one that is remembered by guests as one of the most extraordinary experiences, not just of their trip, but of their lifetime. As a guest of Tauck in Vienna, you have the opportunity to spend the whole day sightseeing before returning to the ship around the same time as guests of other Riverboats are beginning their early dinner. Meeting in the Panorama Lounge of your Tauck Riverboat at 6pm, guests return to the centre of Vienna and are taken to Palais Pallavicini. An Austrian noble family could be identified as how important they were in society by their palace’s proximity to the Emperor’s Palace, the Hofburg. Located adjacent to the Hofburg and sharing the Josefsplatz, Palais Pallavicini today is the venue for many important political events, hosting Heads of State and nobility from around the world ….AND TAUCK. Guests enter the Palace through two enormous doors adorned with the Pallavicini crest and ascend a staircase into an ornate anti chamber to the main ballroom where they are met by white gloved Viennese waiters holding heavy silver trays laden with crystal goblets filled with sparkling Austrian wines.

Guests are in awe of the grandeur and beauty but are soon speechless when following a short reception, the doors on one side of this room are opened and guests are invited to cross the threshold into the most beautiful baroque ballroom you have even seen where they are shown to one of only 13 tables where they enjoy a sumptuous three course dinner accompanied by the finest wines whilst being entertained in the same room where Mozart and Beethoven played by some of the world’s finest musicians. Guests are entertained by singers and dancers who wind their way through the tables, so close that you can almost hear the pitter patter of their feet. The evening is spectacular. Eduardo Pallavicini and his family reside at the Palace and often join the Tauck guests who he insists are treated as his own personal guests. On returning to the Riverboat, the onboard Cruise Directors have been told on many occasions by guests “I would have come for this evening alone” – there is no better compliment. This evening is only one of the many Tauck ‘Sparkling Events’ and highlights you will enjoy on every journey when you choose to be a guest of Tauck…

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