Budapest is breathtakingly beautiful, kept in perfect balance by the Danube as it divides the city’s divergent sides. A delightful way to discover Budapest’s dazzling landmarks that line both banks is to take a leisurely river cruise, slowly soaking in the views of magnificent monuments. Silverline’s freshly refurbished boat takes passengers on scenic cruises several times a day, stopping by the city’s Margaret Island parkland and at Batthyány Square – which are both venues of the FINA World Championships hosted by Hungary this year, during which passengers can get a discount on boat tickets.
Silverline’s freshly refurbished boat – currently emblazoned with big banners by Mastercard – embarks on a pleasant cruise every 1.5 hours from Dock 11 of downtown Pest’s , with the first voyage departing at 11am and the last trip departing at 9:30pm. Thanks to Mastercard, during the time of the 2017 FINA World Championships – ending on July 30th – this exquisite experience is now more tempting than ever, as anyone who buys their tickets with a Maestro card or Mastercard gets a 25% discountfrom the purchase price, and anyone who pays with their smart phone can board the boat for half of the original price. With these tickets, passengers are allowed to hop on and off the boats as much as they like over a 48-hour period.
After boarding the boat, visitors find themselves amid the unique environment of a lounge reminiscent of a restaurant, where the experience can be further enhanced with drinking and dining. However, people who want to enjoy a breezier boat ride can head upstairs to the deck. As the ship pulls away from the dock and begins its placid and pleasant voyage at a slow pace, an English audio guide welcomes passengers aboard, enabling everyone to explore Budapest’s scenic scenery while immersing in its rich heritage at the same time.
Heading upriver, the gentle and soothing rocking of the boat adds a special touch to the entire sightseeing experience. The first major monuments that catch our eyes are the glamorous on the right side, and the crowning the hilltop to the left. Passing underneath the charming , passengers can take a close-up look at the lions purposefully guarding the bridge. Next in line are the towering Gothic-style and the coming into view as the boat slowly cruises against the current towards the . The view to this breathtakingly beautiful neo-Gothic edifice from the middle of the river is truly picture-perfect. As the audio guide reveals intriguing information about Hungary’s history and architecture, passengers can marvel at these magnificent monuments from an extremely central perspective, taking professional-quality pictures.
Leaving the Parliament behind, we head towards , whose two parts enclose 165 degrees leading to the city’s premier parkland isle, . The boat stops for a few minutes here to let new passengers board, and those who would like to explore the island can also hop off. The boat stop on the island is found in close proximity to the , one of the venues of the FINA World Championships, as well as a fan zone with free entry, where everyone can follow and enjoy the competitions projected live onto huge screens.
Leaving the island, the boat turns back around, continuing the breezy ride south towards Batthyány Square, where it stops again for a few minutes. At this stop, passengers can take a sneak peek at the temporary high diving platform built for the FINA competitions, before floating further downriver towards the . However, instead of quickly docking again, the boat takes its time to pass underneath the bridge, heading towards one of the most beautiful central spans of the city, the. Here, visitors can compare the buzzing atmosphere of Pest around and the to the sylvan setting of the Buda side adorned with the unique campuses of the . The boat passes so close to – the world’s most famous repurposed Ukrainian cargoship, and one of Budapest’s best hangouts – that we can even take a glance inside, catching a glimpse of lovers sharing a kiss above their afternoon drinks.
Before heading back to the dock, passengers can also admire the that encompasses the , the , the , and a truly pleasant garden, which is normally not on the list of the city’s short-term visitors, even thought it is well worth exploring. Concluding the cruise at the starting point on Március 15. Square, visitors can pop into , an unofficial fan zone for the FINA World Championships, to catch up on the events of the competitions, devour delicious drinks and meals, and to enjoy other benefits provided by Mastercard. If you wish to discover Budapest’s magnificent panoramas through a truly moving performance, pull out your Mastercard and get aboard!