Subject: Budapest-Vienna Hydrofoil
Hi Bill, We took the hydrofoil up the Danube from Budapest to Vienna in Oct. of 1997. We enjoyed the day's trip. Looking back it didn't seem like it took 5 hours but it may very well have. The seating is enclosed. They did open a back hatch in transit a few times allowing the passengers (one at a time) to put their heads out into the fresh air. But the speed of the boat is such that the sensation is akin to sticking your head out of the window of your car on the freeway.

At one point the boat must pass through a lock ( in the Slovak Republic). At that time the passengers were able to stand on an outside deck for the 30 to 45 minutes that the process took. Overall I'd say it was a worthwhile trip. I've always enjoyed the perspective one gets while looking over landscapes from the water. Additionally,historically this was the original main artery for the transit of people and goods throughout central Europe. As a result a number of castles were built along the banks for taxing the commerce on the river and for assuring safe passage within their areas of control. Of course, as you pass by on the hydrofoil you will have the opportunity to view these fortifications as they were seen by travelers in the Middle Ages.

But remember this is not a slow barge moving down the river. Photo opportunities will be few. Although the crew did let me stick my head out the window to take a few shots of passing barges and other hydrofoils. I can't compare this trip to the train travel because I've not been on that train but even though it's a couple hours longer I think it was worth it.

Awhile back someone requested info about the ferries and I sent a message with the following link: http://www.budapesthotels.com/touristguide/mahart.asp

Hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions please ask. John Rule San Diego, CA