The DDSG Port Vienna is the center for passenger shipping, housing cruise agencies, booking agencies, and restaurants. The First Danube Steamship Company (DDSG) was founded in 1829, when it navigated the Danube and its tributaries. It undertook marine navigation in 1934. Before World War I, DDSG maintained one of Europe's largest inland fleets, and it continued to be an important shipping interest on the Danube until World War II. Returned to Austrian ownership in 1955, it became a state-owned enterprise. In 1991, it was split into two bodies, one for freight and one for passengers. In 1995, the Port of Vienna and the Osterreichisches Verkehrsburo tourist office formed the DDSG-Blue Danube, with five ships for excursions between Vienna and Wachau. The state-owned DDSG controls landing rights at about 50 landing stations. As you might guess, you can find a long list of cruises at the Cruise Compete website.
Being one of the least spoiled of all of western Europe's great capitals, the city is famous for its architecture, gardens, and parks. Pedestrian travelers can easily visit many areas of the city to enjoy the many sights the Port of Vienna offers.
The Viennese art of living has survived and matured through many historic periods and tumultuous times. You can still hear the same music and enjoy theatrical performances as people did 100 years ago. The city still enjoys the reforms instituted by Maria Theresa and Joseph II. Parks, cafes, bands, opulent stores, and enchanting shops remain.
But traditional Vienna is only one face of the city. It has a young vibrant music scene, exciting nightclubs, entertaining street performers, and friendly welcoming residents. It also has an engrained "coffee culture" where the Kaffeehaus is still the place to have a cup of coffee, read the paper, and meet friends and lovers.
Visitors to the Port of Vienna will want to see its grand castles and palaces. The Schloss Schonbrunn, the Habsburg summer palace, is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It compares to the palace at Versailles, with gardens, the oldest zoo in the world, a maze and labyrinth, and a panoramic view of the city.
The Hofburg Palace was home to Habsburg emperors until 1918. Born as a medieval castle, it has been expanded and redecorated many times - adding stables, the Imperial chancery, a court library, and a riding school. You'll want to reserve a block of time to spend viewing the buildings, each full of treasures. The palace also contains several museums including the apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
While you're in the Port of Vienna, there are more "must see" sights. The Wiener Metropol theater is a favorite of the Viennese. The Naschmarkt houses 22 market places offering a variety of unique goods. In the summer, they have nice open-air gardens. The famous Vienna Boys Choir, born in 1498 to entertain the Habsburgs, still performs.
The Museumsquartier is a great place on summer evenings. You can rest in one of the fiberglass sofas, buy drinks at an open bar, or picnic on the grass. In the summer, there are many open-air film festivals and the annual ImPulsTanz Festival for comtemporary dance and performance.