International Experience 2023: Inland Waterways of Europe– The Danube & Rhine Rivers

Follow Our Adventure Here!

We are 19 cadets from CSU Maritime Academy traveling from Budapest, Hungary to Amsterdam, Netherlands over 21 days. Each day, one student will post a blog entry detailing our day’s activities and providing

We will cover over 1000 miles in our three-week journey from Budapest to Amsterdam


The Danube, the second longest river in Europe, flows through ten countries, and the capital cities of Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna[1].  It is considered one of the most important shipping routes in Europe.  After the fall of the Soviet Union, 85% of the Danube became accessible to Western Europe, and in 2021, 69 million tons of goods were shipped along its waterway.  

The Rhine River is Western Europe’s economic backbone, carrying five times the amount of cargo as the Danube. Coal, iron, petrochemical and agricultural products, and container cargo travel between Europe’s most powerful countries along this route.

Connected, these two rivers both define and unite Central and Western Europe.  Both play important roles not just in trade, but in the transmission of arts and culture, and in war.

Our trip will focus on learning how these waterways operate today, the opportunities and challenges faced by those who live and work in the region.  Students will see many culturally important sites (e.g., the Vienna Opera House, the Cologne Cathedral), but will also visit ports utilizing the latest technologies and universities with opportunities for graduate study in maritime/transportation management or international relations.   We’ll visit museums that emphasize inland waterways and their importance to industry and culture, but we’ll also go behind the scenes at one of the largest transportation logistics entities in the Netherlands.  

Though we will not travel exclusively on water (too expensive), we will take several short boat trips through the most picturesque parts of each waterway.  We’ll travel by public transportation otherwise.  Come along with us!    

[1] Also Belgrade, but we’re not going there.

Trip Leaders

Dr. Julie Chisholm
Professor and IE Program Director
WhatsApp: +1-408-458-6288

Sianna Brito
IE Program Support Coordinator and Trip Assistant
WhatsAPP: +1-707-712-0745


Itinerary (subject to change)

Bon voyage letter

Syllabus for MPM 195

Blog post instructions

Sign up for your blog post date

Final paper instructions



The Danube is often enveloped in a symbolic anti-German aura. It is the river along which different peoples meet and mingle and cross-breed, rather than being, as the Rhine is, a mythical custodian of the purity of the race. It is the river of Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade and of Dacia, the river which–as Ocean encircled the world of the Greeks–embraces the Austria of the Hapsburgs, the myth and ideology of which have been symbolized by a multiple, supranatural culture. It embraces the Empire in which the sovereign addressed himself to “my peoples” and the national anthem was sung in eleven different tongues. The Danube is German-Magyar-Slavic-Romanic-Jewish Central Europe, polemically opposed to the German Reich; it is a “hinternational” ecumenic, for which Prague Johannes Urzidil praised it; it is a hinter world “behind the nations.” –Claudio Magreb, Danubia

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