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Fairytale Bavaria & Danube Cruise

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Magnificent castles, mysterious forests magical mountains and cruise the blue Danube

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
11 days From £2,895 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2022 Tour code: BYR22

About the tour

Bavaria's magnificent castles, mysterious forests and magical mountains are the backdrop to this majestic tour. Discover this historic kingdom, including Neuschwanstein Castle and the Bavarian Zugspitze Mountain Railway, from our base in charming Fussen. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary: Budapest - Passau

Some departures run a reversed itinerary – View reversed Passau - Budapest itinerary (BVR22)

Itinerary: Passau - Budapest

You are viewing the reversed itinerary – switch back to Budapest - Passau itinerary (BYR22)

Day 1 - To Stuttgart

We meet at London's St Pancras International this morning in time for the Eurostar service to Paris. Here we cross the city and catch the local train to Stuttgart for a night at the Maritim Hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle

This morning we journey via Ausburg to Füssen by rail, where we will spend the next two nights at the Luitpold Park Hotel.

This afternoon we enjoy an excursion to two of the finest Bavarian castles, beginning at honey-coloured Hohenschwangau Castle before visiting glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. The most famous of all King Ludwig II's castles, Neuschwanstein bristles with towers and spires, and was the inspiration for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disney World. The building is a fantastic imitation of a medieval castle, which was equipped with some revolutionary modern conveniences for its time, such as running water, flushing toilets and a warm air heating system. Construction of the castle began in 1869 and ended in 1892, although the work was never actually completed. Built into the mountains and standing proudly above the surrounding forests, its turrets and halls are resplendent white against a backdrop of green.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 3 - Journey on the Zugspitze Railway

Today we ascend the tallest mountain in Germany, the noble Zugspitze. To reach the summit, we first board the remarkable Zugspitze Railway. The line takes us from the charming Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on an 11-mile journey to the peak of Germany's highest mountain - overcoming a height difference of 2,897ft. On leaving Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the scenery becomes ever-more dramatic, with the spiky, snow-covered peaks towering over dense patches of woodland below.

After pausing at Eibsee station, our journey continues into the mountains, using a series of wide curves to gain height. Zugspitze Railway then passes through Höllental or 'Hell Valley' named for its dramatic slopes and narrow gorge that made climbing the mountain difficult. We then run through an area thick with pine trees before disappearing onto a long tunnel built to protect the railway from the most extreme weather. We emerge near the summit of Zugspitze, where the views out over Bavaria and Austria are incredible. The final leg of this journey is taken by cable car. On our descent back down, we stop at beautiful Lake Eibsee before returning to Füssen.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - To Budapest

On Day 4 we drive to Munich for the train to Budapest, where we meet the Amadeus Queen or Silver II. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge.

Includes
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - To Budapest and boarding your ship

Following breakfast, we drive to Munich for the train to Budapest. On arriving in Budapest, we meet the Amadeus Queen or Silver II and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Discovering Budapest

This morning we enjoy a guided coach and walking tour, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion.

We return to the ship for lunch, after which you have some free time before we begin cruising to Bratislava, passing through the splendid Danube Bend along the way. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests, all soaked in the golden glow of twilight.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - The history and music of Vienna

We arrive into glorious Vienna for a comprehensive sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - The history and music of Vienna

After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna for a sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. You'll see many of Vienna's most ornate buildings, including the impressive Opera House - one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building. Tonight a real treat awaits us. After dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for a private recital. Be whisked away by the music and immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Melk Abbey

Today we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have time at leisure. As we sit down to lunch on board, we begin cruising along the picturesque Wachau Valley, an extremely scenic area with green valleys and vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views. We then journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th-century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube. It is also home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Salzburg or the Austrian Lake District

On Day 10 we disembark in Linz this morning, where you have a choice of excursions. You could head further into the countryside for a day spent amidst the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes. Make stops at UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses, Hallstättersee Lake, and Mondsee. This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in the wedding scenes of 'The Sound of Music'. Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birthplace of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage site. We rejoin the ship in Passau.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Regensburg

Regensberg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. Back on board tonight, we attend the Captain's gala dinner, a chance to don our evening-wear and celebrate our cruise experience.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - London

On Day 12 your cruise comes to an end and you disembark your ship in Passau. Here you are escorted by your Tour Manager by rail to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 1 - To Stuttgart

We meet at London's St Pancras International this morning in time for the Eurostar service to Paris. Here we cross the city and catch the local train to Stuttgart for a night at the Maritim Hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Free time in Fussen

This morning we journey to Füssen by rail, where we spend the next three nights. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle

This afternoon we enjoy an excursion to two of the finest Bavarian castles, beginning at honeycoloured Hohenschwangau (Castle of the High Swan County) Castle before visiting glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. The most famous of all King Ludwig II's castles, Neuschwanstein bristles with towers and spires. The building is a fantastic imitation of a medieval castle; one which was equipped with some revolutionary modern conveniences for its time.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Journey on the Zugspitze Railway

Today we ascend the tallest mountain in Germany, the noble Zugspitze. To reach the summit, we first board the remarkable Zugspitze Railway, then the final leg of this journey is taken by cable car. On our descent back down, we stop at beautiful Lake Eibsee before returning to Füssen.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Continue by rail to Passau

This morning we journey by coach to Passau. On arriving in Passau, we meet the Amadeus Queen, Silver II or Imperial and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Regensburg

Regensberg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. We enjoy dinner back on board tonight.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Salzburg or the Austrian Lake District

We arrive into Passau this morning where you have a choice of excursions. You could head further into the countryside for a day spent amidst the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes. Make stops in UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses perched on the tiny plain between the mountains and Hallstättersee Lake, as well as Mondsee.This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name, and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in the wedding scenes of 'The Sound of Music'.

Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birth place of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Melk Abbey

On Day 8 we journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube and is home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps. We then make our way to Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have time at leisure. As we sit down to lunch on board we begin cruising along the picturesque Wachau Valley, an extremely scenic area with green valleys and vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - The history and music of Vienna

After a calm night of cruising, we arrive into glorious Vienna, for a comprehensive sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. You'll see many of Vienna's finest ornate buildings, including the impressive Hofburg Palace. This vast complex of buildings demonstrates the awesome power and wealth commanded by the Habsburgs. You'll also take in the impressive Opera House, one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building.

Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital. Be whisked away by the music as you immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience, as the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most popular and skilled orchestras in the world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Arrival in Bratislava

Your morning is at leisure aboard before we moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, we set out on a guided coach tour of Slovakian capital. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava straddles the Danube which neatly divides the city into two parts; the Baroque Old Town (Stare Mesto) and the new city. This picture-postcard city destination historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobbled stoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, pastel 18th century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. Following our excursion, we return to the ship for another delicious, 5-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Discovering Budapest

This morning we arrive at the scenic Danube Bend. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests.

After lunch on board, we enjoy a guided coach tour of Budapest, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion. Later take in the illuminated sights as we sail around the city. We are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - Nuremberg

On Day 12 we disembark after breakfast to start the journey back home, stopping in Nuremberg for a overnight stay.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - London

On Day 13, we transfer to the station to carry on our journey back to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Luitpoldpark Hotel

Luitpoldpark Hotel, Fussen

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Maritim Hotel

Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart

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Trains

Eurostar
Thalys

Ships

MS Amadeus Silver II
MS Amadeus Queen

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Fairytale Bavaria & Danube Cruise

Magnificent castles, mysterious forests magical mountains and cruise the blue Danube

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