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Delights of the Danube

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11 days From £2,595 £2,445 per person
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Sail from Hungary, through Austria, and into Germany along one of Europe’s most diverse rivers, exploring its wealth of culture, grand architecture, and picturesque towns.

Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys
Save up to £150pp

Save up to £150pp on selected 2024 Europe, British Isles and Cruise holidays, when you book by 10th May 2024.

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2024 Tour code: DLR24

About the tour

Experience the magic of the Danube as we cruise comfortably to Imperial Vienna and Budapest. Step back in time to explore the Ottoman and Habsburg empires. Walk among eclectic architecture in Budapest, enjoy a private music recital in Vienna and ignite the senses with plenty of local flavour.

Unforgettable Experiences

Budapest
Budapest
Immerse yourself in the sensational ‘Pearl of the Danube’ - Budapest - with a guided tour of its striking castle, stunning buildings, and impressive monuments.
Vienna
Vienna
Discover the Baroque streets and imperial palaces of Vienna on a sightseeing tour.
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey
Sail through the verdant valleys and vineyards of the beautiful Wachau Valley before visiting the 11th-century Melk Abbey with beautiful views across the Danube.
Salzburg
Salzburg
Explore the spectacular Austrian lakes or the creative culture of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart.
Bratislava
Bratislava
Admire ornate buildings, fascinating museums, and interesting galleries on a guided tour of Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To bustling Frankfurt

Our holiday begins as we meet at London St Pancras to begin our journey. We ride the Eurostar to Brussels, then continue by rail to Frankfurt, the financial capital of Germany, where we spend our first night. This lively city is renowned for its attractive Romerplatz, an old trading square where merchants used to sell their goods and where you can find the historic Rathaus building.

 

*If you would like to travel by air, view our Fly & Cruise option here. here.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Discovering Frankfurt and to lively Linz

We begin our day with a guided tour of Frankfurt, discovering its rich history, culture and landmarks. As well as the Romerplatz, we see some of the city's captivating buildings including the Cathedral, St Paul's church and Alte Opera Haus. This afternoon, we journey by rail and get our first glimpse of the Bavarian alps as we travel through Munich to the town of Linz, which sits on the Danube and is known for its gorgeous old town as well as its mix of baroque and modern architecture. We spend the night here amongst the vibrant atmosphere with picturesque views.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Linz and to Budapest where we board our luxurious ship

On a guided tour of Linz this morning, we explore its baroque old town and experience why it's described as 'upper Austria's culture and art capital'. This afternoon, we travel by rail to the mesmerising city of Budapest. Our luxurious ship awaits us here, where we're greeted with a refreshing cocktail in the lounge. After settling into your wonderful cabin and familiarising ourselves with our magnificent ship, we indulge in our first dinner on board before enjoying the enchanting ambience of a traditional Hungarian Folklore troupe.

Once the sun sets, we begin a magical night-time cruise along the Danube River, taking in the illuminated sights of Budapest. From the Gothic-style Parliament building to Buda castle, the state buildings that line the banks on both sides are all sensationally lit up, as well as the stunning Chain Bridge. Whether you choose to relax in the cosy lounge or take in the panoramic views from the sun deck, Budapest's elegant scenery is a spectacular start to our cruise.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Discovering striking Budapest

This morning, we delve deeper into Budapest's beauty and history that we saw last night. On a sightseeing tour of this captivating city, known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', we explore its impressive buildings and monuments. From St Stephen's Basilica to Heroes Square and Fisherman's Bastion, each sight is more remarkable than the last. After lunch on board, you can explore the city further at your leisure before we set sail to Bratislava.

As we sail upstream through the evening we navigate 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 have the best view as we pass the village of Visegrad famous for its hilltop castle and Esztergom, the former capital of Hungary.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Glorious Bratislava

After a morning of relaxing sailing through scenic landscapes of rolling hills and endless fields, we arrive in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, welcomed by its castle overlooking the river. We set out on a fascinating guided tour after lunch. Bratislava is divided neatly into two parts by the waters of the Danube, and we have time to get to know both the Baroque Old Town and the newer city. As we explore the enchanting streets, we're immersed in the vibrancy of the city, which has dramatic historic buildings, Baroque palaces and a wealth of fantastic museums and galleries.

Following our tour, you have plenty of free time to explore the tangle of cobblestoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, 18th-century Rococo buildings, and street cafés.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Imperial Vienna

After a calm night of cruising, we arrive in glorious Vienna for a sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial culture, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. Making our way to Ringstrasse boulevard, we see many of Vienna's most ornate buildings including the impressive Opera House (one of the leading opera venues in the world), and the grand Parliament Building.

After our tour, there's time to wander around at leisure and soak up the magnificent atmosphere of Vienna. You could indulge in the famous Sacher Torte, a Viennese delight, at one of the cosy coffee shops. Alternatively, you could explore the city centre and marvel at St. Stephen's Cathedral, or delve into one of the numerous museums the city has to offer.

Tonight, a real treat awaits us in the lounge as we're joined by four past members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra who whisk us away with their performances of well-known classical pieces.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Charming Dürnstein, beautiful Wachau Valley, and picturesque Melk Abbey

Austria's Wachau Valley is a famous wine-making region, which makes it the perfect stop on our cruise to sample the renowned local wine. There's free time in the quaint village of Dürnstein to do just that, or simply wander the charming streets, soaking up the fairytale landscapes. From the riverside, we can see the renowned castle where Richard I of England was imprisoned for a time.

This afternoon, we cruise through the scenery of the Wachau Valley during lunch, truly a highlight of the river. This scenic area of green valleys and vineyards is dotted with picturesque riverside towns and commanding fortresses.

Later, we disembark in Emmersdorf to visit Melk Abbey, an 11th-century Benedictine Abbey that stands atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube. It's here we see the abbey's church, one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – The enchanting Austrian Lake District or stunning Salzburg

This morning we wake up in beautiful Linz where you can choose between a day in the Austrian Lake District, the Salzkammergut, or a visit to Salzburg.

The first option sees us heading into the country for a day in the lakes where we stop at UNESCO-listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its pastel-coloured houses. We also visit Hallstätter See Lake and Mondsee, a pretty town set on the lake of the same name and famous for its 15th-century parish church which featured in 'The Sound of Music'.

Alternatively, travel via Mondsee to Salzburg, a beautiful Baroque city on the banks of the Salzach river. During a guided sightseeing tour, we explore Getreidegasse street, famed for its traditional shops with metal signboards the place where Mozart was born. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is filled with stunning Baroque architecture, beautiful churches, quaint squares, and charming alleyways that we admire as we meander through.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – Beautiful Passau

Today we enjoy a last cruise through vineyard-covered hills, charming villages, and medieval castles. After lunch, we arrive in the German city of Passau. Sitting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers, Passau is known as the 'Three Rivers City'. The delightful old town is filled with baroque architecture, including St. Stephen's Cathedral, and lies in the shadow of the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century hilltop fortress. Tonight, we enjoy our farewell Gala dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - To vibrant Cologne

After breakfast, it's time to disembark in Passau this morning and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. We make our way to the railway station and head to vibrant Cologne, known for its impressive Gothic cathedral, the largest in Northern Europe. After settling into our hotel there's time to explore this striking city before dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Discovering Cologne and Homeward bound

This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Cologne, getting a glimpse of the city's landmarks, including the impressive Gothic cathedral with its intricate spires and magnificent stained glass windows.

After our tour, we bid farewell to vibrant Cologne and head to the train station to make our way home. We journey by rail to Brussels where we then board the Eurostar to London St Pancras. Here, we bid farewell to new friends and fellow travellers.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

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.

Trains

Eurostar
Thalys

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

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