Cruises > The Classic Danube – 2019
The Classic Danube – 2019
Discover Central and Eastern Europe the same way travelers and traders have for two thousand years: along the river Danube. The Danube was, and continues to be, a vital economic trading route for cities and towns along its shores. As a result, this waterway is steeped in history, just waiting to be explored. At 2,857km, the Danube is the second longest river in Europe and flows through 10 countries. Just imagine the array of culture, architecture, and culinary delights flanking the river shores as it flows through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and finally to the Black Sea.
However, there is more to the Danube than its cultural history. Cruising on this river, you will also experience the stunning and ever-changing landscapes of Europe. With its magnificent winding gorges and idyllic vineyards, the beauty of this region has been the inspiration for countless artists, writers and composers over many centuries.
Explore major cities like Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava and small delightful towns like Austria’s Dürnstein on our Classic Danube cruise. Let us impress you with tailor-made and carefully designed excursions to historical sites and ruins, castles and wineries. A cruise on the Danube is truly an exciting and fulfilling experience not to be missed by any traveler.
- Discover three stunning capitals in one cruise: Vienna, Budapest & Bratislava
- Visit the impressive Benedictine Abbey of Melk
- Enjoy a classical concert in the European capital of music: Vienna
- Experience the famous Hungarian Puszta horse adventure
- Treat yourself to local culinary delights
Day to day
Day 1 - Passau
The border city of Passau, one of the most popular places in Bavaria, is also known as the Dreifl üssestadt (City of three rivers). Here the River Danube is joined by the Inn and Ilz rivers and grows to become one of Europe’s major waterways. Passau has a well preserved medieval centre, complete with Sankt Stephan Cathedral, home to Europe’s largest pipe organ.
Day 2 - Melk & Vienna
Located in the beautiful Unesco World Heritage ‘Wachau Valley’, the town of Melk has been a spiritual and cultural center of Austria for more than 1000 years. It is best known for its impressive baroque style, Benedictine monastery known as Melk Abbey which is also one of Austria’s great cultural highlights and Europe’s largest Abbeys.
Day 3 - Vienna
Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe. Not only is it a place worth seeing for its architectural charm; it also boasts a collection of famous figures throughout history such as Sisi, Strauss, Mozart and the memorable images of Gustav Klimt. The city is bursting with history, distinguished monuments, museums, palaces, scenic parks, charming cafés and noteworthy pastry shops!
Day 4 - Budapest
As the capital of Hungary, Budapest is often called the “Paris of the East” and is a highlight for travelers from far and wide. You will get a sense of Budapest’s colorful history, but also insight into how the city’s division by the Danube river has played such an important role in society over the centuries - one side known as “Buda” and the other “Pest”.
Day 5 - Budapest
Day 6 - Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is considered the main economic, political and cultural capital of the country. The city encompasses a fine blend of past and present; on one hand many historical buildings display the city’s rich past routes, however on the other hand, universities and urban youth cultures ultimately create a bustling juxtaposition within one city.
Day 7 - Dürnstein
We will visit the medieval castle town of Dürnstein, situated in the beautiful heart of the ‘Wachau Valley’ in Austria.
Day 8 - Passau
Day 2 – Melk & Vienna (Austria)
Melk Abbey Tour
Located in the beautiful Unesco World Heritage ‘Wachau Valley’, the town of Melk has been a spiritual and cultural center of Austria for more than 1000 years. It is best known for its impressive baroque style, Benedictine monastery known as Melk Abbey which is also one of Austria’s great cultural highlights and Europe’s largest Abbeys. Since the 12th century, a school has been connected with the monastery, and valuable manuscripts have been collected here, which have ultimately helped to create an absolutely breathtaking library that you will see within the Abbey chambers. After the tour, enjoy time to stroll the Abbey gardens on your own.
Vienna Classical Concert
As the German name still suggests, the ‘Kursalon Palace’ was originally intended as a spa resort, however, over time this magnificent building has quickly grown into a vibrant hotspot in the heart of Vienna, promoting the very essence of what Vienna is famous for: classical music.
In the very place where Johann Strauss himself used to direct his orchestra from the position of first violin, Vienna’s classical music scene can once again be experienced in modern times.
Enjoy an evening full of Viennese charm with the swinging sound of waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operetta and piano concerto melodies. Accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and enchanting ballet soloists, this classical concert is an experience you don’t want to miss!
Day 3 – Vienna (Austria)
City Tour Vienna
The tour begins by bus as we head in the direction of the famous Viennese Ring, where you’ll enjoy major attractions such as the Urania, State Opera House, Parliament, the seat of the Habsburgs Hofburg, City Hall, Burg Theater and Vienna University. We then delve deeper into the city on foot, starting at the famous Albertina Museum. From here, we take a one-hour leisurely walk along the former city moat called the “Graben” where you’ll discover the Hofsburg; then we head towards St. Stephen’s church. Throughout the tour, uncover the secrets behind Vienna’s rich culture and stunning architecture. Afterwards, you will have some time to enjoy the city on your own.
Schönbrunn Palace Tour
Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of the Habsburg family and notably Empress Elisabeth, who is better known as Sisi. Considered yet another World Cultural Heritage site of the area, Schönbrunn Palace is made up of 1441 rooms and is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in the country. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, displaying the changing tastes, interests and aspirations of the Habsburg monarchs. Today it is largely in its original condition and is quite a site to see!
Enjoy a guided tour through the authentically furnished residential and ceremonial rooms of the Imperial family palace. After the tour you will have some time to visit the Palace’s gardens and monuments on your own.
Day 4 – Budapest (Hungary)
City Tour Budapest
Discover the magical city of Budapest with a guided bus & walking tour. As the capital of Hungary, Budapest is often called the “Paris of the East” and is a highlight for travelers from far and wide. The tour will not only give you a sense of Budapest’s colorful history, but also give insight into how the city’s division by the Danube river has played such an important role in society over the centuries – one side known as “Buda” and the other “Pest”.
The bus tour includes both parts of the city and will uncover famous monuments located on the street Andrássy Út, such as the Opera, Hero’s Square, the famous under-cover market, St. Stephen’s church, which is the largest synagogue in Europe in which the famous Franz Liszt played; and finally Parliament, which interestingly resembles the British Parliament building and contains nearly 20 km of corridors!
Via the famous chain bridge, we then visit the historic Buda Castle and coronation church of St. Matthew, which is where the famous Sisi and her husband were crowned as Hungarian rulers. An unforgettable view of the city will open up from the fabulous Fisherman’s Bastion, where you can enjoy the city at your fingertips.
Budapest Folkore Evening
Budapest at night is just fairytale-like! The illuminated city is an unforgettable sight not to be missed! Before, heading up to Gelliert Hill to enjoy its stunning views, we invite you to a typical Hungarian restaurant for an evening full of cultural and culinary delights. Here you will be greeted by famous gypsy musicians and taste the local “schnapps” liquor. Enjoy an authentic folklore show with traditional gypsy music and flavor local Hungarian red and white wines accompanied by typical Hungarian goulash soup.
Day 5 – Budapest (Hungary)
Puszta ‘Horse Ranch’ Tour
Hungarians and their horses – it’s a very special relationship. Conquering the Carpathian Basin over a thousand years ago on horseback, Hungarians still hold onto their riding talents and traditions. The Great Plain has particularly strong traditions when it comes to breath-taking horse stunts, and today you will be able to witness these.
Our journey takes us south of Budapest to Lajosmizse, which is the gate to the lowlands. Arriving at the Puszta horse ranch you will be welcomed with local brandy and traditional delicacies. The Puszta horse ranch will show you just what Hungarian Magyar cowboys have up their sleeves as they perform an exciting and daring equestrian show. Be amazed by their outstanding riding skills and look out for the famous “Puszta-five” riding stunt, whereby one man can ride 5 horses at once while standing on their bare backs.
After all the excitement, settle down with a relaxing horse-drawn carriage as it takes you on a tour around the farm with an opportunity to even visit the animal stables.
At the end of this eventful day, refresh your taste buds with some delicious Hungarian wine and food specialties whilst enjoying the beautiful sounds of live Hungarian music.
Day 6 – Bratislava (Slovakia)
City Tour Bratislava
The Bratislava city excursion is a guided tour with a chocolate twist! The tour begins by mini-train and explores the wider city center, where you will witness historic and modern landmarks of the city such as the St. Martin’s Cathedral, the city walls, the Presidential Palace, plus spectacular views from the Slavin Monument and the castle area. We start the walking tour from St. Michael’s Gate and meander our way through the city’s main streets, discovering all the major sights, beautiful sculptures and fountains, whilst embracing the city’s history and famous legends. The city is often associated with chocolate and you will be able to experience this sweet delight during the walking tour. Following the tour, feel free to take a pleasant stroll through the old streets at your own pace, or why not take the time to soak in the atmosphere in one of the quaint cafés.
Day 7 – Dürnstein (Austria)
City Tour Dürnstein & Wine Tasting
Delight in a walking tour through the medieval castle town of Dürnstein, situated in the beautiful heart of the ‘Wachau Valley’. This guided walking tour takes you through the charming center from where you will have a wonderful view of the surrounding valley and castle ruins. From here, your guide will take you to a wine tasting where you can savor quality wines from the Wachau region. Following the tasting, you have the opportunity to return to the ship by mini-train or simply walk back at your own pace.
*Excursions are bookable in three different packages. Please contact us for more information and prices.
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• Experienced cruise director and crew members
• Daily music program in the lounge and bar
• Various local entertainment and performances
• Captain’s welcome and farewell reception (including 1 drink)
• Captain’s welcome and farewell ‘extended’ gala dinners
• Individual audio systems for excursions
• Refreshments and hand towels after excursions
• Welcome buffet
• Full board including: early-riser breakfast, buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon high-tea, dinner, late-night snack, 24hr coffee and tea
• Beverages packages
• Table water during meal services
• Luggage service: pier – ship – pier
• City maps
• Satellite TV and info-channel
• Automated onboard tipping system
• Laundry services
• Transfers and other ground arrangements