Cruises > The Grand Danube – 2019

  • Select Voyages - Belgrade

  • Select Voyages - Bratislava Castle

  • Select Voyages - Bratislava

  • Select Voyages - Budapest Bridge

  • Select Voyages - Budapest

  • Select Voyages - Dürnstein

  • Select Voyages - Iron Gate Sailing Passage

  • Select Voyages - Novi Sad

  • Select Voyages - Passau View

  • Select Voyages - Passau

  • Select Voyages - Puszta Horse Show

  • Select Voyages - Select Belvedere

  • Select Voyages - Vienna

  • Select Voyages - Vienna Tram

The Grand 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 2,857 km, 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 Grand 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.

Highlights

  • Discover four stunning capitals in one cruise: Vienna, Belgrade, 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

Day 2 - 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 3 - Kalocsa & Mohacs

In Kalocsa, capital of the Hungarian Paprika, we will visit a Paprika house and museum which present the success story of the world-famous ‘red gold of Kalocsa’. Even nowadays, the process from growing until manual harvesting, is done the traditional way, with century-old implements. The stages of manual processing preserve the age-old traditions and at the same time guarantee the quality of the exquisite, real Hungarian spiced paprika. Next on the program is a visit to the Folk Art House, a 200-year old building which exhibits the former faming-lifestyle and original techniques.

Day 4 - Belgrade

Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, is one of four major capital cities situated along the Danube. The city sits on a strategic point at the junction of the Danube and Sava rivers; something that has also proved a source of weakness as well as strength over the ages. Reminders of past rulers are everywhere to be seen – from grandiose Habsburg boulevards, to cafes that recall the former days of Communist Yugoslavia. Despite the colorful history, many visitors agree that contemporary Belgrade is very picturesque and most interesting to witness as the mingling and merging of styles creates a discoverable harmony.

Day 5 - Iron Gate Sailing Passage

Day 6 - Ruse

Ruse is one of Bulgaria's most elegant cities. With its imposing architecture and neatly trimmed leafy squares, it is often known as the ‘little Vienna’ of the east. During the 16th century, Rousse was one of the main cities of the Ottoman Empire, and this is reflected by its economic and cultural development over the years. Its past is displayed with an abundance of museums and its impressive Roman fortress, which stands guard high over the Danube. The heart of Rousse lies at the grand place Svoboda, also known as Liberty square, which is dominated by the huge Freedom Monument. Explore other impressive landmarks of Rousse, such as the Holy Trinity church, the Alyosha monument, the Concert Hall, the Pantheon, the Opera House and the beautiful Central train station. The tour proceeds to the History Museum, which contains over 130.000 pieces of cultural artifacts. As a last stop, visit the Ethnographic Museum which gives impressions of the 19th century lifestyle of the region.

Day 7 - Cernavoda

This excursion departs from Cernavoda harbor, where the Danube-Black Sea canal begins. The first stop is Constanta, which is notably Romania’s largest and most important port-city on the Black Sea. The town has a wealth of archaeological treasures and an atmospheric old town center. The Constanta city tour includes the Grand Mosque Carol I, built in Moorish style architecture and modeled after the famous Konjeh mosque in Anatolia. Other great landmarks on the tour include the Orthodox church ‘Peter and Paul’ and the Genoese Light House. Perched on a cliff side overlooking the Black Sea, we also find the ‘Monte Carlo of Constanta’, which is an abandoned and majestic Casino, with an impressive structure made up of art deco shapes and details. Next on the agenda is a delicious lunch hosted by the traditional Romanian town of ‘Efforie’. As a last stop, you will have the chance to explore the 8km-long beachfront on your own in ‘Mamaia’ and maybe even take a dip in the Black Sea!

Day 8 - Giurgiu & Turnu Măgurele

After breakfast, the excursion heads from Giurgui to Romania’s dynamic capital Bucharest. Meandering through the heart of the city, we then head towards Patriarchy Hill, which is a highly symbolic of historical significance to Romania, and where we find the Patriarch Cathedral. This 17th century cathedral has always been the center of the Romanian Orthodox faith and is now a national symbol. Inside be sure to admire the exquisite fresco paintings and sculptures. Other impressive landmarks encountered in Bucharest are Parliament Palace - the world’s second-largest building after the Pentagon, and the beautiful Romanian Athenaeum, which is home to the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra and is an absolute architectural jewel! The last stop before lunch is the Royal Palace, known to be the location where the Romanian revolution first ignited in December 1989.

Day 9 - Iron Gate Sailing Passage

Day 10 - Novi Sad

First the tour heads towards the lovely baroque town of Sremski Karlovci, a town that has been the cultural center of Serbia for several centuries. After a short walk through the town, we will visit the Beekeeping Museum and a 300 year old wine cellar where you will learn about the development of viticulture in Serbia. Enjoy varied wine tastings, accompanied by local products including honey and brandy in combination with some delicious cheese, bread and olives. Following the tasting, we continue to Novi Sad.

Day 11 - Mohacs

During this tour, discover the multicultural identity of the “borderless city” of Pecs, which is located in the southwestern part of Hungary at the foot of the Mecsek Mountains. This beautiful city is over 2000 years old, and was favored by the ancient Romans, numerous Hungarian kings of the middle ages, Turkish conquerors and the Habsburgs. The illustrious past of Pecs has left many impressive architectural traces such as the medieval Cathedral with its Romanesque gloom, the Turkish mosque and the city hall with its richly decorated Zsolnay ceramic tiles. This city, where east and west collide, is a real must-see and will be highlighted by both coach and walking opportunities.

Day 12 - 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”.

Day 13 - 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 14 - Melk

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.

Day 15 - Passau

Excursions

Day 2 – Vienna
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.

Day 3 – Kalocsa 
Kalocsa Paprika House and Puszta Horse Show
In Kalocsa, capital of the Hungarian Paprika, we will visit a Paprika house and museum which present the success story of the world-famous ‘red gold of Kalocsa’. Even nowadays, the process from growing until manual harvesting, is done the traditional way, with century-old implements. The stages of manual processing preserve the age-old traditions and at the same time guarantee the quality of the exquisite, real Hungarian spiced paprika. Next on the program is a visit to the Folk Art House, a 200-year old building which exhibits the former faming-lifestyle and original techniques.

We then head to the Puszta horse farm where guests are welcomed with local brandy and traditional delicacies. Conquering the Carpathian Basin over a thousand years ago on horseback, Hungarians still hold onto their riding talents and traditions, particularly when it comes to breath-taking horse stunts. The Hungarian Magyar cowboys will perform an exciting and daring equestrian show that will leave you breathless. 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 an eventful day, refresh your taste buds with some delicious Hungarian wine and food specialties whilst enjoying the beautiful sounds of live Hungarian music.

Day 4 – Belgrade
City Tour Belgrade
During the Belgrade city tour, you’ll uncover significant landmarks such as the ‘Knez Milos’ street (so called street of “messages”), Parliament, City Hall, Princess Ljubica’s Palace and the Botanical Gardens. Once arriving at the grand Kalemegdan Park, we continue by foot to the Kalemegdan fortress, which was originally built by the Celts in the third century BC. From here, an amazing panoramic view opens up to reveal a majestic city and its surroundings. Before returning to the ship, be sure to also take a visit to the impressive temple of the Holy Sava, situated within the Karađorđe park.

Day 6 – Ruse
City Tour Ruse
Rousse is one of Bulgaria’s most elegant cities. With its imposing architecture and neatly trimmed leafy squares, it is often known as the ‘little Vienna’ of the east. During the 16th century, Rousse was one of the main cities of the Ottoman Empire, and this is reflected by its economic and cultural development over the years. Its past is displayed with an abundance of museums and its impressive Roman fortress, which stands guard high over the Danube. The heart of Rousse lies at the grand place Svoboda, also known as Liberty square, which is dominated by the huge Freedom Monument. Explore other impressive landmarks of Rousse, such as the Holy Trinity church, the Alyosha monument, the Concert Hall, the Pantheon, the Opera House and the beautiful Central train station. The tour proceeds to the History Museum, which contains over 130.000 pieces of cultural artifacts. As a last stop, visit the Ethnographic Museum which gives impressions of the 19th century lifestyle of the region.

Day 7 – Cernavoda
Excursion to the Black Sea (Full Day)
This excursion departs from Cernavoda harbor, where the Danube-Black Sea canal begins. The first stop is Constanta, which is notably Romania’s largest and most important port-city on the Black Sea. The town has a wealth of archaeological treasures and an atmospheric old town center. The Constanta city tour includes the Grand Mosque Carol I, built in Moorish style architecture and modeled after the famous Konjeh mosque in Anatolia. Other great landmarks on the tour include the Orthodox church ‘Peter and Paul’ and the Genoese Light House. Perched on a cliff side overlooking the Black Sea, we also find the ‘Monte Carlo of Constanta’, which is an abandoned and majestic Casino, with an impressive structure made up of art deco shapes and details. Next on the agenda is a delicious lunch hosted by the traditional Romanian town of ‘Efforie’. As a last stop, you will have the chance to explore the 8km-long beachfront on your own in ‘Mamaia’ and maybe even take a dip in the Black Sea!

Day 8 – Giurgui & Turnu Măgurele
Excursion to Bucharest (Full Day)
After breakfast, the excursion heads from Giurgui to Romania’s dynamic capital Bucharest. Meandering through the heart of the city, we then head towards Patriarchy Hill, which is a highly symbolic of historical significance to Romania, and where we find the Patriarch Cathedral. This 17th century cathedral has always been the center of the Romanian Orthodox faith and is now a national symbol. Inside be sure to admire the exquisite fresco paintings and sculptures. Other impressive landmarks encountered in Bucharest are Parliament Palace – the world’s second-largest building after the Pentagon, and the beautiful Romanian Athenaeum, which is home to the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra and is an absolute architectural jewel! The last stop before lunch is the Royal Palace, known to be the location where the Romanian revolution first ignited in December 1989.
Lunch takes place at a lake-side restaurant in the heart of a beautiful park, where you enjoy a local Romanian folklore show. After lunch we visit the village museum, which displays traditional Romanian village life. On our way back to the ship in Turnu Măgurele, keep a good eye out on the passing landscape, as we travel through the vibrant Romanian Plains.

Day 10 – Novi Sad
City Tour Novi Sad & Wine Tasting
First the tour heads towards the lovely baroque town of Sremski Karlovci, a town that has been the cultural center of Serbia for several centuries. After a short walk through the town, we will visit the Beekeeping Museum and a 300 year old wine cellar where you will learn about the development of viticulture in Serbia. Enjoy varied wine tastings, accompanied by local products including honey and brandy in combination with some delicious cheese, bread and olives. Following the tasting,  we continue to Novi Sad.
One of the first impressions of Novi Sad is that it is a city of well-tended beauty. Easy-going and surrounded by fertile lowland, the Fruška Mountains and the beautiful Danube, the capital city of the Vojvodina region is a pearl amongst the Serbian cities. On a rocky cliff at the base of Fruska Gora, we find the Petrovaradin Fortress, one of the largest, most complex and best-preserved artillery bastions in this part of Europe, which dominates the city from the banks of the Danube. Contrastingly, the center is a quiet and tranquil oasis known as Dunavski park, where you are welcome to enjoy a leisurely stroll before returning to the ship.

Day 11 – Mohacs
City Tour Pecs
During this tour, discover the multicultural identity of the “borderless city” of Pecs, which is located in the southwestern part of Hungary at the foot of the Mecsek Mountains. This beautiful city is over 2000 years old, and was favored by the ancient Romans, numerous Hungarian kings of the middle ages, Turkish conquerors and the Habsburgs. The illustrious past of Pecs has left many impressive architectural traces such as the medieval Cathedral with its Romanesque gloom, the Turkish mosque and the city hall with its richly decorated Zsolnay ceramic tiles. This city, where east and west collide, is a real must-see and will be highlighted by both coach and walking opportunities.

Day 12 – Budapest
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 13 – Bratislava
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 14 – Melk
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.

*Excursions are bookable in three different packages. Please contact us for more information and prices.

Schedule

EMBDEBNIGHTSFROMTO
29 April 201913 May 201914PassauPassau
19 August 20192 September 201914PassauPassau
30 September 201914 October 201914PassauPassau
, Passau - Passau
anchor Select Belvedere