Danube River Cruise
As Europe’s second-longest river and a vital means of transportation for 2,000 years, the Danube River is the only major European river to flow from west to east. The Danube river rises in Germany’s Black Forest and flows through or along the borders of 10 countries – Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, where it divides into an expansive delta, the northernmost branch of which continues along the border of Ukraine and Moldova, before entering the Black Sea. The Main-Danube canal, which joins the Main and Danube rivers and stretches for a length of 106 miles from Bamberg to Regensburg in Germany, with a total of 16 locks, has made it possible to travel by river cruise ship from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
There are multiple Danube River cruises as well as many that include the Danube River as part of the journey. There are 5 day Budapest to Vienna cruises all the way up to 23 day North Sea to Black Sea cruises. You can choose the length of cruise that fits your vacation schedule or the itinerary with stops in the cities you’d most like to visit.
The most popular Danube River Cruise runs from Nuremberg to Budapest and visits Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest, with guided sightseeing in each city. Sail through the fascinating Main Danube Canal and witness the scenic beauty as you cruise past quaint towns. Attend a beer tasting, tour Melk’s splendid Benedictine Abbey, and experience the music, art, culture, and historical sites in romantic Vienna—a memorable vacation!
Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII but much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses. Nuremberg’s traditions include its famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working.
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights are the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers.
Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses the world’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port.
Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking!
Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire and Austria’s capital has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few. Take your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café.
Budapest, spanning the banks of the Danube, is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fisherman’s Bastion and the Matthias Church are among the many sights to see. You can shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain, and paprika.
Cruises also run the reverse route. Extend your vacation with pre or post city stays.