The beautiful Danube river from Passau to Budapest
At every bend the spectacular Danube reveals new surprises - imposing fortresses, vine-laden hillsides and alluring forests. We explore four distinctive countries and experience each region's beauty whilst discovering their rich history and varied cultures.
We meet at St Pancras International today, at Great Rail Journeys' exclusive Departure Office, in preparation for boarding the Eurostar to Brussels. We continue on the high-speed rail service to Nuremberg, spending tonight here and enjoying dinner together this evening.
Leaving Nuremberg behind, we continue by rail to Passau today. On arrival, we transfer by coach to our home for the next seven nights, the A-Rosa Donna.
The pace of the holiday is then set by you - whether you take part in optional excursions, enjoy the on board facilities, or relax and watch the world float by. This evening the ship sets sail for Vienna.
After a leisurely morning on board, we arrive in Vienna in the early afternoon, which gives you ample time to explore this sublime city under your own steam. Alternatively, you may choose to join an optional city tour today.
This morning you can explore glorious Vienna independently. The city is an effortless blend of past and present, as the grand Imperial palaces sit alongside avant-garde galleries. As you meander around Vienna, the music of its famous inhabitants - Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms - are resonant through its living streets, along with the aroma of its famous coffee.
This afternoon we have the chance to visit Schönbrunn Palace on an optional excursion, arguably one of Austria's greatest buildings, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tonight the ship cruises towards Hungary
Today we reach Esztergom, one of the oldest towns in Hungary and the nation's capital from the 10th to mid-13th century. Here you could enjoy an optional excursion to visit the mighty Esztergom Basilica. Later we cruise on to Budapest; a 'city of two halves' straddling the majestic Danube; on one bank sits attractive Buda, and on the other its lively neighbour, Pest. Enjoy your time on-board, or alternatively you could join an excursion through the Danube Bend, a series of picturesque towns and villages wedged between the river and the sharply-rising forest-covered hills.
You may also wish to explore Budapest at leisure, or join the optional guided city tour. We dock in Budapest for the night.
This morning is free to explore Budapest. Giving you a wealth of opportunity to explore and be immersed in this truly exceptional city. You are free to spend time onboard ship socialising with your cruising companions as we sail along the Danube.
We arrive in Bratislava, Slovakia's capital city, this morning. Home to a wealth of museums and galleries, the city's historic centre features delightful cobble-stoned roads, pastel 18th century rococo buildings and pedestrian plazas. Explore at leisure or perhaps join an optional tour before our ship sails back through the pretty Vienna woods.
This morning our ship sails into Melk, a town that boasts a glorious Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop above the Danube. You have the chance to join an optional guided tour of the Abbey, generally considered one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque churches. Back on board this evening, there is a farewell buffet to mark our final night.
After arriving in Engelhartszell, we disembark and return to Cologne for our final night. We then take the train to Brussels on Day 10, where we join the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.
Optional shore excursions are not included in the price of your tour and are payable on board the ship.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 8 verified reviews
Excellent tour guide, nice boat, very good weather, lovely cruise, lovely places visited. Ordinary food on boat, delayed trains causing inconvenience.
A very enjoyable experience on the whole. The hiccups were unavoidable - trains running late and low river levels but were dealt with really well.
River cruising is not as restful as we imagined - there is just SO MUCH to see and do! Our tour manager Rob Lippitt was INVALUABLE, in his handling of a 1 hour Eurostar delay outbound - even negotiating with train managers to hold-back our ICE train transfer in Brussels to Nuremburg (unheard of!). Rob also managed very well our disappointment in not being able to visit Budapest due to low Danube levels ("You can't just dump them in Linz for two days!"). He orchestrated a 'surprise' substitute visit to Salzberg which was fantastic, with a free lunch at the Foxn Inn which was overwhelming in its variety and in its volume! An excellent cruise holiday all-round, with the changes to itinerary being taken as 'part of the adventure'. The video is of our group in Salzberg with an expert local guide (Follow that twig!), with Rob at the back (grinning). I'm looking forward to booking a Rhine cruise next in 2019!
Due to low river levels our trip was cut short and we never got to Budapest - the one place that would have been the highlight. We did feel that they must have known this for some weeks before we went. However we really enjoyed everything we did get to see and our tour manager RobLippitt was exceptional in his care of us. We have considered another cruise in the future but as all river levels are suffering we would leave it for a couple of years.
Because of the number of locks on the Danube quite often we passed through them at night. Not anything GRJ can do anything about but it did mean a few interrupted night's sleep. We had the cabin at the front which sounded as if it was right over the bow thrusters.
Very relaxing,excellent buffet on board. The Rail Journey was interesting and efficiently managed. The hotels were good.
A well organised and relaxing holiday. We chose to take it easy but there were plenty of activities available. Accommodation and catering were good but the star of the holiday was Martin Lockwood, our Tour Manager who was always helpful and in control without being obtrusive.
Very good but would have preferred served dinner rather than buffet and there were no included excursions
The reason for the excellent rating is due to the places we visited. Vienna in particular was absolutely wonderful. Our tour guide, John Aldridge was extremely efficient. John speaks German, which was a great help to us. John is also very knowledgeable with regard to the places we visited. Whilst in Vienna I wanted to visit the Spanish Riding School and John made sure that I got there and back safely.
From start to finish it was everything we'd hoped.
The beautiful Danube river from Passau to Budapest