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Fairytale Bavaria & Delights of the Danube

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13 days From £3,295 £2,895 per person
4.0 stars(23 reviews)
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Tour & Cruise

Explore the mountains and castles of Bavaria and cruise down the delightful Danube

Save £400pp

Save £400pp on River Cruise 2024 holidays, when you book by 31st May 2024.

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2024 Tour code: BYR24

About the tour

Bavaria's wonderful castles, mysterious forests and magical mountains create a stunning backdrop to this majestic holiday. With three nights in Füssen, we uncover hidden gems and soak up the natural beauty of the region, including a visit to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and a journey on the Zugspitze Railway, ascending the highest mountain in Germany.

Our cruise begins in Budapest, sailing the through the illuminated sights of this mesmerising city in the evening. We then explore the city's rich history and culture before setting sail along the beautiful Danube passing by the famous hilltop castle of Visegrad on the Danube Bend. Magnificent architecture awaits us in Vienna and Bratislava before we drift through the picturesque Wachau Valley and discover Salzburg on our way to the historic town of Regensburg where our cruise ends.

Interested in this tour but haven't found a date that works for you?
You might also like our similar tour Fairytale Bavaria and The Classic Blue Danube!

Unforgettable Experiences

Zugspitze Railway
Zugspitze Railway
Ascend the majestic Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, on the fabulous Zugspitze Railway.
Budapest
Budapest
Immerse yourself in sensational 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.
Wachau Valley
Wachau Valley
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.
Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle
Visit the magnificent, renowned Neuschwanstein Castle, a fairytale fortress inspired by the romanticism of the medieval era.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To vibrant Stuttgart

Meeting at London St Pancras, our holiday begins as we board the Eurostar to Paris. We continue to Stuttgart and spend our first night in this lively city.

For departure 05/07/2024 we will overnight in Karlsruhe.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Picturesque Füssen

This morning we journey to Füssen, on the banks of the glistening Lech River. We spend our next three nights here amongst the River's stunning beauty. After checking into our hotel, there's time to explore our new enchanting alpine surroundings before dinner this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle

One of Bavaria's finest castles awaits us after breakfast today. Entrance to the castle is included where we can enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Schwangau Valley. Commissioned by the reclusive King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle is an architectural masterpiece and a testament to the king's romantic vision.

Built in a striking Romanesque Revival style, it features soaring towers, turrets, and battlements, all of which are set against a backdrop of rugged mountains and verdant forests. Its interior is just as impressive, with ornate carvings, lavish murals, and an opulent throne room that showcases the king's fascination with medieval lore and chivalry.

Interestingly, the castle's construction was plagued by setbacks and financial difficulties, and so was never fully completed during King Ludwig's lifetime. However, the castle remains a symbol of the king's visionary spirit and a source of inspiration for millions of people around the world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Beautiful views on The Zugspitze Railway

Today we ascend the highest mountain in Germany, the noble Zugspitze. To reach its peak, we first board the wonderful Zugspitze Railway, and journey through lush green meadows, rocky terrain, and, eventually, snow-covered mountains.

The final leg of our journey is taken by cable car and, as we step out at the summit, the panoramic views of the incredible German and Austrian Alps surround us. On our descent, we stop at beautiful Lake Eibsee - a picturesque area of turquoise waters, surrounded by stunning scenery - before returning to Füssen.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - To Budapest where we board our luxurious ship

Today 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 6 - 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 7 - 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 8 - 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 9 - 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.

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 10 - 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, 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 Getriedegasse Street, famed for its traditional shops with metal signboards and for being 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 11 – 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 12 – To vibrant Cologne

After breakfast, it's time to disembark 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.

*For departure 07/06/2024 we will overnight at the Mecure Wiesbaden in Wiesbaden (Standard Class) and have a guided tour of the city the following day.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - 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 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.

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
Zugspitze Railway

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 23 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (11)
  2. 4 stars
    (5)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

J Jones

5 stars

Submitted 23 Sep 2023

We had a great holiday and the scenery was fantastic. The first 4 days were done with trains, 1st day stop Stuttgart with castles to see, next 3 at Fussen and mountain's to see all great. The rest of the holiday was on ship on the Danube, terrific service and views.

Collected by Trustpilot

J Flint

3 stars

Submitted 10 Jul 2023

5 stars for places visited and the cruise line, Amadeus. 5 stars for the travel manager and his ability to very ably crisis-manage a challenging travel itinerary on an unreliable train network. 4 stars for the tour itself and tour management. Sadly only 3 stars for the travel itinerary. Travel involved 3 very long days with early starts, late finishes and unrealistic connections. The journey fell apart as soon as trains were cancelled or delayed. It became obvious that problems with the German network are well known and long standing but have not been taken into account by GRJ. Very stressful travel turned an enjoyable holiday into a tiring challenge. We will think twice before booking again.

Collected by Trustpilot

John Woodhouse

4 stars

Submitted 10 Jul 2023

Castles lived up to expectations and the hotel in Fussen was very good

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs P. Searle

3 stars

Submitted 10 Jul 2023

The river cruise, the excursions from ship and excursions before we boarded were wonderful and fulfilled every expectation as did Gavin our escort. However the outbound journey was very long and exhausting made worse by unexpected train cancellations at last minute. This was even worse on our journey home and we only made the Eurostar by skin of our teeth. By the time we arrived home we had been travelling continuously for 16 hours. We really felt these journeys should each have been made over two days. Our journey home ended up being 6 trains, 2 coaches and a replacement bus service, lots of steps and lugging of luggage, too much for a group of people age range 60’s to 80’s. Would do cruise part again in a heartbeat but are afraid the great rail journey part wasn’t at all great. Sorry

Collected by Trustpilot

Terry Sykes

5 stars

Submitted 01 Jul 2023

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Collected by Trustpilot

Bridget Westwood

5 stars

Submitted 26 Jun 2023

It was well run, comfortable at a high standard of cuisine/service, accommodation and overall ambience. The programme was well arranged and the low river water level issue was well handled, keeping us fully informed and had minimal impact on enjoyment of the cruise package. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

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River Cruise Holidays 2025

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