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Imperial Cities & The Classic Blue Danube

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14 days From £3,295 £3,095 per person
3.8 stars(4 reviews)
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Embrace the magic of the blue Danube, and explore Central Europe’s Imperial cities.

Save £200pp

Save £200pp on Cruise 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 30th June 2024.

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2024 Tour code: HIR24

About the tour

Our adventure starts by exploring two European giants, Berlin and Prague. We then experience the magic of the Danube and the lovely Wachau Valley, cruising comfortably to idyllic villages, visiting medieval towns and grand cities. Enjoy a private music recital in Vienna and discover Baroque treasures in Bratislava and Budapest.

Interested in this tour but haven't found a date that works for you?
You might also like our similar tour Imperial Cities and Delights of the Danube!

Unforgettable experiences

Prague
Prague
Discover Prague’s hidden gems, fascinating stories, and famous landmarks.
Berlin
Berlin
Experience the rich history and culture of Berlin on a tour of its haunting past and stunning architecture.
Budapest
Budapest
Wander among the grand architecture that covers both sides of the Danube in Budapest.
Vienna
Vienna
Explore the picturesque streets and lively atmosphere of Vienna on a guided tour.
Salzburg
Salzburg
Walk in the footsteps of Mozart and discover the striking city of Salzburg with a guided tour.
Wachau Valley
Wachau Valley
Sail through the breathtaking Wachau Valley and soak up the beautiful scenery.
Regensburg on the River Danube
Regensburg on the River Danube
Enjoy the best of the Danube river as we cruise comfortably through scenic stretches and visit delightful towns.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To lively Cologne

Our holiday begins as we meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Brussels. We continue to spend our first night in Cologne, known for its impressive Gothic cathedral, the largest in Northern Europe.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - To bustling Berlin

We enjoy breakfast this morning before we journey by rail to the vibrant and eclectic city of Berlin. Arriving this afternoon, we check into our hotel for the night and you can explore the city at your leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Berlin

Setting out on a guided tour, we discover Berlin today. This fascinating city has a unique combination of style and history and we explore its vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, and prevalent past. Our guided tour takes us to the remains of the Berlin Wall, the iconic Brandenburg Gate and much more. After lunch, we continue by rail to Prague for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Beautiful Prague

The narrow streets of Prague's Old Town reveal some of the city's most famous sights today on a guided tour. We begin at Hradčany Castle before strolling across the 14th-century Charles Bridge and seeing the city's renowned astronomical clock aside the Old Town square.

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

Today, we journey by rail to Passau where our luxurious ship awaits us and we're welcomed on board with a refreshing cocktail in the lounge. After settling into your wonderful cabin and familiarising yourself with our magnificent ship, we indulge in our first delicious five-course dinner on board.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Sailing through enchanting landscapes to Linz

After breakfast, we embark on a guided tour of Passau, an attractive Bavarian town renowned for its Gothic and Baroque architecture, including St Stephen's Cathedral. Setting sail on our relaxing cruise this afternoon, we drift through beautiful scenery into Austria, getting our first sight of amazing river landscapes. Rising hills covered with vineyards and orchards create a picturesque backdrop, occasionally revealing charming villages, medieval castles and centuries-old monasteries that cling to the hilltops. We arrive in Linz in the early afternoon. The town is known for its gorgeous old town as well as its mix of baroque and modern architecture. We spend the night here amongst the vibrant atmosphere with picturesque views.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – The beautiful 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 Getreidegasse street, famed for its traditional shops with metal signboards and the place 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 8 - Picturesque Melk Abbey, beautiful Wachau Valley and charming Dürnstein

This morning we 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.

After lunch, we cruise through the scenery of the Wachau Valley, truly a highlight of the river. This scenic area of green valleys and vineyards is dotted with picturesque riverside towns and commanding fortresses.

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. This village is also home to the renowned castle where Richard I of England was imprisoned for a time and we get a great view of it from the riverside.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Discovering the magic of Vienna

After a peaceful overnight cruise, Vienna beckons with its grandeur and elegance and we arrive in the magnificent city for a guided tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial culture, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage.

With our expert guide, we wander the winding streets and make our way to the illustrious Ringstrasse boulevard. Here, we see many of Vienna's most ornate buildings including the world-renowned Opera House, where the greatest singers of our time have graced the stage, and the imposing Parliament Building, which dominates the city's skyline.

After our inspiring tour, there's time to explore the city at leisure. The city's vibrant energy is infectious, and it's easy to lose yourself in the magnificent atmosphere. 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 the striking St. Stephen's Cathedral, or delve into one of the countless museums that bring the city's history to life.

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 10 - Glorious Bratislava

After a morning of relaxing sailing, 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. Later this afternoon we continue downstream to Hungary and to Esztergom, the former capital where we berth for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Striking Budapest

As we sail toward Budapest this morning, we navigate the scenic Danube bend, passing the village of Visegrad, famous for its dramatic hilltop castle.

Arriving in Budapest, we're introduced to the beauty and history on a sightseeing tour of this captivating city. Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest has plenty of impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the river. From the State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica to Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion, each sight is more remarkable than the last.

After dinner back on board this evening, we enjoy the enchanting ambience of a traditional Hungarian Folklore troupe. This is followed by 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 the perfect ending to our Danube cruise.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 12 - To lively Linz

After breakfast, it's time to disembark and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. We make our way to the railway station and head back to the town of Linz where we spend the night amongst the vibrant atmosphere, with stunning architecture and picturesque views.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - Discovering Linz and to vibrant Frankfurt

We begin our day with a guided tour of Linz which showcases the city's blend of ancient and modern architectural styles. This afternoon, we journey by rail to Frankfurt where we spend our last night in this lively city known for its attractive Romerplatz.

**Please Note: For departure 28/06/2024, will be overnight in Boppard instead, and have a guided tour of the city instead of visiting Frankfurt.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14 – Discovering Frankfurt and Homeward bound

Today we experience Frankfurt on a delightful morning tour. With our guide, we discover its rich history, culture and landmarks including the captivating Romerplatz, an old trading square where merchants used to sell their goods. We also see the historic Rathaus building here and explore the bustling financial district, Alte Oper Haus, and St Paul's church.

After our tour, it's time to head home. Journeying by rail back to London, our holiday comes to an end and you say goodbye to new friends and fellow travellers.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Info - Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid. (Look for S - Standard Class and F - First Class)

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.

Train

Eurostar

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

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Reviews

3.8 stars3.8 / 5 · 4 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (1)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Susan Butter

2 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2023

Cruise lovely could not fault it. Train journeys boring and stressful would not go again by train.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs Cheryl Townsend

4 stars

Submitted 23 Sep 2023

Wonderful cruise on the Danube. Train journeys were fascinating but sometimes rather hectic. Would have liked more time in Berlin and Vienna.

Collected by Trustpilot

P Foster

5 stars

Submitted 31 Aug 2023

Great boat, fantastic food and excellent Tour Manager and staff.

Collected by Trustpilot

David Henson

4 stars

Submitted 26 Aug 2023

Excellent tour, but a flight home would have been preferable to two long days by train.

Collected by Trustpilot

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