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Imperial Cities & Delights of the Danube

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You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
13 days From £2,995 £2,695 per person
4.4 stars(27 reviews)
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Tour & Cruise

Embrace the magic of the blue Danube, and explore Central Europe’s Imperial cities.

Save up to £300pp

Save up to £300pp on selected 2024 River Cruise holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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2024 Tour code: HUR24

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 The Classic Blue 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

Days 1 - To vibrant Cologne

Our holiday begins as we meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Brussels. We continue to bustling Cologne and stay the night amongst the Romanesque townhouses dotting the city's streets.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - To bustling Berlin

We enjoy breakfast this morning before we journey by rail to the lively and eclectic city of Berlin. Arriving this afternoon, we check into our hotel for the night and before dinner you can explore this fascinating city and its unique combination of style and history.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Berlin

Setting out on a guided tour, we discover more of Berlin today. With our knowledgeable guide, we explore Germany's vibrant capital visiting iconic landmarks, including the remains of the historic Berlin Wall and the famous Brandenburg Gate, as well as other fascinating treasures that Berlin has to offer. After lunch, we continue by rail to Prague for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Beautiful Prague

Today we have the whole day ahead to explore Prague starting with a guided tour. The narrow streets of the Old Town reveal some of the city's most famous sights and we begin at Hradčany Castle before strolling across the 14th-century Charles Bridge where we can admire lovely views of the city. We also visit the city's renowned astronomical clock aside the Old Town square - the perfect photo opportunity.

After our tour, there's plenty of time to explore at leisure and you could enjoy a boat cruise down the beautiful Vltava river with your lunch.

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, passing 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, 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 and there's free time in the quaint village of Dürnstein to wander the charming streets, soaking up the vineyard landscapes. From the riverside, we can see the renowned castle where Richard I of England was imprisoned for a time.

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 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 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.

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

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.

Hotels

Maritim Pro Arte, Berlin

Maritim Pro Arte, Berlin

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NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie

NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

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Vienna House Diplomat Prague, Prague

Vienna House Diplomat Prague, Prague

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Train

Eurostar

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

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Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 27 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (17)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Gill Cox

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2023

Excellent from start to finish

Collected by Trustpilot

Carolyn Morris

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2023

Fabulous holiday from start to finish. We loved the busyness and excitement of the rail travel. The hotels on route were excellent and a variety of styles - food was excellent too. The ship was outstanding and the staff worked incredibly hard and were very attentive and friendly. The tour was well thought out and managed well. The excursions and guides were equally of high quality.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Howie

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2023

Was a really good holiday and value for money

Collected by Trustpilot

M Hill

3 stars

Submitted 06 Aug 2023

Too many long train journeys. Paid a lot ventral for balcony which we couldn't use much because of double mooring. Boat deck needed more chairs and tables. Food and service very good but didnt like always having to eat at 7pm it is too early for us.

Collected by Trustpilot

R.D.

5 stars

Submitted 04 Aug 2023

We had a wonderful cruise full of happy memories.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Michael Edwards

5 stars

Submitted 03 Aug 2023

a wonderful introduction to amazing european cities. i want to spend more time in Prague and Budapest but also Bratislava and Vienna. The train journeys were exciting but the Danube cruise was so luxurious I was blown away. It wasn't the cheapest but it was great value for money. Wake up to the river running past your window knowing you would have a sumptuous breakfast with your friends. Do not expect to lose weight, however many walking tours you go on. I loved it.

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