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The Beautiful Blue Danube

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9 days From £2,895 per person
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Rail & Cruise

Experience the convenience of shorter rail connections with our 9-Day Danube river cruise with an effortless itinerary offering the perfect introduction to the must-see highlights of the Danube, including overnight stays in both Vienna and Budapest

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2025 Tour code: DPR25

About the tour

Enjoy leisurely cruising through four countries and three capital cities, with plenty of time to admire the delightful river scenery.

Experience the enchanting town of Dürnstein, where time seems to stand still with its cobbled streets and charming architecture. We admire the dramatically located Abbey of Melk, perched majestically on the riverbanks before exploring the imperial grandeur of Vienna, a city steeped in history and opulence.

Next, the spirit of Budapest awaits our discovery with its seamless blend of old and new before we explore the Slovakia capital - Bratislava and the baroque buildings of Linz. Delve into the mix of cultures, history, and landscapes along this iconic river's banks. Join us on a captivating cruise where every bend reveals a new chapter in the story of Europe's cultural tapestry.

Unforgettable Experiences

Budapest
Budapest
Immerse yourself in the sensational ‘Pearl of the Danube’ - 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.
Bratislava
Bratislava
Admire ornate buildings, fascinating museums, and interesting galleries on a guided tour of Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.
Linz
Linz
Explore a charming blend of ancient and modern architecture on a guided tour of lovely Linz.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – To cultural Cologne

Our holiday begins as we meet at London St Pancras to begin our journey. We board the Eurostar to Brussels, then continue by rail to Cologne, known for its impressive Gothic cathedral, the largest in Northern Europe. After settling into our hotel we enjoy dinner in this striking city.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Discovering Cologne and to Passau where we board our luxurious ship

We enjoy a walking tour of Cologne this morning, exploring its atmospheric streets and squares. As well as visiting the cathedral, we admire the Romanesque townhouses dotting the city's streets. This afternoon, 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. During dinner, we set sail downstream on our first cruise of the holiday.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - 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.

After dinner back onboard, a real treat awaits us in the lounge tonight. As we sail into the magnificent city of Vienna, 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 4 - Discovering the magic of Vienna

Vienna beckons today with its grandeur and elegance and we head into the 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 visit 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.

After our inspiring tour, there's time to explore the city at leisure. The city's energy is infectious, and it's easy to lose yourself in the magnificent atmosphere. Wander through 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. You may decide to visit Schonbrunn Palace once the former summer residence of the ruling Habsburg family or alternatively indulge in the famous Sacher Torte, a Viennese delight, at one of the cosy coffee shops. During dinner this evening, we begin our overnight sail toward Budapest.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 – Striking Budapest

We arrive in glorious Budapest after breakfast and this afternoon, 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – The beautiful Danube Bend

After a morning at leisure in Budapest with time to wander and explore, we begin cruising the Bratislava after lunch. Relax onboard as we navigate the scenic Danube bend, passing the village of Visegrad famous for its dramatic hilltop castle and the town of Esztergom, the former capital of Hungary. We continue cruising by the delightful landscapes of the Danube for the rest of the day.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Glorious Bratislava

This morning we arrive in the enchanting and historic 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 castle district.

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 lunch, we set sail back to Austria enjoying spectacular new riverside views extending all the way to the Vienna Woods and beyond.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Lovely Linz

After a relaxed morning of cruising, we arrive into Linz this afternoon for a guided tour of the town, known for its gorgeous old town as well as its mix of baroque and modern architecture. We discover the charming Main Square, explore the quaint old town with its historic architecture, and stroll through the serene City Park.

The rest of our day is at leisure and you can experience Linz's welcoming atmosphere at your own pace. This evening we enjoy a Gala dinner on board, as we begin our final cruise towards Passau.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – Homeward bound

It's time to bid farewell to our lovely crew this morning as we disembark in Passau. Heading to the station, we journey by rail to London. Here, we say goodbye to our fellow travellers, leaving with new memories of our wonderful cruise.

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.

Train

Eurostar

Ship

MS Amadeus Imperial

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River Cruise Holidays 2025

River Cruise Holidays 2025

Experience the magic of cruising along some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways. Glide serenely along the romantic Rhine, explore the blue Danube or meander through the enchanting Douro Valley. With our river cruises, you’ll drift through beautiful landscapes and historic towns.

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