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Vienna, Salzburg & the Danube

(Tour code: AEC5)A cruise, a scenic rail journey and two historic cities

Combining the magnificent cities of Salzburg and Vienna with some of Austria's most scenic railways is the recipe for a truly wonderful tour. Add to this an international river cruise excursion to Bratislava and a "Sound of Music" tour, for an unforgettable Austrian holiday experience.

Tour Highlights
  • Vienna
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Danube Cruise
  • Bratislava
  • The Semmering Railway
  • Salzburg
  • 'The Sound of Music' tour
  • Hellbrunn Castle Gardens
  • Mondsee
  • St Gilgen and St Wolfgang
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • All Transfers Included
    Selected Porterage
    Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Eurostar at St Pancras
Day 1

First Class rail to Germany

We set off from St Pancras International, and travel by Eurostar to Brussels on the first leg of our journey to Germany. We travel in Standard Premier Class, enjoying a light meal and drinks served at our seats during the journey. On arrival in the Belgian capital, our journey continues in First Class on the high-speed service to Cologne. Here we stay overnight at the Wyndham Hotel, situated close to the city's railway station, Old Town and its beautiful Gothic Cathedral.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Belvedere Palace
Day 2

Onwards to Vienna in First Class

Leaving Cologne behind, today we continue by First Class rail to Austria. Our route takes us southwards across Germany and into the state of Bavaria. We continue across the Austrian border and travel to Vienna, its historic Baroque capital city. Our base for four nights is the Hotel Park Royal Palace.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Schonbrunn Palace
Day 3

Vienna sightseeing and Schönbrunn Palace

We begin our stay in Vienna with a tour of the city's main sights, taking in the magnificent Imperial architecture on the famous Ringstrasse - a wide avenue that encircles the Old City of Vienna. We see many of Vienna's finest buildings including the impressive Hofburg Palace, a vast complex of buildings built by the Habsburgs over six centuries. Other highlights include the ornate Opera House, the grand Parliament building and the lavish Town Hall. Later today we visit the spectacular Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Imperial family, which is situated on the outskirts of Vienna in its own beautiful landscaped parkland. We enjoy a guided tour of the palace, followed by free time to stroll through its acres of formal gardens.

Please note:  due to the schedule of the cruise to Bratislava, some groups may experience an amended itinerary. The change affects Days 3, 4, and 5. Please call for more information.

  • Breakfast
  • Excursions
Bratislava Castle
Day 4

Danube cruise to Bratislava

Our full-day excursion today takes us on a fantastic cruise along the Danube River. Breakfast is served on board as we leave Vienna, cruising to the wonderful city of Bratislava. Home to several universities and a wealth of museums and galleries, Bratislava's historic centre features delightful cobbled streets, pedestrian plazas and pastel 18th century rococo buildings. You are free to explore the city at leisure before we re-board our cruise boat for the relaxing return journey to Vienna. Lunch & Dinner are served on board during our return journey.

Please note: Groups AEC509-11, departing on 26th August, and 2nd and 9th September, respectively, will travel by coach from Vienna to Melk. They will have time to explore the historic Old Town of Melk and the Baroque Abbey. They will then cruise between Wachau and Melk , a stretch of the Wachau Valley which is regarded as one of the most scenic parts of the entire Danube. Upon arrival at Krems, there will be some time to explore the Old Town here as well followed by a transfer back to Vienna by coach.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Danube Cruise
Day 5

A day at leisure discovering Vienna

Your day is free to explore the Austrian capital. Vienna's glorious Gothic Cathedral, the Stephansdom, is located at the very centre of the city. Its ornate interior makes it well worth a visit, and by climbing the 553 steps to the top of the Cathedral you will be rewarded with one of the best views of the city. Alternatively, you could perhaps take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at the Prater Gardens, as this offers a more laid-back way of taking in the city's wonderful skyline. Further out of Vienna is Lake Neusiedl, situated on the border of Hungary and Austria. This is a lovely area for walking, hiking and bird watching, and makes a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Day 6

Scenic Route to Salzburg in First Class

Departing Vienna in a southerly direction, we encounter the spectacular mountain landscape of the Semmering Railway. Built across high mountain terrain during the pioneering era of the railways, the Semmering Railway was the first standard gauge mountain railway and is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. Heading into the sunny southern Austrian state of Carinthia, we change at Leoben, travelling northwards through the wonderful mountain landscapes of the Tauern range en route to Salzburg. Our hotel for three nights is the Park Hotel Castellani.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Semmering Railway
Salzburg Fortress
Day 7

A guided sightseeing tour of Salzburg

Known for being the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is one of Austria's most famous cities, whose centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour. The city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture sits in one of Europe's best-preserved city centres, which combines with the lovely local scenery to create a unique charm. On completion of the tour, the rest of your day is free to spend on individual sightseeing. Salzburg's squares are delightful; and another popular option is the Getreidegasse, which offers retail therapy in the most splendid setting. Otherwise, take a stroll through the beautiful Mirabell Gardens, or visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which offers superb views of the city - and the courtyard cafés are a great place to relax with a strudel and a coffee.

  • Breakfast
  • Guided City Tour
Hellbrunn Palace
Day 8

‘The Sound of Music’

Today we enjoy a guided tour of the lakes and mountains around Salzburg. This stunning area is renowned for its beauty, and some of the locations we visit today were featured in the classic film 'The Sound of Music'. This morning we enjoy a tour taking in some of this beautiful region's most popular sights, including Hellbrunn Castle Gardens. We also enjoy visits to St Gilgen, a small town on the shores of Lake Wolfgangsee, and Mondsee, another lakeside town that is home to the church used in the wedding scenes of the musical. You have some free time in St Gilgen, the birthplace of Mozart's mother, to explore its picturesque streets lined with lively cafes, shops and frescoed houses. From here we continue to St Wolfgang, a pretty little town on the north shores of the lake. After taking in the delights of the area, we head back to Salzburg in time for our evening meal.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Excursions
Cologne at night
Day 9

Salzburg to Cologne by First Class rail

We leave Salzburg by train and travel to Munich, from where we take the high speed rail line to Cologne. In Cologne we spend a night at the TRYP by Wyndham Cologne City Centre or the Wyndham Cologne.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Day 10

Cologne to London by First Class rail

We depart Cologne this morning by Thalys or ICE to Brussels, where we connect with the Eurostar service to London.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

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