The classic Danube cruise through Austria, Slovakia & Hungary, visiting Vienna and its palaces, Melk Abbey, Dürnstein, Bratislava, the Puszta, Budapest and Esztergom Basilica
Day 1 - Vienna
Day 2 - Melk / Dürnstein
Day 3 - Bratislava
Day 4 - Kalocsa / Puszta
Day 5 - Budapest
Day 6 - Esztergom
Day 7 - Vienna
Day 8 - Return Flight
The Danube was a border between the Romans and the Barbarians, as well as linking the territories of the former Austrian and Holy Roman Empires. The ‘Blue Danube’ is also linked with music through Johann Strauss and his famous waltz, played annually at Vienna’s televised New Year’s Day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
This cruise waltzes through three countries, a journey into history that displays the architectural splendours of the Habsburg Empire.
The UNESCO listed Wachau Valley, the Danube's most beautiful valley, is sprinkled with historic towns, fortified churches, sculpted hills, and castles suet, as Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned. Melk Abbey is a fine Baroque creation in an imposing position overlooking the Danube, it boasts a lavish library, lit by a window for each day of the year. The many fruit trees (blossom April/May) and famous vineyards (best in Sep/Oct) provide a wonderful backdrop to the voyage.
5 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Excursions & Drinks Included
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 6 – 28
Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow to Vienna, capital of the Habsburg Empire that encompassed much of Europe and whose monarchs and nobility often resided in the imperial capital. Embark on the vessel for seven nights. Welcome drink and crew introduction. Sail to Melk. (D)
Day 2 Arrive early at Melk to visit the magnificent Benedictine abbey and monastery, founded in the 11th century with current buildings dating back to the Baroque era, including the marble hall, the world famous library and the bedrooms where illustrious visitors have slept. Cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley. Visit the medieval riverside town of Dürnstein. Sail to Bratislava. Pre-dinner Jules Verne drinks party. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Morning tour of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia which was also capital of the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Empire for more than a century whilst the Ottomans occupied Budapest. Tour includes Bratislava Castle for a breathtaking view over the Danube and the city, Michael’s Gate, the only gate surviving from the Middle-Ages, the central square surrounded by buildings in Art Nouveau style and the old Bratislava Town Hall. Sail to Kalocsa. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Excursion to the Puszta, a traditional Hungarian landscape at the beginning of the Pannonian plains, including a horse show by the ‘gulyas’ Hungarian cowboys. Sail to Budapest. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Morning tour of Budapest. It is indisputably the case that the Danube is at its most scenic when dividing the twin cities of Buda and Pest. The castle area of Buda contains unspoilt town houses and bastions, the Mathias coronation church, Royal Palace complex and Hungarian National Gallery, whilst bustling Pest reflects the 19th century with grand boulevards, the parliament and opera. Afternoon free. Evening folklore show. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Early arrival in Esztergom. Time to explore its imposing Basilica, the official seat of the Archbishop of Hungary. Cruise towards Vienna. Gala dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Arrive in Vienna for a morning tour of the city and Schönbrunn Palace. Later, visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Enjoy a concert of Viennese music at a palace in the home town of Johann Strauss. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Transfer to Vienna airport for the return flight to London Heathrow. (B)
Cabins are available from 5pm on arrival and until 9am on departure (before/after this, luggage storage on board is possible).
Whilst the vessel carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursions.
The premium ship, MS Symphonie is registered in France with a mainly European crew. Launched in 1997 it was refurbished in 2017, reducing the number of cabins and increasing the cabin size significantly. Enjoy International and French cuisine with a choice of wines in an elegant one-sitting dining room. Breakfast is a buffet, lunch and dinner waiter service with the occasional buffet. The vessel does sail at night. Reception, lounge bar with small dance floor, large sundeck, lift and WiFi (free/limited). 55 air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, hairdryer, safe and satellite TV. 17 twin/double cabins (156 sq. ft.), 2 single cabins (105 sq. ft.) and 1 superior cabin (250 sq. ft.) with picture windows and French balcony on the Upper Deck. 33 twin/double cabins (156 sq. ft.) and 2 single cabins (105 sq. ft.) with picture windows on the Main Deck.
Spend two nights in this magnificent city to explore the imperial heritage which is housed in a fine array of museums and palaces. Breakfast daily.
Day 1 Transfer to 4-star Grand Hotel Biedermeier for two nights.
Day 2 At leisure. (B)
Day 3 Return flight. (B)
A central 4-star hotel, in a quiet and unique Biedermeier passageway close to the City Park. Restaurants, café, bar WiFi (free) and 198 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
per person in a twin/double Main Deck cabin
British Airways from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £545
Upper Deck £245
British Airways Club Europe from £195
Extension - Vienna
Mercure Grand Hotel Biedermeier
2 nights £145
Single supplement £75
Arrival transfer add £35
Departure transfer add £35
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 7-night cruise, full board and drinks on cruise vessel, excursions, UK Tour Manager, local expert guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm