Excursions | Vienna to Budapest River Cruise - Avalon Europe Cruises

A Taste of the Danube – Eastbound 2016

8 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Budapest

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

Discover the fascinating and scenic Danube with its charming small towns and exciting cities on this river cruise vacation. Begin with a guided sightseeing tour and a 2-night city stay in Vienna, the “City of Music.” Savor Sachertorte in a local café, spend time in one of the many marvelous museums, shop along the Kärntnerstrasse, or stroll along the historic streets. Then, board your ship and begin exploring the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Enjoy the serene atmosphere as you glide along the river, passing quaint villages and scenic beauty. Visit Melk’s impressive and breathtaking Benedictine Abbey, see Dürnstein’s baroque Stiftskirche, and enjoy guided sightseeing in Slovakia’s vibrant capital of Bratislava. Your journey concludes with two overnights in exciting Budapest, including guided sightseeing and time to explore on your own. Enjoy Hungarian cuisine, explore the famous produce market—Central Market Hall, wander around the former Royal Palace grounds, explore Budapest's famous churches, or just sit back and relax. It’s all available on this grand vacation!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 3-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Vienna: welcome to Vienna, Austria’s capital

Day 2 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 3 Vienna (Embarkation): morning at leisure; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Melk–Dürnstein: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; see the Stiftskirche in Dürnstein

Day 5 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 6 Budapest (Disembarkation): guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes Square

Day 7 Budapest: day at leisure

Day 8 Budapest: your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Attend an onboard Slovakian & International Music performance.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); the responsibility for obtaining a visa rests with the traveler.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Vienna, Austria’s capital, known as the “City of Music” and which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. The remainder of the day is yours to start exploring this elegant city.

Day 2Vienna

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights your Certified Local Guide will show you during an included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. In your free time, perhaps visit one of the many magnificent museums or browse through the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s main outdoor produce market for over 80 years. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast)

Day 3Vienna (Embarkation)

Time to explore on your own today—be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! Perhaps you’d like to take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace or to the Vienna Woods. This afternoon, transfer to your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4Melk–Dürnstein

Today is dedicated to the beautiful and romantic Wachau Valley, where so much of the excellent Austrian wine is grown and produced. Visit the impressive 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, which towers over the town of Melk. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! After Melk, lounge on the Sky Deck with a glass of white wine while enjoying the gorgeous scenery as you sail to Dürnstein, best recognized by its baroque blue and white Stiftskirche standing right on the river bank. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. Explore on your own or choose one of the popular optional excursions – if you are fit and fancy some exercise, perhaps a biking excursion (weather permitting) fits the bill? Situated above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. If you are feeling adventurous, hike up to the ruins for spectacular views of the town and river. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Bratislava, Slovakia

This morning, arrive in Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Budapest, Hungary (Disembarkation)

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast)

Day 7Budapest

Enjoy a free day to explore Hungary’s exciting capital. Visit one of the many exciting museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining communist statues, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for many things to do. (Breakfast)

Day 8Budapest

Your vacation ends this morning. (Breakfast)

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Hotels

Vienna
Budapest

Vienna

Intercontinental - Vienna

Intercontinental - Vienna Johannesgasse 28, Wien,  Austria Johannesgasse 28
Wien, Austria

Hotel as shown or similar

A luxurious 458 room hotel with timeless elegance. Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and guestrooms subject to a fee (payable locally) and there is also a fitness centre with sauna, steam bath, solarium and 24 hour gym. Traditional Viennese cuisine and Mediterranean favourites can be sampled in the stylish restaurant. Viennese coffee and pastries can be enjoyed in the Café and the opulent American bar has a large selection of cocktails with live piano music.

Hotel Amenities

Business Center
Dry Cleaning
Elevator
Restaurant On-Site
Gift Shop
Currency Exchange
Spa Services
Concierge desk
Beauty Salon
Fitness Room
Bar/Lounge
Luggage Storage
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning
Wake-Up Calls
Desk
Phone
Mini-bar
Complimentary Toiletries
In-Room Safe
Coffee Maker
Hair Dryer
Cable/Satellite
Internet Access
Television
Room Service
Iron/Ironing Board
Voicemail
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Smoking Rooms
Window Opens

Budapest

InterContinental Budapest

InterContinental Budapest Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14, Budapest,  Hungary Apaczai Csere Janos utca 12-14
Budapest, Hungary

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Few would argue the InterContinental Budapest is in the city's best location: right on the Danube across from Castle Hill and the Royal Palace. With the Chain Bridge and the Parliament just steps away, there's no shortage of superb sightseeing opportunities. The Váci Utca shopping street, Central Market Hall and the Gellért Baths are also nearby.

Hotel Amenities

Spa Services
Free WiFi
Currency Exchange
Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Business Center
Gift Shop
Beauty Salon
Concierge desk
Pool
Dry Cleaning
ATM
Luggage Storage
Elevator
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

Iron/Ironing Board
Hair Dryer
Internet Access
Air Conditioning
Climate Control
Television
Room Service
In-Room Safe
Alarm Clock
Phone
Non-smoking Rooms
Coffee Maker
Cable/Satellite
Mini-bar
Smoking Rooms

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Vienna
Durnstein
Bratislava
Budapest
Celebration

Vienna

A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

Schonbrunn, the former summer residence of the Imperial family, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. The Habsburgs resided here for the better part of the year in numerous rooms to house the large Imperial family. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sissi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. The monarch spent his last years entirely in the palace, which became the property of the new Republic of Austria only two years after his death. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO's cultural heritage due to its historic importance, unique grounds and splendid furnishings. Follow our local expert and visit Empress Sissi's former summer residence, afterwards take your time to stroll through the park and enjoy the impressive gardens.

Approximate value: €52 EUR per person

Royal Waltz Concert

Royal Waltz Concert

Don't miss a truly magical evening in Vienna, featuring the most famous opera Arias by Mozart, Strauss Waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar, the Blue Danube waltz, the Radetzky March and many others, performed by a brilliant cast of top European singers, beautifully costumed dancers and the Original Wiener Salon Orchestra. A true celebration of joy and optimism featuring familiar music, combined with dance and storytelling that recalls happy memories of a time when music helped to shape the city of Vienna: a city of world-class artistry and a true flair for celebration.

Approximate value: €62 EUR per person

Vienna Woods

Vienna Woods

Only a few major cities can count themselves fortunate enough to have a paradise like the Vienna Woods right at their gates. Lush hilly landscapes and craggy cliffs, water-drenched ravines and peaceful vineyards, deep forests, dreamy meadows and mysterious wetlands offer a variety of breath-taking experiences in nature. We will visit the 900-year-old Klosterneuburg Abbey an impressive example of baroque style, with its sacred art treasures, including the "Verdun Altar". The abbey is home to the oldest wine-growing estate, which has a 900-year history of wine production. We will complete our tour by visiting the production facility and tasting some of the famous monastery wines.

Approximate value: €57 EUR per person

Durnstein

Biking in the Wachau Valley

Biking in the Wachau Valley

Biking along the Danube is becoming a popular pastime. So if you are fit and ready for some exercise grab a bike, a helmet and cycle along the waters of the mighty river, passing the lovely vineyards and romantic villages of the Wachau Valley. (Minimum physical condition necessary - not allowed for hearing impaired - weather dependent)

Approximate value: €50 EUR per person

Tasting wine of the Wachau Valley

Tasting wine of the Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley is one of Austria's most established and notable wine regions, specializing in dry wines made from Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. Located in Lower Austria along the Danube, west of Vienna and Krems-an-der-Donau, it is one of the western-most wine producing regions in Austria with only a few scattered plantings in Tyrol being further west. While most of Austria follows a wine classification system based on ripeness and harvest minimum weight that parallels the German wine classification system, Wachau wines have a unique classification system. The three classification levels for Wachau wine include Steinfeder for wines up to 11.5% alcohol level, Federspiel for wines between 11.5-12.5% and Smaragd that must have a minimum of 12.5% alcohol level. Despite its popularity, the Wachau is a small wine region that usually accounts for only around 3% of Austria's wine production.

Approximate value: €29 EUR per person

Wachau Dinner with Wine Tasting

Wachau Dinner with Wine Tasting

End your day dining in one of Austria's iconic wine institutions: the "Heurigen", where vintners serve their own wines from the current harvest year. The "Heuriger" combines the conviviality of the city with the rural ambience of the vineyards. The wine is traditionally accompanied by cold dishes, assorted cheese, cold cuts, and sometimes warm dishes from the buffet, typical Austrian desserts, apricot dumplings, poppy seed noodles to name a few. Unlimited wine and soft drinks are included. During dinner you will be entertained by an accordion player, with typical Viennese "Schrammelmusik", which is the most popular form of modern Austrian folk music.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Bratislava

Schloss Hof - A Castle and its People

Schloss Hof - A Castle and its People

Just another castle? No! Schloss Hof is more than just a castle. Like other palaces Schloss Hof shows you the splendor of representation, this one also offers beautiful gardens and the empress' farm & animals. After the guided visit of the palace you can explore the animal zoo-garden; maybe pet the white donkeys, and take your time to explore the palace grounds in order to get a picture of the aristocracy centuries ago.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Budapest

Budapest's Night Lights

Budapest's Night Lights

The Hungarian capital is known for its splendid views accentuated by the romance of illumination. Let the unique atmosphere of this magnificent city enchant you, while our expert guide tells you the hidden secrets and stories behind the façades. Do not miss out on a visit to the must see viewpoint from the highest hill in Budapest, a view overlooking this splendid city with an illumination rivaling that of Paris, a view which decorates numerous travel brochures and books. Unforgettable sights, wonderful memories and the magic of lights guaranteed during this panoramic tour with photo opportunities. Discover why Europeans call it, deservedly, the Paris of the East! This excursion is by comfortable coach and includes three must-see photo stops.

Approximate value: €23 EUR per person

Gold & Glamorous:

Gold & Glamorous: "Belle Epoques" of Budapest

Travel back in time with your guide; join a short coach trip along the Danube embankment with a short walk to one of the hidden treasures of Budapest, the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau. It houses a unique exhibition representing the refined world of Art Nouveau, including paintings, furniture, decorative objects and interiors, to give an insight into the atmosphere of middle-class life in Budapest in the "happy pre-war times". The second stop of your tour is the "musical jewelry box" of Pest, the Hungarian State Opera House. The building enchants not only lovers of opera and ballet, but everyone who is amazed by the fine neo-Renaissance architecture. Following the visit you will be treated to coffee and cake in the Book Café, in the glamorous main hall of the Paris Department Store, one of the hidden secrets of the city. Sip your coffee and taste a fine delicacy of Hungarian confectioners in this glossy literary cafe with glittering chandeliers and flamboyant ceiling frescoes, painted by the same artist whose masterpieces raise the splendor of the State Opera House, Parliament and several other public buildings. This tour is a must for any passionate photographer as there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Hungarian Countryside Experience with Wine Tasting

Hungarian Countryside Experience with Wine Tasting

Enjoy a genuine countryside experience only 30 minutes away from the capital. Stroll through the stunning vineyards of Etyek, enjoy the fascinating landscape of the youngest and the fastest developing wine region of Hungary. Visit two small, family-run wineries; learn the secrets of winemaking from the local winemakers. Sample three top quality wines in each cellar along with tasty Hungarian snacks. You will leave with a really intimate understanding of the traditions and people that make the wines here so special.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Hungarian Puszta Farm with Horse Show and Lunch

Hungarian Puszta Farm with Horse Show and Lunch

Do not miss this unique opportunity to visit the Hungarian countryside and its authentic ways, an experience out of the ordinary. A short coach ride takes us deep into the Hungarian countryside, where we can admire the unsurpassed qualities of the Hungarian Equestrian virtue at an active stud farm. Enjoy the sight of the proud horses as they lead the festive procession. Take a typical country wagon ride and learn about life on a typical Hungarian farm. The Hungarians have been inseparable from their horses for more than a thousand years. Experience the well-known Hungarian hospitality in the most natural environment of the Puszta Farm as we provide you with an authentic lunch. The excursion is fully hosted by one of our guides. An excursion with impressions to last a long time.

Approximate value: €69 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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8 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Vienna

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