Cruise Itinerary | River Cruise through Central Europe | Avalon Waterways®

Danube Dreams – Cruise Only Westbound 2016

8 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Passau

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

On this magnificent cruise vacation, enjoy seeing some of Central Europe’s great cities as well as many small towns that dot the landscape along the way. Visit St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, and savor a Sachertorte in Vienna. And there’s more…enjoy wine tasting in Austria’s Wachau Valley, visit Austria’s oldest theater still holding regular performances in the resort town of Grein, visit one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular monasteries at Melk and explore Germany’s Passau, located at the confluence of three rivers. Guided sightseeing with Certified Local Guides in each city is sure to heighten your experience.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Budapest (Embarkation): welcome to Budapest; onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 3 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 4 Vienna: choice of museum visit; time at leisure

Day 5 Weissenkirchen–Melk: choice of guided walk in Weissenkirchen; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting

Day 6 Grein–Linz: guided walk in Grein, visit the historical theater

Day 7 Passau: guided walk in Passau

Day 8 Passau (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

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

Attend an onboard performance of Slovakian & International music.

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:

  • Departure April 8 is offered as an exclusive Jewish Heritage Cruise, including lectures and special features at no additional cost. Explore sites important to Jewish history, like the world’s second-largest synagogue in Budapest, the WWII Terezin ghetto, Prague’s Jewish Museum & Cemetery, and more.
  • 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 is 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.
  • Departure transfers are not included and are not offered for purchase with this cruise-only itinerary.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Budapest, Hungary (Embarkation)

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. In the afternoon, transfer to your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Dinner)

Day 2Bratislava, Slovakia

This morning, enjoy the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia, which you reach in mid-morning. Join a LOCAL GUIDE to explore 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; and gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Vienna, Austria

A morning of cruising allows you to relax on board before reaching Vienna around lunchtime. Known as the “City of Music,” Vienna inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. 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 Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4Vienna

This morning, the choice is yours with “VIENNA A LA CARTE.” Choose to visit one of a number of museums, such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), or the Schatzkammer (Treasury). Your Cruise Director will give you details of what’s on offer. The afternoon is at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Weissenkirchen–Melk

This morning, sail into the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Weissenkirchen (White Church). Join aa GUIDED WALK to learn more about this pretty little Wachau valley town, then, reboard your ship and sail to Melk. An afternoon GUIDED VISIT of the magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY acquaints you with one of Europe’s largest monasteries. 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. This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Grein–Linz

This morning, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. After breakfast, take a GUIDED WALK through the town and visit its unique historical THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. A behind-the-scenes peek to learn about some of the curiosities of this Rococo-style, 167-seat theater will certainly tell you much about life as it was—and as it now is in this small town. Then, spend a lazy afternoon on board the ship, watching the peaceful views of the passing riverscapes from the comfort of the Sky Deck on your way to Linz. Austria’s third-largest city, Linz is an important river port where culture plays a significant role in everyday life. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here, and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. There is free time to explore Linz on your own. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. Perhaps wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river, or visit the neo-gothic New Cathedral, Austria’s largest church, with capacity for 20,000 visitors. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Passau, Germany

This afternoon, arrive in Passau, located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. This is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses one of the world’s largest church organs with more than 17,000 pipes. Join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR through this charming town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” Alternatively, you might choose to join one of several full-day optional excursions departing from Linz: to medieval Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; to Salzburg with its Sound of Music sites; or the popular “Romantic Austria” tour. Rejoin your ship in the late afternoon in Passau. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Passau (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

No hotels exist for WBP0 in 2016

 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
Grein
Linz
Celebration

Vienna

A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace
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

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

Grein

Visit to Mauthausen Concentration Camp
Visit to Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Visit to Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Mauthausen Concentration Camp (also known as Mauthausen-Gusen) was a group of 49 Nazi concentration camps situated around the small town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria, about 20 km east of the city of Linz. The camp was declared a national monument in 1949. The memorial was redesigned in 2010. Your local guide will show the complex of the former concentration camp, discuss the historical context. Visit the huts where the condemned, most of whom almost surely knew their fate, were kept. See the infamous "Stairway of Death," which the prisoners took on their last walk. To visit the ghastly site is a shattering experience, but still people come here to be reminded of a cruel and savage era, "Lest we forget."

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Linz

Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes
Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes

Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes

Take a scenic route across the rolling hills of Upper Austria and Bohemia to one of the most beautiful, charming and romantic little towns that is to be found in Europe. For centuries, this small town has enjoyed the reputation of being the "Pearl of the Bohemian Forest", an extraordinary fortified town built by princes and bishops on the most beautiful bend of the Vltava River. This hidden gem of European history remains as it was centuries ago, a colorful place with over 300 historic buildings, small lanes, art galleries, charming shops and medieval inns; a truly stunning experience. When after WW II the Iron Curtain descended across eastern Europe, Cesky Krumlov found itself even more off the beaten track, with hardly a visitor finding his way there. Our local experts will guide you back in time. Pass by the Vltava (Moldau) River, which was immortalized by Friedrich Smetana's composition of the same name, before you return to your ship with happy memories from this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Approximate value: €73 EUR per person

Salzburg - Sound of Music
Salzburg - Sound of Music

Salzburg - Sound of Music

Picturesquely located at the foothills of the Alps the city is known as the birth-place of Mozart. Salzburg is also the setting for the Sound of Music movie, which has shaped the city's perception in the minds of generations. But Salzburg is much more. It is a wealthy city with history based on the salt trade from the nearby Alpine Mountains-a city full of beautiful baroque buildings, nestled between the mountains and green waters of the Salzach River. In your free time strolling through the small but busy lanes with their wrought iron signs, using a cable car to ride up to the castle on the hill for views, or just passing time by relaxing on one of the many terraces makes you feel part of the scenery. On our scenic ride by coach you will admire the beauty of the region. Our dedicated local experts will talk about and show you the city, and relive scenes from the Sound of Music. After free time we shall also visit the church at Mondsee where the "von Trapps" were married.

Approximate value: €73 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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