A Taste of the Danube – Eastbound 2018

8 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Budapest

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

From the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music,” to the Gypsy violins of Budapest, this European river cruise takes you through the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley, past quaint towns and villages, and to the intriguing capitals of Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Enjoy two nights in Vienna before you embark on your river cruise. Guided sightseeing shows you the city’s highlights and there’s free time to savor Sachertorte (a special chocolate cake) in a classic Viennese café and stroll along the famous pedestrian street of Kärntnerstrasse. In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, where Benedictine monks still stroll amidst the sacred walls. From the Abbey’s terrace you can take in the breathtaking views of the Danube River and the surrounding countryside. Cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley and spend free time in Dürnstein, overlooked by the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1191, and best known for its blue baroque Stiftskirche. Then, head downriver to Slovakia’s capital of Bratislava where you’ll go on a guided visit of the city, including the gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

To end your river cruise vacation, spend two nights in Budapest, the vibrant capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

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

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

Arrive 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 2

(B)

Vienna

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.

Day 3

(B, D)

Vienna (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.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Melk–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.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Bratislava, Slovakia

At lunchtime, 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. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore on your own.

Day 6

(B)

Budapest, 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.

Day 7

(B)

Budapest

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.

Day 8

(B)

Budapest

Your vacation ends this morning.

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.

Ship Details

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Hotels

Vienna
Budapest

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Vienna
Packages
Budapest

Vienna

Grinzing

Grinzing

The famous village of Grinzing in the green suburbs of Vienna is dotted with villas, parks, vineyards and of course - Heurigen wine taverns with their famous courtyards and gardens among the linden and chestnuts trees.

Price Range: $$

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy a spellbinding evening of classical works by Mozart and Johann Strauss, performed brilliantly by professional Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien musicians in one of Europe's prettiest venues.

Price Range: $$

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family.

Price Range: $$

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$

Budapest

Illuminated Budapest

Illuminated Budapest

The nighttime magic of Budapest comes to life on this enchanting guided coach tour of the most famous landmarks illuminated in a most unforgettable way!

Price Range: $

Lunch & Wine Tasting in the Hungarian Countryside

Lunch & Wine Tasting in the Hungarian Countryside

Travel into the beautiful Hungarian countryside for an enriching half-day discovery of the Etyek wine region, including two wine cellar visits with wine tasting.

Price Range: $$

Belle Époque Art & Architecture of Budapest

Belle Époque Art & Architecture of Budapest

Travel back to the Golden Age of Budapest's Belle Époque on this captivating guided excursion featuring Andrássy Avenue, glass-painter Miksa Róth's Memorial House, and the crown jewel of Budapest: the incomparable Hungarian State Opera House!

Price Range: $$

Discover the Hungarian Puszta

Discover the Hungarian Puszta

Travel into the heart of the Puszta to an authentic horse ranch, where a breathtaking equestrian show, carriage ride, and hearty Hungarian lunch with Gypsy music await!

Price Range: $$

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