A Taste of the Danube – Westbound 2018

8 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Vienna

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From the Gypsy violins of Budapest to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music,” this Europe river cruise highlights the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley, and the fascinating capital cities of Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria.

Enjoy two nights in Budapest, where guided sightseeing shows you the highlights of this vibrant capital. You’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own—take pictures from Fishermen’s Bastion, walk across Chain Bridge, or enjoy a cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café. Board your river cruise vessel and head upriver to Bratislava. For a 58-mile stretch, the middle of the Danube forms the border between Hungary and Slovakia, and guided sightseeing awaits you in Slovakia’s capital. In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, sitting high on a bluff so you can take in the breathtaking views of the Danube River and 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 1192, and best known for its magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade.

To end your river cruise, there’s guided sightseeing in Austria’s capital, Vienna, with time on your own to relax, perhaps visit the famous Sacher Hotel for a taste of Sachertorte (a special chocolate cake), and stroll along the famous pedestrian street of Kärntnerstrasse.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Budapest: welcome to Budapest

Day 2 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square

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

Day 4 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 5 Melk–Dürnstein: guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; cruise through the Wachau Valley; see the Stiftskirche in Dürnstein

Day 6 Vienna (Disembarkation): guided sightseeing

Day 7 Vienna: day at leisure

Day 8 Vienna: 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 Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this exciting city.

Day 2

(B)

Budapest

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 SIGHTSEEING TOUR, 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—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.

Day 3

(B, D)

Budapest (Embarkation)

This morning, explore at your own pace. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, stroll along Váci utca, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. In the afternoon, transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Bratislava, Slovakia

Relax on board this morning and marvel at the 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. Join your 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. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Melk, Austria–Dürnstein

This morning, our first stop is Melk. Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, dominating the town from its commanding hill site and one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey church houses stunning frescoed ceilings, marvelous statues, a large organ, and an ornate library with a large collection of medieval manuscripts. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! Then, grab a drink and relax on your ship’s Sky Deck as you witness beautiful scenery on the way to Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region and best known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Explore this picturesque little town on your own or choose from a number of optional excursions. You may even want to hike up to the castle ruins for magnificent views of the town and river.

Day 6

(B)

Vienna (Disembarkation)

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 during your GUIDED CITY TOUR. Stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

Day 7

(B)

Vienna

Enjoy a full day at leisure in this fascinating city! Perhaps visit one of the many magnificent museums or join an optional outing to the Vienna Woods.

Day 8

(B)

Vienna

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

Budapest
Vienna

 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)


Budapest
Packages
Vienna

Budapest

Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing

Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing

Explore the piquant flavors of traditional Hungarian cuisine and learn the best wines to pair with it during this fun and delicious food and wine-pairing dinner!

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: $$

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: $$

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: $$

Vienna

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: $$

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: $$

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