Active Discovery on the Danube - Eastbound 2018

9 Day River Cruise from Linz to Budapest

2018 Information. Switch to 2019 »

This exciting new 9-day vacation introduces you to the people and places along the Danube from Linz to Budapest, in the most active, engaged and fun ways imaginable. The choice is always yours: whether you taste locally produced cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks near Linz, or hike along an old smugglers’ route; bike to an ancient border defense near Mauthausen or visit World War II’s largest concentration camp; paddle a canoe or meet with a local produce grower in the Wachau Valley; be introduced to a count in his castle; take a jogging tour around Vienna, or visit the city when it first awakes; attend a medieval knights’ tournament in Visegrad and end your vacation with one night in Budapest, and maybe choose to learn some Hungarian? And all the while enjoy the comfort of your Avalon ship, with its delectable meals and warm, personal service. Certainly your home from home while you explore your new surroundings every day.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Linz (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 2 Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz: choice of visit to Engelszell Abbey to tour its brewery, enjoy a tasting, and explore its sensory garden, or join a guided tour to the “House by the Stream” and walk across the Danube Power-Station Jochenstein; choice of scenic cruising around the Schlögen Oxbow or guided hike on the Danube Trail

Day 3 Linz–Mauthausen–Grein–Spitz: choice of visit to St. Florian Monastery, guided tour of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, or bike tour; scenic cruising through the Strudengau; guided walk in Grein, visit the historical theater and a castle to meet the owner; scenic cruising past Melk Abbey

Day 4 Spitz–Vienna: choice of canoe tour down the Danube; bike tour from Spitz to Krems with a stop in Dürnstein to sample local specialties; Wine World Experience with tasting; or local encounter showcasing regional products with included snack and beverage

Days 5 & 6 Vienna: choice of bike tour, jogging tour, encounter with area business people, or city sightseeing tour with visit of Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s Kiss; choice of early riser walking tour with breakfast at a Viennese café and entrance to Habsburg private art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts; Habsburg collection entrance with time in the Italian & Dutch Masters Gallery; or Habsburg collection entrance with Military Museum visit

Day 7 Visegrád–Budapest: in Visegrád, choice of medieval knights tournament or guided hiking in Danube-Ipoly National Park; scenic cruising around the Danube Bend; onboard gala farewell dinner

Day 8 Budapest (Disembarkation): choice of walking tour with language lesson, guided bike tour, or city sightseeing tour

Day 9 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

(D)

Arrive in Linz, Austria (Embarkation)

A European Capital of Culture, Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, welcomes you today with open arms and plenty to see and do. Depending on your arrival time, there’s free time for shopping, exploring on your own, or joining an optional activity. This afternoon, board the AVALON LUMINARY, and after a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew and fellow shipmates at a WELCOME RECEPTION.

NOTE:
Flights into Linz must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Day 2

(B, L, D)

Engelhartszell–Schlögen Oxbow Scenic Cruising–Linz

As you slept, your ship arrived in the pretty market town of Engelhartszell near the German border. Step ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • visit the stunning rococo ENGELSZELL ABBEY to tour its brewery, explore its SENSORY GARDEN—complete with stone labyrinth, herb garden, and vineyard—and attend a TASTING of locally produced cheeses and beer brewed by the Trappist monks, or;
  • join a guided tour to the “House by the Stream” and walk across the Danube POWER-STATION JOCHENSTEIN.
  • visit a “Trout Circus”, a unique experience which will create unforgettable memories; on the way back join a short GUIDED HIKE as you explore a little of the area of Engelhartszell.
Back on your ship, an excellent lunch of Bavarian specialties will leave you energized and ready to join an exhilarating HIKE ALONG THE DANUBE. Fresh air and incredible vistas await as you watch the Avalon Luminary pass through the Schlögen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped curve of the river. In Aschach, rejoin the ship, which returns to Linz for the night. This evening, you can mingle with the locals at a fun pub crawl!

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Linz–Mauthausen–Grein–Spitz

Arrive this morning in Mauthausen, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Neolithic Age. Here, we let you place your own personal stamp on your day as you CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • take a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the Limes Cycle Route and follow part of the northern border line of the Roman Empire, which in the 2nd century AD ran from the Dutch border all the way to the Black sea;
  • visit the 9th-century ST. FLORIAN MONASTERY, an architectural rival to Melk Abbey. While exploring, you may meet one of the monks (when available) or attend a short music recital, or;
  • join a heart-wrenching tour of MAUTHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP, one of World War II’s largest and most brutal Nazi work camps.
This afternoon, your ship passes through another breathtaking area, the Strudengau, popular among climbers and hikers for its enticing geological formations. Dock in Grein, a pretty country resort in the shadow of its castle. The GUIDED WALK includes a visit of the historic THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Then, visit GREINBURG or CLAM CASTLE, where you will meet the owner. After dinner, don’t miss the spectacular views as we pass by Melk Abbey, perched high on a cliff above the river. The ship docks late tonight in Spitz.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Spitz–Vienna

Exciting activities abound today! CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • PADDLE A CANOE on a guided tour down the Danube and along some of its tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the river and riverbank villages;
  • bask in the fresh air and incredible views on an easy guided BIKE TOUR from Spitz to Krems. Enjoy a break in Dürnstein to see the mesmerizing blue Stiftskirche, and sample local specialties;
  • join an interactive WINE WORLD EXPERIENCE with wine tasting, or;
  • get a hands-on LOCAL ENCOUNTER that showcases production of regional fruits, vegetables, wine, or other products, depending on the season. A snack and beverage are included.
This evening arrive in Vienna where you have free time to join an optional guided hike through the vineyards outside town, with a wine tasting and dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Vienna

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this “City of Music” inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss—and will inspire you, as well! Waltz ashore and CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • enjoy a BIKE TOUR that takes in the sights along the famed Ringstrasse and areas of Vienna inaccessible to buses and cars;
  • slip on your sneakers and join a JOGGING TOUR that shows you the highlights as you jog between sites;
  • take a unique INSIDERS TOUR that features something different every day. It could be anything, from a visit to a musical instrument maker to a crash course on etiquette and protocol at diplomatic gatherings. You will meet locals, have the chance to prepare some food at a cooking class, and will enjoy other surprises as well, or;
  • get a proper introduction to Vienna during a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR that includes an inside visit of Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s celebrated Kiss.
Afterward, you have free time to explore on your own. Maybe stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, take a break for a piece of decadent Sachertorte, or join an optional excursion. Tonight’s onboard dinner pays a delicious tribute to the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Vienna

A second full day in Vienna presents even more opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY for an experience most meaningful to you:

  • wrap yourself in the peace of the city at sunrise during an EARLY RISER WALKING TOUR that includes breakfast at a Viennese café and an exclusive viewing of the Habsburg family’s private art collections at the Museum of Fine Arts;
  • for a more leisurely start to your morning, skip the walking tour and onshore breakfast and simply join us for the MUSEUM VISIT, which includes time in the ITALIAN & DUTCH MASTERS GALLERY, or;
  • perfect for military history buffs, begin with the MUSEUM VISIT of the Habsburg collection, then explore the MILITARY MUSEUM, commemorating the heroic past of the Habsburg Empire.
Tonight, enjoy a delectable dinner of Viennese specialties on board.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Visegrád, Hungary–Budapest

This morning, the Avalon Luminary passes by mighty Esztergom Basilica, coronation church of Hungary’s monarchs. Later, arrive in Visegrád, where another exciting day is on tap. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • cheer your favorite champion at a MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS TOURNAMENT at Visegrád's Lower Castle, featuring targeting and fighting demonstrations by members of the St. George Knightly Order. During free time here, be sure to explore Palotaház, where stonemasons, smiths, potters, and paper-makers produce their traditional items using age-old techniques, or;
  • spend your day in the great outdoors on a GUIDED HIKE through Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to eagles, falcons, bats, terrapins, fire salamanders, and other wildlife.
Later this afternoon, your ship arrives in Budapest, affording magnificent views of the beautiful Parliament Building. Prepare for an exquisite GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring foods specially paired with just the right area wines or beers.

Day 8

(B)

Budapest (Disembarkation)

One of Eastern Europe’s most dynamic cities, Hungary’s capital spans the Danube in a majestic way. Awaken refreshed and dig in to a hearty breakfast before disembarking and deciding how you would like to explore. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY:

  • take an enjoyable, 2-hour WALKING TOUR that includes some “Fungarian” instruction of useful local words and phrases;
  • join a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the bike paths and car-free areas for a safe and enjoyable way to see the city’s most fantastic sights, or;
  • see the best of Budapest on a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR featuring Heroes’ Square, Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and an inside visit of the OPERA HOUSE.
Afterward, you have free time to shop for Hungarian paprika or handcrafted souvenirs, savor a piece of cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café, or join an optional tour of Budapest’s limestone cave system.

Day 9

(B)

Budapest

Your vacation ends with breakfast 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

Luminary

Luminary

Cruising on the Avalon Luminary is the ideal way to experience the majesty, extensive history and fascinating culture of some of Europe's oldest cities along its legendary rivers. Built in 2010, the Avalon Luminary holds a maximum of just 138 passengers. Visit multiple countries and cities and unpack only once, so you spend your time experiencing and enjoying Europe rather than dealing with the logistics of travel. Enjoy a highly personalized cruise experience, spacious deluxe staterooms and suites, contemporary décor, and popular onboard amenities, including a large Sky Deck with whirlpool and Sky Bistro, lounge and a bar serving premium spirits, complimentary computer use in public areas and free Wi-Fi throughout the ship, Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, hair salon, and elevator.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Lounges and upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Additional biking excursions available in Amsterdam, Breisach and Bernkastel
  • Avalon Choice® cruising experience
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
  • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
  • Convenient Elevator Service
  • Outside viewing deck
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
  • Full-size closet mirror

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. A, B, P) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk and chair
Avalon Suite - 258 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door with French Balcony
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Linz
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).

Price Ranges

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


Engelhartszell
Packages
Krems
Vienna
Visegrad
Budapest

Engelhartszell

People & Pubs of Linz

People & Pubs of Linz

Discover the charming people and active nightlife of Linz on this engaging guided nighttime walking tour of the city's most popular bars, pubs, and beer gardens!

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: $$$$

Krems

Traditional Heurigen Wine Tavern Dinner

Traditional Heurigen Wine Tavern Dinner

Travel into the Grinzing area for a traditional dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern, with music, entertainment, and wine from the latest harvest!

Price Range: $$

Hit the Trail: Guided Hike with Heurigen Dinner

Hit the Trail: Guided Hike with Heurigen Dinner

Enjoy a scenic guided hike and a traditional dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern, with music, entertainment, and wine from the latest harvest!

Price Range: $$

Vienna

Private Guided Visit of the Spanish Riding School

Private Guided Visit of the Spanish Riding School

Tucked away inside magnificent Hofburg Palace is the historic Spanish Riding School, training venue for the world-famous Lipizzaner Stallions and the oldest riding academy in the world. This center for classical Renaissance-era dressage was constructed in 1729, and builds on four centuries of tradition. Led by an expert guide, visit the Winter Riding School, as well as the Summer Riding School, home to the world's largest oval horse walker and the stables in the Stallburg, Vienna's most prominent Renaissance building and part of the oldest surviving section of the Imperial Palace. Along the way, learn the fascinating origins of the Lipizzan breed and the little-known stories about the horses' stunning 17th-century Baroque home-a must see for any visit to Vienna.

Price Range: $$$

Discover the Secret of Absinth

Discover the Secret of Absinth

Ridiculously popular as a drink of the 'bohemians' in late 19th-century France, anise-flavored Absinthe has long been associated with Parisian artists and writers, and was a drink of inspiration for Hemingway, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, van Gogh, Byron, Poe, Mata Hari, and others.

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: $$

Musical Conductor for a Day

Musical Conductor for a Day

Become a real musical conductor on this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Vienna, the City of Music!

Price Range: $$$$

Vienna: City of Music & Musicians

Vienna: City of Music & Musicians

On this captivating guided tour, discover how Vienna has influenced the many musical geniuses who lived and worked here, and then visit the innovative House of Music to compose your own waltz or virtually conduct the Viennese Philharmonic!

Price Range: $$

Austrian Chef for a Day: Viennese Specialties

Austrian Chef for a Day: Viennese Specialties

Join an expert chef and learn how to create a lunch of authentic Viennese specialties, then savor the delicious final product afterward!

Price Range: $$$

Visegrad

Canoeing in the Danube Bend

Canoeing in the Danube Bend

This is an unforgettable canoe tour takes you along the Danube Bend Region where the river cuts through attractive volcanic hills and creates a large island where the closest side- branch of the Danube from Budapest starts. The narrower Szentendre branch we are going to explore feels more intimate, with shores close together, lined by willows waving their branches in the wind. You will only encounter small motor boats, kayaks, canoes and water sport lovers, as big ships can not navigate this arm.

Price Range: $

Budapest

Budapest Retro Tour

Budapest Retro Tour

Step behind the Iron Curtain on this unique guided tour to discover what life was like in Hungary from the 1960s to the 1980s during the Communist era-and to explore some of its currently popular retro hot spots.

Price Range: $$$$

Budapest Cave-Hiking Adventure

Budapest Cave-Hiking Adventure

Do something truly adventurous on an incredible guided caving tour through Budapest's massive underground cave system!

Price Range: $$

Hungarian Dinner

Hungarian Dinner

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: $$

Similar Cruises

8 Day River Cruise from Linz to Budapest

Starting at: $3,649

per person without air*

Cruise Details