Fall in love with the Danube—with its charming small towns, scenic beauty, and exciting cities—on this river cruise vacation. Board your ship in Budapest and discover Slovakia’s vibrant capital of Bratislava, explore the quaint town of Dürnstein with its baroque Stiftskirche, visit Melk’s awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey, visit the cultural city of Linz, and bask in the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Your vacation ends in Vienna, the “City of Music,” where you’ll disembark. All of this and more await you on this marvelous cruise vacation.
Day #1 Budapest (Embarkation). Welcome to Hungary! This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel at 3 pm and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (D)
Day #2 Bratislava, Slovakia. A morning to relax on board and marvel at 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. Situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava is the dynamic capital of Slovakia. The charming Old Town with its Town Hall and Mirbach Palace as well as gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL should not be missed. (B,L,D)
Day #3 Dürnstein, Austria–Melk. This morning, our first stop is Dürnstein, lying right 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. Melk’s magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town from its commanding hill site, and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! (B,L,D)
Day #4 Linz–Grein. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. Culture is an important part of life in Linz. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. Choose from a variety of optional activities today. In the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, which is nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Time at leisure to enjoy the small-town atmosphere. The turreted houses on the main square make excellent photo material. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Vienna (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Flights should not leave Vienna airport before Noon. (B)