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Extending from its source where the Breg and Brigach Rivers meet in southern Germany's Black Forest and 1,777 miles later emptying into the Black Sea, the Danube River is the second-longest river in all of Europe. Along its winding course, it crosses through 10 countries in Europe, including Austria, Slovakia, Hungary Croatia, SerbiaBulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Moldava. A cruise on any one of the river boats that sail these waters will acquaint you with a diversity of cultures, customs, & traditions. Immerse yourself in the rich architecture of Austria's capital, Vienna, home of both Beethoven & Mozart. In Budapest, you will see 700-year-old buildings and cross under the famous Chain Bridge. Contact one of our Danube River cruise specialists to start planning your trip today.

10 Best Danube River Cruises

Top Deals on Danube River Cruises for 2017

Trip NameSaveFromDaysLevelSummary
Magnificent Europe (Christmas Cruise) - Cruise Only$2000$559915RelaxedEmbark the Amastella for a 15-day cruise that visits Europe's renowned Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Budapest to Amsterdam. This comprehensive tour crosses from the top destinations of the Danube River through the Main-Danube Canal into the Rhine River, including optional excursions like bike & walking tours and wine tastings.
Melodies of the Danube - Cruise Only$1000$24998RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS Amaserena as you explore four European countries along the Danube – Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. Walk and bike your way through these historic cultural centers of Europe as you see the region's mix of medieval and modern highlights, like Melk's Benedictine Abbey.
Blue Danube Discovery$1000$28998RelaxedOn this 8-day cruise aboard the MS Amadante you'll see the best of Europe's highlights, exploring cities along the magnificent Danube River, including Vienna, Bratislava, Passau, and Regensburg. You'll have chances to try traditional food like beer & pretzels and witness the spectacular Baroque & medieval architecture that defines the region.
Melodies of the Danube - Cruise Only$1000$25998RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS Amastella as you explore four European countries along the Danube River: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, & Germany. Try the Wachau Valley's locally grown wine and visit Melk's spectacular Benedictine Abbey, along with other highlights of Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, & Emmersdorf.
Christmas Markets on the Danube - Cruise Only$1000$27998RelaxedCelebrate the magic of the holiday season on this 8-day cruise aboard the MS Amastella as you visit multiple Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. You'll see the picturesque towns adorned in vibrant colors for the holiday season and have opportunities to tour the cities on foot with expert guides.
The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$1000$24998RelaxedEmbark on a fascinating 8-day cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amastella. Medieval castles and scenic beauty highlight the towns of Germany, Austria, and Hungary. You'll visit centuries-old cathedrals, small villages, and big cities that hallmark this region of Europe, including stops in Linz, Vienna, Weissenkirchen, and Bratislava.
The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$1000$24998RelaxedEnjoy an 8-day Danube River cruise aboard the MS Amaserena, starting in enchanting Vilshofen and sailing to historical Budapest. Along the way you'll have chances to explore these cities independently and on guided tours of the medieval castles, Gothic cathedrals, and Baroque palaces. You might even consider tasting the wine o the Wachau Valley.
The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$1000$25998RelaxedOn this 8-day cruise, explore the fascinating Danube River on a cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amaviola.

Danube River Travel Guide

Major Ports along the Danube River
The Danube River is the major artery transversing eastern Europe, crossing from the Black Sea through Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. Depending on which region your cruise is visiting, you might stop at one of these major ports along the way:
Highlights of the Danube River by country
Though united by the winding Danube River, each of the countries that we visit on our many eastern European river cruises have a distinct cultural identity. You might recognize these highlights as you visit:
  • Austria: Home to the medieval Schönbrunn & Hofburg Palaces in Vienna, historic Dürnstein village and the Baroque-style Melk Abbey.
  • Germany: The WWII sites of Nuremberg, the architecture of well-preserved medieval Regensburg, biking and hiking around the Baroque & Gothic architecture of 2000-year-old Passau.
  • Hungary: Visit the neo-classic basilica and former Royal Palace in Esztergom or learn the storied history of Unesco World Heritage SiteBudapest.
  • Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Serbia are all home to their own historical, cultural, and architectural delights.

Popular Trip Extensions of Danube River Cruises
  • Czech Republic: The sites of Prague, like Rudolfinum National Museum, Wenceslas Square, the Hundertwasser Dancing House, and the 1,000 year-old Prague Castle, just to name a few.
        Where to Go?
        With 120 options to choose from, choosing the right cruise can seem like a daunting task. Once you've decided that a Danube River cruise is right for you, then it's just a matter of determining where you want to start and which countries you'd most like to visit. Most cruises visit Hungary and Austria, but only a selection visit Bulgaria, Slovakia, Serbia, and Croatia. If there is a certain destination that you know you'd like to visit, be sure to let us know and we can recommend the best Danube river cruise for you. 

        How Long?
        Our itineraries range in length from 5 days all the way to 20 days to best suit your schedule. The most comprehensive river tours are between two and three weeks. These tours will not only visit every country along the Danube, but they also spend several days in the major destinations. On the shorter end, these are ideal if you either have a limited amount of time to travel or if you want to combine your cruise with other destinations in Europe. For example, a 6-day cruise from Austria through Hungary will give you a flavor of eastern Europe, which you can then combine with a 5-day trip along the Rhine or Seine Rivers to experience western Europe. 

        What is it like aboard a river vessel?
        On the outside, you'll notice that the river vessels we feature strike a contrast with more traditional ocean-going cruise ships. Most notably, they are very long, frequently over 100m, and typically have only two or three decks. While not particularly spacious, the cabins are ample and comfortable. All of our featured cruise ships offer first-class accommodations, and most have a big lounge, an open-air sundeck, a restaurant/ dining room area, and some even have souvenir shops. Since there are just a few social spaces, you will get to know your fellow cruise-mates in a friendly and intimate environment that river vesels offer.
        When should I plan my Danube River cruise?
        The best time to visit eastern Europe on a Danube River cruise is definitely during the summer time. During this season you'll enjoy sunny days and warm temperatures.

        Since the Danube winds through southern Europe, the cruise season is a bit longer, and we do offer several cruises as early as March and April and as late as November.

        In December, we feature a rare opportunity to see the Christmas markets of the Danube River, where the holiday spirit that has characterized the Advent season in central Europe will come to life for you as you witness these fascinating yule-tide markets.

        From January through early March, the temperatures along the Danube and throughout Europe fall between cold and frigid, making this a bad time to visit the Danube region. 

        If the cold weather doesn't bother you and you're hoping to experience a European cruise during the winter months, then consider a Scandinavian excursion or perhaps even an Arctic expedition. 
        Fun Facts about the Danube River
        Did you know...
        • Not counting Russia's Volga River, the Danube is central Europe's longest river, at an incredible length of 2,860 km.
        • German warships were sunk to avoid Soviet capture towards the end of WWII, and their remains can still be seen peering through the water in the summer months.
        • The Danube crosses through 10 countries, which helped certain cities like Vienna, Budapest, and Belgrade gain importance in European affairs.
        • Biking and walking trails are very common along the whole river.
        • Home to more than 200 species of fish, it was once a main source of food for the region and before becoming a river cruise destination was primarily a major economic waterway through Europe.

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