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Our Danube River cruises take you through lush vineyards, castles, and some of Europe's most culturally rich cities. Extending from 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 meandering through 10 countries including GermanyAustria, Slovakia, HungaryCroatiaSerbiaBulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Moldava. A cruise on any of the riverboats that sail the Danube acquaints you with a diversity of cultures and inspired European landscapes through classic European river port cities like Vienna, Budapest, Passau, and Bratislava. Enjoy wine tasting, bicycling, and walking along one of Europe's most scenic rivers. Contact one of our Danube River cruise specialists to start planning your dream trip on the Danube today.

10 Best Danube River Cruises for 2018

Danube River Cruises (108 Results)
All Danube River Cruises

10 Best Luxury Danube River Cruises for 2018

Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$25998RelaxedEmbark the luxurious MS Amacerto for an 8-day river cruise of the highlights of Europe along the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. Walking …
The Legendary Danube - Cruise Only$31998RelaxedBoard the luxurious MS Amasonata on this exclusive 8-day cruise of the Danube River. From Nuremberg, you will sail through Germany and Austria before …
Christmas Markets on the Danube - Cruise Only$28998RelaxedCelebrate the magic of the holiday season with a festive 8-day journey from Nuremberg to Budapest aboard MS Amaviola. Visit multiple Christmas …
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$28998RelaxedEmbark the luxurious MS Amaserena for an 8-day cruise along the legendary Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg, enjoying rich wine country and …
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$27998RelaxedThe MS Amaviola hosts this 8-day cruise of the Danube River, from Budapest to Nuremburg, with stops in the traditional cities of Austria, Slovakia, …
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$27998RelaxedExperience centuries of art, history, and culture, on this 8-day cruise aboard the MS Amalea. Sail the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg to discover …
The Legendary Danube - Cruise Only$27998RelaxedEmbark the luxury river cruise ship MS Amacerto for a fascinating 8-day journey along the Danube River from Nuremberg to Budapest.
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$30998RelaxedOn this unforgettable 8-day cruise, embark in Budapest, Hungary, and make your way to the charming city of Nuremberg on the MS Amasonata. Visit some …
Melodies of the Danube (Wine Themed) - Cruise Only$25998RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the luxury river cruise ship MS Amaserena. You will pass through historic Vienna …
Melodies of the Danube (Wine Themed) - Cruise Only$24998RelaxedBoard the MS Amaviola in Budapest for an 8-day cruise, and enjoy a variety of activities as you discover the Wachau Valley wine-growing region. …

10 Best Danube Cruises of Two Weeks or Longer

Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Magnificent Europe (Christmas Cruise) - Cruise Only$669915RelaxedEmbark the Amastella for a 15-day cruise visiting Europe's renowned Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Budapest to Amsterdam. This …
Magnificent Europe (Christmas Cruise) - Cruise Only$539915RelaxedEmbark the MS Amaserena for a 15-day cruise and visit Europe's renowned Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Budapest to Amsterdam. With …
Grand Danube Cruise - Cruise Only$559814RelaxedChoose how you want to explore the Danube River on this exclusive 14-day adventure that offers you a large variety of activities such as standard …
Magnificent Europe - Cruise Only$619915RelaxedBoard the MS Amaprima for an epic 15-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through the heart of Europe and across the Continental Divide. Cruise from …
Magnificent Europe - Cruise Only$639915RelaxedJoin the MS Amasonata for a truly grand 15-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through the heart of Europe and across the Continental Divide.
Magnificent Europe$733917RelaxedDelve into Europe’s past and present along three rivers and through five countries on a 17-day journey aboard the MS Amastella. From Amsterdam to …
Europe’s Rivers & Castles (Wine Cruise)$503914RelaxedLet the storybook villages of Rüdesheim, Wertheim, Bernkastel and Cochem captivate you. Enjoy a 14-day journey starting with 3 nights in Prague, …
Medieval Treasures$483914RelaxedStart with 3 nights in Zurich followed by a 7-night cruise from Basel to Nuremberg, ending with 3 nights in Prague. Prague is considered one of …

How to Choose a Riverboat on the Danube

We have hand-selected the most comfortable riverboats that explore the Danube. The average capacity of a riverboat is 160 passengers, with some smaller vessels having an occupancy as low as 100 and several that are around 200 passengers. Every boat features multiple social areas, exquisite food, and friendly crews & guides.

Bigger riverboats might have more common areas onboard, so if having a pool, dance floor, or exercise room is important, then shy away from the smaller boats. The biggest factor in choosing your boat is the itinerary - each boat sails certain routes, so knowing which cruise you'd like to take will make your boat choice much easier.

Contact us if you need guidance in selecting the best boat for you. 

What is it like aboard a riverboat on the Danube?

On the outside, you'll notice that the riverboats we feature strike a contrast with traditional ocean-going cruise ships. Most notably, they are very long, frequently over 100m, and typically have only two or three decks in order to fit under low bridges.

While not particularly spacious, riverboat cabins are comfortable. All of our featured riverboats offer luxury or first-class accommodations, and most have a big lounge, an open-air sundeck, a restaurant/ dining room area, and some even have pools and hot tubs.

Days will be spent visiting ports of call, hiking and bicycling or cruising along the scenic Danube. Evenings are usually spent in transit to the next spectacular port.

Top Riverboats Cruising the Danube River for 2018

Ship NameCapacityFromSummary
MS Modigliani160$1208The MS Modigliani is a 4 anchors class ship, designed with 78 cabins for a maximun of 160 passengers. The ship is small enough to moor at a town or …
MS Amasonata164$2699The MS Amasonata is among the most luxurious and advanced river vessels in Europe, with occupancy for up to 164 passengers in comfortable cabins, …
MS Amacerto164$2499This luxurious river cruiser features panoramic views from the sundeck, a pool and swim-up bar, gourmet meals, luxurious lounges, and comfortable …
MS Vivaldi176$2013The MS Vivaldi sails on the Danube and Rhine rivers, and was built in 2009. She features three floors, an upper sun deck, and 88 guest cabins. The …
MS Amaserena164$2499Making its debut in 2015, the AmaSerena features the most advanced designs in river cruise vessels. This 164-passenger ship boasts spacious …
MS Amaviola158$2499The AmaViola – set to debut in 2016 – is a sister ship to the AmaSerena and features the most advanced design of any river cruise vessel …
MS Amalea158$2499The AmaLea debuts in 2018 and features the most advanced design of any river cruise vessel currently in operation. With a guest capacity of up to 158 …
MS Amadante148$2699Launched in 2008, the MS Amadante is part of the newest, state-of-the-art fleet of river cruise vessels in Europe.

Danube River Cruise Tips & Travel Guide

When should I plan my Danube River cruise?
The best time to go 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. 
Specialized Wine-Themed Cruises on the Danube
Experience some of central and eastern Europe's most famous and unique wine regions like Austria's Krems and the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Melodies of the Danube wine-themed cruises.

Your onboard sommelier will host tastings and food-and-wine-pairings of local wines that complement our visits to wine villages, wineries, and famed wine cellars of the Danube River valley.

The Wachau Valley is unique due to its unique man-made stone terraces that enable cultivation of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling varieties on the steep river banks of the Danube. 

Downriver near Budapest, Hungary, we'll taste exotic Hungarian varieties such as Zierfandler, Cserszegi Fuszeres, and Juhfark. 

What is there to do and see?
Our cruises on the Danube are full of exciting ways to explore Central and Eastern Europe including bicycling through the rolling countryside, wine tasting at ancient vineyards, gentle hiking, urban exploration, strolling through quaint villages, and discovering ancient & modern architectural wonders. 

How many days should I cruise?
Our Danube River cruise itineraries range from 6 to 20 days in length, and the most popular itineraries are 7 or 8-days.

A few 6-day cruises sail between Passau and Budapest, and there are dozens of week-long cruises will give you a good sampling of the culture and highlights of the Danube.

The longer itineraries of two weeks or more usually explore Germany, Austria, and Hungary, with most venturing to Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

20-day trips either include extensions to Prague or combine the Rhine River with the Danube in the Ultimate River Cruise
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, the Baroque-style Melk Abbey, and some of Europe's legendary wine regions like the Wachau Valley.
  • 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.
  • Slovakia's charming capital of Bratislava features castles and cathedrals overllooking the pedestrian-only old town.
  • Croatia, Bulgaria,  and Serbia are all home to their own historical, cultural, gastronomical 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.
  • Prague to Bucharest: Explore historic Prague including Prague Castle and the city's many ornate bridges over the Vltava River. Explore the countryside of Eastern Europe hiking and bicycling, culminating in Transylvania. 
        Fun Facts about the Danube River

        Did you know...
        • Not counting Russia's Volga River (which is partially in Asia), the Danube is Europe's longest river, at an incredible length of 1800 miles (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.
        Bicycling Tours Along the Danube River
        For many, the favorite way of exploring the countryside, small village or riverside bike paths in iconic European cities is by bicycle. Our cruises down the Danube give ample opportunities to leisurely pedal your way through Europe. Here are some of our favorite spots:
        Legendary Danube Cruise
        Melk, Austria - Ride along the picturesque Danube River between Dürnstein and Melk through one of Austria’s Wachau Valley.
        Passau, Germany - take guided bike tour along the Danube from Passau to Erlau passing breathtaking castles & cathedrals.

        Romantic Danube Cruise
        Vienna Austria - ride along the Danube through the Donaupark or the Klosterneuburg Monastery accompanied with tasting Viennese coffee and pastries in a traditional cafe. 
        Linz, Austria take a guided bike tour around the Old City Center, along the Danube River, and past the ultra-modern Ars Electronica Center.  

        Grand Danube Cruise
        Further down the Danube ride through the historical bike-friendly cities such as Vukovar, Croatia and Belgrade, Serbia and Vidin, Bulgaria.

        How to choose a Danube River cruise

        Where to Go?
        The Danube River flows from the heart of Germany throughout some of the most historic regions of eastern Europe, including Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Since most of our cruises visit the popular destinations throughout central Europe, the majority of the Danube River cruises only go as far as Slovakia & Hungary. You will likely visit towns like Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Nuremburg, and other German towns. If your cruise connects to the Main or Rhine Rivers, you might also make your way all the way to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

        How Long?
        Danube River cruises average 8 days, which most traelers find to be the perfect length. Depending on where you start, your cruise may visit multiple countries or one country in greater depth. There are longer Danube River cruises that range in length from 11-15 days. On these trips, you will likely navigate a large portion of the Danube, from the Netherlands through Germany, and into the eastern European countries of Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. Shorter itineraries tend to stay in one or two countries.

        On which riverboat?
        The vessels we have hand-selected for the Danube River cruises were specifically designed to explore Eastern and Central Europe. Their length, comfort, and style reflect classic riverboat design. All of the vessels feature a panoramic sun deck, a lounge and bar, elegant dining rooms, and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. Several of the Danube River boats, including the Amastella, Amaserena, Amasonata, and Amacerto, have an onboard pool. Others feature massage spas and salons. Contact us if you need guidance in selecting the best boat for you.

        What is there to do and see?
        Danube River tours offer all kinds of activities for travelers of all interests. Wine tasting tours are very popular, visiting local vineyards and sampling the regional vintages and unique local cuisine. Hiking and biking in the rolling hills and verdant valleys are active ways to explore the Danube region. And urban exploration and historic tours of the ancient city centers and architecture fill out any central/ eastern Europe itinerary. If you travel during the Christmas season, you will see and experience the treasured Danube River Christmas Markets, which bring centuries of tradition and craftsmanship to life in vibrant artisan markets.

        Danube River Cruise FAQs

        Why should I choose a river cruise?
        If you choose to take a Danube River cruise, you will have an all access pass to some of the greatest destinations in central and eastern Europe, including all tours, meals, lodging, and transportation on a comfortable river vessel. They take advantage of the down time to make the long journeys, like during meal times or at night. Each day when you wake up, you'll be in a brand new destination, without ever having to pack & unpack your bags. 

        What should I look for on a riverboat?
        Due to space constrictions of Danube riverboats, riverboats generally don't have a lot of amenities like multiple dining areas or casinos, but you can expect to have a spacious sun deck from which to view the amazing sites of central & eastern Europe, a large dining room & bar where you can enjoy the gourmet cuisine, and perhaps even a pool, spa, or fitness center on the finer vessels. The cabins range from comfortable to luxurious, and you will find that the captain and crew are very friendly and welcoming. 

        Are there 5-star riverboats in Europe?
        Whereas seafaring ships have the luxury of spacious deckplans, riverboats on the Danube follow a stricter design with three to four long decks, one dining room, lounge, and bar, and a sun deck on the top level. Because their space is limited and they feature necessarily fewer social areas and amenities, they aren't considered five star vessels. However, this is a quickly advancing business in Europe, so it's likely that within the next few years there will be five-star river vessels, as we already feature a fair number of vessels that are truly luxurious. 

        Should I get a room with a balcony?
        The Danube River can be appreciated in its full beauty from the panoramic sundeck, so balconies don't generally improve the overall experience that much – they will cost hundreds of dollars more and could cost you valuable floor space in cabins that are already smaller than typical cabins on larger ships. A room with a floor to ceiling window or a window that opens can be just as good on a riverboat. 

        What is dining like?
        All of our featured boats will treat you to some of the finest local delicacies and comfort food, all in the decadent dining rooms/ bars of the vessels. Excellent chefs guarantee a wonderful menu. Ask about our wine themed cruises down the Danube for insight into the top regions, varieties and unique viniculture on the steep river banks. 

        Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
        Yes, on most trips. While many of the Danube visitor sites are right on the shores of the river, there are also a fair number that are a bit more isolated. To get to these destinations, you will just take a bus from the river vessel, but this is included in the price.

        Will my riverboat have WiFi?
        Most but not all Danube River boats have WiFi. Most boats have free WiFi, others charge, and some have reception only on deck and not in the rooms. It's important to check with your Adventure Life representative to confirm that your river boat of choice has WiFi.

        What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
        All of Europe uses 220v power, different from 110v power in North America, but fortunately most devices can handle both voltages so you probably won't need a 220v to 110v power converter. You will need plug adapters to convert the two flat prong American style plugs to the two round prong European style.

        How can I save money on a river cruise?
        Save thousands of dollars on your cruise by checking out the latest promotions for your destination on our Danube River Cruise Deals page or by letting one of our travel experts help you find the best deals. Don't look to save money by getting cheaper rooms since the lower class cabins are sometimes less comfortable or simply have less space.

        Are Danube river cruises a good family vacation?
        The Danube river is a wonderful destination for families of all ages, but the best cruises for families with children or teens are the active cruises that offer biking and walking tours. Check out our family travel article for more information.

        Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to the Danube?
        All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements.

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