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Parliament Building at night, Budapest

Budapest Cruises on the Danube

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The stunning capital city of Hungary is cut in half by the beautiful blue Danube River. On one side of the river is an area of hills and valleys, known as Buda - on the other side is the flatland of Pest. Together, they form a charming eastern European city where many of our cruises embark or end. For our tours that don't start here, they typically offer some free time for you to enjoy an evening stroll along the tranquil streets or explore it by day on a bike. It is also home to the Baroque Gödöllö Palace, Gellert Baths, Margaret Island, and Castle Hill, earning Budapest a reputation as one of the world's most beautiful cities. From here, you will sail to other Hungarian destinations like Mohacas, Esztergom, & the Puszta prairie. It's a staple part of any cultural exploration of Europe.

10 Best Danube Cruises to Budapest

Top Budapest Luxury Cruises for 2018

Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
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. …
Blue Danube Discovery$419913RelaxedBegin your journey in Budapest with a luxurious 2-night stay then embark the MS Amaserena for an 8-day cruise to Nuremberg. Conclude your European …
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 …
Melodies of the Danube$367911RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS Amaserena and discover the Melodies of the Danube.
Melodies of the Danube$357911RelaxedExperience the sights and sounds of the Danube River on this fascinating 8-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS Amaviola, then spend 3 …

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Highlights of Budapest
As the capital city of Hungary, you'll find that Budapest captures this country's cultural identity in stunning architecture and scenic beauty. The Danube River cuts the city in two – on one bank is the area known as Buda, and on the other is Pest. Together, they form the capital city, where you can see:
  • Gödöllö Palace – a hallmark of Baroque architecture and the former residence of the royal Grassalkovich family.
  • The Old Town – a part of Buda where well-preserved architecture harkens back to a Hungarian yesteryear.
  • Buda Castle – another model of the Baroque style in Budapest, built in 1265 and serving for centuries as the royal palace.
  • Gellert Baths – thermal baths and swimming pools that will melt your stresses & worries away as you relax into the warm waters.
  • Margaret Island – located in the Danube Canal, it's a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll or an afternoon bike ride.
  • Castle Hill – a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to Baroque & Gothic architecture, cobblestone paths, and important monuments in the history of Budapest.

Budapest FAQs

Why should I choose a river cruise?
There are many great reasons to choose a river cruise. First of all, since you'll be staying on a boat, your hotel literally floats along the river with you, meaning you don't have to pack and unpack every time you visit a new city. Also, the packages are all-inclusive, so once you've paid for your cruise, all of the tours, activities, lodging, and meals are included. Some cruises even offer free bicycle rental. And you won't waste any time on buses or trains traveling from one city to the next since the cruises take advantage of meal times and nights to do the long distances.

What should I look for on a riverboat?
Every one of our hand-selected river vessels that visit Budapest and other eastern European destinations guarantee comfort, style, and a knowledgeable and friendly crew. You can also expect a panoramic sun deck from which you can enjoy the incredible vistas of the Danube River. Cabins range from comfortable to luxurious, and each vessel has at least one ample dining area and bar. Some of the finer vessels might even feature an exercise room, pool, or spa. It's worth noting that while none of the boats are quite 5-stars, they do offer plenty of space and comfort for the journey.

Why aren't there any five-star river vessels?
River cruises throughout Europe are a relatively new trend, so the design of riverboats and what they are able to offer is developing more each year. The size constrictios of river vessels limit the number of amenitites like multiple dining areas, casinos, or other things that larger ships can offer. However, there are a number of truly elegant vessels that combine comfort and style.

Should I get a room with a balcony?
On your cruise through Budapest, we feel that you don't need to splurge on the cabin with the balcony. Some folks feel that they are necessary to ge the most out of the experience, and if you are one of them, then go for it. Otherwise, consider the alternative of floor to ceiling windows, sliding glass doors, or large portrait windows that open. This will save you hundreds of dollars and it could also save you valuable floorspace that would otherwise be sacrificed to the balcony. Don't worry, you can still get the fantastic panoramic views from the sun deck.

What is dining like?
You will enjoy gourmet local delicacies prepared by skilled local chefs that are familiar with the best Hungarian plates. 

Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
Yep! It's possible that your cruise will feature a few destinations in the Hungarian countryside, so you will be taken from Budapest to these more isolated visitor sites via a luxury coach.

Will my vessel have WiFi?
It's possible, but don't count on it. While some vessels have free WiFi, some vessels charge for it, and others simply don’t have it. Hotspots in various cities might be available, but you will likely be out of range for up to several days at a time.

What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
Even though the voltage in Europe is 220v compared to the 110v power in North America, most devices can handle both. You will, however, need plug adapters to connect to either the two round prongs throughout Europe or the three flat prongs in Great Britain. Wrap tape around the plugs before you plug them in so that you don't leave your adapters in the outlet wen you take your device out. 

How can I save money on a river cruise?
AVOID getting a cheaper room just to save money, because the savings will usually not be that significant and your overall experience might be worse. INSTEAD check our deals page for your destination or let us know which cruises interest you and we'll keep you posted on any promotions.

Are river cruises in Budapest a good family vacation?
Sure! There are a number of active tour options in Hungary to make this an engaging family vacation. Check out our family travel article for more information.

Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to Budapest?
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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