Gems of the Danube with Scenic Tours

There’s nothing quite like a river cruise down the Danube. With its mix of historic sights and storybook villages, cities and towns lining its banks, the Danube offers some of the most stunning sights in Europe.

Scenic Tours wants to immerse you in the sights and wonders of this famous river on its eight-day, all-inclusive Gems of the Danube itinerary, and the company is even offering a “Partner Flies Free” promotion and a price reduction on select staterooms and departures if booked by the end of February.

Scenic Tours' Gems of the Danube itinerary visits some of Europe's most spectacular cities. Illustration courtesy of Scenic Tours

Sailing aboard the company’s fleet of “Space Ships” guests can revel in touring historic cities like Nuremberg, Germany and Budapest, Hungary, where a variety of enriching excursions are included at no additional cost. Even overland excursions to places like Salzburg, Austria or an all-day tour of the medieval storybook village of Cesky Krumlov are included in your cruise fare.

The only hard part will be choosing how to spend your day: Do you amble around the beautiful city of Vienna on your own, or take in the magnificent grandeur of Schönbrunn Palace? Or perhaps a private Mozart and Strauss concert is in order? Regardless of how you spend your time, it’s tough to make a wrong choice with Scenic’s “Scenic Free Choice” excursions offered in many ports.

Scenic Sapphire is one of Scenic Tours' Space Ships. Photo courtesy of Scenic Tours

So what are the “Space Ships”? With five ships currently in the fleet and a sixth due to launch this year, Scenic’s Space Ships offer some interesting twists on the traditional European river cruise scene. To start, these 443-foot long vessels boast two complete decks of balcony staterooms featuring full, step-out balconies. Aboard the forthcoming Scenic Crystal, this traditional cruise ship balcony concept is taken to the next level with the line’s new “Scenic Sun Lounge” — balconies that transform from open-air to a fully-enclosed glass sun lounge. Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that every single balcony stateroom aboard Scenic Crystal will have this arrangement. There’s no French Balconies here.

Sailing aboard Scenic Pearl, Scenic Emerald, Scenic Sapphire, Scenic Diamond, and Scenic Ruby, guests can enjoy the magic of Europe’s storied waterways with all the comforts of home, and then some. Staterooms come equipped with L’Occitane toiletries and plush linens atop Scenic’s “Slumber Beds.” Elsewhere on board is a restaurant that can accommodate each and every passenger onboard in a single seating, a glass-walled Observation Lounge, and three teak-decked viewing areas on each ship.

There's nothing quite like a day spent ambling the cobblestone streets of Regensburg, Germany. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Here’s a look at the complete Gems of the Danube itinerary offered by Scenic Cruises; note that the itinerary also operates in reverse, from Budapest to Nuremberg:

Day 1Nuremberg, GermanyEmbark your Scenic ship; welcome aboard cocktail.
Day 2Nuremberg, GermanyTour of Nuremberg's Old Town; visit the Nuremberg Rallies site and Documentation Centre.
Day 3Regensburg, GermanyCruise the Main-Danube Canal; guided walking tour of Regensburg
Day 4Passau, Germany / Linz, AustriaScenic Free Choice tour: Guided tour of Passau and cruise to Linz; visit Salzburg, Austria; or take in a full-day tour of Cesky Krumlov.
Day 5Melk, Austria / Durnstein, Austria / Vienna, AustriaVisit the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; tour Durnstein; arrive at night in Vienna.
Day 6Vienna, AustriaChoose between Scenic FreeTime; Scenic FreeChoice tours, or Scenic Enrich tours in this remarkable city.
Day 7Budapest, HungaryScenic FreeChoice tours: Relax in Budapest's famous baths and spas; or explore the limestone caves under the Castle labyrinth; or experience the classical music of Hungary and the Liszt House.
Day 8Budapest, HungaryDisembark

If this all looks spectacular, there’s still time to take advantage of Scenic’s “Partner Flies Free” airfare promotion that runs until the end of February, which is good for all non-balcony staterooms on select departure dates.

More information on Scenic’s SpaceShips, itineraries and current promotions can be found by visiting the Scenic Tours website.