The Danube is one of our recommendations for first-time river cruisers. This is primarily because of the number of marquee cities that the river travels through. On your Danube cruise, you can expect to visit Nuremberg, Passau, Linz, Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava – along with many smaller villages you may not be familiar with. It’s not only first-time river cruisers who like this itinerary, though. Even having sailed the Danube a handful of times, it is a river that I will go back and sail again and again.
The thing that makes the Danube such a great option for river cruising, however, is the sheer amount itineraries along the river. Want to start your cruise in Germany? Great, you can. Don’t want to start in Germany? Start in Hungary or Austria. There are so many different options for travelers along the Danube.
The Danube has a lot to offer, and so does Crystal River Cruises. So let’s look at Crystal’s itineraries offered along Europe’s second-longest river.
Delightful Danube – 7 nights from Vilshofen to Budapest or reverse
Countries visited: Germany, Austria, Hungary
Stops in: Vilshofen, Linz, Melk, Dürnstein, Vienna, and Budapest
Overnights in: Vienna and Budapest
With overnights in Vienna and Budapest, this itinerary is perfect for travelers looking to explore the history of two of Europe’s capital cities. In Vienna, guests can visit the Museum of Fine Arts or travel to Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will also have the opportunity to attend an art and music event at Belvedere Palace. In Budapest, travelers can visit Budapest’s famed Parliament Building, attend a horse show, or explore the Jewish culture of the region with a visit to the Dohány Synagogue and the shoes on the Danube bank.
Danube Serenade – 7 nights from Budapest to Vienna or reverse
Countries visited: Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary
Stops in: Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Krems, and Vienna
Overnights in: Budapest and Vienna
Since you already know what Budapest and Vienna have to offer, let’s look at some of the other excursions offered on this seven-night itinerary. In Bratislava, guests can visit a traditional Slovakian bakery to try pastries, drive through the city before walking through the old town and on to a pub for a beer tasting, or explore the cities Jewish heritage with a visit to Chatam Sofer Memorial. In Dürnstein, guests have the opportunity to visit a winery, venture to Dürnstein’s Castle Ruins on a hike, or even fly over the Wachau Valley by helicopter.
Treasures Of The Danube – 10 nights roundtrip from Vienna
Countries Visited: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary
Stops in: Vienna, Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Passau, Bratislava, and Budapest
Overnights in: Budapest, Passau, and Vienna
This itinerary tops my list with two overnights in Vienna. Not to mention, guests will visit Linz. While Linz is a great town, the stop in Linz allows travelers to venture to two other nearby destinations – Cesky Krumlov and Salzburg. Cesky Krumlov UNESCO World Heritage Site and, quite frankly, a must-see. However, fans of the Sound Of Music might decide to venture to Salzburg instead. (I almost always do.)
Grand Danube Celebration – 11 nights from Budapest to Nuremberg or reverse
Countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany
Stops in: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Krems, Melk, Linz, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg
Overnights in: Budapest, Vienna and Nuremberg
This is, of course, Crystal’s most robust Danube itinerary with overnights in three ports. The cruise starts with two overnights in Budapest and ends with an overnight in Nuremberg. In Melk, guests can visit the town’s renowned abbey. A visit to Krems allows guests to take a tour of the Old Town or travel to Herzogenberg Monastery for a wine tasting. This is the perfect itinerary for guests looking to get the most out of their cruise along the Danube, with visits to four countries and a total of four overnights.