Avalon Waterways invited me to sail the Danube in May. I’ll be traveling with my partner; and ever since I got the news that we’d be sailing together I’ve been daydreaming about biking through Vienna at night, viewing the newest exhibition at the Lentos Art Museum in Linz, and exploring the streets of Budapest.
We’ll be sailing on Avalon’s Active & Discovery on the Danube itinerary. Though I have my own ideas about what Emma and I will be doing on our sailing, we also peeked at the excursions that Avalon offers. We were intrigued by a medieval knights tournament in Visegrad, an early risers tour in Vienna, and a visit to a Trappist monastery (with a beer tasting, of course). These are just a few of the excursions offered on this itinerary but, when visiting historically rich and architecturally beautiful cities day after day, Avalon just wants to make sure that its guests get to do and see as much as they want in each destination.
For those who want a more traditional river cruise experience, with mostly classic sightseeing excursions and tours, or even a more curated experience like a wine or culinary themed cruise, Avalon offers a variety of other itineraries ranging from 3-nights to 20-plus night combination cruises. Let’s take a look at some of Avalon’s Danube offerings.
A Taste of the Danube – 4-days from Budapest to Vienna
Countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria
Stops in: Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna
At a just three nights on board, this is sailing is perfect for travelers looking to get a “taste” of river cruising. Though the itinerary is not as long as some of the others Avalon offers, guests will still have a chance to visit three capital cities, Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna, as well as sail through the famed (and beautiful) Wachau Valley.
Prices for 2024 start at $1,199 per person
Danube Symphony – 6-days from Budapest to Vilshofen
Countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany
Stops in: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Krems, Ybbs, Linz, Vilshofen
Guests will have the opportunity to see an abundance of historically significant sights along the Danube with castle visits in Ybbs and Bratislava, monastery visits, and even a more serious visit to one of the largest concentration camps in WWII outside of Linz. For those who wish for a more active experience, there are also hiking and biking tours offered in multiple ports on this itinerary.
Prices for 2024 start at $1,799 per person
Danube Dreams – 8-days from Vilshofen to Budapest
Countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany
Stops in: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Ybbs, Melk, Durnstein, Linz, Passau, Vilshofen
Slightly longer than the above itinerary, this journey adds stops in Passau, Melk and Durnstein. In Melk guests can visit Benedictine Abbey, and afterward in Durnstein passengers can take in the stunning views from below as they hike up to the castle ruins. Avalon also offers an April 14, 2024 culinary experience, which includes culinary walking tours, local wine tastings, and a Master of Wine ho will host special culinary events on board. For wine lovers, Avalon also offers a variation of this itinerary departing April 9, October 14, and October 28, 2024. These wine focused departures also feature a Master of Wine who will share their expertise with the passengers on board.
Prices for 2024 start at $2,699 per person
The Legendary Danube – 8-days from Nuremberg to Budapest
Countries visited: Hungary, Austria, Germany
Stops in: Budapest, Vienna, Melk, Linz, Passau, Regensburg, Roth, Nuremberg
This itinerary sails through the Main-Danube Canal, adding stops in Nuremberg, Regensburg and Roth. In Regensburg, guests will have a chance to visit the old town hall and one of the city’s old Roman gates. Passengers will also visit Roth and Nuremberg, where they will get more of a feel for life in Bavaria with half-timbered houses and historic market squares.
Prices for 2024 start at $2,849 per person
Balkan Discovery – 9-days from Budapest to Bucharest
Countries visited: Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania
Stops in: Budapest, Mohacs, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Golubac, Vidin, Rousse, Oltenita, Bucharest
As you may have noticed, this itinerary is quite different than those listed above. This itinerary is one of Avalon’s lower Danube itineraries. These itineraries sail from Budapest (or nearby) toward the Black Sea, usually ending in Bucharest. These itineraries also operate the reverse route sailing from the Black Sea toward Bucharest. If you don’t recognize all the cities listed above, you are not alone. The Lower Danube is still gaining popularity as a river cruise destination, which makes it a great option for those looking to get “off the beaten path”. The region features a combination of natural wonders, such as the Iron Gates, as well as a unique cultural perspective in each country visited along the way.
Prices for 2024 start at $3,448 per person
Active & Discovery on the Lower Danube – 9-days from Bucharest to Belgrade
Countries visited: Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania
Stops in: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Golubac, Vidin, Nikopol, Oltenita, Bucharest
Avalon also offers an Active & Discovery itinerary on the Lower Danube. These departures present guests with opportunities to visit nature reserves and waterfalls, learn about Bulgarian cuisine and wines, venture to archaeological sites, and more. On board, passengers will attend onboard lectures to learn more about the history, destinations and culture of the Balkan states.
Prices for 2024 start at $3,098 per person
Avalon 2024 Danube
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Carole A Galbraith says
We are 4 women – 3 in their 50’s and myself in my 80’s
I am semi handicaped and need a cruise that will allow me to bring either a wheelchair or a scooter.