Soak up all that Europe’s most cultured river has to offer, with its wealth of grand baroque architecture, medieval cities, picture perfect towns and the sights that inspired Strauss and Mozart. Stepping aboard your Riviera cruise you will appreciate the superb surroundings of your floating luxury hotel for the next seven nights with spacious and well-appointed cabins or suites, private bathrooms and meticulously prepared fine cuisine.
You fly to Budapest, where a coach takes you to your cruise ship. The dedicated crew are there to welcome you on board, ensuring you settle into your extremely comfortable, well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with this first-class floating hotel.
Overnight we slipped upstream to Esztergom, a royal capital during medieval times and today the seat of the country’s archbishop. Esztergom is famous for its enormous neoclassical basilica, standing sentinel over the Danube on the border with Slovakia, and boasting one of the world’s largest altarpieces and a wealth of priceless religious artefacts.
This morning we explore Bratislava on a guided tour. The city has rekindled the splendour of its imperial past in its beautifully restored Old Town. Equally impressive is the 17th-century castle commanding expansive views across the Danube. This afternoon we cruise into Lower Austria, a peaceful region and home to some of the country’s best wines. Cruise towards Dürnstein while enjoying another superb dinner.
Dürnstein is known principally for two things: first, for the ice-blue tower of its abbey, and second, for the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. After lunch you visit the remarkable Melk Abbey. Nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of this enormous honey-coloured building, standing resplendent above the surrounding countryside.
Reaching Linz, you will have the choice to stay in the city and take a guided walking tour, exploring its charming baroque old town. Alternatively, we drive to Salzburg, once an independent state whose archbishops turned it into one of the most sophisticated cities north of the Alps. Please note lunch is not included however, the ship will offer a packed lunch.
Today visit Vienna. Enjoy a morning tour with a local guide offering insights into why Vienna is one of Europe’s great capitals – the seat of the Habsburg emperors and home to some of the world’s finest classical composers, including Beethoven, Mozart and a whole family of Strausses. During the afternoon you’re free to explore as you wish. No visit to Vienna is complete without a live musical experience, so after dinner we have a classical recital on board.
Enjoy a leisurely morning as we cruise through Hungary’s peaceful landscape towards Budapest. After lunch we enjoy a sightseeing tour of this captivating city, which truly lives up to its reputation as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’. Budapest’s endless galleries, museums, outstanding Art Nouveau architecture and excellent shopping offer a fittingly elegant end to your Danube cruise. This evening’s Gala Dinner closes with a Hungarian folklore show.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Holiday Price Overview
Fully ATOL protected
7 night Riviera cruise
Full Board on cruise
Complimentary on-board tea & coffee
Excursions specified as included
Expert cruise director
Deluxe Balcony Suite