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The Classic Blue Danube Cruise

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8 days From $2,495 $1,995 per person

Let the blue waters of the Danube be your guide for this rail and cruise adventure through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
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Offer ends July 3rd: Save $500 per person on select 2024 River Cruises. Book today before they fill up. View Terms & Conditions

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2024 Tour code: DDZ24

About the tour

Experience the timeless magic of the blue Danube, from elegant Austria to the twin cities of Buda and Pest. Step back in time to the eras of the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Kingdom while enjoying the comfortable modern surroundings of your Amadeus cruise ship. Each port of call shines as an example of Europe's unique cultures and distinctive offerings; each day a new chance to experience the continent's wonders. While sightseeing in grand cities, listening to music, and tasting regional specialties, discover how this cruise vacation is a treat for all the senses.

Unforgettable Experiences

Immerse yourself in the sensational ‘Pearl of the Danube’ - Budapest - with a guided tour of its striking castle, stunning buildings, and impressive monuments.
Discover the Baroque streets and imperial palaces of Vienna on a sightseeing tour.
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey
Sail through the verdant valleys and vineyards of the beautiful Wachau Valley before visiting the 11th-century Melk Abbey with beautiful views across the Danube.
Explore the spectacular Austrian lakes or the creative culture of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart.
Admire ornate buildings, fascinating museums, and interesting galleries on a guided tour of Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.

What’s included


Day 1 - Munich/Ship Embarkation in Passau

Your journey towards the Blue Danube begins as you arrive in Munich, Germany. This southern city is wrapped in Bavarian charm and is filled with centuries-old buildings and sprawling squares. Admire them as you make your way through Munich to the railway station to join your train to Passau. Because you have an open ticket, you may select the train that best aligns with your arrival and sightseeing goals. Head to the shoreline from the train station and join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers in boarding our luxurious Amadeus cruise ship. Enjoy a warm welcome with a cocktail in the lounge and time to find your cabin ahead of tonight's multi-course dinner. Overnight ship.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Sailing through enchanting landscapes to Linz

After breakfast, we embark on a guided tour of Passau, an attractive Bavarian town renowned for its Gothic and Baroque architecture, including St Stephen's Cathedral. Setting sail on our relaxing cruise this afternoon, we drift through beautiful scenery into Austria, getting our first sight of amazing river landscapes. Rising hills covered with vineyards and orchards create a picturesque backdrop, occasionally revealing charming villages, medieval castles and centuries-old monasteries that cling to the hilltops. We arrive in Linz in the early afternoon. The town is known for its gorgeous old town as well as its mix of baroque and modern architecture. We spend the night here amongst the vibrant atmosphere with picturesque views.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Austrian Sightseeing

This morning we wake up in beautiful Linz where you can choose between a day in the Austrian Lake District, the Salzkammergut, or a visit to Salzburg.

The first option sees us heading into the country for a day in the lakes where we stop at UNESCO-listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its pastel-coloured houses. We also visit Hallstätter See Lake and Mondsee, a pretty town set on the lake of the same name and famous for its 15th-century parish church which featured in 'The Sound of Music'.

Alternatively, travel via Mondsee to Salzburg, a beautiful Baroque city on the banks of the Salzach river. During a guided sightseeing tour, we explore Getreidegasse street, famed for its traditional shops with metal signboards and the place where Mozart was born. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is filled with stunning Baroque architecture, beautiful churches, quaint squares, and charming alleyways that we admire as we meander through.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - The Wachau Valley/Dürnstein

A day of incredible beauty lies ahead as the ship heads into Austria's Wachau Valley. This part of the country is renowned for its dramatic landscapes composed of ancient strongholds, hilltop vineyards, and storybook forests. Charming villages and historical sites abound, including Melk Abbey, an 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Our journey along the Danube pauses, and we disembark to be transferred to the abbey by coach. On arrival, you will be impressed by the sweeping views over the Wachau Valley and the Danube from the terrace and the Abbey Church, built in the 1700s and widely considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

We return to the ship and enjoy lunch surrounded by breathtaking views of the Wachau Valley. Later this afternoon, we approach the idyllic village of Dürnstein in the heart of Austria's wine-making region. Disembark the ship with free time to visit the local vintners and wine shops or simply wander along the narrow, cobblestone streets. Dürnstein Castle, a medieval fortress that once imprisoned Richard I of England, and the monastery are amongst the village's most enticing attractions, and both are within walking distance of the ship docks. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Vienna

A calm night of cruising guides us along the river to the Imperial gem that is Vienna. This metropolis is wrapped in grandeur and is a showcase of culture and elegance. Experience these elements and more as we embark on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. Alongside our guide, we take to the city's famous Ringstrasse, a 3-mile boulevard decked in opulence. Look upon many of Vienna's most impressive buildings, including the Hofburg Palace, the Opera House, and the imposing Parliament Building. Between focal points, some of Vienna's most famous museums and beautiful parks continue to mark the circular byway with beauty. You are welcome to continue exploring the city at leisure upon the tour's conclusion. Perhaps tour one of the museums highlighted on our excursion or venture into the city center to find a traditional Viennese café. Vienna's city center also has much in the way of sightseeing, including St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Dinner is served aboard the ship, and once the meal concludes, we are treated to a private recital by former members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Find yourself whisked away by the music as moving performances of well-known classical pieces fill the night. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Bratislava

A leisurely morning aboard the ship welcomes you to look over the passing scenery from the Sun Deck or to play chess or shuffleboard with your fellow travelers. Sit back and relax as we wind through Slovakia, mooring in its capital city, Bratislava, after lunch. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, this grand city is neatly divided in half by the Danube, creating two distinct parts, the Baroque Old Town and the new city, which we explore today on a guided tour. Embrace the cosmopolitan nature of the new town, with its museums and art galleries, and the old-world undertones of Stare Mesto, where cobbled streets, pedestrian plazas, 18th-century Rococo buildings, and historic Gothic structures abound. You may even glimpse its 9th-century castle before reboarding the ship and continuing along the Danube to Hungary. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Budapest

A true highlight of our cruising experience comes this morning as the ship enters the scenic Danube Bend. This section of the river is chock-full of history and natural beauty, all brought to life through castle ruins, pretty houses hidden amongst the hillsides, woodlands filled with dense forestation, and riverside churches. Grab a spot in the Panorama Bar or Sun Deck to watch the idyllic vistas unfold. We moor in Budapest early this afternoon, and after having lunch aboard the ship, we begin our discovery of this iconic city on a sightseeing tour that introduces both Buda and Pest. We pass impressive buildings and monuments, including the Neo-Gothic Parliament building and the State Opera House, and venture to Buda Castle, whose surrounding district is home to a number of impressive structures, including Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion. Each landmark is more impressive than the next in this UNESCO World Heritage-recognized city.

Enjoy another incredible multi-course dinner aboard the ship this evening, followed by a memorable performance of local Hungarian folk songs in the ship's lounge. But the day's excitement does not conclude with the performance; instead, you are treated to a sightseeing encore as we cruise along the banks of Budapest, marveling over its most prominent sites illuminated in lights. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

After a week sailing between idyllic riverside destinations, your Danube cruise comes to a close this morning. Disembark the ship and make your way to Budapest's international airport or train station for your journey home.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


MS Amadeus Imperial

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