Journey through the heart of Europe on the ultimate river cruise experience. Sail along the river Rhine, the Main and finally the famous ‘Blue Danube’, and take in the breathtaking scenery as we stop at fascinating destinations along the way. From the gothic masterpiece of Cologne in Germany to the unfaltering beauty of Hungary’s Budapest, and the best of Bavaria in between - you’ll love discovering the lush landscapes, medieval old towns and historical sites that bring this river cruise to life.
Feel right at home from the minute you step aboard the stylish and spacious MS Arena. This 4 star ship has all the ingredients of an unforgettable river cruise: comfort, style and unfaltering attention to detail. It has everything you could possibly need to enjoy an unforgettable cruising experience, with panoramic windows throughout the ship’s Main and Upper Decks to make sure you don’t miss any of the stunning river scenery. Dine on exceptionally fresh and delicious dishes in the Panorama Restaurant, then head up for a drink at the Ambassador’s Lounge Bar.
Sunday Our door to door services takes you to the waiting Club Class coach for the drive to Folkestone during which a light breakfast is served. Boarding the midday shuttle a glass of fizz and snacks set the holiday mood. On through Belgium to Germany and our luxury river cruiser in Cologne. We board ship late afternoon and settle into our cabins prior to dinner. We set sail tonight for Rudesheim.
Monday This morning we cruise through the most well-known stretch of the historic river through the Rhine gorge passing pretty riverside villages with flower bedecked houses, Boppard and the Lorelei Rock where the legendary siren lured sailors to their doom. Dotted amongst the wonderfully tendered vineyards are many ancient castles and fortresses.
Tuesday During the night we have sailed on to berth in the fascinating city of Mainz. The city was home to Johannes Guttenberg inventor of the modern printing press and the museum, bearing his name, contains exhibits of his work and life. Mainz is also heralded as the wine capital of Germany, you will have time to sample some of the local tipple in one of the many bars.
Wednesday Our arrival in historic Miltenberg this morning allows free time to explore the pearl of the river Main. Discover the half-timbered houses which fill the Old Market Place or the oldest part of the town which sits between the Main River and the mountain Greinberg. We return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon sailing to Würzburg.
Thursday Today’s delight is Wurzburg a beautiful Baroque city, the capital of Lower Franconia and known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’, it’s crowning glory is the fabulous Wurzburg Residenz This magnificent Baroque palace one of the largest and most beautiful in Germany and surrounded by wonderful gardens was created in the 18th century by a collection of the finest architects in Europe and is today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Friday We enjoy lunch on board before arriving into the beautiful Bavarian town of Bamberg which is located at the start of the Main-Danube canal. Surrounded by seven hills, it boasts the most intact centre in Germany with the old town listed as a world heritage site because of its authentic medieval appearance. We join the coach for a tour of the city to enjoy the main sights including the cathedral..
Saturday This morning we arrive in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city after Munich. Here, there’s the opportunity to join our sight-seeing tour. The majority of the city walls still stand and inside you can explore the fascinating juxtaposition of medieval and modern life in an area filled with gothic churches, aristocratic houses, fountains, memorials and romantic corners, all dominated by the Kaiser Castle.
Sunday We arrive in Regensburg in the morning, which is located at the northernmost point of the Danube and also at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. You’ll have the opportunity to join our optional city tour this afternoon, taking in one of the best preserved medieval centres which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This evening, relax on board as we sail overnight to Passau.
Monday Passau is known as the “city of three rivers” due to its unique position as the point at which the three rivers of the Danube, Inn and Ilz meet, and this morning we enjoy a 75 minute guided walking tour of this colourful city, once an important trading centre. In the afternoon, we spend time at leisure exploring the Baroque Old Town which was designed by Italian architects in the 17th century.
Tuesday We arrive in the Austrian town of Melk, dominated by the Benedictine Abbey perched on a hill that slopes steeply down to the Danube the Abbey is one of the most splendid monastic houses in the whole of Austria. The coach will transport us in to the centre of Melk with time to explore before returning to our boat. This afternoon is spent cruising the beautiful Danube!
Wednesday After breakfast we re-join the coach and set off on a sightseeing tour of beautiful Vienna, a wonderful city with a fantastic mix of Imperial Palaces and residences, Art Nouveau masterpieces and excellent pedestrianised areas. We return to the Arena for lunch and set sail towards Bratislava where we arrive later today. We can also take the coach to Bratislava. One of the youngest capitals of Europe, Bratislava is a seaside resort without the sea!
Thursday We arrive into Budapest around lunchtime where you have the opportunity to join our optional sight-seeing tour of the city, described by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Our tour introduces you to the highlights on both sides of the river, including the 700-year-old Matthias Church,
Friday Breakfast is taken on board before bidding a fond farewell to the M.S.Arena and its crew as we begin our homeward journey. We travel by way of Vienna and Bavaria to our overnight hotel in the Austrian Tyrol arriving late afternoon, well in time for dinner
We leave our hotel and Austria for our onward travel. Through Bavaria possibly making a stop in Ulm, home of the world’s tallest cathedral, built on the banks of the River Danube. Then by way of the Black Forest to reach our overnight hotel on the German/French border.
Sunday To Reims then on to the coast at Calais for the late afternoon shuttle to England. We make use of the motorway to return to our home areas early evening after a memorable and most enjoyable river cruise.
Options for Upper Deck & Middle Deck cabins available at a supplement
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG