Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and culture of the heart of Europe on a luxury Danube river cruise. Starting in Passau, cruise highlights include time in Vienna as well as a visit to Budapest. This is a wonderful opportunity to sail the waters immortalised by the composer Strauss in “The Blue Danube”. Other stops include Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia; Dürnstein, one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Wachau region; and Melk, with its famous baroque abbey. PLEASE NOTE: It is crucial that all passengers have a reasonable amount of mobility as it is not always possible for the coach to park immediately close to the ship.
This ship has all the ingredients of an unforgettable river cruise, comfort, style and the crew’s unfaltering attention to detail. From the moment you step aboard you’ll enjoy the sense of space, stylish décor and unfaltering attention to detail that runs throughout the ship. Floor to ceiling panoramic windows on the main and upper decks ensure you don’t miss a moment of the magical landscape. Whether you are treating yourself to a drink in the Ambassador’s Lounge Bar, dining on delicious cuisine served in the panorama restaurant, or relaxing in the comfort of your spacious cabin the captain and crew take care of your every need while you prioritise relaxing and unwinding in comfort as you glide along the river. Please note cabin upgrades are available at a supplement.
Our door to door services takes you to the waiting Club Class coach for the drive south where we make our way across the Channel to France. Arriving in France we pass through Reims, before crossing the border to Germany, reaching our overnight hotel in Saarlouis.
After breakfast we depart for Austria. Travelling through Germany we pass Ludwigshafen, cross the Rhine on our way to Nurenberg then Regensburg, which is located at the northernmost point of the Danube. Following the Danube we arrive in Passau late afternoon where we board the MS Arena in Passau, known as the 'three rivers city' due to its unique location where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers meet. After settling in to your cabin enjoy a welcome reception including glass of sparkling wine before dinner this evening as we set sail and cruise towards Melk.
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. This afternoon is spent cruising the beautiful Danube! A chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery as we sail serenely toward Vienna arriving early evening. Lunch and dinner are served on board with the chance to go ashore for a spot of exploration this evening.
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. After lunch on board we visit Belvedere Palace, a stunning Baroque building made up of two palaces, an orangery and the palace stables. The palace is also home to an incredible collection of art. Early evening we cast off and cruise towards Budapest.
Mid morning we arrive in Budapest. Enjoy lunch on board before a tour of this fascinating city. Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with an extensive area recognised as a world heritage site. We can explore both sides of Hungary's capital which is divided by the meandering Danube - traditional Buda and the more cosmopolitan Pest. Most of the famous sites are concentrated around Castle Hill on the Buda side, in downtown Pest and along the riverside walkways. Look out for the Royal Palace, Fishermen's Bastion, the Parliament building, St Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square and the Chain Bridge. We return to the ship for dinner before an excursion to experience Budapest by night with a traditional folklore show.
This morning our next excursion which takes us through the sweeping plains of Hungary to Lajosmizse. Here we visit a traditional stud farm and enjoy a tour of the grounds in a horse-drawn carriage, before watching a spectacular live Puszta horse show. We return to the ship early afternoon and cruise towards Bratislava. This afternoon we find ourselves cruising the gentle Danube as an ever changing panorama of scenery reveals itself.
A morning arrival in Bratislava. One of the youngest capitals of Europe, Bratislava is a seaside resort without the sea! It offers a rich mix of cultures and cuisine We'll enjoy a walking tour with a local guide and sample 'Makovka' which is a sweet white chocolate with poppy seed filling then have time for shopping opportunities centred around the old town and the huge open air market on Mileticova. The city also enjoys a great café culture and it is quite the done thing to enjoy a glass of Riesling white in one of the many pavement cafes as you watch the world go by. Lunch and dinner are taken on board.
This morning we arrive in the town of Dürnstein, the most famous medieval Danube river town in the Wachau region of Austria, which nestles among Austria's most famous vineyards and is crowned by the ruins of the castle that once imprisoned Richard the Lionheart. It's a beautiful place filled with cobbled streets, pretty courtyards and 16th century houses. After some free time we set sail for the final time and cruise towards Passau.
Breakfast is taken on board before bidding a fond farewell to the Arena and its crew as we begin our journey back through Germany. We include a stop in the famous university city of Heidelberg, setting for the ‘Student Prince’ before arriving in Sarlouis for an overnight stay.
Departing after breakfast we re-trace the steps of our outward journey passing Reims and Laon to Calais for the late afternoon shuttle train back to England. We arrive in our home area mid evening after a most enjoyable luxury Danube cruise.
Insurance Premiums are renewed from 1st January 2022. If you are making a booking after this date the rate will be revised from that shown in our brochure.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG