Luxury River Cruising on the Danube

"What a superb part of Europe and the perfect, stress-free way to see it.”

Lesley, Danube Discovery, 2015 Feefo guest review

Flowing through the heart of Central Europe, the Danube River is one of the world’s most romantic and scenic waterways. Our luxurious, all-inclusive river cruises on the Danube showcase a variety of cultural delights, and our enticing menu of shore excursions offers something for everyone—first-time visitors as well as experienced travellers, food and wine lovers, and aficionados of music, art, and architecture.


Witness to History

One of Europe’s most legendary waterways, the Danube is a cultural lifeline, a vital shipping route, and a creative and political hotspot for thousands of years. Europe’s second longest river flows in an eastward direction for nearly 2,000 miles from Germany all the way to the Romanian coast, one of the most impressive journeys in history. Mighty castles and ruined fortresses line the banks of this remarkable river, which once formed the boundary between some of Europe’s greatest empires, and upon which regimes from the Romans to the Nazis have all left their mark.


Artistic Muse

Widely revered for its beauty and majesty, the Danube River has long been celebrated in music, literature and the visual arts. The famous Blue Danube waltz, composed by Johann Strauss the Younger, once served as the symbol of imperial Vienna. The Danube has also played a key role in German poems, Greek legends, Romanian folk songs, and hundreds of stories and novels depicting the region’s turbulent past and vibrant present. In the fine art world, the river inspired the "Danube school" tradition of landscape painting, as practiced by a number of German and Austrian painters in the early 16th century.

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The “tasting menu” appeal of our Enchanting Danube and Danube Discovery & Prague itineraries extends to cuisine as well as culture. Central Europe is an epicurean’s paradise, with wonderful wines and spirits, decadent pastries, and many other local delicacies to explore. Vienna, Austria, for one, is a city where chocolate cake is always readily available, where wienerschnitzel is typically larger than the plate on which it’s served, and where coffee is often served by a waiter in black tie. In the Wachau Valley—prime apricot-growing country—our guests have opportunities to sample the delicious fruit-infused brandy known as Marillenschnaps, enjoy a private tasting at Austria’s oldest wine estate, and join in an exclusive workshop hosted by the area’s only saffron farmer.


Central Europe provides a fascinating and eclectic mosaic of diverse architectural style, and there’s no better way to see it than onboard our Delightful Danube & Prague and European Jewels cruises. Along Vienna’s famous Ringstrasse—the grand boulevard encircling the monument-dense central city—visitors can admire stately apartment buildings, elegant old cafes, and opulent cathedrals, museums and palaces. Other architectural highlights along the Danube include the magnificent Melk Abbey, home to a stunning 900-year-old library and a wonderful collection of frescos, and the baroque-style church in the village of Durnstein, with its unusual blue façade. More time to travel? Consider our 12-day Highlights of Eastern Europe & Istanbul or 21-day Portraits of Eastern Europe cruise/tours, which feature the People’s Palace in Bucharest, the world’s largest civilian building; the Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries in Bulgaria; Budapest’s Hungarian Parliament Building, a truly extraordinary sight when illuminated at night; and the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in exotic Istanbul.


The Danube has witnessed many centuries of history and significant cultural events, making it an ideal destination for culturally curious travellers. From its origin in Germany’s Black Forest, the Danube touches or winds its way through an astounding ten countries and four capital cities before emptying into the Black Sea. Over the years, the river provided an important trade route from Europe to Asia, and powerful dynasties such as the Habsburg Empire rose and fell along its vast length. By the mid-20th century, the Danube served to unify a continent divided by the Iron Curtain; later, it became an arena for conflict during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Today, as it passes through some of the world's youngest nations, the Danube symbolizes a newly united Europe. To experience the full spectrum of Western and Central Europe’s many cultural and natural wonders, opt for our 26-day Ultimate European Journey, from Amsterdam to Istanbul.

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