A “Magnificent” European journey through five fascinating countries! Begin in Budapest and travel through the Main-Danube Canal as you traverse Europe's Continental Divide. Discover the culture and traditions of grand capitals, the perfectly preserved medieval towns and Europe's loveliest countryside. Your cruise ends among the legendary canals and colorful surroundings of Amsterdam.
- 14 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom
- All onboard dining in a variety of venues
- Bottled water replenished daily
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
- Complimentary tours and excursions
- Visit Vienna's historic Old Town and festive Christmas Markets
- Illumination Cruise in Budapest
- Visit Cologne's magnificent cathedral
- Complimentary bicycles
- Cocktail receptions and Captain's Gala Dinner
- La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs exclusive dining experience
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the ship
- Spa & Fitness Room
- Knowledgeable guides
- Personal headset for easy exploration
What's Not Included
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone/fax calls, camera/video fees, medical expenses, airport departure tax, travel insurance, visas, excess baggage fees etc.
- Beverages and food not on the regular table d’hôte menu
- Governmental or local taxes/ fees and fuel surcharges
- Airfare and overseas transfers
The River Danube plays a vital role in the build-up of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. It flows right through the heart of the city and has led to the construction of seven magnificent bridges - which connect the old city of Buda, on the right bank, with more modern city of Pest, on the left bank. One of the city’s instantly recognisable highlights is the Hungarian parliament building – a spectacular structure which sits beside the Danube. Venture into Budapest, wander its many streets, and you will discover St. Matthias Church, which was originally built in Romanesque style in the 11th century, but later rebuilt in Gothic style, in the 14th century.
Flowing a total distance of 1,770 miles, the Danube is regarded as the second longest river in Europe. Flowing from the Black Forest Mountains of western Germany, it can take river cruisers on a journey through some of Europe’s most fascinating towns, cities, and landmarks. It passes through nine countries including: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. It is known as the river of Mozart symphonies and Strauss waltzes, due to the fact it is lined with castles and fortresses that date back to a period where it provided a border between empires.
Many river cruises begin in the Bavarian city of Passau, but some cruises will combine the Rhine and Danube via the Main Canal.
Bratislava is the Slovakian capital city and is situated in the south-western part of the country. The city is dominated by the four-towered 13th century Bratislava Castle, which provides views over Slovakia and the neighbouring nations of Austria and Hungary. Bratislava Castle was once home to the Austrian royal family until it was destroyed by fire in 1811, but has since been restored. The city is also home to the Gothic castle of St. Martin, which was the site of the coronation of many kings and queens throughout history.
The charming Austrian capital is situated on the River Danube and is a world-renowned centre for classical music, art, theatre and history. Home of the waltz, the Spanish Riding School, Sachertorte and Vienna Boys’ Choir, its central core is easily manageable by foot but excellent public transport is also available. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of Maria Theresia and the Hapsburgs and is one of the most iconic buildings in this great city.
Before 1806, Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and later it became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in 1918, the capital of independent Austria which emerged from World War I as a republic. During WWII, Vienna was divided into five zones, but the 1955 State Treaty helped the country regain its independence and Vienna was once again the capital of a sovereign Austria.
As one of the most beautiful stretches of river in Europe, the Wachau Valley extends for 24 miles along the Danube River between the Austrian towns of Krems and Melk. The scenery here includes hilltop castles, lush vineyards, dense forests and famous medieval monasteries. History can be uncovered from the Stone Age, else well as the periods of the Celts, the Romans and the Hapsburgs.
The Wachau Valley is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria. Along the route, you will find picturesque towns such as Aggstein, Willendorf and Durnstein, where King Richard the Lion-Heart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wachau is famous for the apricots and grapes grown in the region, both of which are used to produce specialty liquors and wines like dry Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners.
Situated in northeast Austria is the city of Melk – regarded as a gateway to the famous Wachau wine region. It is located at a meeting point of the Danube and Melk rivers and is home to a towering, yellow, baroque Abbey, which sits high above the Danube River. Inside the Abbey, you will find many interesting features including the Melk Cross, Abbey Library, Marble Room, and Collegiate Church. Elsewhere in the city, you will find a number of pretty Renaissance houses and the Schallaburg Castle.
The riverside village of Durnstein sits on the banks of the River Danube, in the heart of the Wachau wine region. It is perhaps most famous for its hilltop ruin of Kunringer Castle, where Richard the Lionheart is said to have been held prisoner in 1192 by Duke Leopold V. Durnstein is also home to a number of old burgher houses, wine taverns, and 16th and 18th century townhouses. There is also an ornate blue and white-coloured Baroque church, which sits by the riverside and resembles and giant pepper pot.
Resting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers in Bavaria is the town of Passau. Lying on the border of Austria, Passau offers a unique and eclectic blend of German and Austria Baroque architecture. St Stephen’s Cathedral is the main focus for tourism in Passau and is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque. The main attractions of the cathedral include a treasury, museum, Italian painted frescoes and the biggest European church organ, boasting 17,774 pipes.
The Austrian city of Linz sits on the banks of the Danube River, 100 miles west of Vienna. It is home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks including: the old castle; St. Martin’s Church; the Baroque Town Hall; the 13th century main square, which features a monument to the Holy Trinity; and the 17th century cathedral. More recently, Linz has developed into an important cultural centre, with a number of schools of art music; several museums; art galleries; libraries; opera houses; and theatres. Additionally, Linz provides a point of access from which to visit the city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart.
Situated along the banks of the Danube River is the Bavarian city of Regensburg. A cultural centre of Germany, the cities medieval heart is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, St. Peter’s Cathedral. With a stunning 14th century stained glass window and two Romanesque chapels, St. Peter’s in one of the main attractions in Regensburg. Full of history, the city also offers other notable examples of Romanesque architecture, including the Porta Praetoria, which dates back to 179 AD. Despite the repeated bombings of WW2, Regensburg’s medieval buildings and charm has survived, and sustained little damage.
Located on the Pegnitz River is the second largest city of Bavaria and incredibly energetic city of Nuremberg. Emerging from the uplands of Franconia, Nuremberg is also close to the Main-Danube Canal. With official records dating back to 1050 this incredible city has a very long history, unfortunately only a handful of historic buildings survived the damage of WW2. The most significant remaining building is the Church of St. Sebald, a breathtaking example of gothic and renaissance master craft. As well as museums, a Renaissance city hall, and customs house, there is an imperial castle towering above them all.
Flowing a total distance of 106 miles, the Main-Danube Canal winds through rural Bavaria from Bamberg, on the Main River, to Kelheim, on the Danube. This provides the opportunity for river cruisers to embark on a 2,200-mile journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea. It was one of the largest civil engineering projects in history and was built with a total of 16 locks, each of which is around 625 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 100 feet deep.
The south-central German river town of Bamberg has been recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Situated on the Regnitz River, north of Nuremberg, this gorgeous town is set amidst a series of picturesque rivers and forests. This perfectly preserved historic town is home to a range of architectural styles including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Within the city, there are many historic structures and museums including the Alte Residenz (Old Palace), Neue Residenz, the former Benedictine abbey and an imperial cathedral which contains many notable statues. Additionally, there are nine breweries in Bamberg, offering a collective total of 200 types of beer.
Within the Franconian part of the German state of Bavaria is the town of Kitzingen. Surrounded by extensive vineyards, this town is regarded as the largest wine producer in Bavaria. One of the main landmarks in the town is the Leaning Tower, which was built during the 13th century and distinctively recognisable for its crooked roof. According to legend, the workers who were working on the tower ran out of water, so instead used wine to create mortar – thus causing the top of the tower to lean. A wander inside the tower will enable you to explore the town’s carnival (Fasching) museum.
The historical town of Wertheim am Main is situated at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers. Visitors can tour the ruins of Wertheim Castle, which offers great panoramic views over the medieval town centre and the surrounding hills.
The town comes to life during the summer months with Wertheim’s own version of Oktoberfest taking place and a medieval festival being held in the castle grounds. There is also a collection of designer outlet stores at Wertheim Village.
Flowing a total distance of 326 miles, the Main is an important tributary of the Rhine in Germany. It flows from Kulmbach, at the point where the Red Main and White Main join, before winding through the northern end of the Fränkische Mountains en route to Bamberg. From here, it flows in a westerly direction towards Würzburg before traversing the forest-covered Spessart and Odenwald ranges to Gemünden. It then flows towards Wertheim and Aschaffenburg, through Frankfurt on Main towards its junction with the Rhine River, above Mainz. From Bamberg, the Main River is canalised to form the Main-Danube-Canal, which connects the Rhine with Danube and offers the opportunity to cruise from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
The town of Miltenberg is situated in Lower Franconia, Bavaria, and is home to a historic marketplace. This beautiful town is home to a wealth of stunning timber-framed buildings and landmarks including the Old Town Hall and the Jewish cemetery with old city walls.
Located at the foot of the Taunus Mountains and at the heart of the Rhine River is the town of Rudesheim. Being in the Rhine Gorge, Rudesheim is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a historic winemaking town. Not only does the wine make this town worth visiting, but the Old Town itself and the picturesque Rheingau landscape and the romantic Rhine River itself.
A UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, The Rhine Gorge lies on the Rhine River between Koblenz and Bingen. Cutting through the Rhineland Plateau and the Rhenish Slate Mountains, the gorge is picturesque and full of famous features. It is complete with fairy tale castles and terraced vineyards, and its most famous feature the Lorelei Rock. Many of the towns lining the gorge retain a historic feel to this day.
As the fourth largest city in Germany and the largest city on the Rhine River, Cologne is regarded as the historic, cultural and economic capital of the Rhineland. It is highly regarded for its trade fairs, cathedral, perfume, and Koelsch beer. It was also once a significant part of the Roman Empire, and the remains of many Roman buildings and town walls are still visible today. There is a range of Roman artefacts on display in the Roemisches Germanisches Museum, which is well worth a visit.
Cologne is also home to the French Gothic style Kolner Dom Cathedral, for which construction began in 1248 but remained unfinished for 600 years. The structure - which can still be visited today - is made up of two 157 metre-high spires, buttresses, pillars and arches – which collectively support the central nave. The remains of the kings who followed the star to Bethlehem are believed to have been contained within the south tower.
On the banks of the River Rhine, 21 miles northwest of Cologne, is the city of Dusseldorf. This clean and modern city is renowned for fashion, broadcasting, and art. The city’s Old Town is home to a waterfront, which contains such a vast collection of bars that it has been referred to as Europe’s longest bar and the Alt bier is particularly recommended. If you are looking to do a spot of luxury shopping, head to Dusseldorf’s moated and tree-lined street known as Konigsallee. Alternatively, if you are looking to delve into the history of Dusseldorf, head to the 13th-14th century St Lambertuskirche, or the 18th century Jagerhof Casltle. It is also worth noting that the first ever recorded remains of Neanderthal man were first discovered in a nearby valley, in 1856.
Regarded as the Venice of the north, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is made up of a series of 90 islands, which are connected by almost 1,200 bridges. Today, Amsterdam is a city of contrasts, with many people being attracted to this vibrant destination for its range of bars and night clubs. On the other hand, Amsterdam is home many renowned architectural structures, insightful museums and beautiful gardens.
The Royal Palace was originally built in the 17th century to serve as a town hall, but is now one of three palaces in the Netherlands to be under disposal of the monarchy. In the springtime, be sure to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, where seven million flower bulbs create a beautiful display of bold and bright colours.