The Danube River

Magnificent capital cities, medieval winemaking villages and idyllic landscapes: it’s no wonder our blue Danube river cruises are among our most popular holidays. Rising in Germany’s mountainous Black Forest, this famous river winds through nine more countries – Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Moldavia and the Ukraine – before meeting the Black Sea. A cruise along the River Danube is the perfect way to experience four fascinating capital cities – Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade – home to beautiful architecture, extraordinary history and inspiration for a series of musical impresarios.

Highlights of our Danube river cruises

  • Passau
    • Nestled among charming cobbled streets is St. Stephen's Cathedral, which houses the world's largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes.
  • Dürnstein
    • An enchanting town with a blue-painted Stiftskirche and ruined castle, prison to Richard the Lionheart in 1192.
  • Vienna
    • Austria’s ‘City of Music’ inspired Strauss to pen the ‘Blue Danube’ waltz in 1866. This once Imperial city overflows with iconic sights, including the ornate Hofsburg Palace and Opera House.
  • Budapest
    • Seven bridges connect the ancient towns of Buda and Pest either side of the River Danube. An imposing Parliament building, historic Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church are on the must-see list.
  • Iron Gates Gorge
    • This narrow and dramatic gorge divides the Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

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Danube River cruises

Active Discovery on the Danube - Linz to Budapest


from £1,944 per person

  • 9 days
  • Price based on 06 Apr 19
  • 9 dates available

Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, a history buff, or an energetic adventurer, your Active Discovery cruise on the Danube River invites you to experience culture and cuisine in creative ways that are perfect for you. With Avalon Choice, you can select the experiences that are perfect for your interests and pace—from Active to Discovery to Classic. Avalon Choice gives you a choice of included excursions in each port—from Linz to Budapest. Whether you prefer browsing the art collection of the Habsburg Empire, sipping local vintages at an Austrian wine-tasting, or joining a canoe excursion, your Active Discovery cruise is packed with Avalon Choice inclusions for every pace in every place we go. Sample cheese and beer made by Trappist monks and explore their Abbey gardens. With Avalon Choice included excursions, you can choose an insider’s tour of Vienna, or decide to join a canoe excursion—your Active Discovery river cruise has something for every pace in every place we go. From a wine tasting in Krems to a hike to Count Dracula’s prison tower, you’ll find the perfect outing you’ll prefer. One day, visit Belvedere Palace in Vienna to see Klimt’s renowned “Kiss,” and another day you may attend a Medieval Knights Tournament at a Visegrád castle. With Active Discovery river cruises, the choice is always yours. Explore Budapest your way—stroll its streets for classic sightseeing with a local guide or take a bike ride through town for a different perspective, or learn something new with a leisurely walking tour to discover a few local Hungarian phrases. Your Active Discovery Danube River cruise can be as active or leisurely as you like! Join us on this Active Discovery river cruise and experience the Danube your way. No matter how you choose to explore new lo-cales—from paddling canoes to picnic views—Avalon Choice includes the excursions and activities to let you enjoy each destination your way.

A Taste of the Danube - Budapest to Vienna

Most popular

from £2,071 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 11 May 19
  • 2 dates available

From the Gypsy violins of Budapest to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music,” this Europe river cruise highlights the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley, and the fascinating capital cities of Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria. Enjoy two nights in Budapest, where guided sightseeing shows you the highlights of this vibrant capital. You’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own—take pictures from Fishermen’s Bastion, walk across Chain Bridge, or enjoy a cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café. Board your river cruise vessel and head upriver to Bratislava. For a 58-mile stretch, the middle of the Danube forms the border between Hungary and Slovakia, and guided sightseeing awaits you in Slovakia’s capital. In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, sitting high on a bluff so you can take in the breathtaking views of the Danube River and surrounding countryside. Cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley and spend free time in Dürnstein, overlooked by the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192, and best known for its magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. To end your river cruise, there’s guided sightseeing in Austria’s capital, Vienna, with time on your own to relax, perhaps visit the famous Sacher Hotel for a taste of Sachertorte (a special chocolate cake), and stroll along the famous pedestrian street of Kärntnerstrasse. Sweet surprises with new experiences along your Danube River cruise are sure to give you more than a taste of the many beautiful discoveries of this legendary river.

Blue Danube Discovery

Most popular

from £2,277 per person

  • 13 days
  • Price based on 28 Nov 18
  • 30 dates available

This timeless Europe river cruise holiday begins with two nights in vibrant Budapest in Hungary, then sails along the Danube River with exciting stops in Austria and Germany, and end with two nights in Prague - the capital of the Czech Republic. In Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital, marvel at the eight bridges spanning the river and enjoy an introduction to the city by a local expert who shows you the must-see sights. Vienna, Austria, offers stunning St Stephen’s Cathedral, the Habsburg Palace and the Vienna Opera House. In the heart of the Wachau wine region is Dürnstein, a 16th-century town with charming cobblestone streets and the baroque Stiftskirche with its luminous blue façade. In the picturesque town of Melk, visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, and enjoy a tasting of some of the Wachau Valley’s famous wines. You’ll love a guided walk through Passau, with its narrow streets and beautiful Patrician houses. Further up the Danube River, you’ll come to the medieval walls of Regensburg - the only German city not bombed during WWII. Your last stop is the thousand-year-old city of Nuremberg, where you’ll marvel at the medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Imperial Castle. Disembark and travel to beautiful Prague, known as the “Golden City.” See the sights with a local guide and explore on your own. Stroll across Charles Bridge, mix with the locals on Wenceslaus Square, and shop for hand-cut crystal and art books. A perfect ending to a memorable river cruise holiday!