Trip Type : River Cruise
Lights on Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

A Taste of the Danube - Westbound

Avalon Waterways
4.8 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 2,139 $ 267 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

Day 1: Arrive In Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this exciting city.

Day 2: Budapest

Meals: Breakfast

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. During your free time this afternoon, perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Day 3: Budapest (Embarkation)

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning, explore at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. In the afternoon, transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4: Bratislava, Slovakia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Relax on board this morning and marvel at the scenery on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join your LOCAL GUIDE to explore its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Day 5: Dürnstein, Austria–Melk

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning our first stop is Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region and best known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Explore this picturesque little town on your own or choose from a number of optional excursions. You may even want to hike up to the castle ruins for magnificent views of the town and river. Then, grab a drink and relax on your ship’s Sky Deck as you witness beautiful scenery on the way to Melk. Enjoy a guided tour of Melk’s magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, dominating the town from its commanding hill site and one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey church houses stunning frescoed ceilings, marvelous statues, a large organ, and an ornate library with a large collection of medieval manuscripts. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking!

Day 6: Vienna (Disembarkation)

Meals: Breakfast

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see during your GUIDED CITY TOUR. Stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

Day 7: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full day at leisure in this fascinating city! Perhaps visit one of the many magnificent museums or opt for one an optional outing to the Vienna Woods.

Day 8: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends this morning.

Short Description

Fall in love with the Danube—with its charming small towns, scenic beauty, and exciting cities—on this river cruise vacation. Begin your vacation with a 2-night city stay in the vibrant Hungarian city of Budapest, where included city sightseeing acquaints you with all the highlights. There is plenty of time to explore on your own—shop for paprika at the Central Market Hall, explore the massive castle complex, visit its many museums, and savor Hungarian cuisine. Then, board your ship and discover Slovakia’s vibrant capital of Bratislava, explore the quaint town of Dürnstein with its baroque Stiftskirche, visit Melk’s awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey, and bask in the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Your vacation ends in Vienna, the “City of Music,” where you’ll disembark and spend an additional two nights. In Vienna, why not visit one of the many lavish museums, explore St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or relax in a local café while enjoying a slice of delectable Sachertorte. All of this and more awaits you on this marvelous cruise vacation.

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Budapest
End City Vienna

Trip Includes

  • Meals
  • Accommodation

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this exciting city.

Day 2: Budapest

Meals : B

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion—for spectacular views of the city—and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, a symbol of Budapest built in 1849. During your free time this afternoon, perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Day 3: Budapest (Embarkation)

Meals : (B,L,D)

This morning you can explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. In the afternoon, transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4: Bratislava, Slovakia

Meals : ( B,L,D)

Relax on board this morning and marvel at the scenery on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join your LOCAL GUIDE to explore its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Dürnstein, Austria–Melk

Meals : ( B,L,D)

This morning our first stop is Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region and best known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Explore this picturesque little town on your own or choose from a number of optional excursions. You may even want to hike up to the castle ruins for magnificent views of the town and river. Then, grab a drink and relax on your ship’s Sky Deck as you witness beautiful scenery on the way to Melk. Enjoy a guided tour of Melk’s magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, dominating the town from its commanding hill site and one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey church houses stunning frescoed ceilings, marvelous statues, a large organ, and an ornate library with a large collection of medieval manuscripts. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking!

Day 6: Vienna (Disembarkation)

Meals : B

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see during your GUIDED CITY TOUR. Stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

Day 7: Vienna

Meals : B

Enjoy a full day at leisure in this fascinating city! Perhaps visit one of the many magnificent museums or opt for one an optional outing to the Vienna Woods.

Day 8: Vienna

Meals : B

Your vacation ends this morning.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,139
Price Per Day: $ 267 per day
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  • Deposit Price: $ 250

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1,268 Avalon Waterways Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 1,130
Great 88
Average 30
Disappointing 9
Terrible 11
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

A Taste of the Danube - Westbound

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Company Reviews

Our experience far exceeded our…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our experience far exceeded our expectations. Everyone and everything was wonderful. The only disappointment was the independently contracted guide that we had in Munich. He was very dismissive of Avalon's policies and made us feel he was doing us a favor by showing us around the city.
Read more

Amsterdam to Budapest

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
Amsterdam to Budapest. Just returned River was low. My travel agent called for three days in a row before our departure. She was told there were no low water issues. The day we were to depart we were told there would be two nights on land in Frankfort. We could obtain a full refund and cancel the trip. But the rest of the trip would be fine. Not so we were "tossed off the second ship' the last two days and bused to Budapest. There is no way Avalon did not know of this schedule change. You do not make arrangements overnight for 100+ people to spend six days and four nights off the ship. Avalon was not truthful gave us a paltry return of our costs. We also found out the ships were loaded with other guests who were also being shuffled around. Terrible way to run a business. I would not endorse them to anyone....ever. Ruined a very expensive fifteen day holiday.
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Excellence

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The crew, service, food and excursions were excellent. Would
travel with Avalon again and recommend them to anyone interested
in river cruising.

Excellence

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The crew, service, food and excursions were excellent. Would
travel with Avalon again and recommend them to anyone interested
in river cruising.

We had the greatest time

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We had the greatest time! We would definitely use Avalon Waterways in the future.

Quaint and Acitve

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The staff was exceptional meeting our every need and always with a smile. The housekeeping was not exceptional and could have been a little better. There was a wide variety of food choices but not terrible flavorful. The seafood was not always properly cooked.

The activities and tours with well planned and good for people looking for athletic options. Although you could sit and relax, this cruise was more for active middle aged individuals.The tour guides were all local and outstanding. Activities and tour guides are the selling point for this cruise.
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Details

Ship Name

Visionary

Ship Description

2012 ushered in another exciting Suite Ship® cruising along Europe's glorious rivers. The Avalon Visionary delivers an intimate setting, along with two full decks of suites featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, giving you the rare opportunity to wake each morning to the enchanting scenery and fresh breezes. Onboard amenities include a complimentary Internet Corner and Wi-Fi access, an expanded Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and the delightful Sky Bistro.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Optional Activities

The following list of optional excursions and on-board packages are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Budapest:

Gold & Glamorous: "Belle Epoques" Of Budapest

Hungarian Food And Wine Pairing Dinner

Durnstein:

Biking In The Wachau Valley

Tasting Wine Of The Wachau Valley

Vienna:

A Visit Of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

Royal Waltz Concert

Vienna Woods

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

InterContinental Budapest

Few would argue the InterContinental Budapest is in the city's best location: right on the Danube across from Castle Hill and the Royal Palace. With the Chain Bridge and the Parliament just steps away, there's no shortage of superb sightseeing opportunities. The Váci Utca shopping street, Central Market Hall and the Gellért Baths are also nearby.

Hotel Sofitel Chain Bridge

This elegant upscale property is located on the left bank of the river Danube, right in the heart of Budapest with Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the property. The show kitchen restaurant serves refined French-Hungarian cuisine and the vibrant bar offers the chance to sip cocktails overlooking the illuminated Chain Bridge. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, well-being & fitness center.

Intercontinental – Vienna

A luxurious 458 room hotel with timeless elegance. Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and guestrooms subject to a fee (payable locally) and there is also a fitness centre with sauna, steam bath, solarium and 24 hour gym. Traditional Viennese cuisine and Mediterranean favourites can be sampled in the stylish restaurant. Viennese coffee and pastries can be enjoyed in the Café and the opulent American bar has a large selection of cocktails with live piano music.

Cancellation Policy:

If a booking cancellation is received by Avalon prior to the final payment date of your vacation, your non-refundable land deposit and Travel Protection payments will be retained in addition to your Flex-Air deposit, Instant Purchase Air payment and service fee, and/or intra-vacation air deposit. For individual reservations, the following per person cancellation fees apply. Total price does not include discounts, promotions, or special incentives. (For group reservations, refer to the Group Policy.)

Standard Cancellation Fees:

  • 90-60 days prior to commencement of services: 35% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments
  • 59-30 days prior to commencement of services: 50% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments
  • 29-1 days prior to commencement of services: 80% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments
  • On departure day and later: 100% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

Additional Information:

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); the responsibility for obtaining a visa rests with the traveler.

Trip ID#:

DanWesAva

Trip Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Passport and Visa Charges
  • Personal Expenses

Meals Included:

7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 3 Dinners

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