Trip Type : River Cruise
Blue Danube river-Austria-3176750-p

The Blue Danube Discovery

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: Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
13 days
From: $ 3,289 $ 253 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy wine tasting in Melk and beer tasting in fascinating Regensburg
  • Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts
  • Visits cities in four European nations
  • Enjoy the beauty of river Danube.

Short Description

The delightful Danube sets the stage for this incredible journey as you sail through beautiful scenery and quaint towns. Begin in Budapest, Hungary, with two overnights and guided sightseeing. In your free time enjoy Hungarian cuisine, explore its famous produce market—Central Market Hall, wander around the former royal palace grounds, explore its famous churches, or visit one of the many museums. Then, board your river cruise vessel and sail westward, with guided sightseeing in magical Vienna, Passau, medieval Regensburg and Nuremberg. Also take a guided walk in the charming town of Dürnstein and see the baroque Stiftskirche, and visit the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk. Enjoy wine tasting in Melk and beer tasting in fascinating Regensburg. Disembark your ship and travel to the “Golden City” of Prague for a final three overnights, guided sightseeing, and plenty of free time to discover the Hradcany Castle grounds, wander through Prague’s Jewish Quarter, shop for hand-cut crystal, savor authentic Czech dumplings, stand in the square where protestors demonstrated against Communism, or visit one of the many churches. All of this and more await you on this marvelous 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
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Budapest
End City Prague

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation
  • Meals

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive In Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis.

Day 2: Budapest

Meals: Breakfast

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.

Day 3: Budapest (Embarkation)

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

You have time this morning to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4: Budapest–Vienna, Austria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a day of relaxation on board and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver 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. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available during your stay.

Day 5: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 your LOCAL GUIDE will show you during an included CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the delightful 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 6: Dürnstein–Melk

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century homes and charming cobblestone streets. This morning your Local Guide will take you on an included WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. During lunchtime, sail the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, enjoy a GUIDED VISIT of the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening, sample some of the Wachau Valley’s FAMOUS WINES.

Day 7: Passau, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you might wish to choose from a couple of full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights or to medieval Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK.

Day 8: Regensburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. After dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS.

Day 9: Roth–Nuremberg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning the choice is yours—join a Local Guide for a RALLY GROUNDS tour in nearby Nuremberg, or a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Roth.This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Visit the interesting INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM and then in contrast, take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge, built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard.

Day 10: Nuremberg (Disembarkation)–Prague, Czech Republic

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew and travel by motorcoach to Prague, the “Golden City.”

Day 11: Prague

Meals: Breakfast

Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars. A LOCAL GUIDE shows you its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point where people demonstrated against the communist regime; or watch performers on Charles Bridge.

Day 12: Prague

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum or take an optional excursion around the Jewish Quarter. Sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the Vltava River. Your Cruise Director will have other suggestions for things to do.

Day 13: Prague

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,289
Price Per Day: $ 253 per day
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  • Deposit Price: $ 250

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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

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

The Blue Danube Discovery

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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.
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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
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.

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

Panorama

Ship Description

A brand new kind of ship, the Avalon Panorama set sail in 2011, taking inspired design to a whole new level. A unique Suite Ship®, the Avalon Panorama was the first of its kind in the industry with two full decks of suites featuring a Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window that transforms the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. As you cruise along Europe's finest rivers, enjoy the fresh breeze and enchanting scenery from the comfort of your suite. With 200 square feet, the Panorama Suite is more than 30% larger than the industry standard, and it gives you the unparalleled opportunity to wake up each morning facing the magnificent passing scenery. Exciting onboard amenities include a complimentary Internet Corner and Wi-Fi access, a well-stocked library, an expanded Fitness Center, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, shade system, whirlpool, and delightful Sky Bistro. There's no better way to cruise in Europe than in the spacious comfort offered on the Avalon Panorama.

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:

Communist Budapest

Gold & Glamorous: "Belle Epoques" Of Budapest

Hungarian Countryside Experience With Wine Tasting

Hungarian Food And Wine Pairing Dinner

Hungarian Puszta Farm With Horse Show And Lunch

Vienna:

A Visit Of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

Royal Waltz Concert

Vienna Woods

Durnstein:

Biking In The Wachau Valley With Picnic

Passau:

Cesky Krumlov - A Sleeping Beauty Awakes

Salzburg - Sound Of Music

Regensburg:

Excursion To Weltenburg Abbey And The Danube Gorge

Prague:

Dinner And Folklore Show

Grand Masters Concert In Old Prague

Prague's Secrets Revealed

Tasting Bohemian Wines

Terezin Memorial

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 Praha:

Contemporary 9-story Hotel situated in old Jewish Quarter, across the road from the Vltava River.

Hilton Prague:

Striking Atrium-style 11-story Hotel located in city center, on the right bank of Vltava River, near Nove Mesto & Josefov

Hilton Prague Old Town:

A contemporary 303 room hotel offering classic art deco inspired luxury. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available in the lobby, access in the rooms is subject to a fee (payable locally). There is also an indoor swimming pool and fitness center and the stylish restaurant offers an innovative mix of European cuisine with Asian flavors. Snacks, drinks and cocktails are served throughout the day in the lounge bar.

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:

  • Departure November 9 is offered as an exclusive Beer Tasting Cruise, including special features at no additional cost. A visit to Europe is enhanced when it includes a discovery of the regional beers! Enjoy onboard tastings, visit historic breweries, and learn about European beer-brewing techniques during fascinating onboard lectures. Prost!
  • Departures October 30, November 2 & 5 are offered as an exclusive Wine Appreciation Cruise, including special lectures and tastings at no additional cost. Your palate will applaud as you learn what to look for in a good wine. A distinguished wine authority will teach you the ropes as you visit a wine village and attend tastings to test your newfound talent.
  • Due to closure of the Main Danube Canal, departure April 20 will disembark the ship in Passau with modifications to the itinerary.
  • 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 is necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Trip ID#:

TheBluAva

Trip Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Passport and Visa Charges
  • Personal Expenses

Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 7 Dinners

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