UNIWORLD'S “ENCHANTING DANUBE"
Stretching from Germany to Ukraine, the Danube River runs through or along the border of ten countries. Danube cruises range from one to approximately three weeks long. Premium river cruise operator, Uniworld, offers a wonderful week-long itinerary along the Danube’s most popular stretch eastward from Passau to Budapest with the river flow as well as in reverse.
Day 1: Passau (Embark)
Day 2: Passau, Cruising Danube River
Located two hours from Munich, Passau is the meeting place of three rivers—the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz, making her a perfect spot to start your cruise. This medieval cobble-stoned German town sits on the border of Germany and Austria. A popular attraction is St. Stephan’s Italian Baroque-style cathedral, home of the world’s largest cathedral organ.
Day 3: Linz (tour Salzburg or Linz)
Sometimes referred to as a European Capital of Culture, the city is noted for its opera house, the Lentos Art Museum and a famous redcurrant-filled pastry called “Linzer Torte.” Or take a day tour to Salzburg, the birthplace and musical start of Mozart. In Salzburg, visit Mirabell Gardens which was the background in a scene from “The Sound of Music” and the 17th century Mirabell Castle perhaps with time to wander and explore Old Town’s shops and cafés.
Day 4: Melk, Cruising Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
The hill-top Benedictine Abbey of Melk was founded in 1089 by Leopold II though it was rebuilt in the 18th century. The winemaking region of Wachau, an UNESCO world heritage site, is home to wineries which have been operating since the 1700s and 1800s. Even more amazing is Nikolaihof Winery which dates back to the year 777 or learn about saffron which is grown in this region. Legion says that Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in the now ruined castle that sits above the town. Another famous building is the Wedgwood blue and white Baroque monastery tower of the abbey church.
Day 5: Vienna
Art, music, architecture, pastries and cafes await visitors. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of Europe’s greatest Gothic structures. Albertina Museum holds a million old master prints along with 19th and 20th century paintings. Street performers and shopping round out a day of walking or biking around the city. Wander over to Prater Park to spend time as the locals and to ride the century-old Giant Ferris Wheel.
Day 6: Vienna, Cruising Danube River, Bratislava
Walking through the city, you’ll find St. Michael’s Gate, the only remaining gateway in the original medieval wall at the entryway to Bratislava’s Old Town. Enjoy the art deco, shopping, historic buildings and a lunch of Slovak delicacies before going back to your ship.
Day 7: Budapest
Buda on the west bank of the Danube and Pest on the east bank are connected by eight bridges and make up the city of Budapest. Enjoy a feast of scents and sights as you wander the Hungarian markets, the most well-known of which is Central Market Hall. And then enjoy coffee and pastry or chocolate between visiting historic buildings such as the neo-Gothic Parliament Building or one of the museums.
Day 8: Budapest (Disembark)
Seven nights’ accommodations
Free internet and wi-fi access
All shipboard meals including Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Unlimited beverages onboard including wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, mineral water
Guided “Let’s Go,” “Do as the Locals Do” and “Village Day” programs
Portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of bikes and Nordic walking sticks
All transfers for embarkation and debarkation
All gratuities- shipboard and shoreside
Passport book valid for a minimum of six months beyond your trip required for this cruise.