Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Danube River Cruises

Danube River Cruises

Discover art, music, history and spectacular scenery, plus the fascinating capital cities of Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.

The River Danube is one of Europe's major geographical features, flowing from west to east, from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Romania to the Black Sea. Most itineraries sail between Germany and Budapest.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About River Danube Cruises

From the medieval city of Regensburg in Germany whose bridge was the first built over the Danube, follow the river to Passau. One of Germany’s oldest cities, it lies at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube rivers.

Crossing into Austria visit the 900 year-old Benedictine Abbey of Melk with its architectural treasures. Admire the terraced vineyards of the Wachau wine region and explore Durnstein village with its medieval cobblestone streets and old burgher houses.

Further east along the river Danube, reach Vienna, Austria’s capital and a centre of art, culture and history. Visit its spectacular Gothic, Baroque and neoclassical monuments and palaces, perhaps take in a music event, try the famous pastries or explore the famous boutiques.

Continue to Bratislava, the Slovakian capital with its charming old town and castle, then traverse the Danube Bend, where the river reverses direction and on to Budapest. One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, seven bridges link the ancient hilltop city of Buda and its folk-filled taverns with the monuments and museums of more modern Pest.

ViennaVienna Bratislava CastleBratislava Castle

River Danube Highlights

Bratislava (Slovakia)

The quaint streets of Bratislava lead to lively squares and medieval St Michael's Gate, topped with a 51-meter tower and a balcony with fantastic views of the old city. Bratislava has the oldest Town Hall in Slovakia and many impressive Baroque palaces. Highlights include the grand Pramatial Palace, St Martin's Cathedral and 13th-century Bratislava Castle.


Budapest (Hungary)

The Danube divides the capital of Hungary into old Buda and cosmopolitan Pest. In the Pest district are graceful mansions leading to the vast and imposing Hero’s Square. Across the river is the famous Chain Bridge and in the hill-top castle district is Buda Castle and its fine gardens, the Royal Palace and the fairytale turrets of Fisherman’s Bastion.


Durnstein (Austria)

In the Wachau Valley wine region is the pretty and romantic town of Dürnstein with cobble-stoned streets, medieval buildings, 16th-century burgher houses and inviting taverns. It is well-known for the fabulous, wedgewood-blue Stiftskirche, a baroque church overlooking the waterfront, and for the hill-top remains of a castle where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner during the Crusades in 1192. This is an apricot-growing region, and delicious apricot liqueurs, brandy and schnapps are on sale in the town.


Linz (Austria)

Linz sits astride the Danube, blending old timbered houses, a moated castle and futuristic glass buildings lit at night in dazzling neon. Around the main square are Roman fountains and the medieval buildings of the Inner Courtyards. Try Linzer Torte in one of the many coffee houses, or perhaps take the mountain tram to Pöstlingberg.


Melk (Austria)

Melk is famous for the vast Benedictine Abbey on a hill-top above the town. It is still in use as a monastery and tours of its historic interior are usually offered, with views from the hill of the town's red roofs below. Situated in the Wachau valley, Melk is surrounded by the remains of a city wall.


Passau (Germany)

Passau is at a meeting of rivers and is well-known for the magnificent 17000-pipe organ in St Stephan's Cathedral, and the white-walled fortress of Veste Oberhaus. Within reach is Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, where the Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooks the town and reminders of the 'Sound of Music' story are around.


Prague (Czech Republic)

Prague is deservedly one Europe's favourite tourist destinations and its beautiful buildings and squares can be discovered on foot. Magnificent Wenceslas Square, the Jewish Quarter, the towers of Charles Bridge, the State Opera House, one of the world's finest Astronomical Clocks and the extraordinary Dancing House, built in the 1990s, are among them.


Vienna (Austria)

Vienna is famous for its delicious pastries, the waltz and romantic architecture. Along the broad Ringstrasse is the beautiful Austrian National Library and cafés and shops line Kärntnerstrasse. Visits may be offered to Hofburg Palace, the Vienna Opera House or nearby Schönbrunn Palace, which was the grand summer residence of the Habsburgs. It has formal gardens, the first zoo and an atmospheric faux-Roman folly.


Wurzburg (Germany)

The magnificent Bishop's Residenz in Wurzberg is one of Germany's largest and most ornate Baroque palaces. It houses paintings by Tiepelo and the famed Residenz Wine Cellar, sometimes open for tastings of Franconian wine and is said to have the most beautiful staircase in existence. Tours along the 'Romantic Road' through the Bavarian Alps to Rothenburg are often available. This medieval walled town has a glorious rural setting, gothic churches and gabled buildings, and the Puppen and Spielzeug Museum of dolls, dollhouses and miniature trains.


Customer Reviews

This was our first river cruise and we were unsure what to expect. Our apprehensions were immediately dispelled by Bart, our cruise director, who met us at the Athenee Hilton Hotel in Bucharest. Bart proved to be an excellent cruise director guiding us through 4 countries, two time zones and several very interesting destinations.

The vessel (as the Austrian Captain liked to call it) was a new one for 2016 and was outstandingly well equipped. We thoroughly enjoyed the open seating plan in the dining room together with a very high standard of cuisine and the flexibility the dining arrangements allowed. We joined in some of the included tours, all of which were well organised, highly informative and led by English speaking guides who were both knowledgeable about the sights we visited and enthusiastic about the countries they represented, taking time to explain some of the history and culture of the regions. All tours were in good class air-conditioned coaches and headsets provided.

We visited Orthodox churches, Christian cathedrals, castles, forts, rock formations, caves, monasteries, mountain retreats and archeological sites. We tasted local spirits and foods and listened to an organ recital in a Hungarian cathedral. Onboard, we had lectures on Communism, demonstrations of iconography, folk dancing and a talk by an Bulgarian orthodox priest in addition to the nightly entertainment from the resident pianist and a show from the ships crew. There was also time for free exploration at the ports of call - a feature which the cruise director encouraged by providing us with detailed maps of the area and synopses of the places we might visit. Being used to this sort of travel in the past we much appreciated this aspect of the cruise.

The highlight of this cruise was for us the passing through the grand locks and the cruise through the mighty Iron Gates gorge in Serbia. A truly wonderful experience. Disembarkation in Budapest to the Intercontinental hotel was smooth as were all transfers and VIP door to door service. On the vessel, on the tours and in the transfers all people spoke English. Most of our fellow travellers were US some Canadians and a few British.

This holiday exceeded our expectations by miles. We must thank Blue Water for finding it for us and negotiating such a good deal. We would recommend Blue Water and particularly Avalon Waterways to any one who is looking for a stimulating and exciting travel experience. .......and that is from 70yr olds who have travelled a lot. Thank you again for bringing this tour to us.

The river boat was immaculate, well run, and luxurious. The food was excellent and the moving scenery beautiful. Lots of excursions and something new every day, great fun.

We were welcomed onboard AmaLyra by friendly faces at reception. After settling in to our spacious cabin, we made our way down to the Lounge for a Welcome Talk by the Captain before going down to the restaurant.

For lunch and dinner there was a choice of meals, and some extra options incase you didnt want any of the main meals...steak and chips was often very popular amongst all the guests! Some of the dishes on the main menu included local delicacies.

We spent our first evening on the sun deck, taking in the views of the Budapest Illuminations as we cruised along the River Danube.

Each evening when we returned to our cabains, we found a schedule for the next day so we knew what the plan was. There were plenty of excursions available to suit all interests and fitness levels.

Visiting the Christmas markets in each of the towns, particularly Vienna and Budapest made it a very special way to see in the festive season

Would I recommend this cruises - I certainly would!

Total Reviews: 38 Read More Reviews...