My eyes widened in disbelief when I read the title. How can you visit 5 different European countries by going on a Danube River Cruise? I have heard about going on a sailing voyage on a yacht in the Pacific Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea or in the Caribbean Sea, docking at several island countries. But that is cruising on the sea!Going on a mini-yacht in a river must mean that river touches 5 different countries-right? Then I studied the course of Danube river and yes, it flows through ten beautiful countries in Europe and some of them are:
Oh, yes, these countries are the gems of Europe and they are the perfect holidaying destinations throughout the year. Each of them deserves a week stay at least to see and appreciate all their beautiful locales.
90% of us have never traveled on a running water-body. We all would have taken a boat ride on lakes but mostly not on a flowing river.
I am thrilled to find out about the Danube River Cruise that would make me step on to five European countries without flying, driving, and going on a train. Oh, this must be romantic, buddy.
However, I wonder whether a river cruise would be all that challenging like going on the ship in the sea!
Let me see.
Danube River Cruise: Budapest
The Danube River Cruise starts from Budapest, Hungary and ends at Nuremberg, Germany. During its course, it touches five central European countries showing us some of the world famous legendary landmarks that include:
- Trinity Square in Budapest
- Gothic Hungarian Spires
- Bratislava’s charming pedestrian-only Old Town
- Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia
- Wachau Valley in Austria
- Belvedere Palace in Vienna
- Vienna’s Palais Liechtenstein.
- The Prague Castle in the Czech Republic
- Old Town Square in Prague
- Enchanting Český Krumlov city in South Bohemia, Czech Republic
- Stone Towers in Altstadt, Nuremberg
- Nuremberg Palace in Gothic style architecture
- Bavarian town of Regensburg
There are several more iconic and historic sightseeing places in these five Central European countries that you can capture in your mobile phone and share them in social media with real pride.
The relaxing luxury Danube River Cruise takes about a little more than a week to see all the beautiful landmarks in the 5 European countries.
Danube River Cruise: Hungary sightseeing.
On day one (preferably two days before), before you embark on your yacht, go around the historic and cute city of Budapest, the capital of Hungary that you have so far read in newspapers and school geography books. The lovely old buildings of Hungary will take your breath away with their sheer majesty. Some of the must-see buildings in Budapest are Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament, Matthias Church, and the Chain Bridge of the 19th century. Do not forget to taste at least two or three Hungarian wines that are world famous.
After eating the authentic Hungarian Goulash (a beef stew eaten with potato and carrot) in Budapest Bistro located at 1054 Budapest, Vécsey utca 3 (tel: +36 1 783 0788 ), go to your yacht moored at Danube River, Budapest.
The yacht would leave the shores of Budapest and your Danube River cruise begins. Since it is a river cruise, there won’t be discomforts similar to what you feel while sailing on a sea. The journey will be gentle and very pleasant. You can see rural Hungary as you go. Your Danube River Cruise guide will point out to you the following places of importance.
- Buda Hills
- The boulevards of Pest
Danube River Cruise: Vienna
One day three, you moor at Vienna, Austria. After you disembark in Vienna, you may either choose a group tour of the city or go on your own to explore Vienna that is rich in history. The buildings of Austria will make you admire the Gothic architecture. Vienna is the city of Sigmund Freud, Mozart, and Beethoven. Do not forget to visit some of the imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. It has (hold your breath) 1441 rooms!
Note: It closes at 5 pm.
Ask your Danube River Cruise guide where you can get the Sachertorte, a very delicious Austrian chocolate.
If you are a coffee lover, find a café that serves the famous Viennese coffee ‘Einspänner’, a rich Vienna coffee mixed with thick cream. Try to buy a plate full of ‘Kasnocken’, a kind of cheese dumplings.
The Danube river cruise thus far would have given you extreme pleasure and full satisfaction. Continue further to see what’s in store for you on the remaining four days of Central European cruise on River Danube.
On the fourth day of your Danube sailing, you will dock at Melk, Austria and visit the green Wachau Valley.
Look at the lovely Danube from the top of the hill, isn’t it stunning? You will feel a sense of possessiveness about the Danube after riding on it for four days.
The guided Danube River Cruise tour would include a mountain biking trip along the Danube River and a visit to the wine cellars to go on a wine-tasting spree.
You enter the Salzburg, an Austrian city on the German border. The beautiful Eastern Alps are located here. It is also the birthplace of music wizard Mozart.
Your next day begins at Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.
This beautiful Czech town of Český Krumlov is oozing old-world charm with its laid-back setting. The charming town looks all medieval, baroque, and Renaissance types of architecture. A lazy stroll in this town would get you back to Danube River.
Finally, the sad day has arrived as it is your last day of the memorable Danube River cruise. You disembark at Regensburg, Germany where the Danube meets two more rivers namely the Naab, and the Regen Rivers.
Visit the following landmarks in Regensburg:
- Gothic cathedral
- Porta Praetoria dating back to 179 AD.
- 12th-century stone bridge
- Kuchlbauer Brewery
- A ferry ride to Weltenburg Abbey, a brewery.
It’s time to say goodbye to Danube River. She is a kind-hearted and very gentle river, the second longest river (2860 km) in Europe, passing through not five but TEN countries.
Danube River cruise deals are offered by several travel operators including the National Geographic, Viator, and Expedition Voyages.