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The Grand Danube Explorer By Air

 

Museum of Natural History, Vienna
  • Overview

    highlights

    • Discover breath-taking Budapest, the Hungarian capital
    • Admire the wonderful Wachau Valley with scenic tour
    • Explore Austria, Slovakia and Hungary with a relaxing river cruise

    Explore extraordinary cities, admire incredible changing landscapes, and relax on-board the MS Serenade 2, new for Shearings in 2016. This splendid ship is the perfect home-from-home as we sail along the grand Danube River, discovering a whole host of amazing destinations. Visit beautiful Budapest, famous for its history, and travel through the Wachau Valley with us. Read More

    Great for:

    • Great for - City
    • Great for - Culture
    • Great for - Food & Drink
    • Great for - History
    • Great for - Nature
    • Great for - Scenery


    Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
      
    Checking availability...
    Journeying along the Danube, we will begin our river cruise in Budapest. Admire the astounding architecture, and enjoy an exciting included city tour of this splendid city to discover all of its best sights. We will take in the Hungarian Parliament building, St Stephen’s Basilica, Vajdahunyad Castle and Heroes’ Square, and much more.

    Onwards to Esztergom, the former capital of Hungary, where we have free time to explore this historical city. It will then be time to make our way to Slovakia as we dock in Bratislava, spending the morning and early afternoon exploring. We cruise to Vienna over our evening meal - admire the views from the ship’s picture windows.

    The next day is spent in vibrant Vienna, known for its excellent cultural attractions and musical history. Some of the finest classical musicians have lived and worked here, earning Vienna the nickname the ‘City of Music’. Musicians including Schubert, Strauss, Haydn, Brahms and Beethoven all have ties to Vienna.

    After our time exploring Vienna, we sail onwards to Durnstein, located in a famous wine-growing region of Austria. It is also part of the Wachau Valley, which we will explore with our included excursion. Join us on a scenic drive, as we visit Durnstein, Krems and Spitz to take in the natural beauty of these towns.

    We continue our river cruise and make our way to Melk, overlooked by the beautiful and imposing Melk Abbey. After our time here, we journey onwards to Linz, a city with a wonderful selection of cultural sights.

    From Linz, we sail to Passau overnight, where it will then be time to disembark the fantastic MS Serenade 2 after a thrilling river cruise.
  • Itinerary

    ITINERARY

    LOCATIONS


  • The Ship

    YOUR SHIP



    MS Serenade 2

    • G10068
    • Serenade 2 lounge
    • Serenade 2 restaurant
    • G10068
    • MS Serenade 2 Mozart Mini-Suite

    The stunning MS Serenade 2 is a fantastic new addition to the Shearings fleet for 2016, offering a truly unique cruising experience. This beautiful and sleek ship has been designed to create a luxurious, modern and spacious atmosphere on board. A real highlight of the Serenade 2 is the superbly designed Forward Observation Lounge where you can sit back and relax enjoying stunning views along the river. We’re sure that once you have experienced the magic of the Serenade 2 you will be back next year!

    Allow us to welcome you on board our newest addition to the Shearings river cruise family, the MS Serenade 2. Inaugurated in 2007, this beautiful ship really is at the cutting edge of design, guaranteeing the most comfortable possible surroundings for her passengers. The cabins on board the Serenade 2 are amongst the very best and the largest of any river cruise vessel. They feature hotel style beds (not berths or bunks) and a well-appointed bathroom, with WC, bath and separate shower. All cabins feature a flat screen TV, phone, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, safe and hairdryer, plus floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows on the upper two decks.

    Relax on-board, where our highly professional crew and cruise manager, will be happy to help. Why not enjoy the spacious Sun Deck which incorporates covered shaded areas, and space to relax in one of the plentiful deck chairs or sun loungers. Perhaps partake in a game of giant chess or visit the on-board fitness suite which incorporates a small gym and sauna.

    Enjoy contemporary cuisine in the chic Mendelssohn Restaurant on-board located on the Mozart Deck, where each day begins with a sumptuous breakfast buffet, with English and Continental delicacies available.

    At lunchtime, sit down to a mouth watering buffet, helping yourself to a fantastic selection of foods, from cold meats and cheeses to a choice of hot dishes.

    Come dinnertime, there will be a four-course evening meal to enjoy with your fellow cruise passengers, sampling gourmet dishes from our superb on-board chefs. Not only this, you will also be treated to an impressive Captain’s gala dinner during your cruise, which is sure to be a wonderfully memorable experience.

    And what better way to the end of the day, than a visit to the superb Captain’s Club for a post dinner drink.

    • Length: 110m
    • Width: 11.40m
    • Passenger Capacity: 137
    • Passenger decks: 4
    • Star rating: 4-star

    Cabins

    • MS Serenade 2 Beethoven Single

      MS Serenade 2 Single Beethoven
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Hotel-style single bed

      The Beethoven Single Cabin can be found on Beethoven Deck and is ideal for those travelling alone. These excellent cabins have a large picture window and are spacious with an approximate size of 16M2. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All cabins are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Beethoven Twin

      MS Serenade 2 Cabin Bottom Deck
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Hotel-style twin beds

      The Beethoven Twin Cabin can be found on Beethoven Deck. These excellent cabins have a large picture window and are spacious with an approximate size of 16M2. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All cabins are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Chopin Mini-Suite

      Swan towels MS Serenade 2
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows
      • Separate balcony
      • Seating area
      • Hotel-style twin beds

      The Chopin Mini-Suite can be found on Chopin Deck and are a more spacious accommodation option, with a private balcony and seating area. These excellent suites have floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All suites are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Chopin Twin

      MS Serenade 2 Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows
      • Hotel-style twin beds

      The Chopin Single Cabin can be found on Chopin Deck. These excellent cabins have floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All cabins are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Mozart Mini-Suite

      MS Serenade 2 Mozart Mini-Suite
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows
      • Hotel-style twin beds

      The Mozart Mini-Suite can be found on Mozart Deck and are a more spacious accommodation option. These excellent suites have floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All suites are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Mozart Single

      MS Serenade 2 Single Mozart
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows
      • Hotel-style single bed

      The Mozart Single Cabin can be found on Mozart Deck and is ideal for those travelling alone. These excellent cabins have floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All cabins are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

    • MS Serenade 2 Mozart Twin

      MS Serenade 2 Cabin
      • Private bathroom facilities including a separate shower, bath and toilet
      • Flat screen TV
      • Telephone
      • Mini-fridge
      • Safe
      • Hairdryer
      • Tea/coffee making facilities
      • Floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows
      • Hotel-style twin beds

      The Mozart Twin Cabin can be found on Mozart Deck. These excellent cabins have floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows. Facilities include a flat screen TV, phone, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe and a hairdryer. All cabins are en suite with a separate shower, bath and toilet.

     
  • Gallery
  • Excursions & Extras

    INCLUDED EXCURSIONS


    Budapest
    Budapest City Tour

    One of the most magnificent cities in the world, Budapest is filled with incredible sights and sounds. Join us as we take a city tour to learn more about this wonderful capital of Hungary, with its stunning architecture, historical attractions and marvellous culture.

    Admire sights such as the Hungarian Parliament building and Liberty Square, with its mixture of art nouveau and historicist architecture. There’s also the House of Terror Museum, the beautiful St Stephen's Basilica and the neo-Gothic Fisherman's Bastion.

    Wachau Valley, River Danube
    Wonderful Wachau Valley

    Join us as we explore the spectacular Wachau Valley located midway between the towns of Melk and Krems. The Valley was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in 2000 as recognition of its architectural and agricultural history.

    During our tour we visit the historical centre of Krems, one of the most beautiful in Europe with its historic squares, old monasteries, churches and impressive town houses. We also visit the charming town of Durnstein, situated in the heart of the valley, here we enjoy breath-taking scenery, traditional architecture, and places of historic interest including Kuenringer Castle were English King Richard the Lionheart was once held prisoner.

    We then head to the picturesque town of Spitz, with its cobbled streets amidst vineyards, offering spectacular views before calling at the wine-producing village of Weissenkirchen.

    OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS


    Salzburg
    Classical Salzburg

    Join us on our excursion to explore the elegant city of music and the birthplace of Mozart. On our guided walking tour we see the Cathedral, St Peter’s Abbey, Mozart Square, the glorious Mirabell Gardens and the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress.

    Admire Nonnberg Convent and the famous Getreidegasse - a busy shopping street in the Old Town section of Salzburg. The house at no. 9 Getreidegasse is the place where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and where he lived until the age of 17. Following our guided tour, we enjoy some free time to explore this wonderful city before heading back to the ship in time for dinner.

    Baroque City
    Cultural Linz

    Linz was the Capital of Culture in 2009 and is the third largest city in Austria and is often referred to as the gateway to the Danube. The city has a rich culture with its historic buildings, museums and many exhibitions and festivals.

    During our guiding walking tour we head to the Altstadt (Old Town), we see the Old Town Hall, which is still the seat of the Mayor and the city council, the Main Square (Hauptplatz) - which dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest squares in Europe. On the Main Square is one of Linz’s most famous landmarks - Trinity Column, the column is 20 metres high and made of white marble and erected in respect of those who had survived a variety of disasters. It is said that the column will protect the citizens of Linz from war, fire and plague. We also see and the Old Cathedral constructed between 1669 and 1683, the famous Landhaus, a magnificent renaissance building from the 16th century, the Cathedral of St Mary – known locally as the New Cathedral. So join us as we explore this fascinating city.

    Fiaker Horses
    Evening Horse-drawn Fiaker Ride
    We’ll enjoy an enchanting ride in a traditional Viennese Fiaker - a horse-drawn carriage. This will allow us to see the sights of this amazing city in a way we’re sure to remember forever - admire the beautiful architecture, soak up the wonderful atmosphere and make the most of this charming experience.
    Esztergom
    Explore Esztergom & Wine
    Esztergom is one of the oldest cities in Hungary founded around 972 AD and was the capital of Hungary from the 10th till the mid-13th century. The most famous landmark of Esztergom is the Basilica situated on Castle Hill overlooking the city. 

    Join us as we take the electric train 50 metres up to the impressive Basilica with its 72m-high central dome which can be seen for many miles around.

    Inside the grandiose 19th century church we see where Franz Liszt used to play the organ and admire the renaissance chapel from the 15th century. We enjoy a glass of wine in the cellars of Basilica.

    The city has a wonderful historical and architectural heritage that includes many Baroque buildings, the Primate's Palace, the Franciscan monastery and several chapels and churches. One the newest additions to Esztergom is the Mária Valéria Bridge, which connects the city with Slovakia. Esztergom is truly a beautiful city hence it is often referred to as the 'Hungarian Rome'.
    Bratislava square
    Hidden Bratislava
    Join us as we discover one of the smallest and most picturesque capitals of Central Europe. Our tour commences by local tourist train, we pass the Slovak Philharmonic Hall, the Slovak National Theatre around the Old Historical Town to the Archbishops Summer Residence. We also see Blumental Church, the bustling commercial street of Obchodna with its many shops, the buildings of the Technical University, Slovak Radio, and the Slovak National Bank.

    We then head to Bratislava’s imposing Castle and through the garden suburb and onto Vienna Gate and Castle Hill, where we enjoy majestic views of the city before heading to the Old Town. Our tour continues on foot where we see Archbishop Place, St. Martin Cathedral – the previous Coronation Church of the Hungarian Kings – Academia Istropolitana – the oldest University dated from the 15th century, Main Square with its Old Town Hall and the Opera House and the famous manhole - Ganymedes.   
    Melk Abbey
    Majestic Melk Abbey

    Stift Melk (Melk Abbey) is a Baroque-era masterpiece, located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Danube. Part palace, part monastery and part opera set, Melk is a magnificent vision thanks greatly to its upward-reaching twin towers. Capped with baroque helmets and cradling a 208-foot-high dome, this abbey is a true Baroque masterpiece.

    Our tour of the abbey includes the Imperial rooms, Marble Hall, and the balcony, which offers fine views of the river. It’s likely that Napoleon probably used this room as a lookout when his headquarters were based in Melk for his campaign against Austria.

    We also see the magnificent library, with more than 100,000 books, nearly 2,000 manuscripts, and a superb ceiling fresco by the master Paul Troger; the Marmorsaal, whose windows on both sides enhance the ceiling frescoes; and the glorious Stiftskirche (abbey church) of Saints Peter and Paul, an exquisite example of the Baroque style.

    Following the tour you can enjoy some free time to wander around the abbey’s park with its impressive Baroque garden, the recently restored northern bastion. Or you may just wish to sit and relax in the abbey’s restaurant with a coffee and admire the beautiful views.

     

    Vienna
    Mozart and Strauss Concert

    Vienna is undoubtedly Europe’s musical capital, and this excursion will give us the opportunity to enjoy the music of two of Austria’s favourite sons. Sit back and relax as we listen to the music of Johann Strauss, the Waltz King, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the infant prodigy.

    We make the short journey by coach to the concert hall for an evening full of Viennese charm, with the lilting sound of waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operetta and piano concerto melodies. Accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and our enchanting ballet soloists, Vienna's classical music reveals itself as a living firework display for all the senses taking us back to the days of old Vienna for a truly unforgettable evening.

    Schlosspark, Schonbrunn
    Schonbrunn Palace

    During our time in Vienna, we’ll be able to spend time at the exquisite Schonbrunn Palace. The palace has been completed in a rococo style and features expansive gardens. During our visit, we’ll spend time admiring this elegant palace, which has been the seat of many Austrian monarchs.




    EXTRAS

    Captain's gala dinner
    Enjoy a fantastic Captain's gala dinner while on-board!


 


Checking availability...

What's included

  • Return flights and transfers
  • Eight nights full-board cruise
  • Services of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • Fantastic river views from every cabin
  • Enjoy a Captain’s dinner
  • Two included excursions
  • Nine optional excursions
G10068

MS Serenade 2

The stunning MS Serenade 2 is a fantastic new addition to the Shearings fleet for 2016, offering a truly unique cruising experience. This beautiful and sleek ship has been designed to create a luxurious, modern and spacious atmosphere on-board.

Learn more about the ship
  • 2
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  • British Travel Awards
  • 6
  • 5
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i-3b0ffcad | v1.3.0.4d | a1.0.0.56303
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