The Danube's Great Cities

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2 Included Excursions
  • Discover the incredible city of Vienna
  • Take a tour of beautiful Budapest
  • Explore romantic Bratislava
  • Visit majestic Melk and picturesque Durnstein

Admire the Danube’s magnificent scenery, famous the world over, as we visit some of this river’s most enchanting cities. We meander through numerous countries, including Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, we will enjoy the unique opportunity of exploring these incredible destinations, while also enjoying included guided tours of vibrant Vienna and majestic Budapest.
Cruising through numerous countries, the scenery along the majestic Danube River is second-to-none, and our cruise on-board the new MS Serenade 2 will allow us to take in this spectacular landscape.

We begin in Passau, known for its excellent historical attractions - why not spend time exploring this city before we set sail? We sail through the night, arriving in magical Melk, with its soaring Benedictine Melk Abbey overlooking the Danube.

Our next port of call will be cultural Vienna, with its vibrant history and amazing attractions. We can explore more this incredible city with an included city tour, taking us past some of Vienna’s best sights. These include Belvedere Palace, the Hofburg Palace and St Stephen’s Cathedral, as well as much more.

Onwards from Vienna, we sail to Budapest, Hungary’s capital city - be sure to take in the views of the grand Hungarian Parliament building, set against the Danube, as we arrive. We will enjoy a guided city tour of Budapest during our time here to better explore this astounding city, filled with a myriad of sights and attractions.

We then sail to Esztergom, Hungary’s historical capital city, and then on to Bratislava in Slovakia. Formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, Bratislava’s heritage and stunning cityscape makes it a marvellous place to visit.

From Bratislava, we make our way to Durnstein, located in the beautiful Wachau Valley, and then on to Linz, where we disembark the MS Serenade 2 after a remarkable river cruise.

This Holiday is Great For

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Day One - UK to Liege
Across to Calais and then onwards to Liege, where we enjoy an overnight stay at a comfortable hotel.

Day Two - Liege to Passau, cruise to Melk
In the morning, we continue our journey to Passau, where we embark the excellent MS Serenade 2. Enjoy an evening meal as we sail onwards through the night to Melk. (B,D)

Day Three - Melk to Vienna
In the early afternoon we arrive in Melk - be sure to admire the incredible Melk Abbey. Situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube, we will get to explore more of this magnificent Benedictine abbey with an optional excursion this afternoon. Later in the day, we begin our overnight cruise to Vienna. (B,L,D)

Day Four - Vienna to Budapest
Wake in vibrant Vienna, famous for its amazing heritage, architecture and cultural attractions. Our included excursion today will give us the opportunity to make the most of our time here, as we take in Vienna’s very best sights. We will also have an optional horse-drawn fiaker ride to enjoy and an optional Mozart and Strauss concert this evening. We sail on to Budapest through the night. (B,L,D)

Day Five - Budapest
Enjoy a morning and afternoon of sailing today - spend time admiring the amazing views from the Sun Deck and get to know your fellow passengers. There will be lots to do on-board the MS Serenade 2, and by late afternoon we arrive in Budapest. Discover this mesmerising city with our optional illuminated Budapest tour this evening. We moor in Budapest overnight. (B,L,D)

Day Six - Budapest - Esztergom - Bratislava
In the morning, we will spend time exploring Budapest further with an included city tour, allowing us to see the many sights here. Take in the extraordinary architecture of this historical city. We continue our river cruise and sail to Esztergom arriving early evening before continuing our overnight sail to Bratislava. (B,L,D)

Day Seven - Bratislava to Durnstein
We arrive in Bratislava in the morning - take in the splendid views of this fantastic city as we enjoy breakfast, and spend time exploring at leisure. We will also have an optional hidden Bratislava tour to consider, taking in the Slovak Philharmonic Hall, the Slovak National Theatre, and Bratislava's imposing castle, as well as much more. In the early afternoon, we sail onwards to Durnstein. (B,L,D)

Day Eight - Durnstein to Linz
This morning explore Durnstein before we set sail before midday and continue onwards to Linz. Admire the beautiful scenery as we cruise. (B,L,D)

Day Nine - Linz to Liege
In Linz, it will be time to say goodbye to the MS Serenade 2 as we continue our journey to Liege, where we stay at an overnight hotel and enjoy an evening meal. (B,D)

Day Ten - Liege to UK
In the morning, we make our way home, travelling from Liege to the UK, via Calais. (B)

MS Serenade 2

The stunning MS Serenade 2 offers 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.




Ship Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

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 beautiful St Stephen's Basilica and the neo-Gothic Fisherman's Bastion.


Vienna Guided City Tour

Vienna is often thought of as the jewel in Austria’s crown, being the country’s capital city and famous for its connections to gifted musicians. With a rich culture and heritage, our guided city tour of Vienna will give us more information about how this city has become the marvellous destination it is today.

Learn more about the city's heritage on our tour, seeing some of the beautiful landmark buildings, such as the St Stephens Cathedral, the town hall and the impressive museums along the Ringstrasse.


Optional Excursions

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.


Durnstein Transfer

This charming town on the Danube River in Austria is a wonderful example of the traditional Austrian way of life. With its beautiful surrounding scenery and slow pace, we’ll enjoy excellent time at leisure to discover the sights here. The major attraction is the castle, perched high above the town it was the place in 1192 that Richard the Lionheart was captured by the Duke of Austria during the Third Crusade.


Evening Horse-drawn Fiaker Ride

We’ll enjoy an enchanting ride in a traditional Viennese Fiaker. These horse drawn carriages have featured in many artistic pieces related to Vienna such as musical pieces and operas by Richard and Johan Strauss. We'll see the sights of this amazing city in a way you'll remember forever - admire the beautiful architecture, soak up the wonderful atmosphere and make the most of this charming experience.


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.   


Illuminated Budapest

Budapest is a beautiful city, even more so at night. Marvel at the beautiful illuminated buildings and bridges as we drive past Parliament and Heroes' Square on the Pest side of the city to a local chapel, here we enjoy a short organ concert along with a glass of champagne. We then head across Chain Bridge up to Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city, here you will enjoy spectacular views of Budapest and beyond, before heading back to the ship.  


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.