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Treasures of the Danube

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Overview

2 Included Excursions
  • Enjoy an en route visit to Prague
  • Discover Bratislava’s Old Town and Vienna, the ‘City of Waltzes’
  • Visit Budapest, a truly unique city
  • Marvel at picturesque Cesky Krumlov

Enjoy a journey of discovery on the Grand Danube, visiting the many treasures of this mighty river. Explore spectacular Vienna, the hidden gem of Bratislava and the magnificent city of Budapest. This is sure to be a unique tour and cruise experience.

This Holiday is Great For

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  • 46x44-icon-culture
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  • 46x44-icon-history
  • 46x44-icon-nature
  • 46x44-icon-scenery
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Itinerary

Day One - UK to Rotterdam
We travel to Hull, where we board our overnight ferry crossing to Rotterdam, enjoying an evening meal on-board. 

Day Two - Rotterdam to the Regensburg Area
We continue to the Regensburg area for an overnight stay.

Day Three - Regensburg Area to Budapest 
Embark the MV Esmeralda in Budapest. 

Day Four - Budapest 
Join our included tour of Budapest, the ‘Queen of the Danube’. Learn more about the wonderful capital of Hungary with its stunning architecture, historical attractions and marvellous culture. Tonight, consider an optional Budapest Uncovered tour. 

Day Five - Budapest to Esztergom 
We arrive in Esztergom by afternoon, with an optional tour of Esztergom and wine tasting available. We cruise overnight to Bratislava. 

Day Six - Bratislava 
Enjoy a day in beautiful Bratislava - why not join our optional panoramic Bratislava excursion to the top of the UFO Tower? Tonight enjoy a traditional Slovakian evening on board the MV Esmeralda. 

Day Seven - Bratislava to Vienna 
We sail through splendid scenery to Vienna, departing this morning and arriving after lunch. Join us this evening on either an optional Vienna by night tour or a Mozart and Strauss concert. 

Day Eight - Vienna to Krems 
This morning there is an optional excursion to beautiful Schonbrunn Palace. We depart Vienna and reach Krems by early evening, a town located at the confluence of the Krems and Danube rivers. Here you could choose to join our optional wine tasting. 

Day Nine - Krems – Melk – Durnstein – Linz 
A morning’s sailing to Melk, with its Baroque Benedictine monastery and Renaissance Schallaburg Castle. We sail to Durnstein, with an optional transfer available and then cruise overnight to Linz. 

Day Ten - Linz to Passau 
Join our included excursion to Cesky Krumlov, bisected by the Vltava River. It is dominated by its 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and baroque elements, an 11-hectare garden and an original 17th-century baroque theatre. Admire the panoramic views of the old town and river from the top of its round belltower. Enjoy a gala dinner this evening and we cruise overnight to Passau. 

Day Eleven - Passau to Frankfurt Area
Time to disembark our cruise in Passau. We then travel to our overnight hotel in the Frankfurt area.

Day Twelve - Frankfurt Area to Rotterdam 
We transfer to Rotterdam to embark our overnight ferry back to the UK with dinner included.

Day Thirteen - Hull to Home
After breakfast, we disembark the ferry in Hull and continue home. 

MV Esmeralda

The hugely popular MV Esmeralda is our largest River Cruise ship, and this exclusively-chartered vessel is perfect for Europe River Cruises exploring some of the most beautiful scenery. Discover wonderful landscapes during our relaxing Danube River Cruises, and relax on-board, making the most of the Esmeralda’s excellent facilities. 

With her comfortable lounge areas and attractive decor, the MV Esmeralda is sure to be the perfect home from home just our scenic River Cruises. You’ll be able to travel in style and comfort as we make our way along one of the world’s most enchanting rivers, discovering mesmerising attractions, towns and cities. And, this year, we have even more departures to choose from! 

Enjoy delicious meals on-board the MV Esmeralda, including buffet breakfasts, three-course lunches and four-course evening meals, as well as exciting gala dinners! When the weather’s nice, you should absolutely spend some time on the sun deck, where you’ll find sun loungers and a shaded area from which you can admire the ever-changing scenery. You can also make your way to the lounge, with its comfortable leather couches and plush chairs. 

You’re sure to make lots of new friends during our relaxing River Cruises on-board the MV Esmeralda, and in the evening you’ll be able to chat with your new companions over a drink or two at the bar. Or, for those feeling more energetic, you could always dance the night away along to our talented on-board keyboardist! 

We promise to take good care of you during our MV Esmeralda River Cruises - we can’t wait to welcome you on board!

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Cabins


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.

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Cesky Krumlov

Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries.

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Optional Excursions

Budapest Uncovered

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.

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Cesky Krumlov

Perhaps most famous for its castle, the small town of Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful location. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, along with Cesky Krumlov Castle, the town’s narrow streets, churches and attractive architecture are a must-see.

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Evening 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.

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Explore Esztergom and Wine Tasting

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'.

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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.

 

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Panoramic Bratislava

Bratislava is a beautiful city, with a number of fantastic views to be seen across the city. On this tour we will visit some of these and see great sights while learning something of the history of this great Danube city. We'll travel to the Slavin war memorial, at the top of a hill, from where you can see much of the city and beyond as well as seeing this solemn and impressive memorial to the Slovakian and Russian war dead. We'll also head closer to the centre of the city for close up views of the old town, castle, pretty St Martins Church and the iconic UFO Bridge, the symbol of the city.

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Schonbrunn Palace

Join our excursion to see the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, former summer residence of the Hapsburgs and one of Vienna's most stunning landmarks and visited attractions.

We take a guided tour of the state rooms, where highlights include the long Great Gallery, the Round and Oval Chinese Rooms, the Millions Room, so named because Maria Teresa allegedly paid over a million silver florins to have it decorated. Be sure to take time to see the beautiful formal gardens.

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