The Blue Danube Discovery – Cruise Only (8 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Varies by Departure
Budapest, Hungary to Nürnberg, Germany
Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary's lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Dinner)

Budapest, Hungary
Vienna, Austria

Enjoy a day of relaxation onboard and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. This evening, arrive in Vienna, Austria's capital. Known as the "City of Music", it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Vienna, Austria

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with dazzling Lipizzaner stallions, the Neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral, plus countless other sights your Local Guide will show you during an included city sightseeing tour. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Dürnstein, Austria
Melk, Austria

Dürnstein, known for the magnificent Baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s, is situated right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. This morning your local guide will take you on an included walking tour and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. During lunchtime, sail the picturesque Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk in the early afternoon. Here, enjoy a guided visit of the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine abbey, one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You'll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening you'll be able to sample some of the Wachau Valley's famous wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Passau, Germany

Today you can choose from several full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of the Sound of Music sights; the popular "Romantic Austria" tour; or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephan's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture, houses one of the world's largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Regensburg, Germany

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and, as the only German city whose Old City was not bombed during World War II, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of "historic interest". Architectural highlights of your guided walk include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, mai gate to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city's lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included snack at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Here, where the locals congregate, feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. After dinner, we'll introduce you to some of Germany's famous beers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Nürnberg, Germany

Today, spend a relaxing morning of cruising, and before lunch, attend a fascinating onboard lecture about the engineering marvel that is the Main–Danube Canal. The afternoon is dedicated to Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, choose either a guided sightseeing tour and marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary Gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized "Nuremberg rally grounds" tour. During free time, be sure to make a wish at the beautiful fountain in the Hauptmarkt (main square). Legend says your wish will come true if you turn its gold ring three times. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Nürnberg, Germany

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

The Blue Danube Discovery – Cruise Only map

About Us

When designing its new ships, Avalon Waterways started with the traveler instead of the ship. This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space be its guide. The result? More space. Bigger views. More comfort … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®. The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. For instance, on these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room). In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience. But perhaps it’s what the company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there’s more room for less people. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built differently

Insider Tip

Step aboard Europe's youngest fleet and you'll find yourself surrounded by the most expansive views, innovative technologies and inspired designs.

Terms & Conditions

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Avalon Waterways


of 6

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by