Danube Discovery Cruise: Cultural Encounters & Active Adventures - 2019

Budapest | 9-night cruise with Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, Passau, Regensburg
Moderate Deluxe
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Want the relaxation of a deluxe river cruise combined with energizing active excursions? Bring the family and friends along on this Danube River cruise that takes you to four countries, three capitals, and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a well-planned 10-day itinerary.

The best part about this journey? You get to experience the highlights of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary and alluring active pursuits. For one thing, we’ve made it so easy to explore by bike: There are more than 20 top-notch bikes on board which you can reserve with your Cruise Director or Concierge. Each bike is designed for exploring paved city trails common in Europe and gives travelers another way to see city highlights as well as off-the-beaten-path destinations.   

That’s not all though — you’ll have a range of invigorating active options to choose from: An active “Early Riser” walk in Vienna, an exhilarating water rafting experience in Cunovo, vigorous walks to the three hills of Passau as well as some hiking in Poestlingberg, and more.

Overall, our Danube river cruise itinerary has 12 included features and Cultural Connections and visits to some of Europe's most fascinating cities. Discover Budapest, Hungary’s impressive capital, and attend a classical concert at the Kursalon music hall in Vienna. Get to know Melk as we tour an active Benedictine monastery, and explore historic towns like Regensburg and Passau. Then view Linz or opt to visit Salzburg, the UNESCO-listed town immortalized in The Sound of Music. Be sure to note specific features designed with families and active folks in mind throughout our itinerary.

Onboard your private Vantage European River Cruise ship, savor tantalizing aromas during cooking demonstrations, enjoy lively entertainment, and gaze at serene landscapes as we glide along this storied river. Don’t miss experiencing the Danube River in true Vantage style with your favorite family and friends!

Budapest to Regensburg

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DAY 1:

Board your flight to Hungary

Board your flight for Hungary this evening. 

DAY 2:

Arrive in Budapest, embark your ship, and enjoy free time to explore by bike

Prepare to experience the joys of a river cruise, steeped in old world splendor and teeming with opportunities to be active. On arrival, a Vantage representative will assist you with your transfer to your ship. You’ll catch glimpses of this striking old world capital along the way, including views of Buda Castle and Andrassy Avenue — both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After a Welcome Drink with the Captain, you’ll enjoy dinner onboard. Active Feature: Reserve one of the more than 20 bikes onboard the ship ahead of time and you can hit the town on a two-wheeled tour of the Hungarian capital as soon as you settle in. If there are none still available, your Cruise Director can help you find one to rent in town. 

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

A city tour of Budapest, biking opportunities, and a cooking demonstration

Budapest is a beautiful, baroque capital that enchants those who visit. You’ll get to know this UNESCO-listed city on an included city tour, including the famed Fisherman’s Bastion.

Active Feature: The rest of your day is at leisure, which is a perfect time to take advantage of the bikes we have waiting for you onboard. You'll also enjoy a Hungarian gullas (goulash) cooking demonstration.

Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the most magnificent sites of Budapest, including Freedom Bridge, Chain Bridge and the Hungarian Parliament Building during an easy 5-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Walking tour in Bratislava, Slovakia and a thrilling rafting excursion

Cultural Connection: This morning, you’ll enjoy an apple strudel making demonstration as well as a lecture on the recent history of Central Europe. Later, you’ll get to know Bratislava. On your walking tour, glimpse the diverse historical sites — including Bishop’s Palace, Main Square, and the National Theater — of this intriguing capital. 

Active Feature: This afternoon, you'll have free time during which you can choose to explore by bike or join an unforgettable kayaking experience. Paddling through rapids (which are fed by the Danube River itself) is truly exhilarating, and you'll experience this thrill just a short drive from Bratislava. Onsite experts will be there with you to ensure that you know what to do. The whitewater spray, the adrenaline, the camaraderie — this is truly an invigorating experience. In the evening, enjoy onboard entertainment.

Biking Opportunity: Follow the path of the Iron Curtain, where you’ll enjoy excellent views of the Bratislava Castle and the Danube, during an 8-mile route.
Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Transfer to Vienna for a walking tour, free time for biking, and a classical music performance

Today, explore Vienna, Austria's grand capital, on a scenic city tour.  This insightful coach and walking tour will give you a comprehensive view of this storied city at the heart of central Europe.

Active Feature: Your afternoon is free to explore Vienna — perhaps on a self-guided cycling tour that takes you to places you might not see otherwise, or perhaps visit the Donau Observation Tower- Be sure to sign-up for this opportunity.
Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the architecture of Vienna, including panoramic sights of the city’s skyscrapers, during a moderate 8-mile route. Click here for details.

Unforgettable Moment: Later you will enjoy a classical concert at Vienna's esteemed Kursalon music hall.

Shuttle Services to the city center will be provided to anyone no attending the Active Features.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

See Vienna awaken on an "early riser" walking tour and explore on your own

The Austrian capital continues to unfold for you today, including an active “early riser” walking tour (see below). In the afternoon, you’ll have time to discover the many treasures of Europe's most distinguished cities on your own, or join an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Active Feature and Unforgettable Moment: Your "early riser" walking tour allows you to see the Austrian capital awaken and come alive, and ends with coffee at one of Vienna's legendary coffeehouses, Cafe Central. Please note: Due to occupancy restrictions, Cafe Central has limited availability. Interested travelers should sign up with their Cruise Director if they wish to visit this historic cafe.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

  • Approximate Cost: $55 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • When: Half-day tour

Set off on this optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, a grand baroque edifice with a rich history dating back to the 16th century.   The place has an impressive 1,441 rooms (though only 40 are open to vistors) and was an imperial summer palace for the Habsburg dynasty.  With a history and grandeur that more than justifies its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, this is an excellent spot to visit during your time in Vienna.  

DAY 7:

Transfer to Melk and embark on a tour of its 900-year-old Abbey 

We venture to Melk today, where we’ll take a guided tour of nearly thousand-year-old Melk Abbey. The abbey is still active, so we may even see some monks milling around as well. Our afternoon is at leisure. Back at the ship, you can participate in a Weiner Schnitzel cooking demonstration with a special tasting of Gruner Veltiner, a local Austrian style of wine.

Active Feature: Take one of the 30 bikes we have out for a spin in Melk.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Discover the former Roman settlement of Linz or take an optional Salzburg tour

Today, choose how you’d like to discover the many treasures in the Austrian town of Linz, a former Roman settlement with a rich history as a trade hub along the Danube. Your intriguing options are below. Cultural Discovery: After dinner this evening, enjoy some local entertainment in the lounge.

Active features: Enjoy a walking tour of this lovely city, visit the Ars Electronica Museum of Technology, the "Museum of the Future." 
followed by hiking through charming Poestlingberg.

Or set off for an optional full-day tour in Salzburg, the Alpine city immortalized in The Sound of Music (additional charge).

Biking Opportunity: Follow the Danube to the small town of Mauthausen, site of a former Austrian concentration camp during a moderate 32-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Salzburg


  • Approximate Cost: $65 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 9 hours
  • Location: Salzburg, Austria
  • When: Full-day tour

Embark on this optional tour of Salzburg, a jewel of a city nestled in the Austrian Alps. The famed birthplace of Mozart and the site where The Sound of Music was filmed, this city is teeming with charm. On a walking tour of the Old Town, also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll see many fine examples of notable architecture and learn the history of this picturesque town.  

DAY 9:

Embark on an active walking tour of Passau and enjoy a Captain's Dinner

Before arriving in Passau this morning, you’ll enjoy an insightful lecture on ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Baroque splendor awaits you in Passau, favorably located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers.

Active Feature and Unforgettable Moment: Admire the Old Town's Italian-baroque and medieval architecture on an active walking tour that takes you to the three main hills in Passau: Domber, Mariahilfberg, and Georgsberg. 

Biking Opportunity: Come with us and discover the region of Passau. On our bike ride you will enjoy the beautiful countryside along the Natural Inn River, with meadows and forests. These riversides are habitats for breeding birds and beavers. With a bit of fortune, you might have the chance to see tow countries and neighbors growing together.

Start cycling along the Inn to Wernstein. Then we'll cross the bridge and have a short photo stop! We'll finish our journey by cycling back to on the other side, returning to Passau, ending at the ship. This bike ride is a scenic 12.5 miles / 20 kilometers! Click here for details. 

Dinner is on the ship this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Explore UNESCO-listed Regensburg and enjoy a cooking demonstration

Today, you'll explore Regensburg, the remarkably well-preserved, UNESCO-listed city with a history stretching back to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Explore the city on a walking tour, including a stop for an Acting Scene, courtesy of our tour guide, while admiring historic buildings and the ancient Roman stones at Porta Praetoria Arch. 

Photo Opportunities will be included: One per group, per tour!

Your afternoon is at leisure, during which you can learn how to make German sour cabbage and try some local wheat beer. Dinner is onboard this evening.

Active Features:  Embark on a unique "Beggars, Jugglers, and Executioners" tour. Be sure to sign-up for this unique experience!

Biking Opportunity: Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including Walhalla memorial hall, during a moderate 14-mile route. Click here for details.

Active Walkers: Get to experience all of the above and more! Such as: The Neupfarrplatz, and the monument to the former Jewish quarter, the Haidplatz (medieval main square), and the Bismarckplace with the Neoclassical Theater.


Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Disembark ship in Regensburg and transfer to Munich airport for your flight home

Disembark your river cruise ship in Regensburg and transfer to the Munich airport to return home. Or begin a delightful extension in Prague. 

Included Meals:


Important Notice: The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.

Please Note: Port times & itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels and winter weather may affect itinerary.

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Danube Discovery Cruise: Cultural Encounters & Active Adventures - 2019

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