Danube River Cruises
Danube River Cruises
Cruising on the Danube River
The Danube originates in Germany’s Black Forest, flowing southeast through nine other countries for 1,770 miles before eventually spilling into the Black Sea. Cruises are generally categorized by section, divided by Budapest with the classic Upper Danube one of the best-selling river cruises, providing access to destinations like Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Melk, Durstein, Vienna, and Budapest. It showcases some of Europe’s finest scenery, passing magnificent castles and grand cathedrals. After dark, beautifully illuminated waterfronts are a highlight.
Classic Upper Danube cruises typically departs from the Bavarian city of Munich, which can be reached via a direct, non-stop flight from Chicago if you’re coming from the U.S., as well as flights with just one connection from multiple international airports throughout North America. You’ll want to arrive early to spend some time exploring Munich, perhaps visiting 12th-century Peterskirche, the city’s oldest church, and relaxing with a pint and traditional German fare like pretzels and roasted pork knuckle in one of the authentic beer halls. Hofbräuhaus is one of the most popular, dating back to the 16th-century.
After your cruise gets underway, you’ll stop at Nuremberg. While much of the city was destroyed during World War II, it was painstakingly restored using the original stone of nearly all the city’s main buildings, including the old churches and castle in the Altstadt. In Regensburg, you can choose to sail the Danube Gorge and sample beer from one of the world’s oldest monastic breweries. Day trips are possible to places like the medieval Czech city of Cesky Krumlov or Salzburg in Austria, the birthplace of Mozart. Vienna is on most itineraries, bringing opportunities to tour famous Schonbrunn Palace or explore its highly acclaimed wine region nearby. Ending in Budapest, the “Paris of the East,” you’ll return home from here, but don’t miss enjoying its many cultural attractions and a soak in one of the thermal baths first.
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