Vacationers flock to this destination because of the huge choice of itineraries that include large cities such as Budapest and Vienna along with small towns and villages that dot the coastline.
The growing interest in European River Cruising has made the Danube even more popular and dozens of river cruise ships call the river home throughout the season. One popular itinerary begins in Budapest with its iconic Parliament building, the magnificent Chain bridge, interesting local markets, historical sights and, of course, the thermal baths and spas.
From Budapest, visitors can stop in places of interest including Bratislava in Slovakia, in Melk, to see the historic monastery and in Vienna and Linz, Austria. From there, a visit to Salzburg reminds you the hills are most certainly “alive” with the Sounds of Music in this part of the world. The famous movie and Von Trapp family story is a source of pride and visitors can see shows and concerts featuring the popular music.
Nearly all river cruises will sail toward Germany next and stop in the town of Passau where there is a view of the Three Rivers…the spot where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers all converge. The cobblestone streets of Passau also offer a fun place to ride bikes and many river cruise ships now have those on board to borrow for the day.
Cruising the Danube is almost a year-round activity…there are only a few winter months that ships stop sailing. Spring and summer are magnificent in this picturesque region…especially in the vineyard-dotted Wachau valley. Christmas market cruising, however, is also extremely popular and millions of people descend on the town squares in central European cities to shop for handmade ornaments, trinkets and other Old World souvenirs. The weather can be cold, though, and the wind a bit blustery – so make sure a coat and scarf are part of every packing list.
A Danube discovery cruise is filled with history, culture and relaxation – with a bit of sausage, schnitzel and strudel thrown in!
The Danube is not blue…despite the name of the famous Johann Strauss’ waltz. Its actually more of a murky grey-ish color. But the waltz is the unofficial anthem of the area and quite popular in the region.