Cruising Europe’s Iconic River by Train

Danube Dreams Cruising Europes Iconic River by Train

River cruises are the perfect way to explore European scenery and culture. Spend days navigating quaint villages and castles, or enjoying concerts and waltzes in major cities like Vienna.

Start your adventure with two nights in Prague, where guided sightseeing reveals such highlights as the Astronomical Clock and Hradcany Castle. Then, travel to Vilshofen for your Danube Dreams river cruise.

Train Travel

River cruises are an all-inclusive way to experience a destination in a relaxed, seamless way. While you relax on the ship, your expert guide will lead you through captivating excursions that unveil a tapestry of historic landmarks. From the storied past of Europe’s capitals to its natural wonders, you can explore the best of this remarkable continent with ease.

If you’re traveling with kids, you can still enjoy a Danube River cruise without having to worry about packing and unpacking or overnight bus rides. Simply select a family-friendly itinerary with your favorite cruise line and pack accordingly. In addition, your guide can help make arrangements for your kid’s meals and activities as needed.

Most cruises depart from ports such as Vilshofen, Nuremberg, Vienna, or Passau and navigate the Danube through Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. For example, an 8-day river cruise might visit Vienna’s gilded palaces, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley, and Budapest’s bustling streets. Similarly, a river cruise might include two nights in Prague to see the Astronomical Clock and Hradcany Castle, and a day exploring Bratislava’s mix of 18th-century and Socialist-era architecture, from the blue Church of St. Elisabeth to the quirky ’UFO’ Bridge.

If you prefer not to sail with your children, consider booking a solo trip. Some cruise lines offer discounted rates for adult travelers.

Unlike ocean cruises, river boats typically don’t rock as much and are a good choice if you suffer from seasickness. However, if you’re concerned, OTC seasickness medications or pressure point wrist bands can help prevent symptoms.

In just 15 days, you can travel six countries on trains and ferries while staying in smart, city-centre hotels throughout. Whizz from Copenhagen’s Nyhavn harbour to the graceful Oresund Bridge, ride onboard the night train across Sweden to Stockholm and Helsinki, then hop aboard the Glacier Express for an incredible trip through Switzerland’s snow-capped peaks to chic Zermatt. This tour also includes two nights in Zürich and a trip on the Gornergrat railway to take in breathtaking views of the Matterhorn Mountain.

Train Routes

A Danube river cruise takes you to some of Central Europe’s most stunning destinations. Traveling from Germany to Hungary, the 1,170 mile river flows past four capital cities and offers romantic sights of medieval castles, baroque churches and abbeys, and rococo palaces. While sailing the Danube, you’ll visit quaint villages and stroll along iconic streets such as Vaci utca in Budapest. You may also stop in the “City of Three Rivers” Passau, where the Danube, Inn and Ilz meet.

The luxury riverboats used by many cruise lines offer elegant accommodations that exude indulgence and offer a restful sanctuary throughout the duration of your trip. The cabins are spacious, well-appointed and include a comfortable bed, en suite bathroom, flat screen TV, minibar, and Wi-Fi access. Many cabins also feature a French balcony and sitting area.

Many of these luxury riverboats are equipped with elevators to facilitate easier boarding and de-boarding, as well as special rooms designed for the mobility challenged. Some of the cruise lines that feature accessible ships include AmaWaterways, Avalon, CroisiEurope, and AmaSerena. Some of these boats offer specially designed cabins with wider doors and modified bathrooms that allow for wheelchair access.

Some cruises are a little shorter than seven or eight days and provide a great introduction to the area and the river cruising experience. For example, the Avalon Danube Dreams itinerary features a four-day cruise to Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. It is a great option for travelers who want to try river cruising, but don’t have the time for a longer cruise.

River cruising is ideal for anyone who loves to get away from it all and take in the scenery. The pace of the trip is much slower than a standard ocean cruise and allows passengers to truly relax and enjoy their experience. In addition, the boat doesn’t rock as much as a large ship, making it ideal for people who struggle with seasickness.

If you’re looking for a more diverse European vacation, consider pairing your Danube river cruise with a train journey. For example, you can combine a Danube Dreams itinerary with a 13 day Glacier Express adventure that includes train travel across the Alps and scenic Lake Geneva.

Train Timetables

A river cruise is a luxurious way to travel through Europe. It offers a seamless transition between captivating cities, allowing you to experience the tapestry of imperial history that these regions have woven throughout their histories. Your journey will typically include memorable shore excursions led by expert guides. From the medieval charm of Regensburg to the regal embrace of Budapest, each destination unveils an enchanting story.

A Danube river cruise will usually be an all-inclusive adventure that covers your transportation, guided tours and meals. This simplifies your budgeting and allows you to fully indulge in the trip without having to constantly calculate costs. In addition, your floating hotel will ensure that you’re conveniently connected to each captivating city with smooth transitions from one stunning destination to the next.

You can add to your cruising experience by combining it with train travel on an extended vacation package. Many European destinations are easily reachable by rail, and you can often enjoy more time in each of your chosen ports of call with this option. For example, you can combine a Danube cruise with a trip to Berlin, Vienna or Paris for an unforgettable European adventure that begins and ends in the heart of the city.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous option, Avalon offers several Active & Discovery itineraries that sail the Lower Danube. These departures offer hiking and biking excursions in each port of call, along with a variety of educational opportunities, such as visits to the historic castles of Melk and Bratislava or the more serious visit to a concentration camp outside of Linz.

Regardless of which itinerary you choose, there are certain times of year that are best for river cruising. The summer months, particularly from June through August, are ideal because temperatures are warm enough for exploring and the crowds tend to be smaller. On the other hand, the winter months from November through February are not recommended as the weather plummets and makes it harder to comfortably tour.

A packing list for a Danube river cruise during the months of May through September should include lightweight trousers, shorts, comfortable walking shoes and a combination of short and long-sleeve shirts to layer over each other. You’ll also want to pack a jacket for cool evenings and a set of semi-formal attire for special dinners.

Train Tickets

Train travel can be a delightful way to see Europe’s beautiful landscapes and quaint villages. Depending on your itinerary, you may also visit grand cities like Vienna and Budapest and learn about the local culture and history from expert guides. Some cruises even include a scenic rail journey along the iconic Glacier Express in Switzerland.

Most Danube River cruises last for about 8 days and cover several countries, including Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. Shorter itineraries are available as well. You can book your trip by visiting the website of a cruise line or by working with a tour agency.

Choosing the right cruise date can make all the difference in your experience. The spring and autumn seasons offer mild temperatures with less crowds at popular sites. The summer months are more humid and busy, though some cruises do operate during this season. For a truly unique adventure, consider embarking on a river cruise during Christmas. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to witness some of Europe’s most stunning holiday markets.

The best part about taking a river cruise with Uniworld is that it’s all-inclusive. You’ll be able to enjoy gourmet meals, as well as alcoholic beverages. Premium wines cost extra, but the included house wine and draught beer should suffice for most travelers.

In addition to dining on board the ship, you’ll be able to explore a number of local excursions. Some cruises even include a traditional puszta horse show and a visit to Bran Castle in Hungary. You can find a full list of tours and itineraries on the Uniworld website.

The Golden Eagle Danube Express offers luxurious cabins fitted with private ensuite bathrooms and a bar lounge car that hosts a daily program of activities. The car also features large picture windows that provide a gorgeous backdrop for the majestic scenery outside. Guests can choose to upgrade to a superior deluxe cabin for an additional fee.

Avalon’s 8 Day Danube Dreams tour will take you through the historic regions of Germany, Austria, and Hungary–with stops at enchanting castles and charming villages in between. You’ll also get to admire the city of Passau, which is called the “City of Three Rivers” due to its location at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers.

Related Posts