Discover the history and magnificence of the River Danube on this scenic cruise taking in some of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
Travel to Munich and transfer to Engelhartszell to embark A-ROSA DONNA. The Trappist monks in Engelszell have taken a strict vow of silence, yet they produce beer that’s worth talking about, and that’s exported as far afield as the US. But there’s more to enjoy in this tiny village than a cold “Benno”, “Gregorius” or “Nivard” beer. Visitors to the “Mini-Danube” water experience can entertainingly learn about the Danube, while in the newly renovated walk-through aquarium, they’ll encounter amazing fish such as sturgeon measuring up to 2 m long. History buffs won’t be disappointed by Engelhartszell either. The settlement is mentioned in a Roman street directory dating back to the second century A.D., at the time it was called “Stanacum”. Engelhartszell has been through a lot since then. The Romans, the brutal Middle Ages and the bombastic Baroque and Rococo ages have all left their marks, inviting the visitor to take a journey back in time. And while you yourself conquer the abbey grounds, the abbey church and the market square, you can let your thoughts roam freely as you enjoy the wonderful sense of peace and quiet. There’s something to be said for taking a vow of silence.
“Wien is a schöne Stadt, des weiß alle Welt,” is the opening line of one of the most famous songs written by the Viennese cabarettist Georg Kreisler. Roughly translated, this means “Vienna is a beautiful city, and the whole world knows it”. Yet beauty is just one of the many facets of a city whose inhabitants are renowned for a snide sense of humour known as “Schmäh”. To really experience Vienna, you need to soak up the genteel atmosphere over an “Einspänner” (a strong black coffee served with whipped cream) in one of the city’s coffee houses. Or visit a “Heurige” (a Viennese wine tavern). Or order an “Eitrige” (a cheese-filled sausage) at a sausage stand. Palatschinke (pancake), Knödel (dumplings), strudel, Sachertorte and Wiener Schnitzel. To distract yourself from all these delicious calories, just delve into the city’s history. The opulence of the Habsburg dynasty can be found everywhere. The Spanish Riding School, the amusement park in the Prater public park, the exhibitions in the MuseumsQuartier art and culture complex … there are so many unmissable attractions. And after all this, the best way to relax is by listening to Viennese classical music. From Mozart and Beethoven to Haydn and Johann Strauss: Vienna is where the greatest classical masterpieces were born – music is in the city’s blood.
Another day to discover Vienna.
Celts settled on this mountain as long ago as 150 B.C. The strategically valuable location on the Danube also prompted the Romans to build a settlement here. After that, the city became part of the Ottoman Empire. All of these peoples have left their mark on this pretty city. This birthplace of the Hungarian nation has a unique flair that captivates visitors. The massive basilica towers above the Danube. This site has seen a thing or two: the erection of its first church around the year 1000 followed by its destruction; the building of a new church, which was destroyed in 1543 in the Turkish wars; and the rebuilding of the cathedral in 1820. Franz Liszt composed his Missa solemnis “Graner Messe” for the consecration in 1856. Later, arrive in the stunning city of Budapest.
Budapest gives you a glimpse into the Hungarian soul. This fast-paced, passionate city with its strange violin music was born in 1873 when three villages came together: Óbuda, Buda and Pest. Buda and Pest was connected by a chain suspension bridge watched over by two stone lions in 1849. The castle is located on the hilly side of the city, while the impressive parliament building can be found on the other, flatter side. This was built in just 22 years to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896. The building, which is 96 m high, 268 m long and 118 m wide, and has a total of 691 rooms, is an incredible architectural achievement. Buda Castle, the city’s landmark, sits atop Castle Hill on the other side of the river. The Castle District offers a wealth of interesting sights, including the Fisherman’s Bastion and the system of caves that were used at times of war. Both the Habsburgs and the Ottomans have left magnificent stamps on the city. When combined with the remains of Soviet socialism, the result is a culturally colourful and vibrant mix that thrills every visitor.
The Slovakian city is the only national capital to border two neighbouring countries: Austria and Hungary. It’s no surprise that Bratislava is a wonderful melting pot of various ethnic groups. Magnificent aristocratic palaces, Soviet high-rise blocks and a UFO over the Danube: these are just some of the many attractions that make this self-confident city of contrasts worth getting to know.
Famous for its spectacular Benedictine Abbey, Melk is a picturesque small town where you can admire stunning views of the Danube and the surrounding countryside from its dramatic clifftop perch.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Munich Airport for your return flight to the UK.
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