Four amazing experiences you can have on a Danube River Cruise
From finding out firsthand if the Danube is really blue to exploring captivating capital cities like Vienna and Budapest, every day on a Danube River Cruise brings something new and exciting to experience.
Travelers from around the world are drawn to sailing away on the second-longest river in Europe, passing through Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia, while soaking up views of scenic villages and stunning castles along the way.
Although it's challenging to narrow down, here are some of the top experiences you can have while floating along the Danube:
Enjoy the inviting ambiance of a Heuriger
What on earth is a Heuriger? Picture a cozy tavern full of good cheer where the wine is flowing, and a musician moves around the room from table to table to make everyone feel at home. Found in Austria, a Heuriger is where you can sample the freshest of fresh wine from local producers. It makes for a wonderful way to spend an evening. Don't forget to pick up some bottles of wine to take back with you on the ship.
Experience the magic of Christmas markets
While summertime sailing gets a lot of attention for the beautiful weather, winter can be the most beautiful time of the year to enjoy the festive season and some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Warm up with a Glühwein (mulled wine) in vibrant cities like Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Walk through cobblestoned streets filled with vendors, holiday displays, and Christmas lights. Oh, what fun!
Get lost in history that's fit for royalty
All the cities along the Danube are rich in culture and heritage. Throughout the journey, you will have the chance to see iconic sites like the UNESCO World Heritage Schönbrunn Palace, Marie Antoinette's childhood summer home, and the magnificent Benedictine Abbey in Melk, which was founded in the twelfth century. Many of these day-trip excursions can be done on two wheels, allowing you to take in these monumental sites in a more active setting.
The hills are alive...♫♫
Are you a fan of The Sound of Music? Although the film wasn't a hit in Austria when it came out, locals have now embraced the international sensation. There are also many filming locations to take in during a Danube River Cruise, such as the Mirabell Palace Gardens in Salzburg's old town.
Discover the passion
For many, witnessing the Oberammergau Passion Play is a bucket list item that takes place only place once every 10 years. Originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, the next performances will now be taking place in 2022. Multiple river cruise lines offer select extensions on their Danube itineraries to feature an overnight stay in the quaint Bavarian village of Oberammergau to experience this special event. Witnessing this production involving over 2,000 actors, singers and musicians is not to be missed — or you'll have to wait another decade!
Finally, be sure to grab a spot outside as the boat passes through Dürnstein, as the best view of its famed Baroque church tower is actually from the water.
If a Danube Cruise is on your bucket list, let me know. There are several great itineraries that include wonderful cities before and after the cruise! I'll be happy to answer all your questions and perhaps, start planning your next river cruise! Schedule you're free consultation now! (or just give me a call!)