The shimmering waters of the fabled Danube River flow for thousands of miles through the very heart of Europe, silent witness to centuries of artistic achievement and historical events. This perfectly composed journey provides an immersive cultural tasting menu of five equally beguiling countries—ideal for first-time river cruisers as well as seasoned travellers seeking to experience yet another dimension of these much-loved destinations.
It will take you well beyond the “must-sees” of each region, offering fresh takes on classic sites, insider knowledge of delightful under-the-radar locales, and VIP access to places only a privileged few will ever experience—such as a private early-morning viewing of the acclaimed art collection of the Kunstkammer Vienna.
A veritable showcase of the best of Central Europe, this new journey is one any culturally curious world traveller will love.
Arrive at Munich Airport.
Passau, Cruising the Danube River
Passau is a crossroads in more ways than one, as three rivers meet here and three nations nearly do, making for a fascinating cultural mosaic. Get to know the town and its main claim to fame—Europe’s largest pipe organ—or “Let's Go” with an invigorating riverside hike or bike ride. Three rivers meet in Passau—the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube—and three nations almost meet: Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Its central location made it a trade hub for centuries, and with trade came wealth that endowed the town with many beautiful buildings. Spend some time exploring the town itself or get out and about along the Inn or the Ilz with a bike ride or a hike.
Choice of Passau walking discovery tour with St.Stephan's organ concert, or "Lets Go" bicycle ride along the lnn River, or "Let's Go" hike along the llz River
In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
Linz (Salzburg or Linz)
Salzburg or Linz? Both are equally tantalizing. Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland; Linz may be best known for its famous Linzer torte, but it’s also a hotbed for the arts. See the sights with a local expert, or go behind-the-scenes at the Linz opera house and taste cider at an apple and pear orchard. Austria’s third-largest city, Linz boasts a long history of trading (especially in salt) and textile manufacturing—not to mention steel—but these days it is perhaps best known for its lively arts and music scene. It is also your gateway to Salzburg.
Choice of Full-day in Salzburg or Linz town and country: opera house and cider farm visit
Melk, Cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
Dürnstein is one of our favorite towns along the Danube, a lovely place to wander cobblestone lanes, browse quaint shops and maybe hike up to a ruined castle (with an intriguing tale all its own). You can also opt for a tasting at Austria’s oldest winery or learn all about the world’s costliest spice from the Wachau Valley’s only saffron grower. Later, visit the 900-year-old Melk Abbey and its extraordinary baroque-style library. You’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley today. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the river banks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and vineyards and apricot orchards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes ripening on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years. You have two ports of call in the incredibly scenic valley, Dürnstein and Melk, and an assortment of delightful ways to explore this lovely region.
- Melk Abbey with library visit
- Choice of Dürnstein “Village Day” with exclusive Nikolaihof wine estate visit and tasting or Dürnstein village stroll & saffron workshop
Vienna is a cultural treasure trove revered for its art and music (and sinfully rich pastries). Experience the City of Waltzes with your choice of tours, as well as VIP access to an extraordinary collection of art—you’ll have an opportunity to view it in complete privacy, an extra special treat reserved solely for Uniworld guests. How to cap off a perfect Viennese day? An evening concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. The grand dame of the Danube, Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remains, to this day, the political and cultural center of Austria. Klimt painted here; Beethoven and Mozart composed here; Freud developed his theories here. It’s a treasure trove of splendid architecture, astonishing art collections and inviting cafés—and it’s yours to enjoy.
- Exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum
- Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese Palace
- Choice of Vienna panoramic city tour or "Do as the Locals Do" Vienna walking tour
You have leisure time after your tour to explore Vienna on your own. You might wish to visit the Albertina Museum, which houses one million old-master prints and an impressive collection of works by 19th- and 20th-century painters, ranging from Renoir to Rothko.If you’d like to get a little exercise and see a completely different side of Vienna, borrow a bike from the ship and explore Danube Island and Prater Park. (For a wonderful view of the region, ride the Ferris wheel in Prater Park.)
Vienna, Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava
Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. Learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert, then check out the whimsical street art and sample some only-in-Slovakia treats. Your ship sets sail from Vienna and heads for Budapest today. You may opt to relax onboard all day, perhaps enjoying a drink on the Sun Deck and taking in the scenery as the ship wends its way along the Danube Bend, which is lined with scenic towns—among them are the oldest settlements in the country—nestled at the foot of lovely wooded hills. On the other hand, the ship stops in Bratislava for those who wish to visit the capital of Slovakia. Although it’s not a large city, Bratislava has played a leading role in the politics and culture of the region for many centuries, and it is well worth a visit.
Bratislava small but precious walking tour
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has its own distinctive character and charm. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of tours—see it on four wheels or on your own two feet.
Choice of Budapest - panoramic highlights & Opera or Highstreet shopping or “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour
In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
Disembark the ship and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Budapest.
DetailsEnquire about this itinerary
Cruise Line: UniWorld Boutique River Cruise
Cruise ship: S/S Maria Theresa
One of Europe's most beloved and longest reigning monarchs, the great Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa was so extraordinary that we built an entire Super Ship in her honor. The S.S. Maria Theresa features ultra-luxurious accommodations and an array of thoughtful personal touches, ensuring a truly indulgent and unforgettable voyage along the Rhine and Danube Rivers.
Passenger Decks: 4
From Passau to Budapest
Dates (7 nights)
2019 departures are available from March to November
- All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
- State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
- All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
- Captivating onboard local entertainment
- From Budapest to Passau reverse itinerary available
- Optional pre or post cruise extension land program is available