Glide past fairy-tale castles and medieval villages on our popular Blue Danube River cruise aboard Tauck's ms Joy.

Explore Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, Bratislava and Budapest – plus the castle-studded Wachau Valley – taking in views of the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Attend a private Imperial evening with dinner and music at a palace in Vienna; a wine tasting in Dürnstein; spend a day in Mozart's Salzburg or medieval Cesky Krumlov; take an exclusive private tour of Baroque monastery libraries in Prague; discuss contemporary issues and historic events in Slovakia with a resident expert, and enjoy evenings of cultural entertainment on and off your riverboat.

In Vienna, see the Imperial apartments at the Hofburg or tour opulent Schönbrunn Palace. Admire frescoes, stained glass windows, and stunning architecture as you spend two nights each in Prague and Budapest in city-center hotels, checking out remarkable bridges, cathedrals, museums, and grand Habsburg palaces - it's a Blue Danube River cruise to remember!

  • Day 01

    Arrive in Prague & Lobkowicz Palace Evening 

    A transfer is included from Václav Havel Airport Prague or the Praha Hlavni Nadrazi train station to the InterContinental Prague in the heart of the city. 

    Those arriving early may join your Tauck Director for a walk to this historic city's Old Town Square. Begin your amazing Blue Danube river cruise adventure early this evening with a Tauck Exclusive – a royal welcoming reception, tour and dinner at 16th-century Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. Immerse in an evening of classical cultural treasures – music and art played an important role in the aristocratic world of the Lobkowicz family.

    Meals included: Dinner (D)

    Lodging: Intercontinental Prague

  • Day 02

    The legacy of many centuries in Prague

    Start your exploration of Prague this morning with a choice of walking tours through Prague's ethereal Old Town, choosing between a "walk through the centuries" including a visit to St. Agnes Convent, or the city's poignant Jewish sites in Josefov. 

    This afternoon, explore the ancient Hradcany (Castle) district on a guided excursion that takes you to 1,000 year old Prague Castle's complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens; the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus; and the grand Baroque libraries of Strahov Monastery, where a private tour is a Tauck Exclusive. 

    Sample the culinary pleasures of Prague on a free night to spend as you wish; the city's many fine restaurants and cafés feature a wide range of cuisines and some of the best  schnitzels, goulashes, strudels, dumplings and beer the region has to offer. Tomorrow, your Danube river cruise begins. 

    Meals included: Breakfast (B)

    Lodging: Intercontinental Prague

  • Day 03

    Explore Regensburg & Embark in Vilshofen

    You may choose to remain in Prague for a morning spent exploring as you please, or drive to the quintessential Bavarian town of Regensburg, whose roots stretch back to Roman days, while you can enjoy a little free time upon arrival. 

    The best way to explore this treasure-trove of history is on foot, as the local guide leads you on a walking tour that includes the Steinerne Brücke, a medieval stone bridge over the Danube; the 15th-century town hall; and the remains of the town's Roman wall. 

    Depart Regensburg and continue on to Vilshofen, where you'll board your riverboat to launch your 7-nights Danube cruise. Join your shipmates and crew at a welcome reception followed by dinner aboard the riverboat tonight. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D) 

  • Day 04

    Engelhartszell & Cycling along the Danube

    Enjoy the views from your riverboat's sun deck, lounge, or the windows of your outside cabin as your ship glides along the mighty Danube this morning. Your first port of call on your cruise is Engelhartszell, a pretty town on the Danube in Upper Austria. 

    After a visit to a local private home, you'll have a choice of a walking tour of town including 18th-century Engelhartszell Abbey and Danube World, or a guided tour of the Jochenstein Lock on the Danube, which the ships navigate through the Wachau Valley. 

    Following lunch onboard the riverboat, join by for an optional bicycle excursion along the Danube to Aschach before continuing your cruise this afternoon, bound for Linz. Enjoy the Chef's signature dinner this evening after the riverboat's arrival in Linz. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D)

  • Day 05

    Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov or Linz

    Your ship stays docked in Linz today, with a choice of how you spend your day whether you are interested on full day excursions to Salzburg (Austria), or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, or remaining in Linz. Salzburg is enticing with Baroque architecture, painted wrought-iron signage, ornate church towers, and grand palaces. The walking tour explores Old Town, Mirabell Gardens, and Mozart's birthplace.

    Enjoy on your own time to have lunch and experience the sights as you wish, perhaps taking the funicular to see the fortress overlooking the town. Salzburg holds an important place in the cultural fabric of Austria. Alternatively, don't forget to travel through the beautiful landscapes to Cesky Krumlov, which has been called a living gallery of elegant Renaissance - era buildings. It is also graced with an incredibly well-preserved medieval heritage and charming ambiance. The town has earned its coveted designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic importance and physical beauty. 

    A walking tour takes you to part of Krumlov Castle; it is worth climbing the many steps to see firsthand the medieval. A third option would be allowing you to remain in Linz for your time to explore before returning to the riverboat for dinner. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D)

  • Day 06

    Wachau Valley cruise to Dürnstein

    Continue cruising through the Wachau Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved medieval landscapes. Dock in Dürnstein for a closer look at its 16th-century Baroque houses and 13th-century Romanesque church on a walking tour along cobblestone streets; or join for a bicycle ride in the Wachau Valley. 

    If you wish, visit the Augustinian Monastery. Enjoy some free time in this charming riverside town - perhaps taking an invigorating climb up the steps to the ruins of Kuenringerburg - where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransome and where you'll be rewarded with views of the river and beyond. Enjoy a wine tasting back in town before dinner on your riverboat this evening. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D)

  • Day 07

    The Imperial City of Vienna

    Wake up in Vienna, the city of emperors who ruled Europe for centuries! Join with local guides to pursue what interests you most, choosing from a city sightseeing tour with a drive along the "Ring"; a walking tour of Vienna with a focus on the city's Jewish heritage; or a guided bicycle ride around the city. 

    An afternoon at leisure enables you to experience the sights as you please, including outstanding museums, magnificent boulevards, the historic Vienna Prater amusement park, and more. Nothing compares to the royal treatment and pageantry you'll experience tonight at the private imperial evening in an opulent Viennese palace. 

    Waltz into the palace for welcome cocktails and dinner before for an unforgettable spectacle of beautiful ball gowns and a musical performance celebrating the legacy of the composers who made Vienna Europe's center of music during the Habsburg era.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D) 

  • Day 08

    Vienna sightseeing and on to Slovakia

    A choice of sightseeing this morning features either a tour of the Habsburgs’ Schönbrunn Palace, an architectural masterpiece and Austrian cultural treasure, or even a visit to the amazing Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg, including the Sisi Museum. 

    Have lunch onboard or spend the afternoon at leisure in Vienna. Your ship sets sail for Bratislava in neighboring Slovakia later this afternoon. After dinner onboard, a troupe of traditional Slovak dancers performs for you. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D)

  • Day 09

    Baroque in Bratislava

    Meet the local expert when he comes onboard to share insider anecdotes about ancient Bratislava, before you head off to explore the city by foot or on a bicycle. On a walking tour of the city's cobblestoned, explore the vehicle-free historic center or see 17 centuries of history chronicled in sites, including its 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall and St. Martin's Cathedral. 

    Or, pedal over to the "Iron Curtain area" with a local guide who shares personal insights about life. Back aboard ship and get ready to celebrate the end of your cruise with a farewell reception followed by dinner. 

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (B,L,D)

  • Day 10

    Disembark and Explore Budapest 

    Disembark your riverboat in Budapest this morning. Once two independent cities of Buda and Pest, Hungary's captial is filled with architecture which is known for its grandeur and style. Take a guided walking tour of the city's hilly Buda section this morning, such as visiting the Covered Market, Castle Hill, Fisherman's Bastion, and Matthias Church. Upon arrival at your hotel, have lunch and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Your hotel is ideally located on the flatter Pest side of the river. It is within walking distance of historic sites, shopping and local restaurants, which serves traditional and international cuisine. 

    Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch (B,L)

    Lodging: The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

  • Day 11

    Discover Pest & Party at the Akadémia Club

    Discover Pest this morning on a guided tour that includes patriotic Heroes' Square; fashionable Vaci Utca; the Parliament building; elegant Andrassy Avenue; and a special visit inside the State Opera House. Your choice of sightseeing focuses on the stories and sites associated with the Hungarian Revolution or the city's Jewish heritage with a visit to Dohanyi Synagogue, schedule permitting. Or, if you wish, join a local guide for a bicycle tour of city sights. Everyone meets up for a special farewell dinner at the grand Akademia Club in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - for Tauck guests only. 

    Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner (B,D)

    Lodging: The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

  • Day 12

    Journey Home 

    Tauck's delightful Danube River cruise ends in Budapest, Hungary. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport or the Keleti train station.

    Meals included: Breakfast (B)


Contact us about this itinerary

Cruise Line: TAUCK
Cruise ship: ms Joy

Accommodating up to 130 passengers as she winds her way along the mighty Danube River to offer our guests exclusive Tauck discoveries in timeless cities like Munich, Nürnberg, Vienna, Passau, Bratislava and Cesky Krumlov, the 443-foot ms Joy leads the way in spacious comfort with the most space per guest on Europe’s rivers.
Guest Capacity: 130
Length: 443-foot
Passenger Decks: 4

Route details
From Prague to Budapest

Dates (11 nights)
2019 departures are available from May to October

Overnight accommodations

  • Day 1 and Day 2
    ​InterContinental Prague, Czech Republic
  • Day 3 to Day 9
    ms Joy
  • Day 10 to Day 11
    The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest


  • All private Tauck shore excursions 
  • Two nights each in Prague and Budapest at centrally located hotels in the heart of the cities
    • InterContinental Prague, Czech Republic 
    • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
  • Exclusive & private Imperial Evening at a palace in Vienna featuring dinner and Viennese performers
  • Exclusive & private aperitif and dinner in Prague at Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle
  • Exclusive & private tour of Prague’s Baroque libraries, Strahov Monastery
  • Choice in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace or the Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg
  • Choice of a full day in Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov
  • Evenings of local performing artists and classical music aboard the riverboat
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 28 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners); select meals in local restaurants
  • Service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges

Charlotte Travel Exclusives

  • Complimentary One Night Pre & Post Cruise Hotel Stay

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