Best Time to Cruise Europe

Danube River Cruising

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The Danube River snakes its way through 10 countries — starting off in Germany and ending in the Ukraine. It is the longest river in the European Union (at nearly 1800 miles long) and — no surprise — also one of the most popular waterways for river cruising with many popular ports and attractions to discover along the river banks. Not sure if a trip down the Danube is right for you? Here’s some tips on where to go, what to do, and top cruise lines to check out:

Ports To Visit 

Danube River cruises tend to debark in Hungary, Germany or Austria with popular stops in cities like Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, and Nuremberg.

AmaWaterways cruise ship makes its way through Germany.

Cruise Lines To Take You There 

For those interested in a river cruise down the Danube, there are a few options.

Tauck Tours 

Travelers that book a cruise with Tauck Tours can enjoy wine tastings at private vineyards, visits to medieval towns, and entertainment during visits to cities like Bucharest, Budapest, Prague and Vienna. Here’s what else to expect, according to Tauck:

  • Exclusive private inside guided visit to Strahov Monastery libraries in Prague
  • Lunch at a castle in Cesky Krumlov
  • Private dinner and local entertainment at the grand Akadémia Klub in Budapest
  • Visit to ruins of Vlad Tepes’ palace & other historic sites in Targoviste
  • Private home visit in Vukovar area with Croatian family who returned home years after the war
  • Poignant visit to Mauthausen Memorial, site of concentration camp
  • Private reception, musical entertainment and dinner at 16th-century Lobkowitz Palace at Prague Castle
  • Wine tasting in the picture-perfect Wachau Valley town of Dürnstein, Austria
  • Private dinner and local entertainment at the grand Akadémia Klub in Budapest
  • Visit to 13th-century castle in mountains outside Bratislava
  • Private museum visit & private piano performance at Bartók House in Budapest
  • Traditional heuriger lunch featuring local wine, food & entertainment in the Vienna Woods
  • Exclusive Imperial Evening with reception, dinner and musical performances at Palais Pallavicini, Vienna
  • Private dinner & entertainment at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest

Viking River Cruises

Couples looking to rekindle that romance, can easily keep the spark alive by booking a trip on Viking’s Romantic Danube Cruise. Here’s some of what the cruise offers:

  • 8-day cruise visiting 3 countries & 6 ports
  • Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites6 included shore excursions with local guide & headset
  • 6 included shore excursions with local guide & headset
  • Culture Curriculum®: Enjoy musical entertainment highlighting Austrian & Hungarian classics; attend lectures on the European Union, Viennese coffeehouses and Mozart; learn how to make your own apple strudel
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • All onboard meals featuring regional specialties & always available American classics
  • Welcome Cocktail Reception & Farewell Dinner
  • Multiple dining venues with open seating
  • Most al fresco dining on Europe’s rivers
  • 24/7 specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Organic herb garden
  • River-view stateroom
  • Room steward & twice-daily housekeeping service

Avalon Waterways

Another cruise line, Avalon Waterways, offers a popular 11-day cruise from Prague to Budapest. There are plenty of excursions to choose from — including a beer tasting and tours of Hradcany Castle or Czech dumplings.



Families can also book a river cruise designed just for them. Disney now offers a 8-day cruise with excursions like bike rides from Melk to Krems and a visit to city Sound of Music made famous, Salzburg.

Photo credit: Disney

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