The River Danube, stretching 1,800 miles, is the only major river in Europe that snakes its way from west to east. Originating from its source in the Black Forests of Germany, passing through eight different countries before streaming into the Black Sea, a cruise on the Danube offers passengers an epic journey through the heart of Europe like no other.
Many Danube cruises head upstream from the Black Sea, beginning an amazing sightseeing experience that transports you back through time as you experience the wonders of Europe’s cultural heritage.
Before embarking at Constanta, Romania’s major commercial seaport and resort hub, passengers can visit the many historical sites in the city such as the Museum of Romanian Folk Art, Museum of National History and the Peter and Paul Orthodox Church.
From Constanta, our ship sails down the Danube-Black Sea Canal before disembarking in Oltenita for a delightful trip to Bucharest. The Romanian capital is regarded as the “Little Paris” due to its elegant and stylish structures, and it sophisticated people, and is a place to enjoy Romanian culture at its finest with attractions like the Village Museum (Muzeul Satului), the Royal Palace Square and the magnificent structure of The Patriarchal Cathedral.
Next stop on the list is Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, one of the most romantic towns situated along the Yantra River. Overlooking the town is the Tsarevets Fortress, a 12th century structure with cobbled streets and prehistoric stone homes clinging to the river bank.
As we continue the Danube cruise, we pass by the Iron Gate, a narrow passage on the Danube between the Balkan mountains and Carpathians, where a moment of breath-taking scenary awaits as you sail by the immense Danube Gorge, which serves as a spectacular natural border between Romania and Serbia.
Further stop-offs include Belgrade, the beautiful capital of Serbia and the former Yugoslavia, and then Osijek, the biggest city in eastern Croatia and the core industrial zone located along the Drava River.
The sights become even more spectacular as we reach Budapest, known as the “Jewel on the Danube”. This majestic city will hold you in awe with its wonderful sights – the St. Stephen’s Basilica, Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Church, Danube Promenade and the Heroes’ Square to name just a few.
Embarking once again, we head off on a voyage to the “City of Music” in Vienna, Austria. Vienna is best known for its Blue Danube Waltz and its rich cultural history, and here we can re-live the city’s imperial past, taking sights like the Danube Tower, Belvedere palace, Ringstrasse and the famous Vienna Opera House.
The last leg of this dream-like voyage takes us away from Austria, towards our last stop at Nuremberg in Germany, widely regarded as one of Bavaria’s most enchanting cities. Upon disembarking for the last time, you will still have plenty of time to explore the Medieval Castle, German National Museum and the Hauptmarkt before you finally wave goodbye to the magic of the Danube.
For those interested in a cruise like no other, there are a variety of Danube river cruise packages on offer. Costs will differ based on the length of the voyage operator, with cruises lasting from 8 days to 20 days available. Some of the most well known operators include Viking River Cruises, Ama Waterways, Avalon Waterways and Blue Danube Holidays.