A Danube Panorama

Melk Abbey
View of Durnstein at the Danube
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Shearings

Let us take you on a journey of discovery on the mighty Danube River, stopping at key European towns and cities of Austria, Hungary and Slovakia along the way. Enjoy a wonderful panorama of Bratislava from the viewing platform of the UFO Bridge, as well as stunning views of the snaking Danube winding its way into the distance.


UFO Tower Bratislava (Included)

The UFO Bridge is perhaps the most famous symbol of the city of Bratislava. On this excursion we’ll take in the view of this breathtaking city. From the top you get fantastic views of the city’s castle which sits high on a hill, its pristine whitewashed walls standing out like a beacon for the rest of the city. There are also great views of the old town and St Martin’s Cathedral, just across the river, as well as views of the snaking Danube winding its way into the distance towards Austria. Looking back the other way you see an altogether different, but still fascinating view of the Communist-era concrete blocks of Petrzalka, which was the largest block housing complex in Central Europe.

Discover Vienna (Included)

Join us for an amazing tour of Vienna, allowing us to discover this splendid city for ourselves. Our coach tour will begin as we travel past Vienna’s large park, the Prater, admiring views of the famous Ferris wheel and then on to the State Opera House, also seeing the Fine Arts and History Museum. We will also see the stunning Hofburg Palace during our city tour, along with the Parliament building, the Town Hall and the Burg Theatre. Making our way to St. Stephen's Cathedral in the city centre, we will disembark our coach and enjoy a walking tour of Vienna. We will stroll along the Graben, one of Vienna’s most famous streets. After our walking tour, we return to our coach and begin our return journey, taking in the famous buildings by painter and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, stopping to admire the unique Hundertwasserhaus.

Explore Esztergom & Wine

Esztergom is one of the oldest cities in Hungary founded around 972 AD and was the capital of Hungary from the 10th till the mid-13th century. The most famous landmark of Esztergom is the Basilica situated on Castle Hill overlooking the city.  Join us as we take the electric train 50 metres up to the impressive Basilica with its 72m-high central dome which can be seen for many miles around. Inside the grandiose 19th century church we see where Franz Liszt used to play the organ and admire the renaissance chapel from the 15th century. We enjoy a glass of wine in the cellars of Basilica. The city has a wonderful historical and architectural heritage that includes many Baroque buildings, the Primate's Palace, the Franciscan monastery and several chapels and churches. One the newest additions to Esztergom is the Mária Valéria Bridge, which connects the city with Slovakia. Esztergom is truly a beautiful city hence it is often referred to as the 'Hungarian Rome'.

Illuminated Budapest

Budapest is a beautiful city, even more so at night. Marvel at the beautiful illuminated buildings and bridges as we drive past Parliament and Heroes' Square on the Pest side of the city to a local chapel, here we enjoy a short organ concert along with a glass of champagne. We then head across Chain Bridge up to Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city, here you will enjoy spectacular views of Budapest and beyond, before heading back to the ship.  

Imperial Budapest

Join us on our excursion of this historical city, which is actually two cities astride the Danube. Our guided tour of Budapest takes us by coach on a visit to both. On the Pest side we see St Stephen’s Basilica, Vajdahunyad Castle and Heroes’ Square, which is dominated by the impressive Millenary Monument, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We then cross to Buda and the Castle District, where we find the seven-hundred year-old Matthias Church, one of the jewels of Budapest. We also see the famous Fisherman’s Bastion, which offers great views over the city. The city is home to the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Szechenyi Medicinal Bath) and the third largest Parliament building in the world, once the largest in the world. The city also contains the third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica) and the second largest Baroque castle in the world (Godollo).

Majestic Melk Abbey

Stift Melk (Melk Abbey) is a Baroque-era masterpiece, located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Danube. Part palace, part monastery and part opera set, Melk is a magnificent vision thanks greatly to its upward-reaching twin towers. Capped with baroque helmets and cradling a 208-foot-high dome, this abbey is a true Baroque masterpiece. Our tour of the abbey includes the Imperial rooms, Marble Hall, and the balcony, which offers fine views of the river. It’s likely that Napoleon probably used this room as a lookout when his headquarters were based in Melk for his campaign against Austria. We also see the magnificent library, with more than 100,000 books, nearly 2,000 manuscripts, and a superb ceiling fresco by the master Paul Troger; the Marmorsaal, whose windows on both sides enhance the ceiling frescoes; and the glorious Stiftskirche (abbey church) of Saints Peter and Paul, an exquisite example of the Baroque style. Following the tour you can enjoy some free time to wander around the abbey’s park with its impressive Baroque garden, the recently restored northern bastion. Or you may just wish to sit and relax in the abbey’s restaurant with a coffee and admire the beautiful views.  

Mozart and Strauss Concert

Vienna is undoubtedly Europe’s musical capital, and this excursion will give us the opportunity to enjoy the music of two of Austria’s favourite sons. Sit back and relax as we listen to the music of Johann Strauss, the Waltz King, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the infant prodigy. We make the short journey by coach to the concert hall for an evening full of Viennese charm, with the lilting sound of waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operetta and piano concerto melodies. Accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and our enchanting ballet soloists, Vienna's classical music reveals itself as a living firework display for all the senses taking us back to the days of old Vienna for a truly unforgettable evening.

Transfer to Durnstein

This charming town on the Danube River in Austria is a wonderful example of the traditional Austrian way of life. With its beautiful surrounding scenery and slow pace, we’ll enjoy excellent time at leisure to discover the sights here. The major attraction is the castle, perched high above the town it was the place in 1192 that Richard the Lionheart was captured by the Duke of Austria during the Third Crusade.

Vienna by night

Join us as we get to know Vienna by night with our short city tour taking in the Ringstrasse where you will be dazzled by the majestic buildings and bright lights. We see the giant Ferris Wheel, House of Johann Strauss where he composed the Blue Danube Waltz. We then cross the Danube to the city centre seeing the Ringstrasse with monuments of Radetzky, Maria Theresia and Mozart. We also see the State Opera, Parliament, Karlsplatz and the Imperial Palace before passing by the birthplace of the composer Franz Schubert and on to our wine tavern in a nearby village. Here we sample the wonderful atmosphere of this busting city as a local Schrammel musician plays the accordion or violin whilst we enjoy a glass of wine and sparkling water – a truly Viennese experience to remember.


MS Serenade 2 (primary)

The stunning MS Serenade 2 offers a truly unique cruising experience. This beautiful and sleek ship has been designed to create a luxurious, modern and spacious atmosphere on board. A real highlight of the Serenade 2 is the superbly designed Forward Observation Lounge where you can sit back and relax enjoying stunning views along the river. We’re sure that once you have experienced the magic of the Serenade 2 you will be back next year! Allow us to welcome you on board our newest addition to the Shearings river cruise family, the MS Serenade 2. Inaugurated in 2007, this beautiful ship really is at the cutting edge of design, guaranteeing the most comfortable possible surroundings for her passengers. The cabins on board the Serenade 2 are amongst the very best and the largest of any river cruise vessel. They feature hotel style beds (not berths or bunks) and a well-appointed bathroom, with WC, bath and separate shower. All cabins feature a flat screen TV, phone, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, safe and hairdryer, plus floor-to-ceiling sliding French windows on the upper two decks. Relax on-board, where our highly professional crew and cruise manager, will be happy to help. Why not enjoy the spacious Sun Deck which incorporates covered shaded areas, and space to relax in one of the plentiful deck chairs or sun loungers. Perhaps partake in a game of giant chess or visit the on-board fitness suite which incorporates a small gym and sauna. Enjoy contemporary cuisine in the chic Mendelssohn Restaurant on-board located on the Mozart Deck, where each day begins with a sumptuous breakfast buffet, with English and Continental delicacies available. At lunchtime, sit down to a mouth watering buffet, helping yourself to a fantastic selection of foods, from cold meats and cheeses to a choice of hot dishes. Come dinnertime, there will be a four-course evening meal to enjoy with your fellow cruise passengers, sampling gourmet dishes from our superb on-board chefs. Not only this, you will also be treated to an impressive Captain’s gala dinner during your cruise, which is sure to be a wonderfully memorable experience. And what better way to the end of the day, than a visit to the superb Captain’s Club for a post dinner drink.

  • Europe
  • Austria
  • Vienna
Tour Types
  • City
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Wildlife
  • Scenic

Day One: UK to Frankfurt Travel from St Pancras station via Brussels to Frankfurt, where you will be met by a coach to transfer you to a local hotel for the night. You’ll have a lovely evening meal following check in.

Day Two: Travel to Linz for embarkation, cruise to Vienna We transfer back to the station and continue by  train through Germany to Austria to Linz where you will be transferred to the port to embark onto the MS Serenade 2. This evening we commence our cruise by sailing to Vienna. 

Day Three: Vienna to Budapest Today we enjoy an included visit to the Vienna Spanish Riding School, which has been training horses for performance for more than 450 years. We will take a guided tour of the school and stables, learning about the workings of the institution as well as a bit about its history. This evening you can join an optional Mozart and Strauss concert or an optional Vienna by Night excursion. Later this evening we leave Vienna and sail towards Budapest.

Day Four: Budapest   We will arrive in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, by mid-afternoon. Budapest is often referred to as a city with two personalities – with the hilly Buda area and flatter Pest area occupying opposite river banks. It is a city of full of surprises with a lively centre, splendid architecture, elegant promenade, hidden courtyards, pretty parks and lavish spa baths. We moor overnight in Budapest.

Day Five: Budapest to Esztergom A day at leisure in Budapest. You will have time to explore further at your own leisure or join our optional Imperial Budapest excursion. We set sail for Esztergom during the night.

Day Six: Esztergom to Bratislava Wake in Esztergom, where we spend the morning. During the afternoon we cruise onwards to Bratislava.

Day Seven: Bratislava to Durnstein Arrival in Bratislava. Dubbed ‘The Little Big City’, the Slovakian capital boasts a vibrant atmosphere and a unique history. Bratislava Castle is perched at the top of a hill and overlooks the cobblestones, winding lanes and historic buildings of the old town. After lunch we depart Bratislava and continue our cruise to Durnstein.

Day Eight: Durnstein – Melk - Linz We spend a morning in Durnstein, a small town in the Wachau Valley, surrounded by vineyards. The town’s most famous landmark is the medieval ruins of Kuenringerburg Castle, sat high above the town, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned from 1192 to 1193. At lunchtime we depart Durnstein and sail to Melk, where we spend an afternoon at leisure. Overnight cruise to Linz.

Day Nine: Disembark in Linz, travel to Frankfurt We arrive in Linz early morning and disembark. We then transfer back to the station from where we travel to Frankfurt where we’ll meet a transfer to a local hotel for the night.

Day Ten: Frankfurt to UK We leave after breakfast and transfer to the station to travel back to the UK via Brussels.

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Shearings

With over 114 years experience, Shearings is the largest escorted tour operator with over 800 pick-up points across the UK. They offer 170 destinations to suit diverse tastes and budgets.

What differentiates Shearings is the scope and diversity of their holidays, which cater to diverse tastes and budgets. They offer an unrivalled range of expertly planned itineraries throughout the year, with everything from 2-day weekend breaks to 17-day escorted tours.

Their knowledgeable and friendly teams look after every aspect of your journey from start to finish. The drivers, tour managers and hotel staff are always on-hand to take care of you and ensure you get the very best from your holiday.

Shearings offer a superb selection of amazing holidays by air and rail, as well as an extraordinary range of beautiful river cruises, sailing along some of Europe’s most enchanting waterways. You will find an assortment of inspiring itineraries to choose from, including Festival & Events breaks, Horticultural & Garden tours, BattlefieldsTours, and premium Grand Tourer holidays.

Shearings also caters for the single travellers, with its award-winning Your Time breaks, designed exclusively with the independent traveller in mind.


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