A Danube Symphony, MV Esmeralda

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Shearings

  • Return travel from the UK by coach with overnight stays including dinner and breakfast in Belgium and the Regensburg Area. Or fly to Budapest, returning from Munich
  • Services of a Shearings Cruise Manager
  • Discover breathtaking Budapest, the Hungarian capital
  • Explore Vienna and Schonbrunn Palace
  • Visit Salzburg and see the ‘Sound of Music’ sights
  • Full board basis starts after embarkation and first evening meal onboard your ship. Other meals may be included depending on travel type. Please see daily itinerary descriptions for included meals on each day.

Uncover the strong musical heritage of the Danube River on our enthralling cruise. Visit the beautiful Schonbrunn Palace, where a young Mozart discovered his great talent and delve into the spirit of the ‘Sound of Music’ on a guided city tour of Salzburg.


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).

Budapest Uncovered

One of the most magnificent cities in the world, Budapest is filled with incredible sights and sounds. Join us as we take a city tour to learn more about this wonderful capital of Hungary, with its stunning architecture, historical attractions and marvellous culture.

Admire sights such as the Hungarian Parliament building and Liberty Square, with its mixture of art nouveau and historicist architecture. There’s also the House of Terror Museum, the beautiful St Stephen's Basilica and the neo-Gothic Fisherman's Bastion.

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.


Wachau Valley Tour

Join a tour of the Wachau Valley, a beautiful wine-growing region. Passing vineyards, apricot groves and almond trees we travel to the beautiful town of Durnstein. The town is known for the stunning castle that overlooks it, standing here for almost 1000 years, it once held Richard the Lionheart as a prisoner following the Third Crusade.

Evening 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.

Danube Bend

The Danube north of Budapest is known for superb scenery and ancient towns. Our first stop will be at Visegrad which is known for its castles and forts which have guarded this part of the river from invaders since ancient times. We move onto Szentendre, a small town known for old houses and beautiful churches. For more than a century it has attracted Hungary's most famous artists and there are a number of galleries and exhibits that demonstrate this artistic heritage. Slightly off this track, there's the marzipan museum which includes a scale replica of the Hungarian Parliament building.

UFO Tower Bratislava

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.

Sound of Music Tour on Salzburg (Included)

Discover the places made famous by the Sound of Music with us today. These include Mirabell Gardens and the Pegasus Fountains, the family home at Schloss Leopoldskron, Hellbrun Palace and Mondsee Basilica.

Schonbrunn Palace (Included)

We visit the summer palace of the Habsburg Dysnasty in the centre of Austria’s capital, Vienna. Schonbrunn Palace contains over 300 years of history as well as beautiful Baroque architecture and vast, lavish gardens. We’ll take the Imperial tour, which gives us a picture of the different stylish eras that have shaped the palace and the lives and history of the people who lived here. Our tour includes a visit to the State Rooms at the palace, designed to the tastes of Franz Josef I and his wife Elisabeth, who ruled Austria-Hungary during the latter 19th century and the early 20th century. At the time the couple was one of the most powerful and important in Europe.

  • Europe
  • Germany
  • Passau
  • Austria
  • Linz
  • Durnstein
  • Vienna
  • Slovakia
  • Bratislava
  • Hungary
  • Esztergom
  • Budapest
Tour Types
  • 50 plus
  • Seniors
  • City
  • Entertainment
  • Foodie
  • History
  • Wildlife
  • Scenic
  • UK Coach Departures
Departure Points
  • South East
  • East Midlands
  • Yorkshire & Humberside
  • North East
  • North West & North Wales
  • West Midlands
  • South West

Day 1: UK to Belgium
We travel from the UK to an overnight hotel in Belgium where we'll enjoy an evening meal after check-in. (Dinner)

Day 2: Embark in Budapest 

We continue to Budapest to board the MV Esmeralda. We moor in Budapest tonight. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3: Budapest to Esztergom 

Join our optional Budapest city tour to discover this splendid city. Admire the Hungarian Parliament, St Stephen’s Basilica, Vajdahunyad Castle and Heroes’ Square. We then sail overnight to Esztergom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Esztergom to Bratislava 

Discover Esztergom, once the capital of Hungary and see its many historic sights and perhaps enjoy the local wines on our optional excursion. This afternoon we set sail and cruise through the night to Bratislava. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Bratislava to Vienna
Enjoy free time to explore Bratislava or join our optional tour to discover the cities many sights. By mid-afternoon, we begin our cruise to Vienna. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Vienna 

Explore vibrant Vienna with our included excursion to Schonbrunn Palace, a former 18th-century imperial summer residence of the imperial family. Stroll around the historic state-rooms and admire the impressive palace gardens. Join our optional Mozart and Strauss concert this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 

Day 7: Vienna to Durnstein 

Wake to the changing landscape of the Danube as we leave Vienna behind and sail to Durnstein, located in the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire this amazing scenery with an optional tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 

Day 8: Durnstein – Melk – Linz 

We depart Durnstein and arrive in Melk before midday. Consider our optional excursion to discover astounding Melk Abbey, overlooking the city. We cruise to Linz overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: Linz to Passau 

Discover Linz’s beautiful architecture at leisure. We enjoy an included excursion to nearby Salzburg, known for its association with the much loved ‘The Sound of Music’. This evening, we cruise to Passau. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Disembark in Passau 

Disembark after breakfast and continue back to an overnight hotel in the Regensburg area where we'll enjoy and evening meal after check-in. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 11: Return to the UK
After breakfast we travel back from Regensburg to the UK. (Breakfast)

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

Dates Price Single Availability
13-Jun-2021 for 11 Nights Visit Website

Touring with Shearings

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tour details

This tour is operated by Shearings

11 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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