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The Danube – bucolic and blue

Songs have been sung, poems and plays written. The Danube. Johann Strauß dedicated a famous waltz to it, the Austrian writer Bettina Balàka made it the setting for a successful thriller (“The Whisper of Ice”). Not without reason. The Danube cannot be topped in its natural beauty. Sometimes it flows very quietly, sometimes it widens to form a lake and sometimes it shoots its water through narrow valleys. It is lined by majestic cities such as Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava – and by lush growth. If offers the most beautiful pictures during every season. One of its most impressive stretches is the Wachau. For over 30 kilometres you sail through a bucolic cultural landscape and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s so attractive you won’t even want to blink. Wine and fruit grow here like in the biblical stories of Adam and Eve.

Along the Danube

The Danube flows through ten countries – and thanks to their rich histories they have left impressive architectural testimonies. Monasteries, cathedrals, synagogues and minarets now stand where Romans and barbarians and Christians and Jews and Muslims once encountered each other. The Danube has brought cultures together since ancient times and sometimes divided them too. It extends for 2226 kilometres between Passau and the Black Sea. Franz I was the name of the passenger ship that brought travellers to and fro between Vienna and Budapest for the first time in 1830. Today, the Danube is a must for river cruise travellers.


Best of the danube

7 Nights DANUBE | Riverside Mozart
Treasures of the Danube Westbound
Treasures of the Danube Westbound
Starting off with the "Queen of the Danube", Budapest this cruise will give you the opportunity to enjoy well-known cities as well as smaller towns "off the beaten path" before you will conclude your Danube-experience in Vienna, the grand capital of Austria.
7 Nights DANUBE | Riverside Mozart
Treasures of the Danube Eastbound
Treasures of the Danube Eastbound
Vienna, a city of ornate architecture and distinguished composers at the very heart of European culture is the starting point of your cruise which will put you in touch with Austrian, Slovakian and Hungarian culture and finish in Budapest, Hungary`s enchanting and elegant capital.
3 Nights DANUBE | Riverside Mozart
Captivating Danube Capitals Westbound
Captivating Danube Capitals Westbound
Three majestic Habsburg capitals are delighted to present their architectual beauty and centuries of history to you on this cruise.
4 Nights DANUBE | Riverside Mozart
Autumn Along The Danube
Autumn Along The Danube
Stroll through the alleys of the pretty Danube town of Ybbs, the home of Austria's oldest Danube power plant. In Passau, the city of three rivers, art historians explore the cathedral, beer lovers take a guided tour and tasting in a brewery and nature lovers discover the region by bike. Linz offers a journey into the past and the future, both at the same time. On the one hand, there's the baroque architecture, the old city hall and the spectacular cathedral. And on the other hand, there is the Ars Electronica Center, one of the most important facilities of the UNESCO City of Media Arts. It is these contrasts that make this trip so special.
7 Nights DANUBE | Riverside Mozart
The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube
Starting in striking Budapest this cruise will bring you to Vienna via interesting Bratislava and lots of small historic towns and villages which incorporate many Austrian traditions.
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This is the city of classical music. It’s Mozart and Strauss. It's street art on a sandy beach and fun in the countryside. It’s bohemia and bourgeoisie and the finest baroque. And of course Art Nouveau. It’s bad-tempered waiters in great coffee houses. It’s Sigmund Freud and Gustav Klimt and Adolf Loos and Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Sisi and many others. It is the Spanish Riding School, an event for horse lovers. And of course it is the city of Schmäh (jokes anyone?) and scandals, on which the Viennese feast like cows on fresh grass on the alpine pasture. Last but not least: Vienna is the city on the Danube. Although it was not always so. The Viennese Danube river front is an artificial structure which was only created in the 19th century. Before that, the Danube flowed past Vienna in many arms through floodplains and uninhabited areas. Today, the Riverside Mozart can also dock right in front of the city. And then it starts. Marvel, wonder and rejoice. Vienna is a dream.



It is no coincidence that many filmmakers have chosen Budapest as a backdrop. Take EVITA (1996), for example – most of the scenes were shot not in Buenos Aires, but in Budapest. Anyone walking through the city, in the shadow of the State Opera House or across elegant Szabadság tér (Freedom Square) in the V. district, sees and feels it immediately. Budapest impresses. It is a metropolis and a spa city. It is Paris, Florence and Vienna in one. Many buildings were copied here. In fact, the Palais Batthyány, is an exact copy of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. A must: the castle district. Pastel-colored houses, built by their owners to be close to the Royal Palace. Or the National Gallery. Or the Labyrinth: it also served as a prison. Its most famous inmate: Vlad Tepes from Transylvania, who went down in history and stories as Count Dracula. And another suggestion. It is best to simply drift through Budapest. Then you will always come across enchanting stores like the Madison Perfumery. It is housed in the rooms of a 19th-century pharmacy. Not only the fragrances are enchanting, but also the furniture and accessories in the back room, all of which are original.



Once understated and unknown, since the turn of the millennium it has become something of a pearl on the Danube alongside Vienna and Budapest. Small, quaint and quiet, it shows its splendor at the castle, but also and especially in the old town where you will find fine buildings, such as the rococo Palais Esterházy, where the Russian composer Anton Rubinstein once lived. Yet all this grandeur is rivaled by a canal worker, of all people, who speaks for the humor of the Slovaks. They have dedicated a bronze monument to him. Cumil (Man at Work) is the name of the sculpture by artist Viktor Hulík. He mischievously looks out of a manhole cover at passers-by like a gawker. Subtle humor in the face of grand statues – this is a theme in this neat city.



Linz? Often, the only things that come to mind are “Linzer Torte” and Mozart’s Linz Symphony. The city is truly underestimated, with its baroque main square and magnificent old town. Do you love a good market? Then Linz is your town, boasting eleven farmers markets and two Christmas Markets. One, the “Urfahraner Market” takes place in both the Spring and Fall. Shopping anyone?



Passau is first and foremost a university town. That is why it is young, vibrant and full of life. Then there are the three rivers, the Danube, Inn and Ilz, which flow together in the city and give it a special character. Speaking of character, Passau has quite the amount of character thanks to the prevalence of Baroque and Gothic architecture including many beautiful churchs and cathedrals as well as the Veste Oberhaus, a fortress since the Middle Ages.

Wachau Valley


What were the robber barons doing in the little rose garden? What makes Dürnstein unique? And anyway, what do you do as a river cruiser in the Wachau? Quite simple: enjoy, enjoy and enjoy again. The Wachau Valley is pastoral perfection. A synthesis of nature's arts: rugged mountains almost 3,000 feet / 900 meters high, terraces for winegrowing, and again, churches and castles from the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque eras. No wonder unesco has placed its protective hands over this world heritage site. More than 18 miles / 30 kilometers you will sail, yet a single foot you won’t want to miss. The steep slopes keep out cold winds and radiate the heat of the sun again in the evening. Wine and fruit grow here as in the biblical stories of Adam and Eve. The best apricots come from this region. They find their way into chocolates, delicious dumplings, jam and noble brandy. Is your mouth watering? Good! Come aboard. We will spoil you with these delicacies.



Dürnstein is a village with narrow streets and the canons’ monastery, whose blue church tower stretches out majestically into the Heavens. High above the village is the castle, or rather what remains of the castle. It is there that you can trace an exciting story: King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned here – and would possibly have died there if a singer had not saved him.

Stift Melk


Does anyone still remember Adson of Melk? Right, that’s the main character in the novel. The name of the rose. The story begins in Melk Abbey and ends in its breathtaking library, in whose 12 rooms more than 100,000 volumes stand in fine order, virtually piling up. (Here, the word “piling up” still has an entirely positive meaning!) Melk Abbey is one of the most magnificent examples of marble, gilded wood, stucco and finely mastered frescoes. Built in 1746 by order of the Benedictine monks, the monastery is perched on a rock nearly 200 feet / 60 meters above the ground. When you stand on the Altane (the great terrace of the monastery) the view of the Danube and the town of Melk almost brings tears to your eyes with emotion. What a view!



In order to understand Krems and, above all, to admire it, one must look at its history: The city was a trading center in ancient times. It’s well-known weekly markets sold cloth, wool, skins, wrought iron, copper, tin, swords, millstones, poppies, pepper, saffron, nuts as well as spices. Above all, salt was also sold from here as far as Burgenland and Bohemia. In the tobacco factory in Krems, 75,000 Virginia cigars were still being produced annually in 1920. The town is considered one of the most ornate in Austria, and one of its special places is the Körnermarkt. Parts of the tobacco factory are now used for the university and the charming Kunsthalle, featuring modern and contemporary Austrian art.



Typical Austria. The rococo theatre in Grein was built in 1793 solely to provide a little diversion for the guests passing through. It is located in the middle of the enchanted old town and is still preserved. Its wooden hall is situated in today’s town hall. You have to have seen it. And then there is Greinsburg Castle with its maritime museum. A perfect overview of the history of navigation on the Danube!

Our ship on the river danube

Riverside Mozart

The Riverside Mozart is an exceptional phenomenon. As one of the most luxury river cruise ships on the Danube, and certainly the most well-appointed, she knows – just like her famous namesake – how to captivate and constantly surprise her guests.

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