Danube River Cruise – Europe’s Second Longest River

The Danube flows through some of Europe’s best preserved medieval towns and beautiful scenery full of history, culture, art and music.  It’s Europe’s second longest river and the only one to flow from East to West starting in Germany’s Black Forest and finally emerging in the Black Sea.

The Danube in some way touches 10 different countries; Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungry, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Moldova and because it connects with the Main and Rhine rivers it is now possible to cruise right through from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

A Danube river cruise  is always a pleasure but especially so around Christmas time when most of the ports of call will host special Christmas Markets and traditional music and entertainment.  These regions really know how to celebrate Christmas and the atmosphere will certainly provide some very special memories.  A typical four day cruise would travel from Vienna to Budapest and one of the special Christmastime cruises from Vienna to Nuremberg taking seven days.

Cruises from Vienna to Nuremberg

Your cruise will start in Vienna where you will probably be moored for two days whilst you take in the sights of this beautiful Austrian city.  The famous Habsburg and Hofburg Palaces, the Vienna opera house and St. Stephen’s cathedral are all important places to visit before perhaps experiencing your first taste of a Christmas Market.  Wooden huts decorated in greenery offer traditional wooden gifts, cakes and delicacies such as strudel and stollen, hand made jewellery and mulled wine; hot, spicy and delicious.  Stroll and soak up the atmosphere, traditional bands and carol singers all add to an unforgettable time.

From Austria’s third largest town Linz take an excursion to Salzburg, the home of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music’ this city is picture perfect with beautifully restored old buildings and yet more opportunity for buying special gifts.

Moving into Germany visit the medieval city of Regensburg with its white and gold chapel and the Historische Wurstküche or Old Sausage Kitchen, the country’s oldest restaurant dating back to the 12th century.  Here will be your first chance to experience a German Christmas market and perhaps try out a Wurstel or two.

Next stop Nuremberg, a city full of historic gothic churches and fine buildings despite suffering extensive damage during WWII.  This is Germany’s most famous market dating back to 1628, attention to detail is everything here, the streets are decorated with thousands of festive lights homes and shops are transformed into winter wonderlands and the stalls are full of handmade toys and metal work; something the area is famous for.  You may also sample something else the city is famous for – its beer.

There are many more fine itineraries on this beautiful river and not only at Christmas time, each season has something different to offer from the warm spring right through to the beautiful colours of autumn.  Which ever season you cruise the Danube,  you will discover many beautiful ports of call and see picturesque scenery every step of the way.

Related posts:

  1. German River Cruises – Breathtaking Scenery
  2. Moselle River Cruise: Explore the Jewels of Europe
  3. Rhine River Cruises from Amsterdam to Zurich
  4. Volga River Cruise: Europe’s largest river
  5. Italian River Barge Cruise on Brenta River

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