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Travel advice

An autumn River cruise with Saga

1. See Europe’s most beautiful rivers in a whole new light

Dürnstein, Austria

The mighty Rhine…the glorious Danube…the pretty Moselle…the picturesque Douro…the delightful Dutch and Belgian riversSaga’s autumn cruises cover them all.

And even if you’ve enjoyed a spring or summer cruise on any of these beautiful rivers, you’ll see a whole new, wonderful side to them as the landscape ripens into autumn.

2. River cruising in autumn is a great time to visit

Amsterdam in autumn

Some of the most spectacular destinations can get very crowded – and very hot – in the midst of the summer season. But in the autumn, temperatures begin to drop, the crowds disperse, and sightseeing becomes truly pleasurable.

Simply bring along a few extra layers – a couple of jumpers, (it can be chilly exploring wine cellars); perhaps some thermal underwear; a raincoat; a warm hat and gloves - although there will still be warm, sunny days to enjoy in autumn.

3. Join us on fascinating excursions

Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany

Cochem Reichsburg Castle and Wine Tasting

Depart your ship by minibus, and head up the hillside to Reichsburg Castle to learn about its colourful history, taking in the panoramic views of the Moselle Valley and the river below.

During your castle visit, your guide will reveal the story of its rescue and restoration into a grand 19th-century neo-Gothic wonder. Today, it’s a showcase for Renaissance and Baroque furniture; after exploring the fascinating displays, head back on a short, guided walk to a local vineyard and winery. Here you’ll learn about the production of the iconic Moselle wine, and celebrate the season with a tasting session.

Vienna Classical Evening Concert

Renowned for its opera houses and concert halls, we know that a trip to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without a chance to enjoy an after-dinner concert of Viennese music – so please join us for a magical, musical evening.

We’ll travel to Palace Augsberg or one of Vienna’s other spectacular palaces, all situated near the famous Ringstrasse and Parliament. Here, we’ll relax and be transported back to 18th-century Vienna as we enjoy the music of the amazing Strauss family of composers, who were largely responsible for the popularisation of the waltz.

The Chamber Orchestra will be joined for part of the programme by an opera singer, who will perform popular pieces such as ‘A Little Night Music’, ‘Papageno-Papagena’ from ‘the Magic Flute’, or ‘Ball Sirens’ from ‘The Merry Widow’.

Eltz Castle – a Fairytale in the Forest

Depart by coach for your journey to fairytale Eltz Castle, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful in Germany. This 850-year- old castle is today owned by the 34th generation of the von Eltz family and is one of the only complexes in Germany that has never been conquered in conflict.

In the company of an expert guide, you’ll explore this unique castle and discover more about its history – including the treasure chamber in the cellar vaults, which houses more than 500 masterpieces of art from the 12th – 19th centuries.

Bonn – birthplace of Beethoven

Our tour to explore Bonn’s main attractions begins as you walk off the ship to meet your knowledgeable guide. One of the first sights you’ll see is the Beethoven monument, overlooking the city as a proud reminder of the iconic composer.

Passing by the Romanesque Minster Cathedral, the University of Bonn (formerly the Elector’s Palace), and the grand baroque City Hall, your guide leads you to the banks of the Rhine to enjoy the wonderful autumnal spectacle of Germany’s oldest nature park, Siebengebirge (‘Seven Hills’ in English). Finally, visit the Beethoven House Museum to learn more about the great composer and his early life and work in this charming German city.

4. Enjoy magical autumn scenery

The glittering Moselle set against autumnal scenery

autumn is a wonderful time for river cruising, As the trees change, the riverbanks are transformed into a blaze of copper, red and gold, and the many vineyards are also hung with spectacular festoons of fiery foliage. The towns and villages are gearing up for harvest festivals, and restaurants feature delicious seasonal produce.

And – of course – there’s the wine! Now’s the perfect time to see the harvest and sample the best wines from famous wine-producing regions.

5. Saga makes your autumn river cruise simple – and simply the best!

Guests on Spirit of the Danube

A luxury European river cruise with Saga means hassle-free enjoyment all the way.

  • UK return travel service
  • Well-appointed cabin with your own private balcony
  • All-inclusive
  • Plus selection of included excursions

So join us on a river cruise in September, October or November for an autumn you’ll always remember!

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.