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    The view from Kalemegdan Fortress
  • *
    Budapest, a tale of two cities
  • *
    Vienna, the city of music

Budapest and the Scenic Danube

The Danube

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A glass of wine All Inclusive on board ship

Explore the great capital cities of the Danube

Your holiday begins in the beautiful capital of Hungary, Budapest, where you’ll spend two nights at the 4-star Hilton Garden Inn Budapest (4Q). The city is a treasure trove of architectural style encompassing baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau, which you’ll see during an included tour. Alternatively, you may choose to experience the local culture and cuisine by joining an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall. After soaking up the city sights join Spirit of the Danube, to begin your Danube river cruise

Arriving in Vukovar, perhaps embark on an optional tour into the historic centre with its baroque arches and classical buildings, before visiting the poignant Ovcara Memorial. Continue cruising, pausing at pretty Donji Milanovac in the Djerdap National Park, before passing through the dramatic scenery of the Iron Gates – the largest and longest gorge in Europe. Enjoy included visits to medieval Golubac Fortress and Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress before arriving in Novi Sad, the meeting point of European and Balkan cultures. Contrast the traditional Hungarian town of Kalocsa with Bratislava, Slovakia’s bustling capital city, before cruising to Vienna. Choose between an included culinary-themed walking tour from Albertina Square to the Imperial Palace and an included sightseeing tour, which involves a drive around the Ringstrasse encircling the old city. Both offer a unique window on this musical city, steeped in imperial history. For a grand finale to your holiday why not spend the evening at an ornate Viennese palace listening to the work of Mozart performed live?

Including...

A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed2 nights Breakfasts only in a hotel, 11 nights All Inclusive aboard the ship

Dinner plate34 meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners

CocktailFree bar on board open 15 hours a day

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board the ship

PersonCruise Host

Plus...

  • Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
  • All gratuities on board
  • Return flights and transfers

MapIncluded excursions

  • Budapest city tour OR Budapest culinary walking tour
  • Golubac Fortress
  • Belgrade and Kalemegdan Fortress
  • Vienna city tour OR Vienna culinary walking tour

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

The free bar on board is open from 9am to midnight and serves non-branded alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Celebrity Guest - Paul Rankin

During the first week of your cruise on October 14, 2022 departure, you will be joined by celebrity chef, Paul Rankin – head chef at the Stein Inn on the Isle of Skye and founder of Northern Ireland’s first Michelin Starred restaurant, Roscoff.

Paul is probably best known for being one of the longest standing chefs on the popular television series Ready Steady Cook, and has appeared on many other programmes since then, including several of his own series, such as The Rankin Challenge. A successful cookery author, Paul’s books include New Irish Cookery, Dublin Dining and Gourmet Ireland, to name but a few. He is also an ambassador and consultant for Sodexo’s education programme, inspiring healthy eating among children in UK schools. As well as all this, Paul has his own range of traditional Irish breads and sausages, which can be found in well-known supermarkets.

save up to £500 per person
Prices shown include any applicable saving, may only be available on selected cabin grades and departures and for a limited number of bookings, subject to availability.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Budapest

Sunset over Budapest, Hungary

Fly to Hungary’s capital and transfer (a journey of approximately 14 miles, which will take around 30 minutes) to the locally rated 4-star Hilton Garden Inn Budapest (4Q) for a two-night stay.

You have the rest of the day to settle in and perhaps do a little local exploring.


Day 2 Budapest

Buda Castle, Budapest

Three cities became one when Buda, Pest and Óbuda merged in 1873 and though unified they are still very different in character. Buda is older and more graceful, with its cobbled streets and medieval architecture, while Pest is the administrative and commercial centre, and has wide avenues and 19th-century public buildings. Óbuda is the oldest part of Budapest with museums and Roman ruins.

An included tour will reveal the highlights, from UNESCO-listed Buda Castle on the west bank, to the impressive Hungarian Parliament buildings in Pest on the east bank.

Alternatively join an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall.


Day 3 Budapest

Budapest with the River Danube

After breakfast at your hotel, check out and transfer to the port to embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner on board this evening.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 4 Budapest 🎧

Budapest Royal Castle and Chain Bridge

This morning you’ll have the opportunity to join an optional tour with a focus on Budapest’s Art Nouveaux movement.

Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 5 Vukovar

Vukovar water tower alongside the Danube

This morning you’ll arrive in Vukovar, the largest Croatian town and river port on the Danube, during breakfast. Vukovar was a thriving town before the Yugoslav War and its unscathed belle époque architecture can be compared with shell-scarred buildings preserved in memoriam, during your visit here.

Set sail this evening and sail overnight towards Donji Milanovac.

Vukovar Vukovar-Syrmia Croatia Europe

Day 6 Donji Milanovac

Donji Milanovac on the Danube

Shortly after lunch you’ll arrive in the pretty town of Donji Milanovac, on the banks of the Danube in the midst of the Djerdap National Park, the largest, and possibly most beautiful, of Serbia's five national parks. The region has a rich history, and this afternoon, you may choose to join an optional excursion to the Lepenski Vir Mesolithic site, revealing a series of villages and rock carvings dating back to 6400 BC and the earliest examples of ‘monumental’ sculptures.

Your ship moors here overnight.

Donji Milanovac Serbia Europe

Day 7 Donji Milanovac to the Iron Gates

The Iron Gate gorge on the Danube between Serbia and Romania

Spirit of the Danube sets sail early this morning and later will sail through a particularly scenic stretch of the Danube – the world-famous Iron Gate gorge, between Romania and Serbia, the largest and longest in Europe, and the Iron Gates is the narrowest and deepest part. Head out on deck and see how the ship manoeuvres through two locks by the Djerdap power station.

Continue sailing overnight towards the village of Golubac.

Day 8 Golubac to Belgrade

Medieval fortress in Golubac, Serbia

An early arrival in Golubac enables you to spend the morning on an included visit to the medieval fortress, which stands guard over the entrance to the Iron Gates and was first mentioned in a Hungarian charter issued in 1337.

Spirit of the Danube will continue sailing in the early afternoon towards Belgrade, arriving this evening.

Belgrade Serbia Europe

Day 9 Belgrade 🎧

St Sava Cathedral, Belgrade, Serbia

Serbia's capital, Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Explore its key attractions, including the Kalmegadan Fortress, the cathedral and St Sava Temple, all set on the waterfront, during an included excursion this morning. The Kalemegdan Fortress, parts of which date back to the 18th century, looms over the city below commanding glorious views. The site of military fortifications from the 2nd century onwards, it has been tussled over by the Romans, the Goths, the Huns, the Avars, the Serbs, the Turks and the Austrians in turn. Today it also serves as Belgrade’s central park for all to enjoy.

This afternoon, perhaps utilise the interactive maps and audio headset to conduct an independent tour of the city. Depart late tonight and cruise overnight towards Novi Sad.

Belgrade Serbia Europe

Day 10 Novi Sad

Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad

Spend the morning at leisure in this city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with the Danube forming part of the border.

Novi Sad is the capital of Vojvodina, the northern Autonomous Province of Serbia. Situated on the Danube between Budapest and Belgrade, it's a treasured regional and cultural centre. You can’t miss the Petrovaradin Fortress, Built between 1692 and 1790, the upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of passages and galleries, with officers’ residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. There’s the City Museum within the fortress walls where you can find out more and also see artisan workshops. The old town is home to some fine 18th and 19th-century architecture.

Set sail early this afternoon and spend the rest of the day relaxing on board Spirit of the Danube as she continues towards Kalosca.

Novi Sad Serbia Europe

Day 11 Kalocsa

The Bishop’s Palace of Kalocsa

Arrive in Kalocsa this morning and take the opportunity to join an optional tour of Puszta or embark on an optional walking tour of Kalocsa.

Spirit of the Danube continues cruising towards Bratislava in the afternoon.

Kalocsa Hungary Europe

Day 12 Bratislava 🎧

Medieval St Michael Gate tower, Bratislava

This afternoon you arrive in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava.

Take the opportunity to explore the city’s old quarter, overlooked by the massive rectangular castle, and admire the attractive Habsburg architecture, independently or on an optional city tour. This afternoon perhaps venture up the UFO observation tower for panoramic views and the opportunity to sample locally brewed beer.

Set sail again late this evening cruising overnight bound for Vienna.

Slovakia Europe

Day 13 Vienna 🎧

Albertina Square, Vienna

Arrive in Vienna – steeped in imperial and musical history – before breakfast.

This morning choose between an included culinary-themed walking tour from Albertina Square to the Imperial Palace and an included sightseeing tour, which involves a drive around the Ringstrasse, encircling the old city. This afternoon an optional excursion visits grand Schönbrunn Palace. You may wish to spend the final evening of your holiday in Viennese style – after dinner on board, you can attend an optional performance of music by Mozart and Strauss in one of the great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna.

Vienna Austria Europe

Day 14 Vienna to UK

Disembark after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Budapest and the Scenic Danube

The Danube