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    Autumn in the Wachau Valley
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    Budapest, a city of two halves
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    Novemberfest Traditions
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    Passau’s Waterfront

Colours of the Danube and Novemberfest

The Danube

  • A car with a tick VIP on selected river cruises
  • A plate with a knife and fork Full board

Admire the autumn colours of the Danube

Contrast the deep blue Danube with the Autumn colours of the surrounding landscapes during this cruise aboard Spirit of the Danube.

Explore the historic cities of Budapest and Vienna during included sightseeing tours, and perhaps treat yourself to a glass of beer at Bratislava’s iconic UFO observation tower on an optional excursion. Head into the Wachau Valley, which is particularly attractive at this time of year, to visit Dürnstein, which is overlooked by the ruins of Kuenringer Castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned during the 12th century. Perhaps explore Melk Abbey and join a tour of Linz during optional excursion before stopping in Engelhartszell. Embark on an included tour of Schärding and spend an enjoyable afternoon at an exclusive riverside festival with a glass of beer, German festival food and live music from a brass Oom-pah band.


Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Dinner plate32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners

CocktailWine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

PersonCruise Host


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

MapIncluded excursions

  • Budapest: A tale of two cities OR Budapest culinary walking tour
  • Vienna city tour OR Vienna culinary walking tour
  • Highlights of Linz
  • Scharding scenic drive and walking tour
  • Saga exclusive Novemberfest on the banks of Engelhartszell
  • Passau city walk

HeadphonesInteractive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Budapest

The illuminated building of the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

Fly to Hungary's capital and embark Spirit of the Danube.

Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here this overnight.

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 2 Budapest 🎧

Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary

This cosmopolitan city is divided by the Danube into Buda and Pest.

An included city tour this morning reveals some of the city's highlights, from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle that sits above the river on the west bank, to the Hungarian Parliament buildings in Pest on the east bank. Alternatively, perhaps join an included culinary walking tour, which features a tram ride to the First Strudel House for a live demonstration, followed by a walk through the city to sample authentic chimney cake and to visit Central Market Hall where you can try authentic Hungarian salami.

This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity visit Gödöllo Palace or the Lazar Equestrian park horse farm during optional excursions. This evening Spirit of the Danube will begin the overnight cruise towards Bratislava

Budapest Hungary Europe

Day 3 Bratislava 🎧

Bratislava, Slovakia

This afternoon you’ll arrive in Slovakia’s capital city, where you may choose to explore on an optional tour or instead sample the local beer while enjoying panoramic city views from the vantage point of the UFO observation tower. Originally part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, Bratislava’s old town, ‘Staré Mesto’, with its historic buildings, provides a stark contrast to the 20th-century buildings, some of which serve as a reminder of its communist past.

Late this evening you’ll cruise towards Vienna.

Bratislava Slovakia Europe

Day 4 Vienna 🎧

Vienna's Natural History Museum

You’ll arrive in Vienna before breakfast, giving you the whole day to explore.

This morning you can enjoy an included city tour with a drive around the Ringstrasse, encircling the old city, or instead opt for an included culinary walking tour with the opportunity to sample local delicacies such as the Mozart Thaler chocolate biscuits. This afternoon an optional excursion visits the Schönbrunn Palace and after dinner on board your ship you can treat yourself to an optional performance of music by Mozart and Strauss in one of the formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna.

Vienna Austria Europe

Day 5 Vienna to Dürnstein to Melk 🎧

Kuenringer Castle ruins overlooking Dürnstein

After an early departure from Vienna you’ll spend a relaxing morning cruising to Dürnstein, arriving shortly after lunch.

This pretty village in the heart of the Wachau Valley is overlooked by the now ruined Kuenringer Castle, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned during the late 12th century. An optional walking tour takes you through the cobbled streets to visit the abbey for an organ concert.

Continue to Melk late this afternoon, arriving in the evening.

Melk Austria Europe

Day 6 Melk 🎧

Benedictine Abbey above the town of Melk

This morning you may like to visit Melk Abbey on an optional excursion.

Spirit of the Danube begins the cruise towards Linz this afternoon.

Melk Austria Europe

Day 7 Linz 🎧

Castle Square in Linz, Germany

This morning, perhaps join an optional tour of Linz, where the buildings on the old town’s main square feature historic Baroque architecture. The city is known for its Linzer torte, said to be the world’s oldest cake recipe.

Later this afternoon you’ll cruise to Engelhartszell, arriving this evening.

Linz Austria Europe

Day 8 Engelhartszell

Houses in Schärding, Austria

Set off this morning on an included scenic drive to Schärding, where you’ll see the Baroque centre and merchants’ houses during a walking tour. This afternoon look forward to a riverside performance from a brass band, accompanied by a glass of beer and local snacks during our exclusive Novemberfest event.

Engelhartszell Austria Europe

Day 9 Engelhartszell to Passau 🎧

City of Passau, Germany

Following an early departure from Engelhartszell you’ll arrive in Passau this morning. Known as the 'Venice of Bavaria', Passau is set at the meeting point of three rivers – the Danube, Inn and Ilz, and is surrounded by wooded hills. Enjoy an included walking tour of the city this morning, followed by an afternoon at leisure.

This evening Spirit of the Danube will moor overnight.

Passau Bavaria Germany Europe

Day 10 Weissenkirchen to Tulln

Weissenkirchen in autumn, Austria

This morning you’ll arrive in the village of Weissenkirchen, located in the picturesque Wachau Valley. The 14th-century church here served both as a place pf worship and a fortification to protect the villagers from plundering Turks.

Spend the day here at leisure before cruising to Tulln this evening for an overnight mooring.

Tulln Austria Europe

Day 11 Tulln

The Nibelungen Fountain at Tulln, Austria

Spend the morning at leisure in Tulln, perhaps take a stroll along the town’s riverside promenade. At lunchtime Spirit of the Danube will begin the overnight cruise to Budapest.

Spend a relaxing afternoon on board, enjoying the scenery and making use of Spirit of the Danube’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Tulln Austria Europe

Day 12 Budapest to UK

Arrive in Budapest during breakfast, then disembark for your return flight to the UK.

Gödöllo Palace

The second largest baroque palace in the world, Gödöllo Palace was the former summer residence of Queen Elizabeth and Franz Joseph, Hapsburg Emperor and King of Hungary between 1867 and 1916. Gain an insight into the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the couple’s lavish lifestyle as you explore the interior, the Palace Theatre and gardens.

Walking Grade 2

Four hours
Godollo Palace, Hungary
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Lazar Equestrian Park

Travel to the Lazar Equestrian Park, owned by the world champion horse and carriage drivers, the Lazar brothers. After refreshments enjoy a fascinating show demonstrating exceptional horsemanship. Afterwards, take a carriage ride around the park, followed by a walk through the yard to see local breeds of livestock and visit to the stables where the Lazar's champion horses are kept.

Walking Grade 1

Four hours
Hungarian horsemanship
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Beer tasting at the UFO

Beer was first brewed in Bratislava by the Celts 2,000 years ago and has long competed with wine for the most popular drink in the region. This excursion ventures up to the UFO observation tower where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to sample a selection of locally brewed beer.

Walking Grade 2

Two hours
The UFO Bridge, Bratislava
Bratislava Slovakia Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Bratislava city tour

Step aboard the miniature Bratislava City Train to explore the many highlights of this historic city. You’ll pass the 18th-century Slovak Philharmonic Hall and impressive National Theatre before your train slowly makes its way around the Old Town, arriving at Bratislava Castle, with its commanding hill-top setting, to admire magnificent views across the city. The train will then continue through Leopold Gate, back to the Old Town where you’ll disembark for a walking tour. A stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets will reveal sights such as the Archbishop’s Palace, St Martin’s Cathedral, the charming Main Square with its fountain and Old Town Hall, and a number of 18th-century palaces.

Walking Grade 2

Two hours
Bratislava Slovakia Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Schonbrunn Palace

Visit the sumptuous Imperial Summer Palace of the Hapsburgs, the centre of royal life in the 18th century, inspired by Versailles. The UNESCO-listed palace is filled with priceless treasures, while the vast grounds feature well-manicured lawns and colourful flower beds.

Walking Grade 3

Four hours
The gardens at Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace Vienna Austria Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Vienna evening concert

After dinner on board your ship, travel to the baroque Palais Auersperg or one of Vienna’s other impressive palaces near the Ringstrasse, for a concert of music by Mozart and the Strauss family. Performance details will be provided on board ship.

Walking Grade 1

Two-and-a-half hours
A classical concert in Vienna
Vienna Austria Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Dürnstein walking tour and organ concert

Walk from the ship to the historic heart of Dürnstein, where the cobbled streets are home to traditional wineries and quirky little shops. Continue to Dürnstein Abbey with it’s blue and white steeple that can be seen from every angle of the town. After a tour of the historic abbey, owned by the Augustinian Canons of Herzogenburg Abbey, you will be treated to an organ concert featuring classical music composed by the likes of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.

Walking Grade 3

Two hours
The historical city of Durnstein, Austria
Dürnstein Austria Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary

Melk Abbey

Set on a promontory overlooking the Danube, the wonderfully ornate Melk Abbey is a masterpiece of high baroque architecture. Work on the present monastery began in 1702. The imposing exterior features an octagonal dome and symmetrical towers, while the interior is lavishly decorated and contains many artistic treasures. After touring the abbey enjoy some free time in the lovely garden.

Walking Grade 3

Two and a-half hours
Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey Melk Austria Europe
  • Optional on 11 nights itinerary
Colours of the Danube and Novemberfest

The Danube