- Golubac Fortress
- Budapest, a tale of two cities
- The Iron Gates gorge
From Budapest to Belgrade
- New holiday
- VIP on selected river cruises
Combine a stay in Budapest with a cruise along the Danube
A two-night stay at the locally rated 4-star Hilton Garden Inn Budapest Hotel (4Q) is the ideal way to see the attractions of this historic city. Plus, you’ll have a choice of included excursions: a city tour that will reveal UNESCO-listed Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament buildings, or an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall. Then, embark Spirit of the Danube for a six-night cruise visiting Vukovar and Donji Milanovac before heading through the dramatic scenery of the Iron Gates gorge to Golubac and Belgrade.
2 nights Breakfasts only in a hotel, 11 nights Full Board aboard the ship
19 meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Drinks reception and Captain’s dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- All gratuities on board
- Return flights and transfers
- Budapest city tour OR Budapest culinary walking tour
- Lepenski Vir
- Golubac Fortress
Interactive maps and audio headsets for independent exploration
On October 16, 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.
Day 1 UK to Budapest
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.
The hotel is located in downtown Budapest, half-a-mile away from St Stephen’s Basilica and just over a mile away from the Hungarian State Opera House and Hungarian Parliament building. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, rooftop terrace and a gym. There are 214 air-conditioned rooms, each with a television, mini-fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi, ironing facilities, tea/coffee maker and a hairdryer.
You have the rest of the day to settle in and perhaps do a little local exploring.
Day 2 Budapest
This morning there is a choice of included excursions: a city tour that will introduce you to the main attractions of Budapest, from UNESCO-listed Buda Castle on the west bank, to the Hungarian Parliament buildings in Pest on the east bank; or an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall. Spend the afternoon at leisure, returning to your hotel this evening. B
Day 3 Budapest
After breakfast at your hotel, check out and transfer to the port to embark Spirit of the Danube.
Enjoy a welcome drink reception and dinner on board this evening.
Day 4 Budapest 🎧
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.
Day 5 Vukovar
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.
An optional excursion visits the Ovcara Memorial. Set sail this evening and sail overnight towards Donji Milanovac.
Set sail this evening and sail overnight towards Donji Milanovac.
Day 6 Donji Milanovac
Shortly after lunch you’ll arrive in the 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, an included excursion visits 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. B, L, D
Day 7 Donji Milanovac to the Iron Gates
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
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.
Day 9 Belgrade-UK
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport (a journey of approximately five miles, which should take around 30 minutes) for your return flight to the UK. B
The Art Nouveaux movement in Budapest
The Art Nouveaux movement swept across Europe at the turn of the 20th century and was embraced by architects, interior designers and artists. Look out for Art Nouveaux style architecture as you head by coach from the port to the Ráth György Villa, which was bought in 1901 by György Ráth, the first director general of the Museum of Applied Arts. Ráth and his wife transformed the villa, furnishing it with artwork and incorporating designs by Hungarian Art Nouveau artist Pál Horti.
Look forward to a guided tour of the museum and it’s permanent exhibition, ‘Art Nouveau – a Hungarian Perspective’. You will also have the opportunity to decorate handicraft products, such as postcards, glass or jewellery at a workshop before returning to your ship.
Walking Grade 2
Optional on 8 nights itinerary
Vukovar and the Ovcara Memorial
Vukovar was the site of one of the biggest battles of the Yugoslav War and many shell-scarred buildings have been deliberately preserved as a memorial. Pre-war architecture can be seen in the historic city centre with its baroque arches and classical buildings. High above the Danube, the city is dominated by the Franciscan Monastery and the Saint Philip and Jacob Church. You’ll also visit the Ovcara Memorial, dedicated to those who died in the tragic Vukovar Hospital massacre in 1991.
Walking Grade 3
Optional on 8 nights itinerary
🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours are available for exploring independently in Budapest.
Some of the highlights may only be seen on optional excursions at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.
1 – Walking at your own discretion. For example, on panoramic coach tours when the only walking is at photo stops.
2 – Minimal walking. Up to approximately 1,640 feet (500 metres) on mainly flat terrain.
3 – Moderate walking. Between 1,640-4,920 feet (500-1500 metres) over mixed terrain with the possibility of some steps.
4 – Considerable walking. More than 4,920 feet (1500 metres) over uneven terrain with many steps.
5 – Strenuous walking. Long distances over rough terrain with climbing, steps and trekking.