Join MS Bellejour on a lovely journey along the Danube, docking in some of the river’s most celebrated ports. From Vienna, discover the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, and vibrant Budapest. See the sights of Esztergom before returning to Austria and sailing through the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley - a river cruise highlight. Calls in Melk and Linz conclude our cruise, after which we have two nights in Mozart’s home town of Salzburg, where you can explore at your leisure.
2 nights in hotel and 7 nights cruise on MS Bellejour (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Vienna. Upon arrival, embark MS Bellejour (4T), where light refreshments are available. A welcome cocktail and captain’s gala dinner are served this evening.
Day 2 - Vienna - Bratislava
This morning we arrive in the 2,000-year-old city of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, with its lovingly-restored Old Town under the watchful gaze of the medieval castle. An optional tour includes the tourist train that travels through some of the city’s most beautiful aspects. With the rest of the day at leisure, you may want to climb Michael’s Gate and Tower for an insight into medieval weaponry and fantastic city views, or take in the Museum of Jewish Culture, the only reminder of the historic Jewish neighbourhood.
Day 3 - Budapest
One of the most recognisable cities on the Danube, Budapest is a treasure trove of architecture and a vibrant mix of east and west. This morning we have included a city tour to introduce highlights such as the Parliament Building and Heroes’ Square. The regal Castle District on the ‘Buda’ side of the river presents excellent views and photo opportunities. The area is built mainly in baroque style, whilst the Pest side is an eclectic result of 19th and 20th century development, and Roman traces can be found on both sides of the river.
Day 4 - Esztergom
Wake this morning in picturesque Esztergom, with its spectacular hilltop basilica, a vast church that holds the world’s largest altarpiece, which you may wish to visit this morning. As well as being at the head of Hungary’s Roman Catholicism, Esztergom is the birthplace of the country’s first king, known now as St Stephen. An optional tour is available if you wish to explore the town with an expert local guide. This afternoon enjoy some time cruising the Danube.
Day 5 - Vienna - Melk
Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, with a rich culture of arts and music. We have included a visit to the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace this morning. This glorious example of Baroque architecture was once the summer residence of the Habsburg emperors, and the tour takes us through many rooms which show the different styles of the palace’s inhabitants, including the state rooms and private apartments of Franz Joseph and Sisi. Relax on board as we spend another pleasant afternoon on the river sailing through the stunning Wachau Valley, and dock later this evening in Melk.
Day 6 - Melk - Linz
Spend a morning in Melk, dominated by its imposing, UNESCO-listed abbey, which you may choose to visit on an optional excursion. This fortified and palatial abbey has been home to Benedictine monks since 1089, and is renowned for its art, its Marble Hall and its library. Take some time after lunch to find a comfortable spot on deck as we glide past the banks of the Danube. We arrive in Linz tonight.
Day 7 - Linz
Spend the morning in the elegant, creative city of Linz, with the option to wander freely through the charming medieval Old Town or to take an optional tour. The Old Town boasts many historic buildings including Linzer Schloss, and a mix of modern architecture, including the Ars Electronica Centre, an interactive museum of the future. Enjoy the captain’s farewell gala dinner this evening.
Passau - Salzburg
We bid farewell to MS Bellejour and travel to Salzburg, where we are introduced to the city with a sightseeing coach tour. We check into the Sheraton Grand Salzburg Hotel (4T) or similar, for two nights.
Enjoy your own independent exploration of this city, infused by music. You might wish to visit one of the most popular attractions, the house where Mozart was born in 1756 and where he spent the first 17 years of his life. Today it is a marvellous museum and includes the clavichord on which he composed ‘The Magic Flute’. Or maybe venture up to Festung Hohensalzburg, a mighty, 900-year-old cliff-top fortress; or amble through the exuberant state rooms at the Residenz, the former home of the prince-archbishops, adorned with tapestries and art by great masters.
Day 10 Salzburg - Munich - UK
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will waiting, for the journey home.