Step on board the luxurious 150-guest S.S. Maria Theresa for an unforgettable eight-day cruise along the waters of the mighty Danube River. Beginning your journey in Budapest and ending in Passau the cruise departs Sundays from March through to November.
Built in the honour of the great Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa, this regal Super Ship with a sleek contemporary exterior offers opulent 18th century style interior décor, exquisite dining, ultra-luxurious accommodation and an array of thoughtful personal touches amidst an elegant atmosphere. Facilities include a well-equipped fitness centre, enclosed heated swimming pool and spa, plus bar, salon, café and restaurant and an intimate cinema room for onboard screenings.
Experience the stunning scenery along the Danube River on a luxurious boutique river cruise. Travelling from Budapest to Passau the cruise showcases the best of Central Europe, visiting four fascinating countries with six days of fully hosted excursions and the opportunity to discover four UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way.
8 days/7 nights
Day 1 – Sunday: Budapest (embark)
You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your ship to settle in.
Day 2 – Monday: Budapest
The Hungarian capital is a city divided in two by the mighty Danube River; charming Buda one the west side and vibrant Pest on the east, and each boasting its own distinct character and history. See the highlights on a panoramic walking tour, including the striking Dohany Street synagogue, St Stephen’s Basilica, the magnificent Parliament and UNESCO-listed Castle Hill. Or immerse yourself in daily life on a ‘Do as the locals do’. Catch the metro to the city’s wonderful market hall, stopping for a coffee, delicious pastries and irresistible chocolate treats, take a stroll through a charming park and soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. In the evening enjoy a Captain’s welcome reception and dinner on board.
Choice of excursions: Budapest panoramic highlights and Parliament visit, or ‘Do as the locals do’ Budapest walking tour
Day 3 – Tuesday: Cruising the Danube River, Bratislava, Vienna
Setting sail from Budapest the ship wends its way past the scenic towns along the Danube Bend and docks in the Slovakian capital Bratislava for a brief walking tour before continuing to Vienna. In the evening a private concert of classical music can be enjoyed in an exquisite Viennese palace.
Featured excursions: Bratislava walking tour, Mozart and Strauss concert
Day 4 – Wednesday: Vienna
With its treasure trove of art the Vienna Art History Museum is the highlight of today for art enthusiasts. Avoid the crowds on a private early morning tour with an art historian and see masterpieces by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Vermeer, Raphael, Titian and Rembrandt amongst others. From here you can choose to join a local expert guide for a taste of life in the city with ‘Do as the locals do’ walking tour, or opt to discover some of the major landmarks of this Imperial City. In the afternoon enjoy leisure time in the city, or borrow a bicycle from the ship and explore Danube Island and ride the Ferris wheel in Prater Park for stunning views of the region.
Featured excursion: Morning with the Masters (Vienna Art History Museum)
Choice of excursions: Vienna – Imperial City highlights, or ‘Do as the locals do’ Vienna walking tour
Day 5 – Thursday: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Durnstein, Melk
Today the ship meanders through the breathtakingly beautiful Wachau Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape, and calls at Durnstein and Melk. Charming Durnstein village invites to strolls along cobblestone lanes, hikes up to the ruined castle, where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned, and you can visit a saffron grower and sample saffron-flavoured delicacies. Or if more to your taste, the historic Nikolaihof wine estate produces some of the world’s best Riesling. Later visit the magnificent UNESCO-listed Melk Abbey with its extraordinary baroque-style library filled with over 100,000 books.
Featured excursion: Melk Abbey with library visit
Choice of excursions: Durnstein village stroll and saffron workshop, or Durnstein estate visit with wine tasting
Day 6 – Friday: Linz or Salzburg
Explore the city of Linz including the cathedral and opera house before boarding a coach for a scenic trip into Austria’s famous cider region, Mostviertel, for a tour of a typical farm, where you will sample pear and apple ciders and enjoy a delicious lunch made with produce from the farm. If you opt for a full day in Salzburg you will be guided through the city’s many wonderful attractions before free time to explore at your leisure.
Choice of excursions: Salzburg (full day, excluding lunch), or Linz town and country (opera house and cider farm visit)
Day 7 – Saturday: Passau
At the crossroads of the three rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau can be discovered on a leisurely hike, scenic bike ride, or on a walking tour. Set out with a local hiking guide and nature expert to explore the Ilz River banks on foot, or join a guided bicycle tour alongside the Inn River enjoying views of the lovely countryside and pretty villages along the route. Or if you prefer, take in the city’s architectural highlights on a guided walking tour, including the iconic St Stephen’s Cathedral, famous for its pipe organ and green onion domes. Enjoy a special Captain’s farewell reception and dinner in the evening.
Choice of excursions: Passau walking tour (including St Stephen’s organ concert, May-Oct), ‘Let’s Go’ bicycle ride (Inn River) or ‘Let’s Go’ hike (Ilz River)
Day 8 – Sunday: Passau (disembark)
Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Please note: this cruise departs on Sundays from March to November and can also be done in the reverse from Passau to Budapest.
Please note: Itineraries may be subject to change should any operational reason prevail at the time.
Why not stay at one of our luxury city hotels in Budapest or Salzburg for a few days prior to or at the end of your boutique river cruise.