Cities and Scenery of the Historic Danube & Main 2021 Fred Olsen River Cruise
Spanning four countries, this epic journey sees you discover some of the Danube and Main’s most scenic regions, as well as towns and cities bursting with culture and centuries of history. In Germany, immerse yourself in Miltenberg’s fairytales; uncover the best of Wertheim, including its mighty 12th century castle; and revel in the magnificence of Würzburg’s palatial palace. You can taste Bamburg’s smoky beers too; explore Regensburg’s beautifully preserved medieval heart; and enjoy a walking tour of Passau, the best way to see the city’s towers, palaces, churches and cathedrals.
Your incredible 12 day river cruise begins in the stunning city of Mainz.
Visit charming Miltenberg on a German river cruise and you will quickly understand why this quaint Bavarian town is affectionately known as the ‘Pearl of the River Main’. Revered for retaining its scenic beauty and romantic historical charm, Miltenberg is one of only a few German towns not to have been extensively rebuilt after the Second World War, so many of the wonderfully well-preserved streets and structures here are as they were several centuries ago.
Best known for its landmark castle and medieval town centre, Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers in Germany. Attractive half-timbered houses and small streets combined with modern shopping areas, kept in the form of traditional Franconian architecture, make for exciting exploration at almost every turn.
Although Würzburg’s extensive history in fact stretches back over several centuries, very little here pre-dates the Second World War. In 1945 Würzburg was almost completely decimated by an Allied bombing raid which destroyed approximately 90% of the city and razed a number of historic churches, cathedrals and medieval monuments to the ground. Plans were made to leave Würzburg in its battle-scarred state after the war to serve as a reminder of the destruction caused, though thankfully these plans were cancelled and the city was painstakingly rebuilt into the Bavarian gem it is today.
Bamberg’s incredible history dates back to Roman times. Once the jewel in the Roman Empire’s crown, the town became its own diocese after the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II made it a family inheritance in 1007, and was a major influence on the introduction of Christianity to Bavaria. By the 13th century Prince Bishops ruled here, overseeing the town’s development and the construction of many magnificent monuments and buildings.
Nicknamed ‘Germany’s medieval miracle’, resplendent Regensburg is considered amongst the finest medieval cities in Europe. Originally settled by the Romans in 179AD under the control of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Regensburg was the first capital of Bavaria and a Free Imperial City for around 600 years. Today it is simply one of Germany’s oldest and finest cities.
On the German-Austrian border at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers sits the charming Bavarian city of Passau. Nicknamed the ‘City of Three Rivers’, pretty Passau has made the most of its unique location throughout its fascinating history. For centuries its waterways were vital trading routes, bringing wealth which helped to shape and develop the beautiful old streets here; while today they serve as gateways for visitors stopping-by to take in the city’s historic highlights and cultural delights.
At the south-western entrance of the beautiful, UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley lie the charming town of Emmersdorf and the historic city of Melk – two of Lower Austria’s prettiest and most popular holiday destinations. Whether you choose to explore one or both of these small, yet attraction-packed settlements situated on opposite sides of the River Danube, you’re in for an enjoyable and rewarding experience here during your Danube River cruise.
The largest and brightest shining of the many jewels in Austria’s crown, Vienna is without doubt among the most beautiful and captivating capitals in Europe. A leading artistic and cultural hub, the city was once home to many of the great composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert, and is renowned for its contribution to theatre, the arts, opera and classical music over the years. It is also revered for boasting one of the most architecturally diverse historic centres found anywhere on the continent.
Vienna is a vast city, spread out along both banks of the River Danube, and is perfect for a few hours of rewarding exploration. After your riverboat berths in the nearby suburb of Nussdorf, you can take a short shuttle bus journey and head into the city to take your pick of a wealth of attractions. The UNESCO-listed historic centre is awash with highlights; Baroque castles and imperial palaces, ancient buildings and impressive landmarks and monuments all await you here.
The stunning Schönbrunn Palace, formerly the Imperial summer residence; the imposing Hofburg Palace, which was the base of the Habsburgs for over 600 years; and splendid Belvedere Palace are just a trio of Vienna’s most popular sights. Don’t miss the Stadtpark, striking gothic-style Stephansdom cathedral and the iconic structures of the Ringstrasse, including the Flemish-Gothic City Hall, the Parliament building and the New Baroque Burgtheater, too.
Beautiful Bratislava – Slovakia’s engrossing capital – is one of the most intriguing, immersive and diverse cities in Europe, combining contemporary delights and an abundance of historic highlights with the scenic beauty of the picturesque Danube River. Unlike many other European capitals, the city is laid-back rather than frenetic and, despite considerable growth in recent years, retains an enchanting small town charm.
On the border of Slovakia and Hungary is the tiny city of Esztergom, seat of Hungary’s Catholic Church. Sailing along the Danube, you’ll see Esztergom from quite a distance; it’s dominated by the Basilica, which is the largest church and tallest building in the country. It’s made even more impressive by its elevated home on a rocky outcrop. Ashore, you’ll see the green of the copper dome, which is over 100 feet wide, and the tall stone columns that mark the entrance. Inside, the Basilica houses the largest canvas painting in the world and an ornate, statue-topped pipe organ. A climb to the top of the cathedral is well worthwhile if you’re able, with far-reaching views of the city, the Danube below and mountains in the distance.
Bustling and beautiful Budapest is an explorer’s dream destination. Straddling the magnificent Danube River, Hungary’s historic capital is split into two distinct districts: Buda, with its steep hills, streets and alleys; and low-lying Pest, where architectural and cultural treasures are in abundance. Exploring Budapest on either side of the water is an unforgettable experience, with unique and fascinating attractions to discover at every turn, but if you have time it’s well worth hopping back and forth via the impressive bridges to take in as many of the city’s spectacular sights as you can.
Your journey ends today in bustling Budapest.
|1 May 2021||£2,299|
|22 September 2021||£2,499|
- Return flights & non UK transfers
- Comfortable en suite accommodation with TV, hairdryer, safe and individually controlled air conditioning
- Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with ‘early riser’ breakfast, breakfast buffet, casual lunch, five-course à la carte dinner and late-night snacks
- Complimentary tea & coffee station 24 hours a day
- Complimentary afternoon tea & coffee with sandwiches and cakes
- Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Use of leisure facilities including Fitness Room and Wellness Tub
- Lounge music by pianist, or duo every day
- All local taxes and port charges (where collectable in advance)
- Complimentary bike hire