Historic Voyage from the Danube to the Rhine 2021 Fred Olsen River Cruise

Sailing to scenic regions and historic cities in four countries via the Danube and Rhine, you’re in for an unforgettable, immensely rewarding voyage. You’ll see the city lights of Budapest at night and have time to explore both the ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ sides of the Hungarian capital, before your journey along the Danube begins with a short sail to Slovakia and Bratislava, where attractions aplenty – from medieval ruins to a majestic hilltop castle – await. On to Austria, scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley’s rolling hills and vineyards will be an experience to cherish, before there’s time to explore the colourful towns of Emmersdorf and Melk.

Cologne

Itinerary

Your incredible 13 day river cruise begins in bustling Budapest.

The highlights of the Buda side include the Ottoman-era thermal baths located at the foot of the majestic Gellért Hill; the ornate Royal Palace; Matthias Church, which – with its soaring rococo spire – is the crowning glory of Budapest’s cityscape; and much more. The awe-inspiring Parliament building – a neo-gothic, neo-Romanesque and neo-baroque architectural wonder perched on the Danube’s banks – beckons you to explore the Pest side of the river. Here you can also uncover the charms of the pretty Jewish Quarter – which is home to the incredible Great Synagogue – and the Palace District; stop-by the striking St Stephen’s Basillica; and visit a number of fantastic galleries and museums.
As well as a plethora of historic attractions, Budapest also boasts plenty of trendy cafés, superb restaurants and bars and a number of busy shopping streets where you can indulge in a little retail therapy – just as you would expect from a city that today is considered one of the world’s major metropolises.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

There’s much more to Rudesheim than just delicious wines. This remarkably well-preserved historic city harbours beginnings dating back to the Middle Ages and boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage. A number of centuries-old monuments and structures dotted around the city highlight Rudesheim’s extensive history, including the medieval half-timbered houses of the old town; the 15th century gothic tower of Adlerturm, which was originally part of the old city wall; and the aristocratic residences of Oberstraße.

Various types of red, white and sparkling wine are produced in this picturesque region, many of which you can sample at the welcoming taverns and bars in the centre of Rudesheim. The 15th century cobbled street of Drosselgasse – often described as the ‘merriest street in the world’ – is the place to be to try the finest local tipples and traditional culinary treats while soaking up the city’s friendly atmosphere. Wine lovers won’t want to miss the fascinating wine museum at Brömerburg Castle – one of the oldest castles in the Middle Rhine region – too.

While Koblenz’s beginnings date back to Roman times, the Franks, the French, the Prussians and of course, the Germans have all controlled and heavily influenced the city over the years. Many centuries-old fortifications and castles, impressive palaces and sculpted parks, which offer an insight into Koblenz’s fascinating past, highlight this rich and diverse history. The magnificent 19th century Stolzenfels Castle, watching over the Rhine on the left bank of the river; Alte Berg, the former electoral castle built in the 13th century; the Prussian Electoral Palace, where the Prussian Crown Prince and Kaiser Wilhelm I once resided; and the neo-romantic Prussian Government building are all among the highlights. Also not to be missed is the ancient Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which can be reached via the Koblenz cable car and offers stunning views of Koblenz and the surrounding river scenery from 118 metres above the city.

In Koblenz, it’s well worth taking the time to venture into the charming Altstadt district, where pretty squares, ornate churches such as Liebfrauenkirche and St Castor Basilica, and the iconic Vier Türme towers await. In the old town you’ll also find a number of friendly bars and restaurants serving the finest local flavours.

Situated on the Rhine River in the centre of the Rhine-Rhur region, charming Cologne is the beating heart of the beautiful Rhineland. Originally founded over 2,000 years ago by the Ubii tribe, Cologne was once the largest city in the Holy Roman Empire and served as a major trade route throughout the Middle Ages. In recent years the city has been extensively rebuilt and restructured, and is now one of the most important historical and cultural centres in Europe.

Your journey ends today in Cologne.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
24 June 2021 £2,599

What's Included

  • 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