Across the Continent Spirit of the Danube River Cruise
Join our new ship, Spirit of the Danube, for a 14-night voyage through the heart of the continent. Your holiday begins in the vibrant Dutch capital Amsterdam where you can enjoy the food, drink and culture. A succession of enchanting waterside towns and cities will be revealed as you follow the historic lifelines of Continental Europe – The Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Cruise through the Netherlands into Germany to marvel at such cultural treasures as the wine town of Würzburg, medieval Regensburg and the stunning Wachau Valley. Other highlights include visits to Cologne, Koblenz and Rüdesheim, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg and visits to historic Nuremberg and elegant Passau – where you can explore during included tours. Enjoy a full day in Vienna, with another included sightseeing tour, and explore the capital cities of Bratislava and Budapest, where you have a choice of included tours and the opportunity to extend your holiday with a two-night hotel stay…
Celebrity Guest: Joining you will be Paul Rankin. Paul changed the face of culinary Northern Ireland when he opened Roscoff, the restaurant that was to become the first to win a Michelin Star in the country. 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.
Fly to Amsterdam and embark Spirit of the Danube. Enjoy a welcome drink reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.
The Dutch capital is rightly popular for its friendly welcome, picturesque canals, world-class museums and galleries, and laid-back cafes and bars. This morning perhaps enjoy the local food and culture on an included culinary walking tour with a guide. You’ll take a tram to Central Station from where you’ll begin a walking tour of the Dutch capital while tasting local delicacies including herring, cheese and croquettes along the way.
Alternatively, you could join an included tour of Amsterdam by coach and see the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the floating flower market, the Central Railway Station, which is built on thousands of wooden piles, and the grand 19th-century Rijksmuseum. Afterwards, enjoy a canal cruise to see the city centre with its pretty bridges and attractive gabled houses up close and view such treasures as the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter.
Spirit of the Danube sets sail at lunchtime to spend the rest of the day and night cruising towards Cologne.
Arrive at lunchtime in Cologne, Germany's cultural capital.
Enjoy an afternoon of exploring during an optional city tour or by using our state-of-the-art interactive map – don't miss the vast Gothic cathedral, started in 1248 to house the relics of the three Magi but not finally completed until 1880! You can see the magnificent shrine to Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – now among the patron saints of Cologne – behind the high altar.
Depart later this evening and cruise overnight towards Koblenz.
Having arrived before breakfast, you can spend the morning in Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle.
Discover the attractive riverside promenade and several historic churches, all set beneath the Festung Ehrenbreitstein citadel on top of the hill, which you might choose to visit on an optional excursion this morning. Later this morning your cruise continues through the UNESCO-listed Middle Rhine to the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, passing the fabled Lorelei Rock en route.
This evening, perhaps visit one of the 'olde-worlde' taverns in the famed Drosselgasse for a glass of local beer or wine. Alternatively, join an optional excursion that visits the extraordinary Siegfried's Museum of Mechanical Music or another which features a wine tasting.
Set sail over dinner and cruise overnight towards Miltenberg.
The ancient town of Miltenberg occupies an attractive location on the banks of the Main.
Arrive early afternoon and discover the old town with its 13th-century castle, timber-framed houses and old taverns or perhaps join an optional brewery visit and tasting before departing this evening and cruising overnight.
Spend the afternoon in Würzburg, the centre of Franconia's wine industry where you can enjoy a guided tour.
Picturesque Würzburg on the banks of the River Main was the ancient seat of the prince-bishops and consequently is home to many fine monuments and buildings. Enjoy a tour of the Residenz Palace, one of Europe’s most splendid baroque palaces, dating back to the 18th century. Admire the famous grand staircase and Imperial Hall with frescoes by Tiepolo and the extensive gardens, before a tour of the town which reveals the cathedral, old Main Bridge and the 13th-century Fortress of Marienberg.
Set sail again before dinner and cruise through the night bound for Bamberg.
Arrive in Bamberg after lunch.
This UNESCO World Heritage city is characterised by quaint streets full of delightful old buildings. Take in the town's well-preserved medieval treasures on an optional tour, including the breathtaking cathedral and the quirky historic town hall, set in the centre of a bridge. Alternatively join an optional food-themed excursion.
Sail overnight towards Nuremberg.
Arrive in Nuremberg early this morning.
An included sightseeing tour reveals the elegant architecture and major sights of this historic Bavarian city, from its medieval beginnings to the present. Once famous for the manufacture of toys, it achieved infamy in the 20th century as the setting for the notorious Nazi rallies, and later for the war crimes trials of 1945-46.
You sail from Nuremberg late afternoon and continue towards Regensburg.
Spirit of the Danube will pause briefly in Kelheim over breakfast to allow passengers to disembark for an optional excursion to Weltenburg Abbey, a masterpiece of German baroque architecture overlooking the Danube Gorge. Alternatively, remain aboard the ship as she continues to Regensburg, and enjoy the afternoon exploring the lovely old town on an optional walking tour. Excursion participants will rejoin the ship in Regensburg.
Set off again this evening for Passau.
Spend the early morning cruising east along the Danube, arriving early in elegant Passau with its cobbled streets and arcades, set at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers. Spend the day here, an included walking tour will help you discover how Passau’s wealthy past is reflected in its many fine buildings or you may wish to take your own self-guided tour using one of our interactive maps. Alternatively, join a full-day optional excursion to Salzburg.
Depart Passau this evening.
Melk is best known for its great baroque abbey, which has a magnificent church and a famous library with over 70,000 books.
An optional tour of Melk Abbey will be available this morning. During lunch cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley to Dürnstein, one of the most picturesque towns on the Danube River. Its ruined Kuenringer Castle is where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned during the late 12th century. An optional walking tour here concludes with a special organ concert.
Set sail again later this evening.
Having arrived in the early hours, you can look forward to spending a full day in Vienna.
This morning an included sightseeing tour reveals some of the city’s highlights, including the Ringstrasse and Opera House. Alternatively, you may choose to join an included excursion which focuses on the culinary delights and traditions of the city. After lunch, perhaps explore further independently, or join an optional excursion to the Schönbrunn Palace.
You also have the option to attend a concert on an excursion this evening before setting sail again late tonight.
Early this morning arrive in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.
Stroll through ancient cobbled streets to Bratislava Castle for a bird’s-eye view of the city; the old town is easily explored on foot too. See the Gothic-style cathedral, where 11 Kings of Hungary were crowned while Turks occupied their capital. Alternatively join an optional guided tour of the city or head up to the UFO observation tower for panoramic views and the opportunity to sample a selection of local beer.
Set sail again this afternoon and cruise overnight to Budapest.
Arrive before sunrise and an included excursion after breakfast promises to reveal the capital's highlights, which include the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle. Alternatively, perhaps opt for an included food-themed guided walk. After lunch you may like to visit Gödöllo Palace or Lazar Equestrian Park Horse Farm on half-day optional excursions.
You will spend the final night of your cruise moored here and you can look forward to an evening of Hungarian Folklore on board as a fitting finale.
Disembark Spirit of the Danube after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.
|Date||Price from (pp)|
|4 April 2022||£3,139|
- Low deposit of only £99pp
- VIP door-to-door travel service
- Optional travel insurance or a discount of £54 if not required†
- A selection of return transport including UK flights, Eurostar or coach travel (subject to availability and some may carry a supplement)
- 14 nights on board Spirit of the Danube
- 41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
- All gratuities on board
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Saga cruise director & Saga cruise escort on board
- Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise OR Amsterdam culinary walking tour
- Historic Nuremberg tour
- Wurzburg & the Residenz Palace
- Passau City Walk
- Vienna city tour OR Vienna culinary walking tour
- Budapest: A tale of two cities OR Budapest culinary walking tour
- Koblenz and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
- Siegfrieds Museum of Mechanical Music
- Rudesheim Wine Tasting
- Miltenberg beer tasting
- Bamberg walking tour
- Weltenburg Abbey & the Danube Gorge
- Bamberg culinary walking tour
- Salzburg scenery
- Regensburg city walk
- Melk Abbey
- Dürnstein walking tour
- Bratislava Beer Tour
- Beer tasting at the UFO
- Schonbrunn Palace
- Vienna evening concert
- Lazar Equestrian Park
- Gödöllo Palace