Journey Through the Iron Gates Spirit of the Danube River Cruise
Your holiday begins in the beautiful capital of Hungary, Budapest. The city is a treasure trove of architectural style encompassing baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau, which you’ll see during an included tour. Alternatively, you may choose to experience the local culture and cuisine by joining an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall. After soaking up the city sights you’ll step aboard new ship, Spirit of the Danube, to begin your river cruise.
Arriving in Vukovar, perhaps embark on an optional tour into the historic centre with its baroque arches and classical buildings, before visiting the poignant Ovcara Memorial. Continue cruising, pausing at pretty Donji Milanovac in the Djerdap National Park, before passing through the dramatic scenery of the Iron Gates – the largest and longest gorge in Europe. Enjoy included visits to medieval Golubac Fortress and Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress before arriving in Novi Sad, the meeting point of European and Balkan cultures. Contrast the traditional Hungarian town of Kalocsa with Bratislava, Slovakia’s bustling capital city, before cruising to Vienna. Choose between an included culinary-themed walking tour from Albertina Square to the Imperial Palace and an included sightseeing tour, which involves a drive around the Ringstrasse encircling the old city. Both offer a unique window on this musical city, steeped in imperial history. For a grand finale to your holiday why not spend the evening at an ornate Viennese palace listening to the work of Mozart performed live?
Celebrity Guest: Joining you on 18th October 2022 will be celebrity chef, Mark Sargeant – former Head Chef of Gordon Ramsay at Claridges and winner of Michelin Star and National Chef of the Year awards.
Fly to Hungary’s capital and embark Spirit of the Danube. Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner on board this evening.
An included city tour reveals the highlights, from UNESCO-listed Buda Castle on the west bank, to the impressive Hungarian Parliament buildings in Pest on the east bank. Alternatively join an included culinary-themed walking tour to the First Strudel House and Central Market Hall. In the afternoon Spirit of the Danube will begin cruising overnight towards Vukovar.
This morning you’ll arrive in Vukovar, the largest Croatian town and river port on the Danube, during breakfast. Vukovar was a thriving town before the Yugoslav War and its unscathed belle époque architecture can be compared with shell-scarred buildings preserved in memoriam, during your visit here.
Set sail this evening and sail overnight towards Donji Milanovac.
Shortly after lunch you’ll arrive in the pretty town of Donji Milanovac, on the banks of the Danube in the midst of the Djerdap National Park, the largest, and possibly most beautiful, of Serbia's five national parks. The region has a rich history, and this afternoon, you may choose to join an optional excursion to the Lepenski Vir Mesolithic site, revealing a series of villages and rock carvings dating back to 6400 BC and the earliest examples of ‘monumental’ sculptures.
Your ship moors here overnight.
Spirit of the Danube sets sail early this morning and later will sail through a particularly scenic stretch of the Danube – the world-famous Iron Gate gorge, between Romania and Serbia, the largest and longest in Europe, and the Iron Gates is the narrowest and deepest part. Head out on deck and see how the ship manoeuvres through two locks by the Djerdap power station.
Continue sailing overnight towards the village of Golubac.
An early arrival in Golubac enables you to spend the morning on an included visit to the medieval fortress, which stands guard over the entrance to the Iron Gates and was first mentioned in a Hungarian charter issued in 1337.
Spirit of the Danube will continue sailing in the early afternoon towards Belgrade, arriving this evening.
Serbia's capital, Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
Explore its key attractions, including the Kalmegadan Fortress, the cathedral and St Sava Temple, all set on the waterfront, during an included excursion this morning. The Kalemegdan Fortress, parts of which date back to the 18th century, looms over the city below commanding glorious views. The site of military fortifications from the 2nd century onwards, it has been tussled over by the Romans, the Goths, the Huns, the Avars, the Serbs, the Turks and the Austrians in turn. Today it also serves as Belgrade’s central park for all to enjoy.
This afternoon, perhaps utilise the interactive maps and audio headset to conduct an independent tour of the city. Depart late tonight and cruise overnight towards Novi Sad.
Spend the morning at leisure in this city where European and Balkan cultures meet, with the Danube forming part of the border.
Novi Sad is the capital of Vojvodina, the northern Autonomous Province of Serbia. Situated on the Danube between Budapest and Belgrade, it's a treasured regional and cultural centre. You can’t miss the Petrovaradin Fortress, Built between 1692 and 1790, the upper fortress contains a 16-kilometre network of passages and galleries, with officers’ residences and government buildings below in the lower fortress. There’s the City Museum within the fortress walls where you can find out more and also see artisan workshops. The old town is home to some fine 18th and 19th-century architecture.
Set sail early this afternoon and spend the rest of the day relaxing on board Spirit of the Danube as she continues towards Kalosca.
Arrive in Kalocsa this morning and perhaps embark on an optional full-day excursion through the Hungarian lowlands to enjoy a performance of traditional horsemanship.
Spirit of the Danube continues cruising towards Bratislava in the afternoon.
This afternoon you arrive in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava.
Take the opportunity to explore the city’s old quarter, overlooked by the massive rectangular castle, and admire the attractive Habsburg architecture, independently or on an optional city tour. This afternoon perhaps venture up the UFO observation tower for panoramic views and the opportunity to sample locally brewed beer.
Set sail again late this evening cruising overnight bound for Vienna.
Arrive in Vienna – steeped in imperial and musical history – before breakfast.
This morning choose between an included culinary-themed walking tour from Albertina Square to the Imperial Palace and an included sightseeing tour, which involves a drive around the Ringstrasse, encircling the old city. This afternoon an optional excursion visits grand Schönbrunn Palace. You may wish to spend the final evening of your holiday in Viennese style – after dinner on board, you can attend an optional performance of music by Mozart and Strauss in one of the great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna.
Disembark after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
|Date||Price from (pp)|
|25 May 2022||£2,449|
|16 October 2022||£2,399|
- 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)
- 11 nights on board Spirit of the Danube
- 32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
- All gratuities on board
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Saga cruise director & Saga cruise escort on board
- Budapest city tour OR Budapest culinary walking tour
- Golubac Fortress
- Belgrade and Kalemegdan Fortress
- Vienna city tour OR Vienna culinary walking tour
- Vukovar and the Ovcara Memorial
- Lepenski Vir Mesolithic Site
- Kalocsa and Puszta
- Bratislava city tour
- Beer tasting at the UFO
- Schonbrunn Palace
- Vienna evening concert