Great European Odyssey Spirit of the Rhine River Cruise

An epic voyage from start to finish! Sail aboard Spirit of the Rhine from Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast along the Danube and Rhine on this epic voyage. Compare and contrast the timeless architecture and culture of the great capital cities of Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna, as well as visiting a host of historic riverside towns in Germany and Austria.

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Belgrade Fortress

Itinerary

Fly to Bucharest and transfer to Rousse (a journey of approximately one hour and 30 minutes) to embark Spirit of the Rhine. Enjoy a welcome drink reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.

Perhaps join an optional tour of Rousse this morning before cruising to Svistov. Alternatively embark on a full-day optional excursion to Veliko Tarnono, rejoining your ship in Svistov later in the day. Spirit of the Rhine moors overnight in Svistov.

This morning an included excursion visits Pleven to see the historic panorama depicting the events of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877, rejoining your ship in Nikopol, home to a ruined fortress, 13th-century church and a drinking fountain constructed in the second century. Spirit of the Rhine will continue cruising overnight.

Cruise along a particularly scenic stretch of the river, as the Danube passes through the southern stretch of the dramatic Carpathian mountains and the foothills of the Balkans to the ‘Iron Gates’, a gorge framed by sheer cliffs. The passage was infamous in ancient times as the water level was much lower, making navigation treacherous. Your cruise continues this evening and overnight.

Enjoy an included morning tour of Belgrade and visit to Kalemegdan Fortress, where the tomb of the Turkish Grand Vizier, Ali Pasha, is housed. From here perhaps join an optional tour of Novi Sad, or stay on board your ship and sail through the afternoon to Novi Sad. After excursions participants have rejoined Spirit of the Rhine she continues sailing overnight towards Mohács.

Arrive early this morning in Mohács where you’ll have the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the Puszta to see displays of traditional Hungarian horsemanship. Meanwhile your ship continues to Kalocsa, arriving this afternoon and pausing briefly for excursion participants to rejoin the ship. Afterwards you’ll continue cruising overnight towards Budapest.

Budapest is a city made up of two parts: Buda and Pest, built on opposite banks of the Danube and very different in character. East meets west in this fascinating city, and this can be seen in the variety of shops and restaurants. This morning an included city sightseeing tour reveals the capital's highlights, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle, Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion. Alternatively, perhaps join an included visit to the First Strudel House for a live strudel-making demonstration, followed by a walking tour with a culinary theme. This afternoon, an optional excursion to Lazar Equestrian Park is available. Your ship moors overnight in the Hungarian capital.

This morning you may like to join an optional excursion to Gödöllo Palace, former summer residence of Queen Elizabeth and Franz Joseph, Hapsburg Emperor and King of Hungary between 1867 and 1916. This afternoon Spirit of the Rhine begins the overnight journey to Bratislava.

This morning you arrive in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava. An included trip aboard the miniature city tourist train reveals the highlights including Bratislava Castle, before you disembark in the Old Town for a walking tour to see the Archbishop’s Palace, St Martin’s Cathedral, the Market Square, Town Hall and more… This afternoon you can visit a Majolica pottery workshop or perhaps sample beer at the UFO observation tower during optional excursions. Continue sailing to Vienna late this afternoon, arriving late this evening.

Set off on an included morning tour of this dynamic city – steeped in imperial and musical history – including a drive around the Ringstrasse, encircling the old city, alternatively opt for an included culinary walking tour. This afternoon an optional excursion visits Schönbrunn Palace. After an early dinner on board you may choose to treat yourself to an optional performance of music by Mozart and Strauss in one of the great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna. Spirit of the Rhine will begin the overnight journey towards Dürnstein tonight.

Dürnstein is one of the most picturesque towns on the Danube River and is overlooked by the ruins of Kuenringer Castle, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned during the late 12th century. You may like to join an optional morning walking tour, which includes an organ concert, before your ship sets sail again late morning. Cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley to Melk and perhaps visit the Benedictine Abbey on an optional excursion this afternoon.

Passau, the most easterly city in Bavaria, is home to a baroque cathedral containing the largest church organ in the world. Arrive here early this afternoon and perhaps join an optional walking tour of the highlights, most of which are close to the Danube. Your ship leaves Passau early evening and continues overnight towards Regensburg.

This morning you may like to join an optional city walk in Regensburg, which has been a religious centre since the 7th century and has numerous medieval churches. This afternoon another optional excursion visits Weltenburg Abbey and includes a short boat trip through the Danube Gorge before rejoining your ship in Kelheim and cruising overnight to Nuremberg.

Arrive in the historic Bavarian city of Nuremberg early this morning and explore the elegant architecture and major sights during an included tour, 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 Bamberg.

Arrive in Bamberg early this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage city is characterised by quaint streets lined with historic buildings. Take in the town's well-preserved medieval treasures on an included afternoon tour, including the cathedral and the quirky historic town hall, set in the centre of a bridge. Alternatively you may like to join an optional food-themed walking tour which brings the city’s culinary traditions to life. Sail overnight towards Würzberg.

Spend the afternoon in the centre of Franconia's wine industry where an included guided tour explores the town, which was once the ancient seat of the prince-bishops and is consequently home to many fine monuments and buildings, and also visits the Residenz Palace. This baroque palace, dating back to the 18th century, features a grand staircase and Imperial Hall with frescoes by Tiepolo. Your ship sets sail for Miltenberg this evening.

Arrive during lunch and explore this ancient town on the banks of the Main this afternoon. The old town is home to a 13th-century castle, timber-framed houses and wine taverns. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a local brewery before sailing overnight towards Rüdesheim.

An optional excursion this morning visits Siegfried's Museum of Mechanical Music in Rüdesheim, or you may like to explore this picturesque town in the heart of the Rhineland's wine-producing region independently. Set sail after lunch to arrive in Koblenz late this afternoon for an overnight mooring.

Leave Koblenz in your wake at breakfast and cruise through the morning to Cochem, which is backed by the neo-Gothic Reichsburg Castle. This afternoon an optional excursion visits the castle, which sits atop a hill cloaked entirely in vines. Although most of the castle was rebuilt in the 19th century, the original 11th-century keep still survives. The excursion will also visit a local vineyard for a wine tasting. Another optional tour explores the town by land train. Sail through the night to Bernkastel-Kues.

Arrive early this morning in Bernkastel-Kues and after breakfast on board your ship enjoy an included trip on the panorama train, followed by a guided walk. Depart this afternoon and arrive in Trier this evening.

Disembark Spirit of the Rhine and travel to Luxembourg for your return flight to the UK.

Price Guide

Date Price from (pp)
17 July 2022^ £3,799
6 August 2022 £3,799

What's Included

  • Low deposit of only £99pp
  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Optional travel insurance or a discount of £108 if not required†
  • A selection of return transport including UK flights, Eurostar or coach travel (subject to availability and some may carry a supplement)
  • 20 nights on board Spirit of the Rhine
  • 59 meals: 20 breakfasts, 19 lunches and 20 dinners
  • All gratuities on board
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Saga cruise director & Saga cruise escort on board
  • 9 included excursions & experiences