Budapest River Cruise & Travel Faqs
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When Is The Best Time To Go On A Danube River Cruise
Though the Danube River is perfect for visiting at any time of the year, travel experts say it becomes even more charming during spring and fall. The question of when the best time of year is to go on a Danube River cruise is entirely subjective as tourists generally have different agendas and things they want to see along the way that can be affected by the weather and time of year that you visit. Every season has its pros and cons when it comes to cruises. While some seasons present less desirable weather conditions, some have other downsides like heavy tourist traffic and exorbitant prices. The information below explores the pros and cons of going on a cruise along the Danube River at different times of the year in detail.
A Brief Information About Danube River
The Danube River is the third-longest river in the world, following the Volga in Russia and the Elbe in Germany. It flows through most of Central and Southeastern Europe, passing through the Black Forest in Germany and the Elbe in Germany. Its a great tourist spot for those interested in ancient architecture or history. However, its also a great spot for swimming.
The Danube River forms a basin along its route. This basin, called the Danube Delta, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its length is about five kilometres the greatest width being about three kilometres. The largest waterway, the Danube, ferries about five million people a day between the Hungarian town of Budapest and the Austrian city of Vienna. Danube river travels through much of central and southern Europe.
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Christmas Markets On The Danube
Christmas Market in Salzburg, Austria | Photo by LiLing Pang
From late November through December, German, Austrian, and Hungarian Christmas Markets spring up in every small town and city. Each market has its own unique character, and handcrafted ornaments and gifts that are one of a kind. The Christmas Markets of the Danube are a magical experience if you want to soak in the Christmas spirit.
Floating Bus Tour River Cruise In Budapest
Duration: 95 minutes
Cost: ± US $30
This is a tour with a twist. Initially, youll hop aboard a normal-looking tourist bus, which will take you to see some of the captivating Budapest attractions. Enjoy sights of the streets and the many landmarks from the comfort of the air-conditioned bus.
And then, when you least expect it, the bus will drive straight for the water. Your 4-wheeled tour coach will become a water-riding cruiser in just a few seconds. This is delightful, if somewhat scary at first, and is great to do if you have kids with you.
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: ± US $10
For a simpler, but still stunning, evening river tour, you can book this hour-long sightseeing trip down the river. Its a more budget-friendly option but doesnt include a meal or a live show.
It does, however, include a welcome drink, and the same magnificent views over the city at night. This is great if youre on a budget, or dont have hours to spend on the river. Although you may be sad when the trip is done.
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The Iron Gates A Magnificent Scenic Gorge
Iron Gates Gorge Kalocsa, Hungary | Photo by falco
As the Danube enters the Iron Gates the river narrows into a scenic gorge flanked by the Carpathian Mountains and Balkan Mountains. This gorge marks the boundary between Serbia and Romania. All say its the most impressive scenic stretch of the Lower Danube.
Season For Cruise Starts In May To September In Danube
If you want to travel by water but would rather spend the cruise on dry land, then there are plenty of options for that as well. Some cruise lines travel between Turkey and Greece, so you would still be able to see Greece and other European countries such as Italy, Spain and France.
It would be a great way to explore the culture of these countries while on a cruise. If you dont care for land cruising, then a river cruise would suit your needs better because you get to sample the many attractions and activities along the way including culture, history and the best of cuisines from various ports of call.
If you have never taken a cruise before, it may be an idea to do so to experience the difference between sea cruises and river cruises. Cruise ships provide entertainment while travelling by passing through different ports of call.
However, you wont have the opportunity to see the sights along the way like you would if you took a river cruise. On a cruise, you would be provided with a dining room, a stateroom and a bathroom.
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The Blue Danube River Cruise With Prague Extension
11 days from only £2,068pp
Experience more with so much included
- Happy by day two or we’ll bring you home with a full refund
- Seven nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, with river views
- Seven visits and tours during the cruise including guided tours in Vienna, Salzburg or Linz, Dürnstein, Budapest and Bratislava and visits to Esztergom Basilica, and Melk Abbey
- All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure, including a welcome dinner and the Captains Dinner
- A packed lunch during the full day trip to Salzburg
- Five-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
- Experience magical Prague, the captivating Czech capital and city of a hundred spires with an expert-led guided tour
- Explore the magnificent Castle District, with insightful local guide plus included entrance to the Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world
- Fascinating visit to the only boat brewery in Europe with guided tour and tasting
- 3 nights bed and breakfast in an excellent centrally located hotel with breakfast
- Return flights and transfers to and from your hotel included
7 nights on board a 5-star ship3 nights in hotel accommodationReturn flights & transfersFull board cruise, B& B hotelsComplimentary on-board tea & coffeeAll port charges & airport taxesChecked Luggage
River Cruises In Asia
The best time to visit the Mekong delta on a river cruise is during the dry season, from November through to March. The temperature is at its most comfortable as well as being less humid. But the prices reflect that this is the preferred time for most visitors.
Exploring the Mekong is a once in a lifetime experience especially with a luxurious river cruise. March and April are a great alternative to the peak months of November until February to go on a Mekong river cruise as youll find a good balance between costs, weather as well as the number of tourists visiting the region.
A journey along the Mississippi is a lesson in Americas Civil War history, as well as a chance to visit grand plantation homes and storybook towns of the Deep South. This is Mark Twain territory, after all.
In general, the best time to river cruise on the Lower Mississippi is from February to early June/late May. Spring offers mild temperatures and is in general the most pleasant times to visit.
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River Cruises In Europe
June and July mark the peak season for European river cruises including the Rhine and Danube and the waterways in France and Portugal and Italy. Unlike most holidays taken in Europe, August is not the peak price time as this largely adults market much prefer the weather to be cooler and airports less crowded.
In terms of the best time to go on a river cruise in Europe, August presents a real opportunity to pick up a river cruise for a lot less than you would pay in September. There is no getting away from it peak season brings the highest river cruise package prices. Having said that, luxury river cruise operators have enhanced their river cruises by including more on and off ship activities. Bicycles to take from the ship to explore the area have become the norm as well as guided hikes to a hillside vineyard or castle. Each day brings a choice of up to 4 excursions to enjoy, many of them exclusive.
Whether youd like to try a kayaking excursion on the river or a complimentary yoga class on the deck, some operators will offer these activities for no extra cost.
Russia might not have been on your radar as a river cruise destination but its becoming increasingly popular. Especially the activity-intensive stopovers in St Petersburg and Moscow are a real highlight.
Danube River Cruise Packages
Summer has warm and dry weather which allows you to enjoy the full experience of a Danube River Cruise from the boat’s deck. but be prepared for large crowds in Europe’s best-loved towns.
Fall is the ideal time to go on a Danube River Cruise. The summer crowds are gone and there’s a bracing nip in the air. You might also snag a great bargain on your cruise fare.
Winter in Europe is freezing, but charming Christmas markets and cities illuminated and decked in holiday finery make for a dazzling experience.
Spring is a shoulder season with noticeably fewer tourists crowding the major landmarks, but the weather can be chilly and wet. Parts of the Danube can flood during springtime, preventing riverboats from passing through.
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Latest Europe River Cruise Deals
Up to $1,000 off per couple on 15-day Europe cruise + flights
Ends31 Dec 2021
Available for departure on 2 November 2022. Package includes return flights departing from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, onboard meals and more. T& Cs apply.
Up to $1,500 off Europe cruises
Ends30 Sep 2021
Available on select voyages in 2022. Destinations include France, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris and more. T& Cs apply.
Up to 50% off river cruises
Available on select travel dates. Destinations include Egypt, London, Morocco, Jordan, Vietnam, Germany, Austria, Brussels and more.
Our Danube Dinner Cruise Budapest Experience
We arrived at the dock at about 6:30 pm local time for our dinner cruise on the River Danube.
This picture was taken at the dock, leading to the ferry.
Depending on what type of cruise you choose, you will be experiencing a different level of hospitality. Our cruise liner was a simple ferry, the hosts/servers invited us inside.
There were dinner tables laid out. Traditional Hungarian music was played in the background.
We started with Hungarian Tokaji wine . Followed by some traditional Goulash Stew and potato casserole. The main course included Paprika Chicken and for dessert, we had Vanilla Kifli
While we were dining, the cruise took one full lap of the Danube river, showcasing the beautiful buildings and bridges of Budapest.
After dinner, we stepped outside to the dock and it was amazing. The city of Budapest was lit beautifully. All the bridges were sparkling with lights. Our eyes were fixed on the Hungarian Parliament it was gorgeous!
The Hungarian Parliament is a major tourist attraction in Budapest. From the cruise, you can capture amazing shots of the Parliament building.
The Budapest bridges at night were amazing, as seen from the ferrys deck. The picture below is of the Elizabeth Bridge. You can also see the monument on Gellert Hill in the distance.
A pair of lions stand at each of the abutments. The picture above was taken at the ferrys dock.
Another view of the Chain Bridge from the ferrys deck.
Overall Thoughts of the Cruise
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Find The Best Danube River Cruise Lines With The Help Of Cruiseexpertscom
Whether you are new to river cruising or are a longtime fan, Danube River cruises are a top choice for a variety of reasons. When you select from the best Danube River cruise lines, you know you are in for an unforgettable vacation that will transport you to breathtaking landscapes and fairy-tale towns and villages.
The second longest river in all of Eastern and Central Europe, the Danube River goes on for almost 2,000 miles. It travels from Germany to the Ukraine and offers visitors the opportunity to see Passau, Germany, Belgrade, Serbia, Bucharest, Romania, Vienna and more. While traveling with European river cruise companies, you will have the chance to experience bicycle and walking tours through historic cities and wineries, evening concerts, and be able to witness UNESCO World Heritage Sites up close.
Depending on your availability, you are sure to find that some of the best Danube River cruise lines offer a variety of trip length options. For short cruise vacations, consider a seven or eight day option. If you have more time to spare, consider a longer sailing that include multiple rivers and can last up to several weeks time.
Viking is known to have the largest fleet in the river cruising industry. Considered one of the best luxury river cruise lines, Viking ships are built with eco-friendly designs, full balconies, unique excursions and top-notch service.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Take A Danube River Cruise
Best time for a European river cruise, weather-wise: From late to mid- the climate is warm and dry. Cheapest time for a European river cruise: Europe attracts fewer visitors during winter due to freezing temperatures. This makes river cruises cheaper during , November and December.
Likewise, which is better river cruise Rhine or Danube? Most lines offer seven-night cruises on the Rhine or Danube, where you catch the highlights. While the Danube is a little more scenic than the Rhine, particularly along Austria’s Wachau Valley, both rivers have relatively flat bike paths that stretch for miles. Wine lovers will also enjoy both itineraries.
In this regard, what is the best Danube River cruise?
10 Best Danube River Cruises for 2020
- From the Black Sea to the Blue Danube.
- The Beautiful Blue Danube.
- Melodies of the Danube – Cruise Only.
- Magna on the Danube – Vilshofen to Budapest.
- From the Rhine to the Danube & the Magic of 3 Rivers.
- The Romantic Danube.
- Christmas Markets on the Danube.
Which deck is best on river cruise?
Best River Cruise Cabins
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Our Favorite Time Of Year For Danube Cruises
While a great time year-round, our favorite time to cruise the Danube is during the Fall, especially during September and October. The river is gorgeous — with trees turning, wineries in their harvest season, and weather thats just cool enough, its almost magical. The river is Europes second longest as well, ensuring that youll get to see and experience many different locations. A European river cruise along the Danube can include any of the following cities: Fall Danube River cruise in Slovakia
Shore Excursions Perfect For Your Spirit Of The Danube Cruise
Create Memories on Your Spirit of the Danube Cruise with a Unique ShoreTrips Excursion!*
Enhance your Spirit of the Danube cruise with a unique shore excursion from ShoreTrips. At ShoreTrips we are committed to enhancing your shore excursions with small, creative and personal day tours and adventures. Our team personally tests every tour in a destination to select only the best shore excursions for your Spirit of the Danube cruise adventure. Select your cruise date and learn about the unique adventures awaiting you.
*PLEASE NOTE ShoreTrips is an independent provider of shore excursions. ShoreTrips is not affiliated with nor operates in conjunction with SAGA. ShoreTrips makes no claim to be the designated activity and excursion operator of SAGA. Guests of SAGA wishing to tour with the cruise line’s excursions should contact the cruise line directly.
Our team personally tests every tour in destination to select only the best.
We offer 24/7 emergency support.
We are an office of knowledgeable travelers who know our product well.
We use luxury vans. We never pack people in.
We can pick you up from the port or from the hotel.
We guarantee we will always get you back to your ship on-time.
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Danube River Map And River Cruise Itineraries
If your grasp of central and eastern European geography is a little rusty, heres a map of the Danube River. The Danube flows southeast crisscrossing 10 countries as follows:
The Upper Danube begins in Germany, then continues on through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. It keeps flowing east through the Lower Danube, crossing Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Then it brushes past Moldova, then sprawls over the Danube river basin in Ukraine, before emptying into the Black Sea.
A 7-Day Danube River cruise typically focuses on either the Upper Danube or the Lower Danube. While 10-15 Day cruises will cover both sections of the Danube.
The most popular route for a Danube River Cruise travels from Vilshofen or Passau in Germany to Budapest in Hungary. Sometimes an Upper Danube Cruise might begin further upstream along the Main-Danube Canal at Nuremberg.
Other Upper Danube River Cruise itineraries might also include a few days in Prague, which is actually not along the Danube. Its due about 2.5-3 hours east by road depending on your port of embarkation.
Via canals, its also possible for some Danube River itineraries to include ports of call along the Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers, and even along Dutch, and Belgian Waterways.