Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
Premier River Cruises. America's best travel agency for river cruise vacations!
HOURS — Mon.–Fri. 6:00 am–5:00 pm PT | Sat. & Sun. Closed

More history and beauty than you can imagine.


The Blue Danube is famed in literature and in song alike.
Remember the music from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Who can forget the scene of the space ship docking with the space station with the strains of the Blue Danube Waltz playing in the background? So peaceful, so calm, yet with a beauty and grandeur all its own — not unlike a river cruise ship floating — no gliding effortlessly — down the Danube River through the heart of Eastern Europe.

The Danube River is the longest river in the European Union.
Running over 1700 miles east from its origins in Germany’s Black Forest, a Danube river cruise will take you on an unforgettable journey along and through the borders of ten countries before it eventually flows out of the mouth of the Danube Delta into the Black Sea. From the former imperial capitals of Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary to medieval Vidin, Bulgaria with its legendary Baba Vida Fortress, a cruise down the Danube is a showcase for the region’s rich historical, cultural, and political landscape.

A Danube itinerary is great for both first-time and experienced river cruisers.
A Danube river cruise has wide appeal for both first-time and experienced river cruises. So much so that even our own river cruise experts sometimes wrestle with whether they should recommend a Rhine River cruise or its Danube counterpart to someone planning their first river cruise. The good news is that it really doesn't matter as both are not only extraordinary travel values, but guaranteed to produce a perfect vacation and a lifetime of memories for everyone.

Wine, beer, food, music and art… there is something for everyone on a Danube cruise.
A river cruise on the Danube provides both wine and beer connoisseurs ample exposure to fine European wineries, breweries and tastings. Music lovers enjoy more than enough time to embrace the home of the Waltz. Art and architecture afficionados will revel in exploring everything from the finest museums to the tiniest, nost intricately paved cobblestoned street lined with timbered houses and shops jostling against each other. And for the “foodies” among us, some of the most incredible cuisine found anywhere is to be sampled and savored up and down the length of the Danube (oh yes, I almost forgot... I’m a dessert junkie and I want to tell you that there’s nothing like roaming the many, many pastry shops that you’ll encounter. These cruises are a “dessert junkies” delight!) Last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget the history buffs… there’s 2000 years of history around every corner to keep you intrigued and amazed! To put it mildly, when you combine all of its attributes, a Danube cruise will provide even the least experienced photojournalist with incredible photo opportunities every day, and everyone with a plethora of memories that will never become forgotten.

What else is there to see, do and eat? Well, let’s take a brief highlight excursion…
GERMANY. If you’re looking for quaint towns, medieval villages, and incredible architecture, a Danube cruise will fill your days with lasting memories. One of my all-time favorite places has several of these attributes… I’m talking about the cobblestoned town of Regensburg, Germany, a small, unspoiled medieval gem of a town. One of the oldest settlements on the Danube, Regensburg features Roman ruins such as the Porta Praetoria, an ancient gateway into the city, a virtually intact medieval old town center, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its cobblestone streets and alleyways are great places to explore along with a stroll across the very picturesque Stone Bridge, a 12th-century structure at the foot of which sits what many believe is the oldest restaurant in Germany — the historic Wurstkuchl. Well, I have to admit, there is simply nothing better than washing down a tasty dish of their sausages with a cold, locally brewed beer! And, if you’re a schnitzel or beef stroganoff lover, you’ll be in heaven.

AUSTRIA. Vienna, the capital of Austria, continues to nurture the talents of musical geniuses such as Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, and it is a mecca for modern composers. The country’s incredible scenery includes several gorges that make up the Iron Gates, a narrow and quite dramatic section of the river, that forms a natural barrier between the countries of Serbia and Romania. As your ship moves into the Iron Gates area, you’ll definitely want to be up on the sun deck with your tripod and camera, as the vistas from the river are extraordinary. Then, there is Durnstein and Melk. These two towns are located in the heart of the Wachau Valley which is also known for its world-renowned wines. Imagine for a moment a beautiful morning, you and your traveling companion are enjoying a extraordinary bike ride (included) from the village of Durnstein to the majestic village of Melk. You stop for a leisurely coffee enroute, enjoy Melk, its famous Abbey of the same name, and then return to the quaint village of Durnstein — all at your own pace. Arriving back at the dock just before lunch, you reboard your river ship for a freshly prepared buffet lunch and perhaps visit with shipmates before starting out on exploring the countryside again. Ah, life can be grand on a Danube river cruise.

SERBIA AND ROMANIA. Did you know that you can see Roman ruins near the town of Kostolac, Serbia? It’s true. The Roman city of Viminacium was a major provincial capital in its heyday. And speaking of Rome and Romans, did you also know that the principal language of Romania, an Eastern European country, is considered a romance language. Those Romans sure did get around! 


Holiday Season and Holiday Markets cruises on the Danube are a special treat!
A review on the Danube would not be complete without writing about Europe during the Holiday Season. One of our favorite times to enjoy a river cruise on the Danube is during the Holiday Markets season which occurs between late November and early December. Then, there are the delightfully entertaining Christmastime and New Years cruises to choose from, too. My wife and I personally enjoy the Danube more than the Rhine for a Holiday Markets cruise because the ports offer more to do during the cooler periods of the year. With places like Prague, Budapest, Melk, Durnstein, and Vienna to explore, the Danube is the best choice in cool weather.

And, remember, a Danube Holiday Markets river cruise offers better weather than Boston, New York or Chicago during the late Fall and Winter. Premier’s exclusive CompassPoint Guides will give you a checklist to help you pack the proper clothing to take. Suffice it to say, you'll enjoy weather in the low- to mid-40s during your trip which is very, very manageable when dressed correctly. Check out some interesting notes and pictures from a recent trip, click here.

Are you starting to plan a Danube River cruise?
Here are a few points to keep in mind as you start planning your Danube river cruise: Danube cruises have become the most indemand itineraries in all of Europe, even more so than Rhine river cruises. This is due in part to wonderful destinations such as Vienna, Budapest, Melk and Durnstein that are included in most Danube itineraries. Also, Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe, can be easily included with your Danube cruise as a pre- or post-cruise land package. You truly must book as early as possible (Up to a year in advance is recommended!) or, in all likelihood, you won’t be able to get the date, ship, stateroom, or itinerary that you really want (This is especially true if you want a spacious balcony stateroom.).

Most of the introductory river cruises along the Danube are 7 to 9 days in length. If you have the time to enjoy a more leisurely vacation, then we suggest you speak to one of our Premier river cruise experts about longer 15 to 27 day itineraries. The more extensive 15-day itineraries normally begin in Amsterdam and end in enchanting Budapest (or reverse); the longest, 27-day itineraries usually begin in Amsterdam and end in Istanbul (Rousse, Bulgaria), or reverse.

Without a doubt, a Danube cruise vacation is one of the best you'll ever enjoy, enhanced even more so by the fact that you only unpack and pack once. But, no matter which itinerary you choose, from start to finish, the Blue Danube serves up an enticing, colorful, and intoxicating mix of cultures, architecture, tumultuous history, diverse cuisine, enchanting music, and eye-popping scenery. You're sure to experience so much along the way that you’ll treasure your time along the Danube long after your vacation is over.


Back to Top


TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date(s) shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than “Hot Deal” offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes “prepaid tips” in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. To obtain the best price, please use the "Get Quote" button or call one of our river cruise and small ship cruise specialists. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river and small ship cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2023 Premier River Cruises, LLC, a Travel of America Company. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #1015320-40.

You will always get the 'Inside Scoop' on all things cruising when you sign-up to get our great HOT DEALS, email Newsletters, Exclusive Offers, & More!