Danube River Cruise : Most Enjoyable Exotic Vacation Ever

by TessaSchlesinger

by Tessa Schlesinger. Cruising on the Ocean is one thing. Crusing Down the River Danube is Quite Another! Great Travel Vacation.

Sailing down the Danube River is a great way to spend a vacation. You will only be limited by the time you have available as it is not possible to sail the entire length if you are short on time. You might want to sail from Vienna to Budapest which takes about a week, or from Vienna to Nuremberg which takes about five days. On average, the entire journey from the Black Forest to the Black Sea should take you about three weeks but I can assure you that it is a vacation you will never forget.

Cruising Down the Danube in Austria to the sound of Strauss' Blue Danube

Sailing Down the Danube

By River from the Black Forest to the Black Sea

Danube River Cruise Black Forest Bavaria

Most people have heard Johan Strauss’ immortal music, “The Blue Danube.” The Danube, of course, is anything but blue. It’s a river that runs from the Black Forest in Bavaria through to the Black Sea, and it has castles liberally sprinkled along its banks. It meanders through ten countries  of vastly different languages and cultures, so sailing down the Danube River is one of the best, most exoticvacations you can have when you’re looking to do something different.

Cruising on the Danube in Bulgaria

Danube River Cruise

River Barge or Ocean Liner

Types of Cruises, ships, river boats on the Danube River

Take your pick when it comes to selecting how you would like to sail down the Danube. Yes, some of the ships are less luxurious than others, and others are so palatial that it’s simply the vacation of a lifetime just being on board. There are so many different types of river boats and ocean going ships sailing down the Danube that you have an amazing choice. 

Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic

Cruising down the Danube River

Medieval Castles along the banks of the Danube river

Ancient Castles on the Danube River

The medieval castles which are perched on the bank of this great river are spectacular in the setting. Some are now museums; others are still very much lived in. While it will be tempting to take advantage of all the entertainment offered on board these river boats (hardly a boat), it’s probably more awe inspiring to spend your days on deck with a camera. That way, you won’t miss the wonderful sights. Believe me, there's nothing quite like it anywhere else.

Along the Danube River Prague, Nuremberg in Germany, then Austria and Hungary

Sailing down the Danube River

Great Cities on the Banks of the Danube River

Linz, Passau, Vienna, Belgrade, Sulina, Budapest, on Danube

There are several cities on the Danube which demand a week just to acknowledge that they’re worth spending a month visiting. These include Linz and Passau in Germany, Vienna in Austria, Belgrade in Serbia, Sulina in Romania, and the final Black Sea port. (There is a choice of three.) Just an aside here. As you are on the Black Sea, I would probably take a flight to Istanbul. It’s an amazing Byzantine city and you do want to see it in your life. Alternatively, you can take the luxury train, the Danube Express, which is a three day journey through Transylvania (where Dracula lives) into Turkey.

Generally, when sailing down the Danube, the river boats or cruise ships will stop at the Port of Call for a day so you are free to explore. Of course, one day is hardly enough. I always used to go shopping to buy souvenirs, catch a local meal somewhere, and take photos of everything I could.

Eastern Europe and the Black Sea on the Danube River

Danube River Cruise

A little History and Geography About the Danube River

History of the Danube River

In the time of the Romans, the Danube was the border that separated it from the ‘Barbarians.’ The river flows 1, 788 miles from the Black Forest in Germany down to the Black Sea. It is the second longest river in Europe – the first being the Volga. In addition, the Danube Delta comprises 2,200 square miles of lakes, reed islands, canals, marshes, streams and rivers. It has about 300 different species of birds.

The banks of the Danube are littered with ancient castles, small towns, abbeys, and large cities. Two capitals cities everybody will recognize – Vienna and Budapest are situated on the banks of the Danube. Budapest, if I remember my geography from school days is actually two cities, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other.


From Budapest to the Black Sea on the Danube River Cruise

Sailing down the Danube

Vacation on the Danube River in Europe

Best River Romantic Vacation on Danube River

The great thing about sailing down the Danube river is that combines East and West in one fluid motion. One goes from medieval European history through to the Muslim and Greek Orthodox history of the East. The architecture is awe inspiring and many of the ships, barges, and river boats that ply the Danube River are romantic within themselves. Cruises on the Danube River come in all price ranges. Traveling out of season can sometime be half the price and twice as spectacular. Just dress for warmth and do enjoy the warmth of the people!

Updated: 09/23/2012, TessaSchlesinger
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BrendaReeves on 10/16/2012

This would be sooo interesting. I've got to go!

katiem2 on 10/04/2012

This was a lovely mental getaway for a long day. Great ideas of river cruises running through my head now. I was raised on a (well near by) river. :)K

TessaSchlesinger on 10/03/2012

Miladen, it's not a city I am familiar with, but I will check. Glad you enjoyed the article. :)

Mladen on 10/03/2012

I enjoyed reading this article. I was visiting Vienna and Budapest, and I work partially in Belgrade. I love Danube. It is great river which has "witnessed" a lot of things happening trough its history.
There is one beautiful city on its banks, which is one of my favorite. It is Novi Sad. And I wonder if this Danube cruise stops there? I know you have said it is long cruise, with lots of things to see in short time, so I guess Novi Sad wasn't on the list. It has one of the most beautiful fortresses in this part of Europe.
I would love to cruise down the Danube river one day. I will put it on my travelling list for one of the coming summers.

TessaSchlesinger on 09/24/2012

Mira, no, I didn't get sea sick or anything like that and I wasn't aware of anyone who did. The water rushes by fairly quickly, though, but I think it's more soothing than disconcerting. I think, though, it may be an individual thing.

Mira on 09/24/2012

This is a really nice article. I enjoyed the videos as well. Thanks for sharing! Is motion sickness ok on these boats? I imagine they're smaller than cruise ships.

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