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Eastern Danube Discoveries

12 days with Crystal River Cruises  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • 2 for 1! Companion cruises for free on this river cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Fly from $249 per person in economy class on select 2017 river cruises in certain cabin categories or fly from $999 per person in business class. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Early payment discount! Save an additional $240 to $300 per couple off this departure when you book and pay in full 180 days before departure. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Crystal Society members save an additional $240 to $300 per couple off this sailing regardless of when you book. This offer is combinable with all other Crystal offers. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Vienna, Austria
Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Day 2 Esztergom, Hungary - Scenic Cruising - Mohacs, Hungary
Once the capital of Hungary, Esztergom still displays a regal appearance, situated beautifully on the Danube and capped by the Esztergom Basilica, the largest church in Hungary. Adding to its former-capital credentials is Esztergom’s stretch-way-back history: It is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The Middle Ages version of the city lies underneath the present Esztergom; excavations have revealed evidence that this spot of Hungarian earth has been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age—in other words, 20,000 years ago. Fast forward to today and you’ll discover a town that stays in touch with its past, with most roads leading to the grand Basilica. Turn your head away from the church’s imposing edifice to glimpse the city’s other attractions, including fountain-adored squares, fine gardens and, of course, the waters and bridges of the Danube.

Tales of history here are often bookended by two events—the Battle of Mohács of 1526 and the Battle of Mohács of 1687. The first conflict ushered in the age of Ottoman rule over Hungary and the second battle ended it, bringing a certain symmetry to the region’s timeline. Yet Mohács remains a bit off kilter for its remembrances of combat, slightly and perhaps understandably obsessed with the lives lost and five centuries of Ottoman domination. The Mohács Historical Memorial Site at Sátorhely, established in 1976, marks the 450th anniversary of the 1526 battle. The Dorottya Kanizsai Museum, displaying a collection of costumes and typical grey-black pottery of the area, also features an exhibit centered on the 1526 battle. Beyond the memorials and museums, Mohács displays a unique playfulness, particularly during its pre-Lent, carnival-style festival, during which men wear strange ewok-type costumes, complete with woolly fur and horns.

Experience the vast grasslands of Hungary, called the Puszta, with an outing that also showcases Hungary’s other renowned features: paprika and horses. In fact, Hungarian equestrians have a long tradition of taming the wild horses of the Great Plain, and today are proud to display great feats of horsemanship.

Day 3 Vukovar, Croatia - Scenic Cruising
Throughout Europe, most particularly Germany and France, relics of war are displayed in expertly curated museums, while outside on city streets, the buildings ravaged by war have been reconstructed, often to their former glory. Vukovar is a different story, at once heartbreaking and inspirational. During a siege in 1991, 2,000 Croatian civilians faced off with 40,000 heavily armed Serbian soldiers and 110 tanks, defending Vukovar for three months. Today called The Hero Town, Vukovar still shows its war-scarred face, with buildings remaining pockmarked and the pitted and burned roadside water tower going unrepaired as a reminder of those long, violent days. Surely, much of what you will see in Vukovar—including the cemetery and a Serbian tank left as a scrap-memorial on Tank Graveyard Street—tells the more recent history of this city, the only one in Europe to be completely destroyed since World War II. But you will also witness Vukovar’s vivacity, slowly being rebuilt, and glimpse vestiges of its pre-war beauty, enhanced by its position on the Danube.

Taste vintages produced in the wine-growing hills surrounding the town of Ilk, known for exceptional Rieslings, Pinot Blancs and Chardonnays, and venture to the Dakovo Stables for a fascinating introduction to their Lipizzaners, exquisite steeds that have been bred here for 200 years.

Day 4 Scenic Cruising - Cruising Iron Gate Gorge & 2 Locks

Day 5 Belgrade, Serbia

Located where the Sava River meets the Danube, Belgrade has been an important crossroad between Eastern and Western Europe since ancient times. Its long and layered heritage is on display in its varied architecture, ranging from Byzantine and Ottoman to Art Nouveau and Modernist. While burnished with the patina of high culture, Belgrade shines as one of Europe’s premier nightlife destinations, where revelry goes on until the sun comes up. The lively atmosphere continues into daylight hours, as thousands bustle through Knez Mihailova, a pedestrian boulevard named one of the top shopping thoroughfares in the world.

Day 6 Novi Sad, Serbia - Scenic Cruising
The second largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad means “new garden,” certainly a fitting name as this refined city is an oasis of greenery. Danube Park, a picture of European charm with its pristine lake, lovely fountain and graceful swans, is the perfect place to relax before or after exploring the city. The monumental Petrovaradin Fortress across the river dominates the skyline and hosts an observatory that delivers panoramic views. Because Novi Sad is a university town, it is known not only as a hotspot for culture and learning but also for celebrations and socializing.

Day 7 Mohacs, Hungary - Scenic Cruising - Kalosca, Hungary
Tales of history here are often bookended by two events—the Battle of Mohács of 1526 and the Battle of Mohács of 1687. The first conflict ushered in the age of Ottoman rule over Hungary and the second battle ended it, bringing a certain symmetry to the region’s timeline. Yet Mohács remains a bit off kilter for its remembrances of combat, slightly and perhaps understandably obsessed with the lives lost and five centuries of Ottoman domination. The Mohács Historical Memorial Site at Sátorhely, established in 1976, marks the 450th anniversary of the 1526 battle. The Dorottya Kanizsai Museum, displaying a collection of costumes and typical grey-black pottery of the area, also features an exhibit centered on the 1526 battle. Beyond the memorials and museums, Mohács displays a unique playfulness, particularly during its pre-Lent, carnival-style festival, during which men wear strange ewok-type costumes, complete with woolly fur and horns.

Experience the vast grasslands of Hungary, called the Puszta, with an outing that also showcases Hungary’s other renowned features: paprika and horses. In fact, Hungarian equestrians have a long tradition of taming the wild horses of the Great Plain, and today are proud to display great feats of horsemanship.

Founded in 1010 as a bishopric by King Stephen I (also known as St. Stephen), Kalocsa has long been a center for religion and, by extension, art and architecture. Kalocsa suffered its share of occupation and destruction over the centuries, yet remained resilient with feats of achievement and nods of recognition. The city gained the status of archbishopric, became regarded as an academic fount and then, in the 20th century, became renowned for “red gold”—paprika. The Paprika Museum delves into the history of the spice and the generous serving of distinction it has offered Hungary. The archiepiscopal palace and magnificent cathedral, meanwhile, reflect Kalocsa’s religious roots. Completed in 1754, the cathedral is the jewel of the city, an Italian baroque masterpiece with an ornate interior hosting a 3,560-pipe organ, a favorite instrument of Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist, Franz Liszt.  

Day 8 Budapest, Hungary - Scenic Cruising
Cast your eye over the Budapest skyline, and you’ll see all the makings of a world-class city and striking photograph: domes and spires, bridges and lampposts, splendid architecture in the foreground, rolling hills in the back, and the Danube River placidly curving through it, providing a reflective surface for sunsets and city lights. Look closer, and the treasures of Budapest—Hungary’s capital and the largest metropolis—really come to light. Castle Hill is at the top of most visitors’ lists, a UNESCO-listed district hosting Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. The area is also residential, with 18th-century houses, cobblestone streets and few cars, thanks to a strict vehicular ordinance, giving you a real sense of what the city must have been like ages ago. Budapest is full of history, originally a Roman settlement, formed as a unified city when Buda and Pest joined in 1873, overtaken by various invading forces over the centuries, and today an interesting goulash of local culture and foreign influences. Take a seat in a Turkish-era bath or savor rich Esterházy torte in a gentile coffee house to experience the many sides of a city that charms from both sides of the Danube.

Day 9 Bratislava, Slovakia
Slovakia’s capital city may be the country’s buzzing political and economic center, but it is also a historic gem that stirs the imagination. A maze of narrow, cobblestone streets wind around colorful 18th-century buildings, and shade-covered sidewalk cafes beckon weary—or simply hungry—travelers to linger over a meal and enjoy people watching. Museums, cathedrals and palaces are edifying locales to spend some time, while photography buffs will want to snap images of the medieval castle that looms over the city with a majestic grace. For those looking for more contemporary sights, Bratislava boasts a pulsating modern art scene, as well as some outstanding examples of Communist-era architecture.  

Day 10 & 11 Vienna, Austria (Overnight)
 Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Day 12 Vienna, Austria - Disembark

Tour Map
All This Included
Perched on your private French balcony, or footloose and fancy-free, savoring the eastern realms of the Danube on a Crystal River Yacht cruise is an experience that will add to the narrative that is your life.

Visit the Basilica of Esztergom, a masterpiece of Classicism. Explore Mohács, the gateway to Pécs, a 2010 European Capital of Culture. From Vukovar, sail past the white cliffs of the Iron Gate Gorge en route to Belgrade and the imposing sentinel of Beogradska Tvrdava, standing high above the Danube and Sava Rivers. Delve into the treasures of Budapest by night, and end the day snuggled around your cozy fireplace (in Penthouse suites.) Then explore Bratislava's 17 centuries of history before making your return to the glorious city of Vienna. Combine this voyage with either Danube voyage on the previous page for a vacation of a lifetime.
  • Butler service
  • All meals included, most featuring the culinary excellence of celebrated chefs, with a local flair
  • Unlimited onboard refreshments, including fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees
  • Choice of guidedCrystal Adventures® shore excursion in every port
  • Gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff
  • Complimentary culinary experiences at Michelin-starred or highly renowned local restaurants
  • Interactive TV system with in-suite movies on demand, an extensive
  • music library and Internet access
  • Authentic regional, local and seasonal wine and beer offerings, where available
  • Complimentary airport transfers on days of embarkation and disembarkation
  • 24-hour room service
  • Onboard enrichment programs and entertainment
Accommodations on this Tour
cabin on Crystal Mozart
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Port charges of $275 per person are not included in the prices shown above.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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