Danube River Cruises

As the second-longest river in Europe, the Danube meanders through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea. Along its banks lie great cities, medieval trading towns, cathedrals, palaces, and spectacular gorges fringed by mountain ranges.

Popular Cruises on The Danube View all

Featured

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: APT

From 8,425
Save 1,587

9 Days Munich to Budapest

Operator: Travelmarvel

From 2,775
Save 531

14 or 13 Days Bucharest to Budapest

Operator: Avalon River Cruises

From 7,061
Save 1,915

13 Days Nuremberg to Budapest

Operator: Uniworld River Cruises

From 10,608
Save 1,291

The Danube River

Map of the Danube River

Where does the Danube start & finish?

The Danube starts in the Black Forest region of Germany, where the Breg and Brigach rivers join. It flows through Central and Eastern Europe and ultimately empties into the Black Sea, forming the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

Europe's Second Longest River

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga. It spans approximately 2,850 km's (1,770 miles) and flows through ten countries - more than any other river in the world.

Historic Cities

From Vienna's musical history to Budapest's thermal baths, the Danube provides access to some of Europe's most iconic cities. These ports of call offer rich history, vibrant culture, and world-class cuisine right at the river's edge.

Danube Delta Wonders

The Danube Delta is Europe's second-largest delta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to hundreds of species of birds and fish, it's an eco-lover's paradise and an excellent spot for bird-watching and fishing excursions.

Popular starting ports for cruising the Danube

Vienna, Budapest, Passau, Nuremberg and Bucharest serve as logistical starting ports for your Danube river cruise and also offer you the opportunity to enhance your trip by adding a few extra days prior to your cruise departure to explore these cultural and historical cities.

It's not all blue

Despite the famous waltz "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II suggesting otherwise, the Danube is not always blue and can appear green, grey, or even brown depending on weather conditions, water flow, and sediment levels.

FEATURED RIVER CRUISE OPERATORSFeatured Operators View all

Avalon
One of our favourite sayings that describes Avalon Waterways is ‘the possibilities are as wide open as the views’. From Europe to the Galapagos and Asia,...more you can cruise in relaxed luxury with Avalon Waterways, with choices as unique as you. Avalon offers you a range of choices from excursions, dining options, activities that help you tailor your experience. Just imagine gliding away down the world’s most spectacular rivers, all while enjoying a unique vantage point from your own private oasis. Our floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in our suites blur the line between where the world ends, and your suite begins; allowing you to experience the world less seen from the comfort of your bed. This is river cruising from a unique point of view.
Danube Rivers445
Budget:Premium
Known For:Panorama Suites
Fleet Size:16
Viking
A Viking river cruise is the discerning traveller’s dream. Whether you choose to visit Egypt, Asia, Europe or the Mississippi, our itineraries are designed...more to immerse you in the history and culture of each destination. With us, you could be exploring a local food market with our head chef one day and experiencing an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of a world-famous museum the next. Our state-of-the-art ships take you right into the heart of each destination, and you won’t find any kids or ‘nickel and diming’ on board. In fact, our fares include everything you need - from meals, beverages and Wi-Fi to a culturally enriching shore excursion at every port of call. This unique combination of features has become affectionately known as ‘the Viking difference’. Viking has 70 award-winning river ships sailing all over the world, and we can’t wait to welcome you on board to discover the Viking difference for yourself.
Danube Rivers1,807
Budget:Premium
Known For:Scandinavian Design
Fleet Size:74
Emerald Cruises
From culture-rich cities to world-famous wine regions, Emerald Cruises represents a new chapter in the world of river cruising. Our deluxe fleet of revolutionary...more Star-Ships promise contemporary comfort and unique on-board innovations, while our generous offering combines affordability with great dining, exceptional service and immersive itineraries across Europe and Asia. With return flights, transfers, all on-board meals, complimentary drinks, tips and much more included in the price of an Emerald Cruises river cruise, we’ve taken care of everything. Our attentive team of crew, sommeliers and personal butlers are available day and night to ensure every minute on-board the Emerald Cruises fleet is as enriching, enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
Danube Rivers394
Budget:Premium
Known For:Affordable Luxury
Fleet Size:9

Discover Highlights of the Upper and Lower Danube

The Sound of Salzburg

The Sound of Salzburg

Birthplace of Mozart and UNESCO World Heritage site, explore the sights of Salzburg's "Old Town" and marvel at Baroque architecture. If you're feeling nostalgic, why not tour the filming locations of The Sound of Music.

Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov

Step into a fairy-tale with a visit to the Czech town of Český Krumlov. Surrounded by the Vltava River, you'll stroll cobblestone streets, encounter countless "pinch-me" vistas or visit the largest castle in Central Europe.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

Drawing millions of visitors each year, Schönbrunn Palace once served as the Habsburg rulers' main summer residence. With 1,441 rooms and expansive gardens, this significant cultural and historical monument is worth visiting.

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion

An iconic landmark in Budapest, Fisherman's Bastion offers stunning panoramic views of the city. With the original walls built in 1700s, it is said to have been protected by a guild of fishermen during the Middles Ages.

The Iron Gates

The Iron Gates

If cruising the Lower Danube, you'll likely pass through the narrow Iron Gates, a picturesque gorge that forms a natural boundary between Serbia and Romania. It also gains its name from the two hydroelectric plants the Danube powers!

Latest Reviews What our clients are saying about their journeys along the Danube

Perfect way to see Europe   , QLD, Australia, Dec 2023
Two weeks aboard Viking River Ships is the most relaxing way to explore a beautiful part of Europe. To wake up in the morning and look out the floor to ceiling window and see the stunning river and scenery go past is magical. Viking made everything so seamless (including a ship swap due to flooding rivers). The staff were incredible and the ship was ...read more so comfortable and beautifully decorated for Christmas. Each town and city offered something different and we had plenty of free time in each place. A truly perfect way to travel.
Relaxing and interesting cruise through heart of Europe   , TAS, Australia, Nov 2023
We booked this cruise mid year, our first ever river cruise, to see parts of Europe we hadn't previously been to. Also for the xmas markets. The first part of our expectations was absolutely met, but for the first few days, Xmas markets were few and far between. It was a little too early it seems. I'm not sure how much information the cruise company ...read more gets about the markets, but I know there were a lot of disappointed people.

The crew were fantastic, I couldn't fault them, they gave 110% but there was still a feeling that we should have had more information before leaving and maybe a couple of the locations for tours might have been better, particularly the Cathedral at Krems. This tour was a bit of a non event as much of the building was closed. The Vienna concert evening was expensive for what it was and not particularly well organised, there was a lot of standing around before people were shown to their seats, not good for over passengers. The concert was also very short. We did another one in Vienna a week later, half the cost and lasted another 40 minutes.

All the tour guides were great though. Very informative and often funny. Great history lessons to be had. The food was excellent, varied and plentiful for a first time cruiser, there were some old hands who had done multiple cruises that didn't agree, so maybe that needs looking at. The entertainment was fun and well done, Dressen was always on the go making sure everyone was happy.

Janina worked really hard to ensure everyone was informed and catered for. Her port talks were excellent. I would have liked to have seen more scenery as we sailed along , most of our movements were done at night, possibly partly because of the shorter days too. All in all it was great , we both enjoyed it very much.
Viking Grand European River Cruise     , NSW, Australia, Nov 2023
Our first river cruise with Viking did not disappoint! We enjoyed the excellent experience and attention we received from the staff onboard. They welcomed us onboard around 10:30am even though our boarding time was 4:00pm. We were able to leave our luggage and continue to explore Budapest. Viking provided our lunch on the first day and if we needed ...read more we could have had lunch on the last day of our cruise after checking out of our cabins at 9:00am. Viking will hold your luggage as well if you have a late flight and want to continue to see the sights after leaving the cruise. This was a thoughtful gesture.

We had a couple of things that did not go to plan. Our ship the Viking TIR had some damage because a log hit a part of the propeller and it was causing vibrations so we had an unscheduled stop in Linz so they could repair the damage. The rivers were in flood which made it difficult for the nautical crew and when we reached Passau we were advised the water level was too high for us to continue. Viking had a sister ship coming from the other side of the river and we had to pack up our things and they transferred them to the Viking VALLI whilst they put us on a bus for the planned excursion and then onto the Vali docked in Nuremberg. Because all their ships are the same we were allocated the room and we continue on without further disruption.

The included tours were informative and because we have traveled to Europe many times before we didn’t do any of the optional tours offered. I will say that I found the price of the optional tours expensive as we had been to most of the places offered and at a much cheaper cost. The food was restaurant quality and you could have as much as you wanted. The one thing I didn’t like was that lunch and dinner were at set times. The laundry was expensive however we were able to do everything except our jeans in the bathroom which had a heated floor and most things dried overnight. Most of the other passengers were in their seventies with a sprinkling of a few younger and older. Overall the experience was great and we were able to see the Christmas markets in Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Kolbenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. Global Journeys and Georgie always give exceptional service and advice and we look forward to making our future travel plans with them.
Luxurious all-inclusive river cruise.   , Auckland, New Zealand, Nov 2023
From the moment we embarked on our scenic river adventure, it was evident that Scenic was committed to providing a level of luxury and enrichment that surpassed our expectations. The highlight of our trip was the private concert at Richitenstein Palace - the intimate performance In the opulent Palace setting was a prestigious event and was the epitome ...read more of the Scenic experience.

What stood out to us was the genuine commitment of the Scenic team to go above and beyond for their guests. Cathy, our cruise director was the most cheerful person I’ve ever met. She was full of positive energy which made us feel energized too. The bar staff, all of them were working hard. Ali and Luka were constantly offering drinks to guests. The restaurant staff, the housekeeping staff, the hotel manager, all of them were committed and made a very good team between themselves.

One of the standout features of the Scenic River Cruise was the comprehensive all-inclusive package, from meal to excursion, all day drink onboard to gratuity, everything was included and this made our vacation worry-free experience. In conclusion, we really enjoyed our river cruise. We are grateful for the memories created and can't wait to embark on another adventure with Scenic in the future. We booked our cruise through Georgie of Global Journeys. The booking process went on seamlessly and Georgie is a wonderful agent to deal with.