The Blue Danube with Riviera

Overview

The Blue Danube with Riviera

Stepping aboard you will appreciate the superb surroundings of your floating luxury hotel for the next seven nights with spacious and well-appointed cabins or suites, private bathrooms and meticulously prepared fine cuisine.

From Budapest, we slip our moorings and head on our journey north to Esztergom spending the morning exploring its historic centre, which once was Hungary’s capital, before continuing westwards to the beautiful old town of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Navigating through Lower Austria we then reach the romantic town of Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned, having been shipwrecked on his return from the crusades. After we visit the remarkable monastery in Melk, with its 200m long Emperor’s Gallery, lined with portraits of Austrian emperors.

Soon we arrive in Linz from where we take the short drive to Salzburg. During the guided tour of the old town we will see the imposing fortress Hohensalzburg towering over the city and of course the birthplace and residence of Mozart, Salzburg’s most famous citizen. On our way back eastwards we will reach classical Vienna, home of Strauss and many great composers. This city offers up so much wonderful architecture as well as a host of other things to see including the Spanish riding school.

Finally, cruising into Hungary, we arrive back in imperial Budapest, straddling the picturesque Danube. After a guided tour of this palatial city we spend the evening on board, where the Captain hosts another spectacular dinner, an excellent finale to this most exceptional and relaxing cruise.

What's Included:

  • Flights from Bristol Airport
  • 7 nights, Full Board
  • Sailing on MS Geoffrey Chaucer*
  • Live classical quartet recital on board
  • Tour of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia
  • Visit Melk Abbey, Dürnstein
  • Guided tour of Vienna, Budapest and Salzburg
  • Cruise through the scenic Wachau, Austria’s premier wine region
  • Services of a Tour Manager

*Ship is subjected to change on selected departure dates

Hand Picked By

Simon De Burgh

Cruising on Riviera Travel's 4 or 5 star river boats must be one of the most civilised holidays in the world. None of the massive queues in getting on and off the boat like some of the huge ocean cruise lines and you dock right in the heart of some of the most beautiful towns and cities in Europe.

Simon De Burgh

Additional Information

  • Departure Date: Various departure dates from June 2019 - October 2019 & April 2020 - October 2020
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Highlights: Unwind on our magical river cruise along the Danube.

Ship Overview

MS Emily Brontë

After years of painstaking research to create the most perfect vessels afloat, a new era in river cruising dawns as we introduce our brand new, state of the art, ‘all suite’ ships. Swiss operated and truly world-class, we are absolutely delighted to present the five-star MS Emily Brontë.

It is extremely difficult to convey just how extraordinary this outstanding ship really is and exactly what distinguishes it from similar vessels. It would be very easy to just say ‘luxurious’ but it’s much more than that; we have deliberately avoided the current trend for a minimalist style where you could be anywhere in the world, creating instead a unique yet exquisite blend of understated taste, style and elegance at the highest level. Immediately striking is just how exceptionally spacious this new vessel is as you enter a gleaming, richly coloured marble-floored lobby flooded with natural light from a stunning atrium above. Moving inside, exceptional creativity from Europe’s finest design studio has produced a superbly balanced masterpiece of onboard style, utilising sustainable rich hardwoods, gleaming brass and polished copper, sparkling glass and intricate wrought iron. The ship is beautifully illuminated throughout – including the exterior and imaginatively furnished with harmonious colour schemes, all designed to create the serene atmosphere reflective of the golden age of cruising which time after time you tell us you adore.

The restaurant rivals the finest on shore establishments taking fine dining to another level complemented by delicate European porcelain, gleaming glassware and the intuitive service in which the Swiss excel. This superb vessel carries 44 in-house trained crew members serving just 169 guests (similar size vessels may carry well over 190 passengers) giving the ratio which our experience proves is concurrent with our first class service levels.

Furthermore your suite will easily exceed your expectations for not only will you enjoy the most discerning décor, so too the ship’s dimensions afford the ultimate in space and comfort - a minimum 17 square metres (183 square feet), with upgrades available to ‘Superior’ and ‘Deluxe’ accommodation.

MS Emily Brontë Profile

  • Passenger Capacity: 169
  • Crew: 44
  • Passenger Decks: 3
  • Lifts: 1
  • Stabilised and air conditioned
  • Officers & Crew: International
MS Emily Brontë Deck Plan

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Bristol - Budapest

Arrive: Late PM
Join your local pick up from Chepstow, Monmouth or Ross-on-Wye and fly to Budapest from where a coach will take you to the ship. The dedicated crew will welcome you on board, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well-equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship, your first-class floating hotel. There’s always a sense of expectancy and excitement on the eve of a cruise and after an excellent dinner in the stylish restaurant, conversation is sure to revolve around the delights ahead of you.

Day 2: Esztergom

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
Experience one of the great delights of cruising as you awake in a completely different location. Overnight you have slipped upstream to Esztergom, Hungary’s capital during medieval times and today the seat of the country’s Archbishop. The town is internationally famed for its great Renaissance basilica, Hungary’s largest church, standing sentinel over the Danube and boasting one of the world’s largest altars plus a wealth of gold artefacts.

You can explore the castle too, seat of the government until the 16th century Ottoman invasion. Nestling below, there are a myriad of exquisite baroque masterpieces of churches from which resonate the enchanting sound of talented choirs, adding to the unmistakable central- European atmosphere. This is the best of provincial Hungary and little changed since Hapsburg times. As you enjoy your first lunch on board, you gently leave Esztergom in your wake, affording a fascinating opportunity to compare the landscape, towns and villages of Hungary and Slovakia on either bank.

Day 3: Bratislava

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
This morning, you explore Slovakia’s fast emerging capital city, Bratislava, on a guided tour. Until recently swathed in the drab uniformity of communism, the city has shrugged off its greyness, rekindling the splendour of its imperial past, so evident in its beautifully restored baroque old town. Equally impressive is the great 17th century fortress commanding expansive views across the Danube. This afternoon you cruise into Lower Austria, a peaceful, bucolic region and home to some of the country’s best wines. By now, the stresses of everyday life seem very distant as you absorb life on the river, children playing on the banks, young couples strolling arm-in-arm like generations before them, vignerons carefully pruning their vines, cobbled quaysides lined by half-timbered buildings teem with life - with no one giving you a second glance. You will marvel as the captain skillfully navigates the ship with such easy confidence along the serene river and into the fascinating locks as we cruise towards Dürnstein whilst enjoying another superb dinner.

Day 4: Durnstein & Melk

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
Nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of this extraordinary, honey-coloured building, an enormous abbey standing resplendent above the surrounding countryside. Originally a palace it was gifted to the Benedictine Order in the 11th century and although reconstructed in baroque style it has remained a monastic school and monastery ever since. It is famed for its 200m long Emperor’s Gallery lined with portraits of Austrian emperors, plus many fine rooms and a large library containing a unique medieval collection of manuscripts. Rejoining the ship, dinner is served during the last upstream cruise, through the pretty Nibelungengau, now immortalised in the music of Wagner.

Day 5: Salzburg

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
Reaching Linz, you take the drive to Salzburg, once an independent state whose Archbishops turned it into one of the most sophisticated cities north of the Alps. The old town is delightful, displaying wonderful architecture dating from the medieval to 18th century, whilst one of Europe’s largest stone fortresses, the Hohensalzburg dominates the skyline.

Spread below is a maze of tiny streets lined with the exquisite shops that make window-shopping so satisfying. Then there is the wonderful Hellbrunn Palace with its famous trick fountains and the natural beauty of the Mirabell Gardens is a must for the fan of things horticultural. With its genteel atmosphere of bygone times, surrounded by a magnificent Alpine backdrop, Salzburg is a superb spot to relax and explore at your leisure. Salzburg’s most famous citizen was Mozart, one of the greatest musical geniuses to have ever lived. He played the piano at three; could compose rudimentary music at five and wrote his first opera at fourteen. This morning, you have a guided tour seeing all the principal places of interest then you are free to enjoy the afternoon exploring the city as you wish, before returning to the ship for dinner.

By now you will have completely immersed yourself in life aboard ship, the gentility of it all, the peacefulness, the observation of thewildlife constantly surrounding you, the ever-changing shoreline of the variety of countries through which we pass and the stimulating conversation of your like-minded travelling companions – home will seem a very long way away.

Day 6: Vienna

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
Today will probably bring one of the highlights of the cruise – Vienna , whose very name provokes images of elegance, fine music, sumptuous baroque palaces, grand boulevards, noble architecture and a rich tapestry of peoples from all corners of Europe drawn to the city’s magnificent cultural heart. For two hundred years until the First World War, Vienna was the cultural centre of Europe and the huge array of showpiece buildings, galleries, aristocratic palaces and baroque churches you see today were built. Dominated by the striking multicoloured roofed St Stephen’s cathedral, you have the Hofburg, the former royal court now a collection of museums, home to the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Spanish Riding School, the crown jewels and the world’s fourth largest art collection. Then there are the Emperor’s apartments and outstanding medieval craftsmanship in the relics of the Holy Roman Empire including allegedly, the crown of Charlemagne himself.

This morning, your sightseeing tour offers an insight into why this can truly be described as one of Europe’s great capitals, seat of the Hapsburg Emperors and home to some of the world’s finest classical composers at the peak of their influence, including Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and of course a whole family of Strausses. During the afternoon you are free to explore as you wish. Take a stroll in the Stadtpark, with its huge Ferris wheel and the backdrop to many a ‘cold war’ spy thriller. Or for something quite different, visit the Schönbrunn former royal palace and now a world-class range of outstanding museums and galleries. Perhaps though, just take a stroll through the fascinating side streets, enjoy a coffee and a slice of delicious sachertorte in one of the renowned pavement cafés, or admire the skill of the street entertainers and even the occasional opera singer.

This evening, we have arranged truly the ‘icing on the cake’: no visit to Vienna is truly complete without a live musical experience so after dinner, we have arranged for a recital on board. To hear this exquisite music whilst in the city of its creation makes a wonderful finale to the day.

Day 7: Budapest

Arrive: Early AM Depart: Late PM
Dawn breaks and a glance along the shore as it slips gently past reveals Hungary’s peaceful pastoral landscape, as you majestically cruise toBudapest. After lunch, you enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. The twin cities of Buda, built around the hilltop fortress and Pest, were fought over through the centuries until the 17th century ousting of the Ottomans. A lasting legacy of Turkish rule is the plethora of thermal baths utilising the hot springs giving rise to the sobriquet “City of the Spas”.

Subsequently becoming an imperial city of the Hapsburg Empire, it attracted great cultural and commercial wealth. Explore Castle Hill, the city in microcosm: three churches, five museums and a theatre amongst streets and squares with their own special atmosphere and a dramatic view over the river, its banks dominated by the impressive neo-gothic Parliament building. Endless galleries, museums, outstanding art nouveau architecture and excellent shopping offer a fittingly elegant end to your Danube cruise. At this evening’s gala dinner you sadly bid farewell to your travelling companions and reflect on all the inspirational places, sights and sounds you have experienced on a truly ‘imperial’ cruise.

Day 8: Budapest - Bristol

Depart: Early AM
This morning drive to the airport for your return flight to the UK

Additional Information

  • Departure Date: Various departure dates from June 2019 - October 2019 & April 2020 - October 2020
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Highlights: Unwind on our magical river cruise along the Danube.

Cabin and Fares

Cabin TypeGuide PriceAdditional InfoCabinEnquire
Standard Cabin River ViewFrom £1,099ppIncludes return flights and airport transfersView Cabin

Standard Cabin River View

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Suites on the Emerald Deck are slightly smaller, measuring approximately 16 square metres (172 square feet) and have smaller fixed windows. Some are available for sole occupancy with no supplement and are subject to availability.

Enquire Now
View Cabin

Standard Cabin River View

--

Suites on the Emerald Deck are slightly smaller, measuring approximately 16 square metres (172 square feet) and have smaller fixed windows. Some are available for sole occupancy with no supplement and are subject to availability.

Enquire Now