Day 1 UK - Vienna
Depart on your flight to Austria's capital Vienna today. On arrival we will transfer you to Linz, where your ship is waiting for you. Once you've settled into your cabin, join the crew and your fellow passengers at a welcome cocktail reception before dinner. Your cruise begins with an overnight sailing to Melk.
Day 2 Melk
Your ship arrives in Melk this morning, where we include a tour of its famous abbey. The town has been a spiritual centre for more than 1,000 years, since Margrave Leopold I made Melk castle his residence in the 10th century. In the 11th century, the castle was given to Benedictine monks who transformed it into the fortified abbey you'll explore today. Highlights here include a museum, a library boasting 16,000 volumes and the Marble Hall, which has an exquisitely painted ceiling.
You'll then rejoin the ship as it sets sail for Vienna. This evening, you'll head ashore to enjoy an included concert of Viennese music.
Day 3 Vienna - Bratislava - Budapest
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board before once again heading into Vienna for a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the Ringstrasse – a smart boulevard lined with fine buildings including the State Opera, the Hofburg Palace and the Burgtheatre. We'll then spend the rest of the morning exploring the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. Built in the late 17th century to rival Versailles, this was the summer residence of the Habsburg family, and more notably Empress Elisabeth, known as Sissi. The palace is made up of over 1,441 rooms and your guided tour will give you an insight into the lives of those who called it home.
If you have chosen to take our alternative exursions you will enjoy a backstage tour of the Konzerthaus concert hall, which has among others, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in residence. After learning all about the venue's history, and perhaps catching a glimpse of a performer or two, you can relax in a cafe and enjoy a cup of Viennese coffee.
Back on board, you'll then sail to Bratislava, which you will discover on a tour before rejoining your ship and cruising to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Alternatively, you may have chosen to set off on a hiking excursion in the Little Carpathians, where, from the ruins of Devin Castle you can take in splendid views.
Day 4 Budapest
Come ashore with us this morning for a tour of Budapest. Known as the 'Queen of the Danube', it ranks amongst Europe's most beautiful cities, with the river running through its heart dividing it into historical Buda and the more modern Pest.
An alternative excursion gives you the chance to take in the city's highlights on a bicycle tour.
The afternoon is free to do as you please. This evening, entertainment is provided in the shape of a traditional folklore show in Budapest.
Day 5 Budapest - Kalocsa
You'll arrive at the charming town of Kalocsa this morning, from where you'll visit Puszta, a vast plain nestled in the rural heart of Hungary. Here you'll take your place at an exciting equestrian show, where Magyar cowboys demonstrate their incredible horsemanship.
Your next port of call is Bezdan, before your ship sails through the night to Novi Sad in Serbia.
Day 6 Kalocsa - Novi Sad - Belgrade
Your port of call this morning is Serbia's second city, Novi Sad, which you can explore after breakfast. Our included tour will show you highlights such as the Petrovaradin fortress, a stonghold that no enemy has ever taken, and the impressive Liberty Square.
Or if you're feeling energetic you'll enjoy a hike to the fortress instead, which is reached by climbing 200 steps. Of course, the views are stunning, and an included snack will keep you going.
Head back to the ship for lunch and take in the lovely views as you sail to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This evening we'll head ashore to enjoy a folklore show.
Day 7 Belgrade
A morning guided tour gives you the chance to discover Belgrade, with its Orthodox Cathedral and the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress just two sightseeing highlights.
If you have chosen our alternative excursions, you'll see the sights on a cycling tour.
Back on board, you'll spend the afternoon cruising to the picturesque town of Donji Milanovac, for an overnight stay.
Day 8 Belgrade - Iron Gates
You've a relaxing day ahead as you cruise the Danube and enjoy the ship's facilities. There are splendid views to take in as the ship navigates the Iron Gates, the gorge on the Danube that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. It was called "The Cauldrons” by ancient sailors, since the water, held tightly between two steep cliffs, seems to be boiling. This amazing stretch of the river passes through narrow gorges before opening into a mountain lake.
The day is rounded off perfectly with a gala evening hosted by your captain.
Day 9 Iron Gates - Rousse
Early this morning we arrive at Rousse, a picturesque city in Bulgaria which has earned the nickname 'Small Vienna' thanks to its grand architecture. You can discover this on an afternoon tour but first why not join our included excursion to the Roussenski Lom Valley. This national park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, caves, canyons and rock-hewn monasteries.Meals included: B,L,D
Day 10 Rousse - Bucharest
Your ship makes its way to Giurgiu in Romania this morning, from where you can visit its capital city, Bucharest. Highlights here are Constitution Square and the colossal Parliament Palace. Built by Communist Party leader Nicolai Ceausescu as the headquarters of his government in the early 1980s, this is the second-largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon.
As your ship sails through the night, you can enjoy a dinner-dance on board.
Day 11 Tulcea
You'll arrive at Tulcea today, where the River Danube ends its journey through Europe and empties into the Black Sea, creating the famous Danube Delta. This is one of the largest wetlands on earth and you'll leave the ship and board a smaller boat to explore this UNESCO-listed nature reserve this morning. Or maybe you have chosen to discover the delta's flora and fauna by 7-seater speedboat.
Enjoy a traditional Romanian folklore show and a gala dinner back on board this evening.
Day 12 Bucharest - UK
Enjoy breakfast on board the ship before we transfer you to the airport in Bucharest for your flight back to the UK.Meals included: B
Please note: Itinerary may vary due to changes in water levels.