Explore the Danube: The Iconic Riches of the River

From the Black Forest to the Black Sea, the Danube is an icon of the continent, flowing through elegant capitals, fairy-tale villages and a showcase of natural beauty. Journeying its timeless passage conjures boundless curiosity and wonder, transporting you on the ultimate continental voyage of discovery.

Join us as we explore the riches of the Danube – from the enchantment of Bavaria to the majesty of the Iron Gates


Springing from the Black Forest, the Danube weaves from west to east through Bavaria, joining the Main in the town of Kelheim, at the eastern end of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. It’s here where our journey begins, as the river flows southeast towards the alpine wonders of Austria.

The Bavarian Delights of Germany

Passau luxury river cruises
  • Regensburg – Unearth the rich heritage of Bavaria in this medieval city, from the Old Town, with its timber-framed merchant houses, to the iconic Stone Bridge, built in the 12th century.
  • Passau – Marvel at a showcase of Europe’s finest Baroque architecture, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a 17th-century church which hosts the world’s largest cathedral organ. Known as the ‘City of Three Rivers’, Passau is built where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers meet.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Freechoice Excursion – Sail the Danube Gorge to the historic Weltenburg Abbey, where you can enjoy some of the oldest beer in the world, brewed here since 1050 AD.
  • Did you know? Though only completed in 1992, the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal has been in development since the 8th century, with Emperor Charlemagne being the first to construct a passage between the Danube and the Rhine.


Austria's Timeless Elegance

  • Salzburg – Though not strictly on the Danube, the fairy-tale city of Salzburg promises to be a journey highlight. With its alpine backdrop and stunning heritage buildings, it’s small wonder this Austrian city inspired the location for The Sound of Music.
  • Vienna ­– Discover the elegance of the Ringstrasse, from Hofburg Palace to the Spanish Riding School, before an unforgettable classical concert at Palais Liechtenstein, with a performance of Mozart and Strauss.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Sundowners Experience – After an inspiring day in the Wachau Valley, watch the sunset beyond the Alps, glass of fine Austrian wine in hand, as you enjoy a performance from local musicians.
  • Did you know? The Wachau Valley is home to around 125 vineyards, the majority of which produce Riesling and Grüner Veltliner white wines.

Explore the Ancient Beauty of Slovakia

  • Bratislava – Join a local guide for an enriching city tour, taking in the wonders of the Old Town and the imposing walls of Bratislava Castle. Or, visit the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum for some of the finest sculptures of the continent.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Freechoice Excursion – Journey to Devin Castle to tour its ruins and ramparts, before a tasting of the region’s local specialities, including Devin’s famous currant wine.
  • Did you know? Slovakia has the world’s highest number of castles per capita, with over 180 scattered across the country.


From the Hungarian Gorge to the Iron Gates, the Middle Danube is a passage of spectacular contrast and beauty. Marvel at the complex architectural cityscape of Budapest, sample the Adriatic cuisine of Croatia, and walk the cobbles of Europe’s oldest cities in Serbia.

Extraordinary Experiences in Hungary

budapest luxury river cruise
  • Budapest – The ‘Queen of the Danube’ affords tremendous sightseeing, from Buda Castle to the Hungarian State Parliament Building. We’d recommend a soak in one of the city’s natural thermal baths, preferably Széchenyi.
  • Kalocsa – On the brink of the Hungarian Plain, discover the Baroque beauty of Kalocsa, before attending a traditional Puszta Horse Show.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Freechoice Excursion ­– Explore the village of Villány, where you’ll learn about local life in rural Hungary while sampling the fine wines of the region.
  • Did you know? The Hungarian Parliament Building is the third largest in the world, covering 18,000 square metres, standing 96 metres and hosting some 691 rooms.

History and Heritage in Beautiful Croatia

  • Osijek – The capital of Slavonia in eastern Croatia, Osijek is an ancient city dotted with heritage landmarks. See the best of the city during a guided walking tour, or enjoy an invigorating cycle ride through the Croatian countryside.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Enrich Experience – An intimate encounter with a local Croatian family offers authentic insight into local life. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked dinner, and hear the tall-tales and unique traditions of Croatia.
  • Did you know? 10% of Croatia is comprised of nature reserves and protected land, including 11 nature parks, eight national parks, and two nature reserves.

Experience the Might and Beauty of Serbia

belgrade luxury river cruises
  • Belgrade – Belgrade is one of Europe’s oldest capitals, having been founded by the Vinča in prehistory. This heritage is echoed in its historic landmarks, from Kalemegdan Fortress to the Cathedral of Saint Sava.
  • The Iron Gates – Forming a natural boundary between Central and Eastern Europe, the Iron Gates are a natural spectacle which became synonymous as the frontier of the Western World. Savour the view as you cruise through this iconic gorge.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Sundowners Experience – After a day of sightseeing in Belgrade, raise a toast with new-found friends as the city provides an idyllic sunset backdrop.
  • Did you know? Belgrade’s Vinča culture stretches back over 7,000 years, pre-dating the ancient Greeks and the ancient Egyptians.



The great Danube has long connected west with east, allowing seamless passage through these once turbulent lands. Sailing between the Iron Gates, strike out through the Danube Delta, experiencing the unique character of Romania and the ancient customs of Bulgaria, as the river draws closer to the Black Sea.


Rousse state opera theater
  • Rousse ­– The fifth largest city in Bulgaria, Rousse is well-known for its bustling café culture, particularly in the grand square, where you’ll find a strong Austro-Hungarian influence.
  • Silistra – One of the oldest port cities of the Danube, Silistra boasts a string of distinguished heritage sites, from the Late Roman tomb to Silistra Fort, one of the finest Ottoman structures of Europe.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Freechoice Excursion – As you explore the ancient heritage town of Arbanasi, slip into its Byzantine church to hear a local choir singing traditional Bulgarian hymns – a truly charming experience.
  • Did you know? In Bulgaria, nodding your head up and down is a negative response, so it’s easy to get confused when interacting with locals.


  • Bucharest – A blend of architectural styles add colour to the Romanian capital of Bucharest. From French-influenced civic palaces to the brutal housing blocks of Ceausescu’s rebuilding phase, even a short walk serves as a revealing history lesson.
  • The Danube Delta – Protected as a World Heritage Site, the Danube Delta hosts over 300 species of birds and rare aquatic plant life. Admire the scenery as you cruise to Mile 0, on the shores of the Black Sea.
  • Included with Scenic: A Scenic Freechoice Excursion – A visit to the Village Open Air Museum is a must in Bucharest. Here, gains insight into Romanian heritage and culture, and marvel at a collection of ancient artefacts.
  • Did you know? Romania is the 9th-largest wine producer in the world, offering over 400 varieties.
danube luxury river cruises
Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura is Scenic's Digital Marketing Exec. She loves travel; her first river cruise was on the Danube, and she fell in love with Budapest at first sight. In her free time, Laura is usually reading, travel blogging, or planning her next adventure.