Active Discovery on the Danube Cruise on-board Avalon Waterways

This exciting 9-day European river cruise holiday introduces you to the people & places along the Danube from Linz to Budapest, in the most active, engaged & fun ways imaginable.
R43 460
Starting from
R43 460
Package ValiditySet departure date: 01 JUL 2018.  *** Book & pay a deposit by 31 DEC 2017 & SAVE R7380 per person - discount already included in the price ***
Duration8 nights
Starts inLinz
Ends inBudapest


- 7 nights cruise accommodation in a deluxe stateroom E on-board Avalon Waterways
- 1 night hotel accommodation
- Breakfast daily & selected lunches & dinners
- Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine & canapés
- Welcome & Farewell dinner
- Afternoon tea daily
- Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch & dinner are included daily on-board
- Join a fun GUIDED HIKE along the route that smugglers took during World War II.
- Take a guided bike tour to an ancient Roman border defense fort dating back to the 2nd century AD.
- Paddle a canoe on a guided tour down the Danube & along some of its tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the river & riverbank villages;
- Join a jogging tour that shows you the highlights as you run between sites
- Wrap yourself in the peace of the city at sunrise during an early riser walking tour that includes breakfast at a Viennese cafe & an exclusive viewing of the Habsburg family's private art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts
- Spend your day in the great outdoors on a guided hike through Danube-Ipoly National Park
- Port charges & gratuities


Day 1

Arrive in Linz, Austria (Embarkation)
A European Capital of Culture & Austria's third-largest city, Linz, welcomes you today with open arms & plenty to see & do. Depending on your arrival time, there's free time for shopping, exploring on your own, or joining an optional activity. This afternoon, board the AVALON LUMINARY, & after a mandatory safety exercise, meet your friendly crew & fellow shipmates at a WELCOME RECEPTION. (NOTE: Flights into Linz must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on-board ship by 5 pm.) (D)

Day 2

Engelhartszell - Schlogen Oxbow scenic cruising - Linz
As you slept, your ship arrived in the pretty market town of Engelhartszell near the German border. Step ashore & CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * visit the stunning rococo ENGELSZELL ABBEY to tour its brewery, explore its SENSORY GARDEN-complete with stone labyrinth, herb garden, & vineyard-& attend a TASTING of locally produced cheeses & beer brewed by the Trappist monks, or; * join a fun GUIDED HIKE along the route that smugglers took during World War II, when a tightly controlled border existed between Austria & Germany. Back on your ship, an excellent lunch of Bavarian specialties will leave you energised & ready to join an exhilarating HIKE ALONG THE DANUBE. Fresh air & incredible vistas await as you watch the Avalon Luminary pass through the Schlogen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped curve of the river. In Aschach, rejoin the ship, which returns to Linz for the night. This evening, optional theatre or music excursions are available-or you can mingle with the locals at a fun pub crawl! (B,L,D)

Day 3

Linz - Mauthausen - Grein - Spitz
Arrive this morning in Mauthausen, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Neolithic Age. Here, we let you place your own personal stamp on your day as you CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * take a GUIDED BIKE TOUR to an ancient Roman border defense fort dating back to the 2nd century AD. Visit the museum dedicated to the site, with military weaponry, accounts of daily life, ceiling frescoes, sacred art objects, & more; * visit the 9th-century ST. FLORIAN MONASTERY, an architectural rival to Melk Abbey. While exploring, you may meet one of the monks (when available) or attend a short music recital, or; * join a heart-wrenching tour of MAUTHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP, one of World War II's largest & most brutal Nazi work camps. This afternoon, your ship passes through another breathtaking area, the Strudengau, popular among climbers & hikers for its enticing geological formations. Dock in Grein, a pretty country resort in the shadow of its castle. The GUIDED WALK includes a visit of the historic THEATRE, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. Then, visit GREINBURG or CLAM CASTLE, where you will meet the owner. After dinner, don't miss the spectacular views as we pass by Melk Abbey, perched high on a cliff above the river. The ship docks late tonight in Spitz. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Spitz - Vienna
Exciting activities abound today! CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * PADDLE A CANOE on a guided tour down the Danube & along some of its tributaries, for a completely unique perspective of the river & riverbank villages; * bask in the fresh air & incredible views on an easy guided BIKE TOUR from Spitz to Krems. Enjoy sightseeing in Durnstein that includes the mesmerising blue Stiftskirche, & enjoy a break to sample local specialties; * join an interactive WINE WORLD EXPERIENCE with wine tasting, or; * get a hands-on LOCAL ENCOUNTER that showcases production of regional fruits, vegetables, wine, or other products, depending on the season. A snack & beverage are included. This evening, arrive in Vienna, where you have free time to join an optional guided hike through the vineyards outside town, with a wine tasting & dinner at a Heurigen wine tavern. (B,L,D)

Day 5

Once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, this "City of Music" inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, & Strauss-& will inspire you, as well! Waltz ashore & CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * enjoy a BIKE TOUR that takes in the sights along the famed Ringstrasse & areas of Vienna inaccessible to buses & cars; * slip on your sneakers & join a JOGGING TOUR that shows you the highlights as you run between sites; * take a unique INSIDERS TOUR that features something different every day. It could be anything, from a visit to a musical instrument maker to a crash course on etiquette & protocol at diplomatic gatherings. You will meet locals, have the chance to prepare some food at a cooking class, & enjoy other surprises as well, or; * get a proper introduction to Vienna during a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR that includes an inside visit of Belvedere Palace to see Klimt's celebrated Kiss. Afterward, you have free time to explore on your own. Maybe stroll through the pedestrian Karntnerstrasse, take a break for a piece of decadent Sachertorte, or join an optional excursion. Tonight's on-board dinner pays a delicious tribute to the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. (B,L,D)

Day 6

A second full day in Vienna presents even more opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY for an experience most meaningful to you: * wrap yourself in the peace of the city at sunrise during an EARLY RISER WALKING TOUR that includes breakfast at a Viennese cafe & an exclusive viewing of the Habsburg family's private art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts; * for a more leisurely start to your morning, skip the walking tour & onshore breakfast & simply join us for the MUSEUM VISIT, which includes time in the ITALIAN & DUTCH MASTERS GALLERY, or; * perfect for military history buffs, begin with the MUSEUM VISIT of the Habsburg collection, then explore the MILITARY MUSEUM, commemorating the heroic past of the Habsburg Empire. Tonight, enjoy a delectable dinner of Viennese specialties on-board. (B,L,D)

Day 7

Visegrad, Hungary - Budapest
This morning, the Avalon Luminary passes by mighty Esztergom Basilica, coronation church of Hungary's monarchs. Later, arrive in Visegrad, where another exciting day is on tap. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * cheer your favourite champion at a MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS TOURNAMENT at Visegrad's Lower Castle, featuring targeting & fighting demonstrations by members of the St. George Knightly Order. During free time here, be sure to explore Palotahaz, where stonemasons, smiths, potters, & paper-makers produce their traditional items using age-old techniques, or; * spend your day in the great outdoors on a GUIDED HIKE through Danube-Ipoly National Park, home to eagles, falcons, bats, terrapins, fire salamanders, & other wildlife. Later this afternoon, your ship arrives in Budapest, affording magnificent views of the beautiful Parliament Building. Prepare for an exquisite GALA FAREWELL DINNER featuring foods specially paired with just the right area wines or beers. (B,L,D)

Day 8

Budapest (Disembarkation)
One of Eastern Europe's most dynamic cities, Hungary's capital spans the Danube in a majestic way. Awaken refreshed & dig in to a hearty breakfast before disembarking & deciding how you would like to explore. CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY: * take an enjoyable, 2-hour WALKING TOUR that includes some "Fungarian" instruction of useful local words & phrases; * join a GUIDED BIKE TOUR along the bike paths & car-free areas for a safe & enjoyable way to see the city's most fantastic sights, or; * see the best of Budapest on a CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR featuring Heroes' Square, Fishermen's Bastion, Matthias Church, & an inside visit of the OPERA HOUSE. Afterward, you have free time to shop for Hungarian paprika or handcrafted souvenirs, savour a piece of cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Cafe, join an optional tour of Budapest's limestone cave system, or play nine holes of golf. (B)

Day 9

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning! (B)