Style : River cruise
The Blue Danube - Westbound 2024 tour
Bratislava Budapest The Blue Danube - Westbound 2024 Trip

The Blue Danube - Westbound 2024

Tauck
By Tauck
4.2 . Great
80%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
12 days
From: $ 6,790 $ 566 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Along the 'river of kings'... medieval castles and Gothic cathedrals... charming riverside villages... the Imperial treasures of the Habsburgs... lush Wachau valley vineyards... the music of Mozart...  From Prague to Budapest
  • castles of all descriptions have watched over the landscape from their royal perches for centuries. On this 12-day journey featuring a 9-night Danube cruise
  • they remain lasting testimony to kingdoms and culture
  • ready to welcome you… during a private dinner in Lobkowicz Palace… an exclusive evening of Imperial entertainment at a private Vienna palace... in Baroque Salzburg and atop Budapest's Castle Hill... and exploring Vienna's Hofburg or Schönbrunn Palace. It's a Blue Danube cruise to remember!

Short Description

Wind your way past medieval landscapes aboard Tauck's ms Savor or ms Joy to explore five European countries, visit castles and cathedrals, embark on locally guided sightseeing and spend special evenings in two private palaces. Enjoy two nights each at centrally located hotels in Prague and Budapest.

Style River cruise
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Budapest, Hungary
End City Prague

Attractions & Cities Visited

Bratislava Budapest Linz Prague Vienna

Activities & Interests

Culture

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Budapest and embark

Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Budapest. A transfer is included from Budapest's Ferenc Liszt Airport or Keleti train station to your riverboat. Meet your fellow travelers and Tauck Directors, and learn about the upcoming days, ahead at a welcome toast this evening prior to your first dinner aboard ship.

MEALS : D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Day 2 Discover the landmarks & stories of Pest

Budapest is split into "Buda" and "Pest" by the Danube River. This morning, explore the Pest side of the city on a tour including City Park and Heroes' Square – bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary – and a special visit to the opulent State Opera House, opened in 1884, with its royal boxes, gilded vaulted ceiling, exquisite murals and three-ton chandelier. Later, you have a choice of a themed walking tour that focuses on the Hungarian Revolution and includes the Parliament building, the Embassy and St. Stephen's Basilica; or a guided bicycle tour in Budapest. The afternoon is free for you to pursue what interests you most. Budapest has acquired quite an excellent reputation for cuisine; tonight's special welcome cocktail reception and dinner is at the grand Akadémia Club in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Day 3 Explore Buda

Head up to Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking the Danube on the Buda side of the city, for a choice of sightseeing. A guided tour includes Fisherman's Bastion, with its Neo-Romanesque design, the stained glass windows and centuries of history in the 14th-century, late-Gothic Matthias Church (may be closed on some days due to services) and more. Alternatively, visit the famed Szechenyi Bath Spa. Reboard your riverboat this afternoon, and begin to cruise the Danube River, bound for Bratislava, Slovakia.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Day 4 Baroque in Bratislava

Our resident expert takes you inside contemporary Slovakia and Bratislava for a look at the region's politics, economy, religion, social order, preservation and emergence of the arts. After lunch aboard the riverboat, you'll have a choice of exploring Bratislava's cobblestoned, vehicle-free historic city center on a walking tour – seeing 17 centuries of history eloquently chronicled in its 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, and Hviezdosalv Square – or setting off on a bicycling excursion through the city's "Iron Curtain Area." Back on board the riverboat, dinner tonight introduces you to a glimpse of daily life in Slovakia with a taste of regional cuisine and an a performance by a talented troupe of Slovak dancers.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Bratislava, Slovakia

Day 5 Exploring Vienna & an Imperial Evening

Your riverboat arrives this morning in Vienna, Austria, where our local guides join you for a choice city sightseeing. A drive along the Ringstrasse is followed by a walking tour of Vienna; alternatively, take a guided bicycle ride around the city. An afternoon at leisure lets you explore the city as you please, including outstanding museums, the historic Vienna Prater amusement park, and more. This evening, we invite you to attend our private Imperial Evening in the opulent Palais Pallavicini, a private Baroque palace in Vienna that film buffs may have spotted in the 1940s film noir classic The Third Man. Welcome cocktails and dinner precede an unforgettable evening of musical performance celebrating the legacy of the composers who made Vienna Europe's center of music during the Habsburg era.

Please note: To preserve your sightseeing experience in Vienna and maximize our time there, we may rotate our activities on Days 5 and 6 on some departures. Your Tauck Director will advise accordingly.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Vienna, Austria

Day 6 A choice in Vienna and journey to Dürnstein

A choice of sightseeing this morning features a tour of the Habsburgs' Schönbrunn Palace, an architectural masterpiece and Austrian cultural treasure, or Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, one of the world's most acclaimed art museums located in a palatial building on the historic Ringstrasse. Then, shuttles are at the ready to bring you back to the riverboat before we cruise the Danube River through Austria's Wachau Valley; glide past castles and abbeys to as you set off medieval Dürnstein this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Vienna, Austria

Day 7 Picturesque Dürnstein and the Wachau Valley

Wake up in Dürnstein for a closer look at its 16th-century Baroque houses and 13th-century Romanesque church on a walking tour along cobblestone streets; you may also choose to tour a local monastery, or take a bicycle ride. Enjoy some free time in this charming riverside town, perhaps taking an invigorating climb up the steps to the ruins of Kuenringerburg, a hilltop castle above the town where Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom during the Crusades. Sample the fruits of the Wachau Valley vineyards during a wine tasting at an authentic Austrian tavern. Back aboard, you'll continue to cruise the Danube River through the Wachau Valley, Austria's lush wine-growing region that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved medieval landscapes, to Linz; after the Chef's Signature dinner onboard, enjoy a show put on by members of the riverboat crew.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Dürnstein, Austria

Day 8 Salzburg sights or Cesky Krumlov

Your boat stays docked in Linz today, with a choice of how you spend your day – full-day excursions to Salzburg (Austria), or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, or remaining in Linz. A setting for The Sound of Music, a Salzburg walking tour explores Old Town, Mirabell Gardens, and Mozart's birthplace.; enjoy time on your own to have lunch and experience the sights as you wish. Alternatively, travel to Cesky Krumlov; graced with an incredibly well-preserved medieval heritage and charming ambiance, the town has earned its coveted designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic importance and physical beauty. A walking tour takes you to part of Krumlov Castle; it's worth climbing the many steps to see firsthand the medieval, Renaissance and Rococo design found inside, along with the stunning views of the town below. Return to the riverboat for dinner followed by an evening performance by the classical trio, Donau 3Klang.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

PORTOFCALL : Linz, Austria, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Day 9 Engelhartszell & cycling along the Danube

Wake up this morning in Engelhartszell, a pretty town on the Danube in Upper Austria. After a visit to a local private home (and a taste of local cake, sweets and coffee), you'll have a choice of a walking tour of town including 18th-century Engelhartszell Abbey and Danube World, through which ships navigate through the Wachau Valley (please note, there may be ongoing renovations in progress). Following lunch aboard the riverboat, you may, if you wish, join us for an optional bicycle excursion along the Danube (a fairly rigorous bike ride, for experienced cyclists only). Take in the views from the sun deck, lounge, or the windows of your outside cabin as your riverboat glides into Germany, bound tonight for your final destination, Vilshofen; enjoy a farewell toast followed by dinner onboard this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : ms Joy

Day 10 Disembark Vilshofen for Regensburg & Prague

Disembark your ship in Vilshofen for a choice of excursions. One brings you to the Bavarian town of Regensburg for a walking tour led by a local guide that visits the Steinerne Brücke (a medieval stone bridge over the Danube), towering Dom St. Peter, and the remains of the town's Roman wall before venturing to Prague. Alternatively, journey to Prague for a visit to one of its hidden gems - the Strahov Monastery! Your time here also includes a short walk through Hradcany Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. Following your excursion, enjoy a light lunch and check into your hotel in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and the "City of 100 Spires." The remainder of the day is free; the city's many fine restaurants and cafés feature a wide range of cuisines... and some of the best schnitzels, goulashes, strudels, dumplings and beer the region has to offer.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Andaz Prague

PORTOFCALL : Regensburg, Germany

Day 11 The legacy of many centuries in Prague

Start today's exploration of Prague this morning with a choice of walking tours through Prague's ethereal Old Town, choosing between a one-hour introductory tour; a "walk through the centuries" (note: this excursion has two versions, with one being shorter and less requiring less walking); or the city's poignant Jewish sites in Josefov, the historic Jewish Quarter (ask at booking about dates that cannot visit inside the Jewish Heritage sites as they are closed Saturdays and on Jewish holidays; in those cases, alternate sightseeing will be offered). Tonight, cap a memorable trip with a truly royal evening that's another Tauck Exclusive; join us for a farewell reception, tour and dinner at 16th-century Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. Immerse in an evening of classical cultural treasures – and see for yourself how music and art played an important role in the aristocratic world of the Lobkowicz family.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : Andaz Prague

PORTOFCALL : Prague, Czech Republic

Day 12 Journey home

Tour ends: Prague, Czech Republic. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Andaz Prague to Praha Hlavni Nadrazi train station or Václav Havel Airport Prague. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for check-in.

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Prague, Czech Republic

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 6,790
Price Per Day: $ 566 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDouble LuxuryDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Apr-04-2024Apr-16-2024$ 6,790$ 6,790$ 9,240 Reserve
May-04-2024May-16-2024$ 7,790$ 7,790$ 10,240 Reserve
May-15-2024May-27-2024$ 8,590$ 8,590$ 11,040 Reserve
May-20-2024Jun-01-2024$ 8,590$ 8,590$ 11,040 Reserve
Jun-07-2024Jun-19-2024$ 8,590$ 8,590$ 11,040 Reserve
Jul-09-2024Jul-21-2024$ 6,990$ 6,990$ 9,440 Reserve
Jul-16-2024Jul-28-2024$ 6,990$ 6,990$ 9,440 Reserve
Aug-26-2024Sep-07-2024$ 7,490$ 7,490$ 9,940 Reserve
Sep-04-2024Sep-16-2024$ 8,290$ 8,290$ 10,740 Reserve
Sep-13-2024Sep-25-2024$ 8,590$ 8,590$ 11,040 Reserve
Sep-29-2024Oct-11-2024$ 8,290$ 8,290$ 10,740 Reserve
Oct-24-2024Nov-05-2024$ 6,790$ 6,790$ 9,240 Reserve
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Tauck.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

25 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

80%
4.2 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 4
Terrible 1
Value
4.1
Guide
4.3
Activities
4.3
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.2

The Blue Danube - Westbound 2024

No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

Nine Tours and Done

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities3.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation4.0
Meals2.0
Sad to see a once good tour company stumble and fall into mediocrity. That’s Tauck post-Covid. My May 2023 tour of Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley was done on the cheap by Tauck, yet cost me thousands of dollars extra as a solo traveler on a special small-group tour.



5-star hotels switched to 3 and 4 (without any compensation or explanation)… many more meals “on your own”… lots of “self-guided” tours of museums and chateaux and castles we knew nothing about… airline quality “rubber chicken” dinners, not in hotel restaurants, but in sad and isolated business convention spaces… poorly-trained newer Tour Directors (like the one on this tour) with limited experience traveling outside her tiny Canadian village or dealing with people from diverse backgrounds.

She even confessed that this was a second gig job that took her away from her own business back home! You get what Tauck pays for, but unfortunately, not what YOU pay for. 

Speaking to a “Guest Relations” agent was comically pointless. She tried to make everything my fault, which I now understand is par for the course with the “new” post-Covid Tauck. Please reconsider spending huge amounts of your hard-earned money on a tour company that has lost its way and no longer delivers.
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Skip this cruise - not worth it

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide4.0
Activities1.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I went on the Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles Trip jn October 2022. This was our third Tauck cruise with Ponnant but our first post covid and the level of food and serive on Ponnant ships has dropped alot. The food was, at best, cafeteria food at a bad high school. My husband ate salad and cheese and crackers
For dinner every night because the entrees were terrible. You could be the first person at breakfast and everything on the buffet was cold, nothing was hot. there warming trays had tea light candles underneath them.
Wine served at dinner was low quality whicj says something since it was French wine. Tours were poorly
Planned, guides were ok at best. There is no time to shop or eat on land 9 times out 10. We were in Sicily but never got a chance to eat Sicilian food. So disappointed in this ver expensive cruise. The land portions in Malta and Marseiile were better but the tours in Malta were short, limited and subpar. This was our 8th Tauck trip and we have since cancelled our next three. We are not paying Tauck prices for mediocre experiences.
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Tauck/Aon terrible travel insurance

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Tauck partners with Aon for travel insurance. We bought this insurance through Tauck specifically to cover us in case of a positive for test for Covid and could not go on the cruise. Three days before the trip, one of us tested positive with very mild symptoms. We contacted Tauck and they agreed to refund 1/2 of the tour cost and the insurance would pay for the other half. When we called the insurance they said they required a PCF test. The test was taken and came back positive. Two months later they denied the claim because we didn’t go to a doctor. That was not necessary or practical. We had proof of Covid. Tauck is not willing to help. This was the insurance they recommended and sold to customers. We have now read many reviews of terrible service from Aon. Why is Tauck a partner to this company and not willing to help their clients? BEWARE. Terrible customer service.
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Nice trip but not if you are a loyal Tauck Customer like myself

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities4.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation5.0
Meals2.0
This was my 16th Tauck Tour. I was assigned a room with a "mountain" view only to be obstructed by lawn chairs, pool covers, large plants and buildings. It was a 1st floor room. I complained to tour director who said everyone got the same (NOT TRUE). I called Tauck 800 number on Sept 3 to request a call back from Customer Service. It took them until September 8 for a call back. The person on the phone was rude, non caring and (I'm paraphrasing) and told me just because you have taken 16 tours doesn't mean you deserve a better view that a first time customer. He went on to imply Tauck doesn't respect loyalty and wants to impress first time travelers. I ended the call and wrote an email to a good person at Tauck who was very helpful in the and requested this go to the top. I included pictures of my view and one dead fly because there were flies in the room and I guess Tauck thinks that makes the room special? I'm not done with them yet. Consider my treatment by this Customer Care agent before spending the big bucks to travel with Tauck.
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Great if you like 5-star hotels and lots of food

4.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities3.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour covered most of Switzerland, with one day in Italy, which could have been eliminated. If you want to see the country from a bus or train, and you desire luxury hotels and gourmet food, then this is the tour for you. If you want to have a closer connection to the local people, and walk a bit in the mountains, or even hear the cowbells up close, then don't take this trip. While the trip was nice, I felt a disconnect from the local people and the country itself. We were always separated in a private train car, or on a private tour. I came home not really knowing what it's like to live there, other than it's very expensive.
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Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
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Details

Ship Name

MS SAVOR, MS JOY

Ship Description

MS SAVOR

Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Savor cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Danube River as part of our Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue our tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters). Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, our most popular cabins tend to be our largest... so we have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, we’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open -

MS JOY

Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Joy cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Danube River as part of our Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue our tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters). Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, our most popular cabins tend to be our largest... so we have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, we’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open

Deck & Cabin Plans

MS SAVOR

MS JOY

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Trip ID#:

tauck-RDY2024

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