What could be a more perfect choice for your next vacation than a river cruise on the beautiful Blue Danube? Springing up in the town of Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest, this great waterway flows southeast for 1,785 miles before emptying itself into the Black Sea at Sulina in eastern Romania. Along its vast length, the Danube passes through or borders no less than ten countries, and drains into nine more. It also flows through four national capital cities - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade - more than any other river in the world.
The ancient origins of its name are lost in the mists of time – with contenders including a bringer of luck, a Vedic river goddess, and even words meaning swift, violent and undisciplined. But your Blue Danube river cruise vacation is far more serene than that. Gliding peacefully between its famous and endlessly enchanting river banks, you’ll experience for yourself the calm delights that inspired “the beautiful blue Danube” of Johann Strauss’s immortal waltz and lullaby. Music is everywhere on the shores of the river Danube – from the wild genius of Mozart in Salzburg to Beethoven, Brahms, and an entire family of Strausses in classical Vienna. You’ll follow in the wake of emperors and kings on your Danube river cruise, too.
Ever since the time of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I of Barbarossa and King Richard I of England, the powerful rulers of Europe and their retinues used this great river to travel and to control their lands - avoiding the often exhausting nature of transportation overland. No wonder, then, that so many fascinating historical sights await you at every turn as your river cruise takes you effortlessly down the Danube – from imposing castles, mighty fortresses, exquisite baroque churches and quiet abbeys to sumptuous palaces, elegant gardens and the most wonderfully preserved medieval towns and villages.