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6 nights
from £1995

Music & Majesty of the Danube

A cruise between Budapest and Vienna celebrating the delightful music of the Danube aboard the Royal Crown

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  • Music
  • Schonnbrunn Palace

Join us for a week of musical and cultural delights as we sail from Budapest to Vienna from the comfort of the MS Royal Crown. This autumn month is an ideal time to visit central Europe and immerse yourself in the region’s rich heritage and musical diversity. Much of the world’s classical music has originated from a relatively small area in central Europe; draw a 100-mile radius around Vienna and here you will find the origins of some of the greatest 18th and 19th century composers that have ever lived. During our voyage we will spend time in the great cities of Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna and enjoy cruising along some of the most scenic sections of the Danube. Along the way we will see splendid and opulent palaces and monasteries, each with their own architectural style and colourful history and we also have the opportunity to experience a variety of glorious music at a selection of unique venues. This is no ordinary river cruise but a celebration of music through a landscape that has inspired composers and poets through the ages and promises to be a truly memorable and delightful voyage. To complement your journey, we are also offering a three night post cruise extension at the luxurious Hotel Sacher in Salzburg, truly a great city of music and joie de vivre.

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Music Highlights

    Onboard music performance by the folk Lugosi Band
    String quartet performance at Moyzes Hall, Bratislava
    A clarinet quintet performance at Melk Abbey
    A visit and concert in the opulent Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna
    Onboard classical recital by pianist Martin Ivanov

    More information
  • Guest Speaker – Sir Nicholas Kenyon

    Nicholas Kenyon

    Sir Nicholas Kenyon has been Managing Director of the Barbican Centre since 2007. He was Controller, BBC Radio 3 1992-8, and Director of the BBC Proms from 1996 to 2007. He was a music critic for The New Yorker, The Times and Observer, and editor of Early Music 1983-92. He was appointed Controller, BBC Radio 3 in 1992, and was responsible for the award-winning seasons Fairest Isle and Sounding the Century. He oversaw the BBC’s programming for the Millennium, and then ran the BBC’s Live Events and TV Classical Music departments, including the Queen’s Jubilee Concerts of 2002.

    He has lectured widely and published books on Bach, Mozart, Simon Rattle, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and early music. Most recently he has edited The City of London: a Companion Guide. He has been a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College Oxford, and is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College Oxford. He is a member of Arts Council England, and a board member of Sage Gateshead. He was knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours, and in 2011 received the British Academy President’s medal for outstanding service to the arts and humanities.

    More information

Royal Crown

Royal Crown

This elegant vessel combines the nostalgic charm of the 1930s with the comfort and service of a four-star vessel. No expense has been spared to create not only a vessel that is beautiful to look at, but also a great joy to travel on. Spacious teak decks, elegant public rooms and staterooms with mahogany, rosewood and marble, together with rich fabrics and specially designed furniture, all blend together to create a unique river vessel. Built in 1996 and refurbished in 2010, the 90 passenger MS Royal Crown was designed for the rivers flowing through the heart of Europe. Exquisite furniture, expensive materials and accessories give the vessel its unique atmosphere. Facilities onboard include a library, boutique, fitness area, lounge with panoramic views and a restaurant with open seating. Outside there is a large sun deck, lido bar, a putting green and large scale chessboard. Onboard the efficient air-conditioning system ensures a comfortable temperature. Two powerful engines propel the vessel up to a speed of 12 knots.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Budapest, Hungary.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Royal Crown for embarkation. This evening join our fellow travellers for a Welcome Drink & Gala Dinner, followed by an after-dinner performance by the lively Lugosi Band playing classical and gypsy melodies from Hungary.

Day 2 - Budapest.

We have the day to explore Hungary’s elegant capital city. Spend the morning on an excursion that will include the old quarter, visiting the Matthias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastion and Royal Palace (outside only). Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon there will be a choice of included tours. Firstly, an excursion to the nearby Palace of Godollo. It was the favoured home of Sissy, the wife of Emperor Franz Josef, and in recent years the palace has been restored. Alternatively, you may prefer a visit to Budapest’s impressive House of Parliament. On arrival join a guided walking tour of its famous rooms, including the Holy Crown of Hungary in the cupola hall, the magnificent staircase and the session room. This evening there will be an optional music evening ashore at the State Opera House or Liszt Academy (depending on availability and schedules). Sail late this evening towards Slovakia.

Day 3 - Bratislava, Slovakia.

A relaxing morning of cruising, arriving into Bratislava in the early afternoon. After lunch on board join a guided walking tour of the city, formerly known as Pressburg, a former capital of Hungary. See the old quarter, the ornate Baroque Palace and the ancient city gates. The tour ends with a visit to the beautiful Moyzes Hall (or similar) where a string quartet will perform a concert of music by Dvorak and Mozart. Return to the ship and later this evening we cruise overnight to Vienna.

Day 4 - Vienna, Austria.

Today, join our morning guided city tour which will include the famous Ringstrasse, St Stephen’s Cathedral, and Belvedere Palace (outside only). Return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon will be at leisure to explore independently or you may wish to join one of our included tours. Firstly, a tour to see Schonbrunn Palace, the Versailles of Vienna, graced by a number of formal gardens, classical statuary and the “Roman ruin” erected in 1778. Alternatively, you may like to join an excursion to the Vienna Woods, which includes a visit to the beautiful monastery at Heiligenkreuz, and the hunting lodge at Mayerling. The lodge is now a commemorative chapel, remembering the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolph and Baronesse Vetsera, both of whom died tragically during the infamous Mayerling Incident of 1889. Return to the ship and, after dinner this evening, we join our fellow travellers in the lounge for a wonderful piano recital by Martin Ivanov.

Day 5 - Melk.

Arrive this morning in Melk, and after breakfast depart for an excursion to see this imposing Baroque Abbey which dominates the Danube from its cliff top setting. Our tour here will end with an uplifting performance by a clarinet quintet. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon we relax on board as we sail through the beautiful Wachau Valley back to Vienna for an overnight mooring. This evening we join our fellow travellers for the Farewell Drinks & Gala Dinner.

Day 6 - Vienna.

After breakfast depart for a morning visit to the sumptuous Palais Liechtenstein, home to The Princely Collections. Our visit here includes masterpieces from the early Renaissance to the Biedermeier era, as well as beautiful tapestries, porcelain and furniture. Our tour ends with a classical concert by a string quartet from the Vienna Philharmonic in one of the Palace’s sumptuous ballrooms. Return to the ship for a late lunch and the afternoon is at leisure. This evening there will be an optional music event ashore at the State Opera or Volksopera (subject to schedules and availability). Moor overnight.

Day 7 - Vienna to London.

Disembark after breakfast and return to London by scheduled flight.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
16 to 22 October 2018
Category Price
Junior Suite £1995
Superior Suite £2095
Deluxe Suite £2295
Premium Suite £2495
Royal Suite £2795
Deluxe Suite For sole use £2595

Tour Reference Code: RCRC161018

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, six nights aboard the MS Royal Crown on full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions and music events as described, Cruise Director, Tour Manager, Guest Speaker, gratuities, transfers, port & airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, optional music evenings ashore on days 2 & 6.

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Royal Crown

This elegant vessel combines the nostalgic charm of the 1930s with the comfort and service of a four-star vessel. No expense has been spared to create not only a vessel that is beautiful to look at, but also a great joy to travel on. Spacious teak decks, elegant public rooms and staterooms with mahogany, rosewood and marble, together with rich fabrics and specially designed furniture, all blend together to create a unique river vessel. Built in 1996 and refurbished in 2010, the 90 passenger MS Royal Crown was designed for the rivers flowing through the heart of Europe. Exquisite furniture, expensive materials and accessories give the vessel its unique atmosphere. Facilities onboard include a library, boutique, fitness area, lounge with panoramic views and a restaurant with open seating. Outside there is a large sun deck, lido bar, a putting green and large scale chessboard. Onboard the efficient air-conditioning system ensures a comfortable temperature. Two powerful engines propel the vessel up to a speed of 12 knots.

 
  • Royal Crown
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • On Deck
  • Twin Cabin
  • Sun Deck
  • Cabin Bathroom
  • Bar
  • Royal Suite
    Royal Suite
  • Your Cabin / Suite

    Royal Crown has 45 suites which range in size from 145 square feet to the spacious Royal Suites which measure 200 square feet. All suites are fitted with spacious rosewood cupboards, a dressing table, satellite TV, a safety deposit box, individually controlled airconditioning and en-suite facilities with shower and hairdryer. Suites on the Select deck have portholes and the Royal Suites on the Panorama deck have large windows.

    Please note that Junior, Deluxe & Superior Suites have fixed twin beds. Premium and Royal Suites have fixed double beds with separate mattresses and duvets, so can be made up as twins if required.

  • Your Space

    The elegant Lounge Bar is defined by its 30s inspired Art Deco style, with textured carpets, carved mahogany and plush sofas which create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Experience unforgettable views from the large windows as you enjoy coffee or tea. The lounge is also where our guest speakers will entertain you with informative presentations. In the evenings, let the day come to an end with a choice of beverages from the extensive menu accompanied by a musician playing a Steinway & Sons grand piano. The huge sun deck on MS Royal Crown covers almost the entire length of the vessel, interrupted only by the bridge and the Lido Bar (open when weather permits) where you can enjoy a drink under the umbrella such as fresh juice, a milkshake, or even a cocktail. Recline on a sun lounger and read a book or watch the changing scenery. There is also a putting green and a large chess board for your enjoyment. For some time out, relax in the wellness centre which includes a sauna with shower facilities, and a fitness room. There is also a small boutique and a library with a selection of books and games. Daily news sheets are also supplied.

  • Your Dining

    While the most beautiful river scenery passes by, enjoy delicacies created by the Executive Chef and his team. The restaurant has open seating, allowing you to sit where and with whom you like at each meal. In the morning breakfast is served buffet style, lunch is a delightful salad buffet with hot served choices and dinner is a served four course meal. In addition house wine, beer and soft drinks are included at both lunch and dinner.

  • Life Onboard

    The atmosphere onboard is friendly and informal and within days you will have made new friends in the open-seating restaurant, on the shore excursions or whilst relaxing in the comfortable public areas onboard. You will find yourself amongst like-minded people in an English speaking environment and for those who seek peace and quiet, there will always be the opportunity to find a secluded spot on the sun deck or simply rest in your well-appointed cabin. A musician will play each evening whilst you relax in the lounge, guest speakers will provide a series of interesting talks and our cruise director will host informative port briefings. After a day exploring ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable vessel.

  • For Your Comfort

    The Royal Crown is equipped with the latest safety and navigation equipment for sailing Europe’s waterways. During you voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers in the Bridge to learn more about navigating the varying water levels of these meandering rivers. There is no doctor onboard. Smoking is limited to the Sun deck.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
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Music Highlights

Onboard music performance by the folk Lugosi Band
String quartet performance at Moyzes Hall, Bratislava
A clarinet quintet performance at Melk Abbey
A visit and concert in the opulent Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna
Onboard classical recital by pianist Martin Ivanov

Guest Speaker – Sir Nicholas Kenyon

Sir Nicholas Kenyon has been Managing Director of the Barbican Centre since 2007. He was Controller, BBC Radio 3 1992-8, and Director of the BBC Proms from 1996 to 2007. He was a music critic for The New Yorker, The Times and Observer, and editor of Early Music 1983-92. He was appointed Controller, BBC Radio 3 in 1992, and was responsible for the award-winning seasons Fairest Isle and Sounding the Century. He oversaw the BBC’s programming for the Millennium, and then ran the BBC’s Live Events and TV Classical Music departments, including the Queen’s Jubilee Concerts of 2002.

He has lectured widely and published books on Bach, Mozart, Simon Rattle, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and early music. Most recently he has edited The City of London: a Companion Guide. He has been a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College Oxford, and is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College Oxford. He is a member of Arts Council England, and a board member of Sage Gateshead. He was knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours, and in 2011 received the British Academy President’s medal for outstanding service to the arts and humanities.

Tour Extensions

    • Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of Salzburgerland. The “Old Town”, with its world famous Baroque architecture is one of the best-preserved city centres in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

      For our three night extension we will be staying at the elegant, luxurious and centrally located Sacher Hotel and included is a half day walking tour of Salzburg, a full day’s excursion exploring the beautiful lakes and mountains of the Salzkammergut region as well as time at leisure to explore the city at your own pace.

      Salzburg Salzburg

      Day 1 Vienna to Salzburg. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Vienna Central Station to take a morning train to Salzburg (first class seats will be reserved and journey time is approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival transfer to the Hotel Sacher and check in for our three night stay. This afternoon we gather in the hotel foyer and join a guided walking tour of the city. The remainder of the day and evening are at leisure.

      Day 2 Salzburg. After breakfast at the hotel we depart for our full day tour to one of Austria’s most beautiful regions - the Salzkammergut, so named because of the salt found here in very early times and an area dominated by magnificent lakes and mountains. Drive along the Fuschlse and the Wolfgangsee before arriving in the charming village of Bad Ischl, made famous by its most illustrious visitor, Emperor Franz-Josef, for a guided walk. We continue our journey to the delightful the villages of Hallstatt, known worldwide for its important archaeological finds, and St Wolfgang, where we will enjoy lunch at the White Horse Inn, made famous by Ralph Benatzky’s operetta of that name. After lunch visit the impressive Pilgrimage Church with its intricately carved altar and enjoy some free time in the village.

      Day 3 Salzburg. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure to sightsee, explore or simply relax at the hotel.

      Day 4 Salzburg to London. After breakfast at the hotel we transfer to Munich airport (approx. 2 hours) for the return scheduled flight to London.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £995
      Single £1445

      Price Includes: Train from Vienna to Salzburg (first class seats), three nights at the Hotel Sacher on a bed and breakfast basis, tours as described, lunch on day 2, Tour Manager, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, meals other than those described.

River Guides

  • To see our current selection of tours for the river Danube click here.
     
    • Danube

    More than any other river in the world, the Danube will always conjure thoughts of music. The Danube rises in the Black Forest of Germany and reaches its end in the Black Sea, passing through four capital cities on its way (more than any other river in the world) and ten countries – Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Moldova. It has many tributaries, some important rivers themselves. The Danube is all about high culture and the historic cities that appear in close succession along its banks.

    Vienna, for instance, is a jewel. Its Ring created by Franz Joseph in the 1860s is a parade of imperial magnificence, opera house after university, palace after cathedral, interspersed with shaded gardens designed for outdoor summer concerts. Yet this is a city centre small enough to walk around easily – though you can take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. Must-sees include the Hofburg and the Schonbrunn but if you might want to try a must-do, go to the Music House where you can virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on screen – if you get to the end, the orchestra stands up and applauds you!

    Bratislava is a tiny city dominated by its castle on the hill and a historic gem. The Old Town is completely pedestrianized which makes for pleasant walking. Besides the Gothic Cathedral and an exquisitely pretty Old Town Hall, look out for the humorous statues – the Good Soldier Schweik’s head emerging from a manhole on the street for instance. Budapest is a city of two halves. Buda is hilly and wooded with Gothic houses and cobbled streets. Pest is all grand boulevards and Baroque buildings including a jewel of an opera house. For music lovers, there are museums to Liszt and Bartok and plenty of concerts on offer. And for everyone there are breath-taking views from the Fisherman’s Bastion perched high above the city where, in the sunshine, the Danube turns a perfect blue.

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