Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has its own distinctive character and charm. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of tours—see it on four wheels or on your own two feet.
Once hidden from the world behind the “Iron Curtain,” Slovakia retains an air of mystery and intrigue, and its small capital city has an unexpectedly colorful history. Learn more about Bratislava’s past from a local expert, then check out the whimsical street art and sample some only-in-Slovakia treats. Your ship sets sail from Budapest and heads for Vienna today. You may opt to relax onboard all day, perhaps enjoying a drink on the Sun Deck and taking in the scenery as the ship wends its way along the Danube Bend, which is lined with scenic towns—among them are the oldest settlements in the country—nestled at the foot of lovely wooded hills. On the other hand, the ship stops in Bratislava for those who wish to visit the capital of Slovakia. Although it’s not a large city, Bratislava has played a leading role in the politics and culture of the region for many centuries, and it is well worth a visit.
Vienna is a cultural treasure trove revered for its art and music (and sinfully rich pastries). Experience the City of Waltzes with your choice of tours, as well as VIP access to an extraordinary collection of art—you’ll have an opportunity to view it in complete privacy, an extra special treat reserved solely for Uniworld guests. The grand dame of the Danube, Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remains, to this day, the political and cultural center of Austria. Klimt painted here; Beethoven and Mozart composed here; Freud developed his theories here. It’s a treasure trove of splendid architecture, astonishing art collections and inviting cafés—and it’s yours to enjoy.
Dürnstein is one of our favorite towns along the Danube, a lovely place to wander cobblestone lanes, browse quaint shops and maybe hike up to a ruined castle (with an intriguing tale all its own). You can also opt for a tasting at Austria’s oldest winery or learn all about the world’s costliest spice from the Wachau Valley’s only saffron grower. Later, visit the 900-year-old Melk Abbey and its extraordinary baroque-style library. You’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley today. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the river banks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and vineyards and apricot orchards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes ripening on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years. You have two ports of call in the incredibly scenic valley, Dürnstein and Melk, and an assortment of delightful ways to explore this lovely region.
Salzburg or Linz? Both are equally tantalizing. Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg is nestled in a glorious alpine setting that sparkles like a winter wonderland; Linz may be best known for its famous Linzer torte, but it’s also a hotbed for the arts. See the sights with a local expert, or go behind-the-scenes at the Linz opera house and taste cider at an apple and pear orchard. Austria’s third-largest city, Linz boasts a long history of trading (especially in salt) and textile manufacturing—not to mention steel—but these days it is perhaps best known for its lively arts and music scene. It is also your gateway to Salzburg.
Passau is a crossroads in more ways than one, as three rivers meet here and three nations nearly do, making for a fascinating cultural mosaic. Get to know the town and its main claim to fame—Europe’s largest pipe organ—or “Let's Go” with an invigorating riverside hike or bike ride. Three rivers meet in Passau—the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube—and three nations almost meet: Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Its central location made it a trade hub for centuries, and with trade came wealth that endowed the town with many beautiful buildings. Spend some time exploring the town itself or get out and about along the Inn or the Ilz with a bike ride or a hike.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Munich Airport for your flight home.