Up the Rhine & Down the Danube 2017

River Rhine | Germany, Europe

15 days
per person
  • Frankfurt
  • Melk Abbey
  • Nuremberg
  • Nuremberg
  • Passau
  • rudesheim
  • Bamberg
  • Wertheim
  • Wurzburg
  • Wurzburg
  • Frankfurt
FrankfurtMelk AbbeyNurembergNurembergPassaurudesheimBambergWertheimWurzburgWurzburgFrankfurt
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.


Up the Rhine & Down the Danube Itinerary

Join us for a voyage of discovery as we follow the course of the Rhine, the Main, the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube on an incredible journey from Cologne to Budapest. Cruising through four countries, we witness some of Europe’s greatest sights at a leisurely pace, from the spectacular natural landscape of the Rhine Gorge and the Wachau Valley to the fascinating cities of Cologne, Würzburg, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Our floating hotel is the perfect base for both exploration and relaxation.

Day 1: UK – Cologne (Air & Rail)
We travel by air or rail to Cologne, which sits right on the Rhine River in Germany, and board our ship for a relaxing evening.

Day 2: Cologne – Koblenz
This morning we begin our cruise up the Rhine, stopping at Koblenz. Join our optional excursion on the Koblenz Cable Car, which also includes entrance to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress – Europe’s second largest preserved castle.

Day 3: Koblenz – Rüdesheim
Today we cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, stopping at the quaint wine town of Rüdesheim. See the highlights on our optional excursion, including a cable car ride for panoramic views across the Rhine Valley.

Day 4: Rüdesheim – Frankfurt
After breakfast we arrive in Frankfurt on the Main River. Our optional city tour takes you around the central square to admire the stunning buildings and famous fountain, along with the chance to enjoy a famous glass of apple wine. Later today we cruise towards Wertheim.

Day 5: Wertheim
We arrive in Wertheim shortly after midday. Wertheim is well-known for its wine, castle and medieval centre; our optional excursion is a great way to see the highlights, travel through the town aboard a small train before ascending to Wertheim castle to enjoy the views. Later we cruise towards Würzburg.

Day 6: Würzburg
This morning you are free to explore the city of Würzburg, you can visit the renowned Residence Palace – one of the finest pieces of baroque art in the world. In the early afternoon we set sail for Bamberg.

Day 7: Bamberg
We arrive in Bamberg around midday, built on seven hills - Bamberg boasts the most intact centre in Germany with the old town listed as a World Heritage Site. After some free time we cruise along the Main-Danube Canal towards Nuremberg.

Day 8: Nuremberg
Enjoy a wonderful atmosphere within the city walls of Nuremberg – a city combining medieval and modern life in an area filled with Gothic churches, aristocratic houses and memorials – all dominated by the Kaiser Castle. Make the most of your visit by joining our optional excursion before we join the Danube and cruise towards Regensburg.

Day 9: Regensburg
We arrive in Regensburg, which lies at the northernmost point of the Danube. Our optional city tour takes you around the beautifully preserved medieval centre to admire the many sights. In the afternoon you can enjoy a cruise through the Danube Gorge to visit the oldest monastery in Bavaria. Later this evening we cruise towards Passau.

Day 10: Passau
Passau is known as the ‘three rivers city’ due to its unique location where the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers meet. The old town is a stunning display of Italian baroque style architecture, as you can see on our optional walking tour - taking in famous sights such as the Cathedral of St Steven. In the evening we set sail for Melk.

Day 11: Melk & Wachau Valley – Vienna
This morning we arrive in the Austrian city of Melk, which is filled with cobbled streets and attractive buildings, including the nearby Schallaburg Castle. It is also overlooked by one of the best known and most splendid monastic houses in Austria – the Benedictine Abbey, which you can visit on our optional excursion. In the afternoon we cruise through the Wachau Valley, enjoying 24 miles of stunning scenery. We reach Vienna in the evening where we berth overnight.

Day 12: Vienna
Spend a full day experiencing the delights of Vienna, capital of Austria and birthplace of classical music. More than 150 grand palaces, over 27 baroque castles, impressive squares and striking monuments are just some of the key features of this magnificent city, whose historic centre is inscribed on the World Heritage list. In the morning you can join our optional city tour and in the afternoon we have an optional excursion visiting the Schönbrunn Palace. Later today we cruise over the border into Slovakia, stopping at Bratislava around midnight.

Day 13: Bratislava – Budapest
Join our optional excursion this morning to take in the sights and experience the rich culture of the Slovakian capital. The old town is centred on two squares, with winding streets, a hilltop castle and many remarkable buildings spanning various periods. We set sail for Budapest around midnight.

Day 14: Budapest
Budapest is described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Join our optional city tour which introduces you to the highlights on both sides of the river, including the 700 year old Matthias

Day 15: Budapest – Munich (Rail) - UK (Air)
This morning we bid farewell to our Captain and crew and disembark our ship. Passengers travelling by air will be transferred to the airport for the return flight. Passengers travelling by rail can enjoy free time in Budapest, before taking the overnight train to Munich and onward connections to London.

Day 16: Munich – UK (Rail)
This morning we arrive back in the UK.

Extend your holiday
2 nights in Budapest
Enjoy a two night stay in the city known as the ‘pearl of the Danube’ and soak up the breathtaking beauty, fascinating culture and magical charm of Budapest. On day 16 we check in at our centrally located hotel, after which you have plenty of free time to explore Hungary’s capital

Up the Rhine & Down the Danube

• Travel through the Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary

• Spend time in Germany’s most visited building, the cathedral in Cologne

• Sail through the World Heritage Rhine Gorge

• Discover why Frankfurt is known as ‘Mainhattan’

• Admire stunning Gothic architecture along your travels including the Kilian Chapel in Wertheim

• See one of the finest pieces of Baroque art in the world in the city of Würzburg

• Visit Bamberg and its authentic looking medieval old town

• Explore Nürnberg, Bavaria’s second largest city

• Travel to the northernmost point of the Danube

• Sail through the stunning Wachau Valley, with its many charming towns, terraced vineyards, castles and monasteries

• Enjoy spectacular views of Vienna


We offer a number of flexible travel options for you to join your cruise, whether you want to travel to the port of departure or directly to the ship. Please see below:

Eurostar from London St Pancras

Enjoy the benefits of rail travel – boarding at London St Pancras International, you will be whisked effortlessly along by Eurostar whilst relaxing in your reserved seat. You have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever the mood takes you and purchase drinks and snacks from the buffet carriage.

On selected cruises there are rail options included in the price, whereas on other cruises it is offered alongside our coach travel option – please note a supplement will apply and transfers to the ship are not included except for cruises certain cruises.

By Air

Air travel is included on selected cruises, whereas on other cruises it is offered alongside our rail or coach options – please note a supplement will apply and transfers to the ship are not included.

Join at the Ship London Gatwick

Air travel is included on selected cruises, it includes taxes, one item of checked in baggage per couple, a seat in economy class and return transfers from the airport to the ship.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.




DepartureTravel optionsBooking
12 June 2017
for 15 days

Join ship at Cologne
15 Days from
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.
12 June 2017
for 16 days

Join ship at Cologne
16 Days from
Select Travel options and Passengers, then click Book.

Enhance your holiday experience with a range of optional and included excursions that allow you to discover the history of our ports of call, experience the tradition of local regions and explore further afield. They’re the perfect complement to your cruise itinerary, but they are subject to availability so we recommend you book early!

Koblenz Cable Car

Koblenz Cable Car & Ehrenbreitstein Fortress


Enjoy an exhilarating ride across the Rhine on the Koblenz Cable Car, one of the largest cable cars in Europe outside the Alps, to visit the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Europe’s second largest surviving fortress.


Rüdesheim highlights


A road train ride transports you to view fascinating examples of early 1900 mechanical music making systems at Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum. We also include a cable car ride to reach the Niederwald monument, with spectacular views along the way.


Frankfurt city tour


This avant garde city impresses all visitors with its breathtaking skyline, which is comparable to New York’s Manhattan. We take in the highlights visiting one of the traditional Ebbelwei taverns to sample a glass of apple wine.

Wertheim Little Road Train

Wertheim Little Road Train


A small train takes you through the town of Wertheim before ascending to the ruins of Wertheim Castle, where you can explore and enjoy fantastic views. The train then takes you back either to the ship or the town centre.


Nuremberg city tour


Our coach takes you through this medieval city. Its old town is almost completely surrounded by the 15th and 16th century city walls and houses the Kaiserberg Castle. You can also enjoy some free time exploring the city on foot.


Regensburg city tour & Danube Gorge


This excursion shows you the highlights of Regensburg, before heading to Kelheim where you board a boat and cruise through Donaudurchbruch – the Danube Gorge. We then stop at Weltenburg Abbey, where you can step ashore to explore this historic site.


Passau walking tour


A walk though the old city is a great way to see Passau. Highlights include the city hall, where you can see the water levels marked when the town has flooded, and Dom St Stephan.

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey


Discover one of the world’s most famous monastic sites – Melk Abbey. Our guided tour shows you highlights such as the magnificent Marble Hall, Emperor’s Gallery and Abbey Church. There is also free time to explore the grounds and the gardens.


Vienna city tour


This is the perfect introduction to Vienna, the city of music. Our tour focuses on the historic centre and its rich architecture. Please note: For The Danube to the Black Sea cruise, the Vienna city tour is combined with Schönbrunn Palace to create a full day excursion.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace


This is a wonderful opportunity to see inside the luxurious interiors of Schönbrunn Palace and explore some of the 1,441 luxurious rooms. Highlights include the Great Gallery, the Chinese Cabinets and Emperor Franz Joseph’s private suite. Please note: For The Danube to the Black Sea cruise, Schönbrunn Palace is combined with the Vienna city tour to create a full day excursion.


Bratislava city tour


Explore the charming squares, courtyards and narrow lanes of Bratislava with the help of our guide. Our 2 ½ hour walking tour features interior visits to the city’s largest church, St Martin’s Cathedral, and Primate’s Palace.


Budapest city tour


Accompanied by a local guide, we discover the architectural gem of Budapest. Our coach city tour takes in some of the most beautiful areas, including Heroes Square, which is home to the iconic statue complex of the Millennium Memorial.

Excursion Package

Excursion Package Price


Don't miss a thing by booking our special excursion package which includes all the listed excursions for this cruise. Not only can you take part in all the exciting trips we have organised, you can enjoy all this at a reduced cost!

At a glance

Length: 15 days

From: Cologne

Ends: Budapest

Travel options available:

  • Eurostar from London St Pancras
  • By Air
  • Join at the Ship London Gatwick
15 days
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Return travel from the UK
  • Welcome drink, Captain’s get-together & party night
  • En suite cabin accommodation aboard the ms Serenity
  • Full board during your cruise
  • Early risers and mid morning tea/coffee
  • Entertainment every night of your cruise
  • Visits to Cologne, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Frankfurt, Wertheim, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava & Budapest
  • Services of our experienced and friendly Cruise Director and Cruise Manager


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