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Exclusive Danube River Cruise Including Insiders Budapest. Only at Global River Cruising


We have created an exclusive Danube river cruise itinerary that will make your river cruise even more extra special. Our “Melodies of the Danube” river cruise has been extended as a one time only including now three nights in Budapest. It falls perfectly on the day of the St. Stephen’s celebration which in our opinion is a once in a lifetime treat. If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, let us tempt you by our outline of what you can expect!

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Budapest has become one of the most popular short-break destinations in Europe. Old derelict buildings are being turned into hipster hotels, old courtyards are becoming new cafés and the grungy ruin pubs on which its fame once rested, are now the chicest spots in town. What is not to like about that?

You will arrive in Budapest August 20th, 2019 – the day of the St. Stephen’s celebration. We recommend that you have a little rest when you arrive to then fully emerge yourself in the festivities.

St. Stephen’s Day is one of the most important national holidays in Hungary. On the day, locals celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian state more than 1,000 years ago.

Throughout the day, the city is buzzing with activities, concerts and dance performances. You’re also able to visit the Parliament building for free up until 6pm which enables you to take a closer look at St. Stephen’s holy crown. Most of the main sights in Budapest such as the Buda Castle, Fishermen’s bastion and the Parliament are hosts to markets, performances and processions.

However, the main event that you definitely cannot miss is the firework display. It starts at 9pm and lasts for more than 30 minutes. We’ve experienced them ourselves and they are one of the best if not THE best fireworks we’ve ever witnessed.

Thousands of people will be watching the fireworks in awe which creates a magical atmosphere along the Danube river embankment. There are several good spots to watch the fireworks such as between Chain bridge and Margaret bridge, at the Fishermen’s Bastion in Buda Castle or a centric roof top bar. Having said that the very best spot to watch the firework display is on your river cruise ship on the Danube!

St Stephen Celebration Budapest

The next two days in Budapest are at your own leisure. We do recommend though that you visit one of the many thermal baths, visit a ruin bar and test yourself in an escape room. But let’s start with a thermal bath…

Back in the 1st century AD, the Romans were the first ones to cherish the steaming, mineral rich thermal waters. Over the centuries, this hasn’t much changed and now the thermal baths are one of the main tourist attractions in Budapest.

One of the most popular spas is the Széchenvi spa complex. It’s the biggest one in Budapest and one of the biggest natural hot spring baths in Europe. It’s more than 100 years old and since then it’s estimated that more than 100 million bathers have enjoyed a dip into the warm water.

In total, Széchenvi has 18 pools that are open every single day throughout the year, including national holidays which makes it an ideal place to visit on your 2nd or 3rd day while staying in Budapest. While visiting the spa, you can also book a massage, enjoy the sauna or gym or what we prefer, relax by the pool side with a nice beverage.

If you want to visit more than one thermal spa, we can also recommend visiting the Gellért Bath, Rudas Bath and the summer pools like Palatinus.

Szechenyi baths, Budapest, Hungary
Szechnyi thermal bath spa in Budapest Hungary

After you enjoyed your stay in one of the many thermal spas, you might like to explore the centre in the look out for a nice drink. One of the things that makes Budapest truly unique are their ruin bars. These are bars that are inside pre-war abandoned buildings. They have become very popular with tourists and foreign students.

Most ruin bars you’ll be able to find in the old Jewish quarter. From the outside, these bars look like normal houses. Nothing indicated that there is anything happening behind those closed doors. But once you enter the courtyard, you will find yourself in the middle of a bar which is the centre point for people talking, dancing and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere. Each bar has its own personality, but they all follow the same principle of re-using an old building that has been neglected for too long.

On your last day in Budapest, we highly recommend taking part in an escape room game. Budapest has made a name for itself for hosting many of the best escape rooms. The game is very straight forward. You have to race against the clock to solve some tough riddles and fun puzzles to get out. But fear not, clues and interesting conundrums are being handed in which will enable you to crack the code which will eventually set you free.

If you’re a fan of detective stories, puzzles and quizzes than this is the perfect activity for you.

Ruin Bars Budapest
Ruin Bars Budapest

After all this excitement, it’s time for you to board the AmaSonata on the 23rd August to start your ‘Melodies of Danube’ river cruise. Your first stop over will be in Bratislava. While visiting Bratislava, you can look forward to joining a walking tour or tasting local Slovakian specialties by learning how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli.

In the afternoon, the river cruise will head to Vienna where you’ll be spending the night. The following day is all about Vienna. The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems and you have two ways to discover them. Join a city tour showcasing its regal splendours, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city centre and then visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For a more active exploration, you can also take a guided bike ride along the Danube. During the afternoon, you can enjoy leisure time or pedal your way to the Klosterneuburg Monastery on a guided cycling tour.

On day eight, you’re visiting the magical Wachau valley where you be treated to several choices of excursions. Discover the best of both Dürnstein and Melk with a walking tour in Dürnstein before visiting the UNESCO-designated Melk Abbey. You can also opt for a walking tour of Weissenkirchen followed by a visit to the abbey. For those who would like a more culinary-focused experience, join a walking tour in Dürnstein and then be treated to a wine tasting hosted by a local vintner as well as a visit to a local boutique where you’ll enjoy a tasting of special apricot treats.

After experiencing the beauty of the Wachau, you’ll be charmed over by Salzburg. There you’ll be visiting the historic centre, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, we’ll stop at Mondsee, home of the famed Basilica St. Michael and site of the wedding scene in “The Sound of Music.” Alternatively, you can join a morning walking tour through the old city centre and by the Mozart House; or go on a guided bike tour along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube.

Spanish Riding School
Linz, Austria

On your last full day before heading home, you’ll discover the 2,000-year-old city of Passau in one of three ways. Enjoy a walking tour and marvel at Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Guests looking for a more active morning can choose between a guided bike tour along the Danube River, or a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus Fortress.

Later, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, where you will be treated to a festive Oktoberfest celebration with local beer, Bavarian folk music and dancing—an AmaWaterways exclusive.

Your last evening will be spent on board cruising around the famed Parliament Building as the city turns on all her dazzling lights.

And then it’s time to say farewell…for now.

As you can see, this is a remarkable river cruise. Now that we’ve tempted you, you might ask yourself how can you get yourself booked on this fantastic cruise?

Our prices which include flights from London start from £2599 per person, subject to availability and options included. We recommend you express your interest as soon as possible so that we can ensure a place on the AmaSonata.

On our website, you can find a more in-depth overview of the ‘Insiders Budapest & The Danube’ cruise. For more details, please give us a call (0800 471 4754) or send us an email.


About Christine Foulds

I’m originally from Germany and traveling has always been a part of my family’s DNA. Over the past 20 years, I’ve lived and worked in 5 different countries (USA, Austria, Russia, Peru and the UK) and learnt to speak 3 foreign languages (Russian and Spanish are getting a bit rusty though). I thoroughly enjoy working with travel enthusiasts who like to explore and visit new parts of the world as much as I do.

View all posts by Christine Foulds

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