Along the Danube River

© dpa

A cruise that starts in Germany takes you to visit castles and cafes along Europe’s second-largest river. The journey aboard the MS Vista Fidelio begins in the southern German town of Passau, where the Inn, Ilz and Danube rivers meet. From here, the cruise takes in the Austrian city of Melk, Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava before returning to Germany. Castles, palaces, vineyards, villages and small islands pass by in slow motion. Cyclists wave from the bank.

The organized city trips take in the Schoenbrunn and Hofburg palaces in Vienna, while in Budapest you can visit a cafe and walk through the lively streets, taking in their lovely old buildings. At the Nagyi Palacsintazoja cafe, more than 50 types of pancake are on offer. These Hungarian specialities come topped with anything from walnuts to ham, or cinnamon to chocolate.

Most of the jetties where the ship stops are near the city centres. In Vienna, guests can walk along the Danube’s banks to the tram and be in the city centre in 25 minutes. After passing through Bratislava, the ship anchors almost in the heart of Budapest.