Hiking Cruises in the Former Austro-Hungarian Empire

WBB_RAIPP - 8 days from $2,430

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Description
VIENNA - MELK - DÜRNSTEIN - BRATISLAVA - KALOCSA - BUDAPEST - ESZTERGOM - VIENNA

DAY 1: VIENNA

Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Dinner on board. Departure of the boat to Melk. 

DAY 2: MELK - DÜRNSTEIN

 

We’ll set out to visit Melk Abbey. We’ll discover the abbey's baroque marble hall, library and church before returning on board and cruising towards Dürnstein through the Wachau Valley.

Hikers' Program: Hike through the heart of the Wachau region and visit the ruins of Aggstein Castle. Its exceptional location and its impressive dimensions make this castle one of the most well-known in Austria. Erected around 1100, it is thought to have been the haunt of pillaging knights during the Middle-Ages. After the visit, we’ll hike through unspoilt scenery to Maria Longegg then transfer by coach to rejoin the boat in Dürnstein. (4 hours hiking, with a climb of around 400m)

Non-hikers' program: We’ll discover Dürnstein with our hostess. The town is famous for King Richard the Lionhearted having been held prisoner in its castle. It also has an abbey, glittering in light blue and white, which has one of the most beautiful baroque bell towers in all of Austria.

We’ll return on board and cruise towards Bratislava.

 

DAY 3: BRATISLAVA

 

Hikers' Program: Hike in the Little Carpathian mountain range, through Sandberg and the Devínska Kobyla National Nature Reserve to the ruins of Devín Castle (outside).

Non-hikers' Program: Visit of the Slovak capital. The charm of Bratislava lies in its old city, with splendid baroque palaces, churches and pleasant squares.

We’ll return on board and cruise towards Kalocsa, in Hungary. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board.

 

DAY 4: KALOCSA

We’ll set off for the visit to the Puzsta, also known as the “Great Hungarian Plain”, this enormous flat prairie was the Hungarian Wild West during the 19th century. We’ll return on board for lunch and start cruising towards Budapest, the “pearl of the Danube”.

DAY 5: BUDAPEST

 

Hikers' Program: City walk tour to discover Buda. Walk along the paved streets by the castle, which is one of the few remaining examples of medieval Budapest. We’ll return on board via public transport (not included) for lunch. (2½ hours hiking, with a climb of around 100m)

Non-hikers' Program: Guided visit of Budapest (panoramic tour by coach with stops) to discover Buda, the upper part of the city, with its narrow winding streets, baroque buildings and Royal Palace. Pest, is more bustling and busy, and proudly displays its rich mix of architectural styles.

Hikers' Program: Walk in Pest, to discover the Art Deco and Hungarian Art Nouveau buildings. We’ll return on board via public transport (not included) or on foot.

Non-hikers can enjoy free time this afternoon.

Enjoy a free evening or a folklore evening in Budapest.

 

DAY 6: BUDAPEST - ESZTERGOM

 

We’ll arrive early in the morning and have some free time in Esztergom, birthplace and coronation site of the first Hungarian king. The Basilica of Esztergom is a masterpiece of classic architecture and its large dome towers over the town. It is the largest religious building in Hungary.

Hikers' Program: Hike to Visegrád Castle (exteriors only) from where you can see the Danube Bend. (2 hours hiking, with a climb of around 250m)

The afternoon will be spent sailing. Tonight is our gala dinner and evening of dancing on board.

 

DAY 7: VIENNA

 

We’ll set off for a guided tour of Vienna and the Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the imperial family, and one of the most beautiful European baroque palace.

Hikers' Program: Walking discovery tour of Vienna. The walk up Leopoldsberg will take you to one of the finest vantage points over the city. (Around 3 to 4 hours hiking, with a climb of around 340m)

Non-hikers' Program: Free time to discover Vienna on your own or guided visit of the Hofburg: the Palace of the Habsburgs containing magnificent imperial apartments.

Join us on an optional excursion: Viennese musical concert (subject to availability.)

 

DAY 8: VIENNA

Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00. End of our services.

For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. (1) Optional excursion. Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.

 

Transport

For more information about flights and transfers, please contact our call center by clicking on « Request a quote » and filling out the form, or by calling 1-800-768-7232

More info

Hiking: Level 2 (on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult))
The hikes proposed as part of this cruise program include half-day trips including 2-3 hour hikes or full-day trips with up to 5 hours of hiking, and include varying degrees of ascents and/or descents (approximately 150 m to 400 m). As you hike, you will have the chance to see the natural and cultural sites which form an integral part of the cruise program up close.
The durations given in the program itineraries are for guidance purposes only and do not include stops.
No athletic training is necessary for these hikes, but you should be in good shape and well-rested to fully enjoy this cruise.

 

Equipment needed
Backpack

You'll need to bring a backpack (max 1,830 cubic inches) to carry the things you'll need for the hike. Your backpack should easily hold a sweater, raincoat, picnic, bottle of water and sunscreen.
So that you'll be comfortable and enjoy your hike, make sure that you choose a good backpack. We recommend a backpack that is well-made and of the appropriate size, with padded straps, and made of strong fabric that is waterproof.
You must carry all materials for your hike yourself, as no porter services are provided.
Shoes
You should bring a pair of good-fitting, comfortable shoes. It is best that you use these shoes prior to leaving for your cruise. It is important that you be comfortable in them.
Regardless of the level of difficulty of the hike, your shoes should have a good quality, well sewn-on and non-slip sole for wet or uneven terrain. It is best to choose shoes that provide ankle support and that have shock-absorbing soles to prevent injury to ankles, and back and joint problems.
Clothing
You'll be well-prepared for your hike with these essentials:
appropriate base layers with the correct degree of thickness and warmth appropriate for the type of hikes planned
lightweight pants that dry quickly
a fleece or wool sweater
a rain pancho or raincoat
Hat or cap
lightweight gloves can be welcome items in early and late season
Other equipment
You should consider bringing the following items:
sunglasses
sunscreen
any personal first aid items or medication (see below)
a water bottle
toilet paper
pocket knife
telescoping hiking poles if you are used to using them (recommend for the Douro and Croatia cruises)
Medication and first aid items
Please note that our group leaders always carry a first aid kit on all our hikes.
However, it is essential that you bring your own personal first aid kit, the contents of which will vary according to the destination, but which should contain at least the following items:
adhesive bandages
“second skin” blister treatment bandages
analgesics or pain relievers
mosquito repellent if necessary
eye drops or antiseptic eye lotion
anti-diarrheal medication
Remember to include any personal or prescription medication that you are currently taking or that you might need.