DANUBE DREAMS & DISCOVERIES - Crystal River Cruises | Pavlus Travel

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
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Itinerary map of DANUBE DREAMS & DISCOVERIES

Vienna, Austria

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Esztergom, Hungary

Once the capital of Hungary, Esztergom still displays a regal appearance, situated beautifully on the Danube and capped by the Esztergom Basilica, the largest church in Hungary. Adding to its former-capital credentials is Esztergom’s stretch-way-back history: It is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The Middle Ages version of the city lies underneath the present Esztergom; excavations have revealed evidence that this spot of Hungarian earth has been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age—in other words, 20,000 years ago. Fast forward to today and you’ll discover a town that stays in touch with its past, with most roads leading to the grand Basilica. Turn your head away from the church’s imposing edifice to glimpse the city’s other attractions, including fountain-adored squares, fine gardens and, of course, the waters and bridges of the Danube.

Scenic cruising into Budapest

Scenic River Cruising At Its Best. Aboard your all-inclusive, all-suite Crystal river yacht, luxury knows no bounds. While cruising from one storied European port to the next, your day’s adventure might include a morning in the Fitness Center using state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a soothing massage. For lunch, dine on Michelin Star-level cuisine while watching the world drift slowly by. Enjoy a mid-afternoon respite on the top deck under the sun, or in cooler climes escape to your well-appointed suite and avail yourself of your attentive butler. Catch up on your reading. Watch a movie. Attend a lecture. As always aboard the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, the choices are yours.

Budapest, Hungary

Cast your eye over the Budapest skyline, and you’ll see all the makings of a world-class city and striking photograph: domes and spires, bridges and lampposts, splendid architecture in the foreground, rolling hills in the back, and the Danube River placidly curving through it, providing a reflective surface for sunsets and city lights. Look closer, and the treasures of Budapest—Hungary’s capital and the largest metropolis—really come to light. Castle Hill is at the top of most visitors’ lists, a UNESCO-listed district hosting Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. The area is also residential, with 18th-century houses, cobblestone streets and few cars, thanks to a strict vehicular ordinance, giving you a real sense of what the city must have been like ages ago. Budapest is full of history, originally a Roman settlement, formed as a unified city when Buda and Pest joined in 1873, overtaken by various invading forces over the centuries, and today an interesting goulash of local culture and foreign influences. Take a seat in a Turkish-era bath or savor rich Esterházy torte in a genteel coffee house to experience the many sides of a city that charms from both sides of the Danube.  

Budapest, Hungary

Cast your eye over the Budapest skyline, and you’ll see all the makings of a world-class city and striking photograph: domes and spires, bridges and lampposts, splendid architecture in the foreground, rolling hills in the back, and the Danube River placidly curving through it, providing a reflective surface for sunsets and city lights. Look closer, and the treasures of Budapest—Hungary’s capital and the largest metropolis—really come to light. Castle Hill is at the top of most visitors’ lists, a UNESCO-listed district hosting Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. The area is also residential, with 18th-century houses, cobblestone streets and few cars, thanks to a strict vehicular ordinance, giving you a real sense of what the city must have been like ages ago. Budapest is full of history, originally a Roman settlement, formed as a unified city when Buda and Pest joined in 1873, overtaken by various invading forces over the centuries, and today an interesting goulash of local culture and foreign influences. Take a seat in a Turkish-era bath or savor rich Esterházy torte in a genteel coffee house to experience the many sides of a city that charms from both sides of the Danube.  

Scenic cruising from Budapest

Scenic River Cruising At Its Best. Aboard your all-inclusive, all-suite Crystal river yacht, luxury knows no bounds. While cruising from one storied European port to the next, your day’s adventure might include a morning in the Fitness Center using state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a soothing massage. For lunch, dine on Michelin Star-level cuisine while watching the world drift slowly by. Enjoy a mid-afternoon respite on the top deck under the sun, or in cooler climes escape to your well-appointed suite and avail yourself of your attentive butler. Catch up on your reading. Watch a movie. Attend a lecture. As always aboard the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, the choices are yours.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovakia’s capital city may be the country’s buzzing political and economic center, but it is also a historic gem that stirs the imagination. A maze of narrow, cobblestone streets wind around colorful 18th-century buildings, and shade-covered sidewalk cafes beckon weary—or simply hungry—travelers to linger over a meal and enjoy people watching. Museums, cathedrals and palaces are edifying locales to spend some time, while photography buffs will want to snap images of the medieval castle that looms over the city with a majestic grace. For those looking for more contemporary sights, Bratislava boasts a pulsating modern art scene, as well as some outstanding examples of Communist-era architecture.  

Danube Scenic Cruising

Scenic River Cruising At Its Best. Aboard your all-inclusive, all-suite Crystal river yacht, luxury knows no bounds. While cruising from one storied European port to the next, your day’s adventure might include a morning in the Fitness Center using state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a soothing massage. For lunch, dine on Michelin Star-level cuisine while watching the world drift slowly by. Enjoy a mid-afternoon respite on the top deck under the sun, or in cooler climes escape to your well-appointed suite and avail yourself of your attentive butler. Catch up on your reading. Watch a movie. Attend a lecture. As always aboard the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, the choices are yours.

Melk, Austria

Best known for its fortified baroque Benedictine monastery, Melk Abbey, the town of Melk boasts an assortment of smaller gems. Among them, the city’s riverside location, serene and regal with a ribbon of wooded groves giving way to the lovely village. Cobbled lanes and a petite size make for a pleasant stroll with a chance to discover its 16th-century Town Hall, or Rathaus, in the center of town, and Haus am Stein, or House at the Rock. Built in the 15th century, the vine-covered abode is Melk’s oldest building.

Spitz, Austria

Spitz an der Danau, as it is formally known, is a tranquil gem at the northern end of the Danube River, in the heart of the breathtaking Wachau Valley. As such, it boasts all the necessary characteristics of a fairytale setting: cobbled streets winding between structures that tell the city’s architectural story; surrounding hillsides cloaked in Wachau’s famous vineyards; an Old Town that hails to Celtic times; and abbeys and churches that have witnessed the town’s long history. Perhaps the best vantage point from which to take all of these in is the hilltop castle ruins of Burgruine Aggstein. Standing nearly a thousand feet above the right bank of the Danube, the 12th century fortress has been stormed and destroyed – and then rebuilt – at least twice. Today, travelers can choose to hike the elevation to be rewarded with sprawling valley views, or enjoy motorized transport.

Spitz, Austria

Spitz an der Danau, as it is formally known, is a tranquil gem at the northern end of the Danube River, in the heart of the breathtaking Wachau Valley. As such, it boasts all the necessary characteristics of a fairytale setting: cobbled streets winding between structures that tell the city’s architectural story; surrounding hillsides cloaked in Wachau’s famous vineyards; an Old Town that hails to Celtic times; and abbeys and churches that have witnessed the town’s long history. Perhaps the best vantage point from which to take all of these in is the hilltop castle ruins of Burgruine Aggstein. Standing nearly a thousand feet above the right bank of the Danube, the 12th century fortress has been stormed and destroyed – and then rebuilt – at least twice. Today, travelers can choose to hike the elevation to be rewarded with sprawling valley views, or enjoy motorized transport.

Krems, Austria

Situated at the confluence of the Danube and Krems rivers 43 miles west of Vienna, Krems marks the beginning of the Wachau Valley (if traveling upstream) and showcases a true crisscross of old and new. The Steiner Tor, or Stoney Gate, combines architectural styles, with its original 15th-century construction later refashioned into a fanciful Baroque style. Putting the old and new literally side by side is a preserved length of the old city walls, which is snugged up against a newer chrome-and-glass section – similar in height and purpose, and entirely different in appearance and feel. Putting the new within the old are the designer shops housed in the regal 18th-century buildings of the Altstadt. In the upper Old Town, you’ll find one of the oldest parish churches in Lower Austria. Old traditions also stand the test of time: In cozy heurigen, or wine bars, wine is consumed with a relaxed conviviality. Storybook beautiful in its steep-roofed architecture and Danube setting, Krems is perhaps neither old nor new, but timeless.

Vienna, Austria

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Vienna, Austria

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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