EASTERN DANUBE DISCOVERIES - Crystal River Cruises | Pavlus Travel

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
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Itinerary map of EASTERN DANUBE 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.

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.

Cruising the Danube River

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.

Vukovar, Croatia

Throughout Europe, most particularly Germany and France, relics of war are displayed in expertly curated museums, while outside on city streets, the buildings ravaged by war have been reconstructed, often to their former glory. Vukovar is a different story, at once heartbreaking and inspirational. During a siege in 1991, 2,000 Croatian civilians faced off with 40,000 heavily armed Serbian soldiers and 110 tanks, defending Vukovar for three months. Today called The Hero Town, Vukovar still shows its war-scarred face, with buildings remaining pockmarked and the pitted and burned roadside water tower going unrepaired as a reminder of those long, violent days. Surely, much of what you will see in Vukovar—including the cemetery and a Serbian tank left as a scrap-memorial on Tank Graveyard Street—tells the more recent history of this city, the only one in Europe to be completely destroyed since World War II. But you will also witness Vukovar’s vivacity, slowly being rebuilt, and glimpse vestiges of its pre-war beauty, enhanced by its position on the Danube.

Cruising the Danube River

Cruising Iron Gates

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.

Belgrade, Serbia

Located where the Sava River meets the Danube, Belgrade has been an important crossroad between Eastern and Western Europe since ancient times. Its long and layered heritage is on display in its varied architecture, ranging from Byzantine and Ottoman to Art Nouveau and Modernist. While burnished with the patina of high culture, Belgrade shines as one of Europe’s premier nightlife destinations, where revelry goes on until the sun comes up. The lively atmosphere continues into daylight hours, as thousands bustle through Knez Mihailova, a pedestrian boulevard named one of the top shopping thoroughfares in the world.

Cruising the Danube River

Novi Sad, Serbia

The second largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad means “new garden,— certainly a fitting name as this refined city is an oasis of greenery. Danube Park, a picture of European charm with its pristine lake, lovely fountain and graceful swans, is the perfect place to relax before or after exploring the city. The monumental Petrovaradin Fortress across the river dominates the skyline and hosts an observatory that delivers panoramic views. Because Novi Sad is a university town, it is known not only as a hotspot for culture and learning but also for celebrations and socializing.

Mohács, Hungary

Tales of history here are often bookended by two events—the Battle of Mohács of 1526 and the Battle of Mohács of 1687. The first conflict ushered in the age of Ottoman rule over Hungary and the second battle ended it, bringing a certain symmetry to the region’s timeline. Yet Mohács remains a bit off kilter for its remembrances of combat, slightly and perhaps understandably obsessed with the lives lost and five centuries of Ottoman domination. The Mohács Historical Memorial Site at Sátorhely, established in 1976, marks the 450th anniversary of the 1526 battle. The Dorottya Kanizsai Museum, displaying a collection of costumes and typical grey-black pottery of the area, also features an exhibit centered on the 1526 battle. Beyond the memorials and museums, Mohács displays a unique playfulness, particularly during its pre-Lent, carnival-style festival, during which men wear strange ewok-type costumes, complete with woolly fur and horns. Experience the vast grasslands of Hungary, called the Puszta, with an outing that also showcases Hungary’s other renowned features: paprika and horses. In fact, Hungarian equestrians have a long tradition of taming the wild horses of the Great Plain, and today are proud to display great feats of horsemanship.

Cruising the Danube River

Kalocsa, Hungary

 Founded in 1010 as a bishopric by King Stephen I (also known as St. Stephen), Kalocsa has long been a center for religion and, by extension, art and architecture. Kalocsa suffered its share of occupation and destruction over the centuries, yet remained resilient with feats of achievement and nods of recognition. The city gained the status of archbishopric, became regarded as an academic fount and then, in the 20th century, became renowned for “red gold——paprika. The Paprika Museum delves into the history of the spice and the generous serving of distinction it has offered Hungary. The archiepiscopal palace and magnificent cathedral, meanwhile, reflect Kalocsa’s religious roots. Completed in 1754, the cathedral is the jewel of the city, an Italian baroque masterpiece with an ornate interior hosting a 3,560-pipe organ, a favorite instrument of Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist, Franz Liszt.  

Night-time 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.  

Cruising the Danube River

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.  

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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