Danube river cruises
Bratislava is the medieval capital of Slovakia. With a beautiful castle and two perfectly preserved squares surrounded by bars and cafes
At the south-western entrance of the beautiful, UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley lie the charming town of Emmersdorf and the historic city of Melk – two of Lower Austria’s prettiest and most popular holiday destinations. Whether you choose to explore one or both of these small, yet attraction-packed settlements situated on opposite sides of the River Danube, you’re in for an enjoyable and rewarding experience here during your Danube River cruise. The centre of Emmersdorf is within walking distance of your riverboat’s berth and is the perfect place to start a couple of hours of relaxing exploration ashore. Head into the town beyond the colourful waterfront buildings and you’ll uncover a few interesting sites, including the late-gothic parish church of St Nikolaus, a collection of 16th century wine houses, the Town Hall and a couple of fine restaurants such as Schloss Rothenhof. Look over towards Melk and the sight of the magnificent Melk Abbey will hint at the historic highlights awaiting you across the river. Melk is a short journey across the Danube Bridge from Emmersdorf and no time here is complete without venturing over the river to visit the city’s iconic Benedictine abbey – considered one of the most famous, elaborate and important monasteries in Austria. While the abbey’s stunning architecture is a sight to behold, its hill-top position also provides spectacular views of Melk, the Danube and the surrounding countryside scenery which are not-to-be-missed. Elsewhere in the city – which is easily explored on foot – it’s worth taking in the 16th century Town Hall; Haus am Stein, Melk’s oldest building; and the striking towers and domes of the Stiftskirche.
Sandwiched between two countries, Passau is home to ornate architecture, ancient churches and a river made famous by historical floods, explore more.
The historically baroque old town in Linz sits right beneath an even older castle
Austria’s capital city is a hub of musical and artistic talent, being home to Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven in the past
On the border of Slovakia and Hungary is the tiny city of Esztergom, seat of Hungary’s Catholic Church. Sailing along the Danube, you’ll see Esztergom from quite a distance; it’s dominated by the Basilica, which is the largest church and tallest building in the country. It’s made even more impressive by its elevated home on a rocky outcrop. Ashore, you’ll see the green of the copper dome, which is over 100 feet wide, and the tall stone columns that mark the entrance. Inside, the Basilica houses the largest canvas painting in the world and an ornate, statue-topped pipe organ. A climb to the top of the cathedral is well worthwhile if you’re able, with far-reaching views of the city, the Danube below and mountains in the distance. Other highlights include the Castle Museum, home to kings for over 200 years, the works of art on display at the Primate’s Palace and the Cathedral Treasury. For a pleasant amble, the Víziváros (or “water city”) neighbourhood is a colourful treat with a mix of architectural styles dating from the Ottoman era onwards. Also worthy of exploring is the leafy central Széchényi Square with its fountain and monuments, overlooked by pastel-toned buildings and the town hall.
Although Kalocsa is the famed ‘paprika capital of the world’, there is much more to recommend this quaint, culture-rich town than the history of Hungary’s ‘red gold’. Founded by St Stephen – the First King of Hungary – over 1000 years ago, Kalocsa is one of Hungary’s oldest towns and among the country’s most important religious centres. The town is also renowned for producing vividly coloured folk embroideries and flowered porcelains. The compact centre of Kalocsa, with its jumble of boulevards, narrow alleyways and ornate squares, lends itself perfectly to a couple of hours of exploration, and there are plenty of architectural highlights and attractions to discover here. Many of the town’s most popular and impressive sights are in and around Holy Trinity Square and Szent István király út (St Stephen’s Road), which runs through the length of the town centre. Perhaps start at Holy Trinity Square to admire the Archbishop’s Palace, the 18th century Archbishop’s Cathedral, the statue of St Stephen and the Holy Trinity Column; then wander along St Stephen’s Road to admire fine examples of Baroque style architecture, visit the early 20th century town hall, and stop-by the interesting Paprika Museum. The House of Folk Art Museum and the Károly Visky Museum, which display various works of local folk art, are well worth visiting too, while the 85-foot-high Cybernetic Light Tower – created by Nicolas Schöffer, a pioneer of kinetic sculpture – is a remarkable sight.
Danube river cruises
* Prices shown are per person, based on two adults sharing a twin cabin and include all cruise offer discounts and savings.
In the Standard Rooms on Haydn Deck 1, there’s plenty of room to relax and each is fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable holiday. Amenities include an en suite bathroom with shower and toilet, ample wardrobe space, a flat-screen TV, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, individual climate control and a safe. Please note: the windows in the Standard Rooms are positioned high up and cannot be opened.
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The roomy Juliette Balcony Rooms on Mozart Deck 3 offer everything needed for an enjoyable stay. Facilities include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, an en-suite bathroom with a shower & toilet, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin) plenty of wardrobe space, flat screen television, a direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, individual climate control and an in-room safe.
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The spacious Juliette Balcony Rooms on Strauss Deck 2 offer a generous amount of room for an enjoyable river cruise experience. These rooms also include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, plenty of wardrobe space, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), an en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, a flat-screen TV, individual climate control and a safe.
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There are just two Suites on board Brabant, both beautifully furnished and with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Features include a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), ample wardrobe space, a flat-screen TV, a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, individual climate control and a safe. Extra benefits include a large comfortable seating area, an en suite bathroom with bathtub and toilet, complimentary bathrobe and a mini-bar (payable).
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Welcome aboard Brabant, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship designed exclusively for river cruising. Built in 2006, Brabant is a stylish, comfortable vessel that has everything you need to make your holiday memorable; from bright and spacious public areas to well-equipped cabins with ample deck space from which to enjoy superb views gliding by. With just four decks and less than 80 cabins, Brabant has the intimate home from home atmosphere which Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.
What's on board: Panorama Restaurant and Bar, Fitness Room, Pool, Chess, Shuffleboard, Amadeus Club, Bicycles, Hair Salon, Lido Deck, Reception, River Terrace, Shops and much, much more.
The Plain Sailing Guarantee ensures any guests who test positive for COVID-19 and therefore cannot travel can move their cruise to another with no administration fees. This will cover guests on any cruise up to the end of 2021. Fred. Olsen will hold the money for the cancellation for up to 12 months to give their guests plenty of time to choose an alternative sailing of at least the same value. All guests need to do is call prior to departure to notify their inability to travel.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offer incredible value via inclusive fares. The following will be included in the price of your cruise: comfortable cabins with tv, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and individually controlled air conditioning, tempting cuisine, self-service tea and coffee at selected venues, in-room sandwiches and snacks, evening entertainment, Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet, use of leisure facilities including pools and gym, a vast range of on board activities, all UK port taxes, luggage porterage at embarkation and disembarkation and flights (as part of fly-cruises).
There isn’t much Fred. Olsen doesn’t include in the price of their cruises! But do bear in mind the following (unless stated otherwise): travel to/from your port or airports, car parking, all drinks on board, Shore Tours and RIB Tours, hairdressing, health & beauty treatments and selected fitness classes, personal laundry and dry cleaning, WiFi, passport and visa costs, holiday insurance, discretionary gratuities, evening dining in premium restaurants, premium Traditional Afternoon Tea and games of Blackjack and Roulette.
Yes, there is a dress code on board. Most evenings, your chosen ship will have a smart casual dress code. For men, trousers, chinos or smart dark jeans with a shirt or polo shirt are required. For ladies, outfits range from tailored trouser suits/casual separates to stylish dresses. Depending on the length of your chosen cruise, there may be one or more formal evenings. On these occasions, men wear either a dinner jacket or dark suit and tie while ladies may wear cocktail-style dresses or full-length ball gowns.
Upon arrival, you’ll find a Restaurant Seating Card in your cabin which will detail your evening dining time and allocated table number for the duration of your cruise. Dining times consist of two sittings; First Sitting (18:15) and Second Sitting (20:30). For guests on Freedom Fare, you will be offered the choice of your preferred slot at the time of booking, subject to availability. While guests on Saver Fares can select their dining time for a nominal supplement in advance of sailing. Informal open seating is offered to evening diners in Palms Café on Balmoral and Braemar. On selected evenings, The Grill restaurant offers premium speciality dining (for a small supplement) in exclusive indoor or al fresco locations. Here, expect to dine on succulent steaks and seafood as well as world cuisine inspired by the waters you sail in.
Yes, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offer an All Inclusive Drinks Upgrade package. From only £19 per person, per night (£35 per person, per night on cruises of five nights or less and Speciality Sailings), you can enjoy selected white, red and rosé wine by the glass and selected house beers, house spirits and soft drinks all day, every day throughout your cruise. This package also extends to the restaurants on board where you can choose from a selection of soft drinks, a choice of wines by the glass and selected branded beers in cans.
Each evening you can enjoy a live show after dinner courtesy of resident and guest entertainers. From music to magic, cabaret to comedy, there’s so much to keep you entertained during your time on board - all you need to do is sit back and enjoy it all with your tipple of choice.
Gratuities (applicable to youths aged 12 to 17 and all adults) will be applied to your on board account. The amount (around £5 per person, per night) is not compulsory and can easily be altered by visiting Guest Services on board. You are welcome to tip personally if you prefer. You can also pre-pay gratuities before travelling (please ask at the time of booking).