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A breathtaking full-board Danube River cruise from Vienna to Budapest and Bratislava, with an optional Prague city fling - includes flights and optional excursions
Day 1: UK - Vienna
Arrive in Vienna - the home of Mozart and Beethoven, dressed in its glittering Christmas finery. Make your way to the port, board the ship for your Danube River cruise and enjoy welcome cocktails. (Meals: dinner)
Day 2: Vienna
Take an optional (chargeable) tour of Vienna's top attractions - the Opera, the Town Hall, Parliament, the Burgtheater and the splendid Hofburg Imperial Palace. In the afternoon, enjoy the city at your own pace or join another optional (chargeable) excursion to the UNESCO-listed Schönbrunn Palace. Vienna comes alive with festive spirit over the Christmas season, with over 20 official Advent Markets peppering the city. At night, the ship sails towards Melk. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 3: Melk - Dürnstein
Arrive in Melk, a town in the heart of the Wachau Valley with a world-famous Benedictine Abbey. Sail to Dürnstein, a charming village with medieval castle. Walk into the historic centre from the port, passing through the medieval city gates to Pranger Square and seeing the castle ruins. Spend the afternoon on board, enjoying the lush, fortress-studded scenery as you sail towards Budapest. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 4: Budapest
At leisure on the ship as you make wake to Budapest. You'll arrive in the capital in the evening and venture out on a moonlit city walk as the city twinkles with festive lights. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 5: Budapest
Opt for an optional (chargeable) guided tour of the Hungarian capital's most important sights, like the impressive Parliament, Heroes' Square, the Chain Bridge, and the Fishermen's Bastion. From 8 November to 31 December 2019, Budapest Advent and Christmas Fair in Vörösmarty Square features rows of wooden stalls laden with handicrafts and gourmand treats for you to peruse. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner) Day 6: Esztergom
Dock early in the old Hungarian capital of Esztergom - a small city around 45 kilometres from Budapest. It's home to the largest basilica in the country, inaugurated in 1869, and currently the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary. In the afternoon, set sail for Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Please note that Esztergom Basilica is closed on 25 December and 1 January. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 7: Bratislava
Cruise into Bratislava, the riverside Slovakian capital crowned by the Little Carpathian mountains. An optional (chargeable) guided tour of the imperial city of Bratislava reveals the National Theatre, the Cathedral of Saint Martin, the old Town Hall and the stately hilltop castle. Bratislava's Christmas market in the Main Square promises carols, Christmas songs and dances from across Slovakia (and maybe a pancake and some mulled wine). You'll depart for Vienna in the afternoon before a Captain's Dinner with farewell cocktails on board. (Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 8: Vienna - UK / Prague
Arrive early in Vienna, then make your own way to the airport at the indicated time to fly back to the UK, or on to Prague if you choose to add on a three-night stay here. Optional overnight stay in Prague. (Meals: breakfast, depending on flight time)
Days 9-10: Prague (optional)
At leisure in Prague. Try to see the 600-year-old astronomical clock and the beautiful Charles Bridge, for views across the Vltava river. You'll be visiting the city at its most magical, when every square is peppered with twinkling Christmas trees and festive stalls. This year, Prague's Christmas markets run from 30 November 2019 to 6 January 2020. (Meals: breakfast)
Day 11: Prague - UK (optional)
Make your own way to the airport for a flight back to the UK. (Meals: breakfast, depending on flight time)
Sailing from one majestic European capital to the next on a heart-stealing Danube river cruise
Witnessing Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and perhaps Prague sparkling in cockle-warming festive finery
Opting to add on a magical stint in Prague, quaffing craft beers and gazing out from Charles Bridge
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Pay £25 to hold a date until the end of the sale.
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Important: Please note, this is not a deposit, complete or guaranteed booking; holding the date simply prevents other members from swooping in and booking your preferred date while you're still having a think about it. Secret Escapes will not be liable for expenses incurred should that date not be available to book and a hold is cancelled.
In short, you pay Secret Escapes a non-refundable deposit to secure your holiday, then you pay the holiday supplier the remaining balance of the holiday - as advertised - at a later date (before you travel).
We've added deposit-only sales to enable our members to get early-bird access to more amazing holidays, and because we know that planning and paying for a holiday can take time.