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The Danube River is Europe’s second longest river at 1785 miles (2860km) and spanning through nine countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. The Danube is a proud river that holds a deep history as the borders between what was previously a number of great European empires, leaving behind a number of castles and fortresses. The river also enters into the Black Sea which provides rare opportunities to cruise to the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

Upper Danube

Originating from Germany’s Black Forest, the Upper Danube starts from where the Main Danube canal meets with the city of Kelheim. From there, it heads east into Austria passing Regensburg, Passau and Linz. On the Upper Danube, you’ll cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley and Melk Abbey, reaching Durnstein and Vienna.

Middle Danube

Between Vienna and Bratislava is the Hungarian Gates Gorge which then flows into the Visegrad Gorge, giving you grand views of castles and cathedrals before reaching Budapest in Hungary. Past Budapest, you’ll enter the Iron Gate, an 83 mile valley running along the border of Serbia and Romania. 

Lower Danube

At the exit to the Iron Gate, you’ll find yourself in Bulgaria with views of the Danubian Plain and towns such as Vidin and Svishtov. You’ll soon reach the capital of Romania, Bucharest, where your journey will either end or stop before passing through the Danube Delta and into the Black Sea. The Danube Delta is a natural scene of beauty scattered with islets, rainforest-like lianas, water lilies and flocks of pelicans and cormorants.

Weather & When to cruise the Danube

The Danube has an average high temperature of 65 to 79°F (19 to 26°C) and average low temperature of 48 to 59°F (9 to 15°C) between May and October.  The preferred times to cruise on the Danube are in early and late season when the temperature is not as hot. Around Christmas, temperatures can drop to a freezing 32°F (0°C).

Where will my Danube river cruise start?

The most common Danube starting points are Passau, Munich, Budapest, Prague and Nuremberg.

Popular ports in Danube

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