49 Newtownards Road
028 9015 1030
ATOL No. 11029
Croisieurope is probably Europe’s longest established river-cruise company, offering cruises on more than fifty ships across Europe, Africa and the Far East. In recent years the company has “transformed” some of its slightly older ships into sparkling, modern pleasure craft. The Symphonie is one of these ships. Basically, the ship has been gutted and totally rebuilt, with fewer but larger cabins, stylish interiors, new machinery and kitchen. We have cruised on some of the other newly-converted ships and we and are customers have been absolutely delighted with them. Of course, the standards we expect from Croisieurope have been maintained and you can expect comfortable beds to sleep in and fine food and drink to quench your hunger and thirst.
Is the Danube really blue?
Well, not really, but in Passau where the Danube meets the River Inn, which is green and the River Ilz rivers, which is Black, then the Danube really does appear to be blue. But let’s not allow the truth to get in the way of a bit of romance. The Danube will always been known for its stunning cities and the music that has been created along its shore.
Our cruise holiday starts and ends in Vienna, with flights from Dublin to connect. Below, you will find a brief itinerary, which we hope will give you some flavour of what to expect.
Day 1. -13 August 2019
Fly from Dublin to Vienna, departing Dublin around midday, arriving around 4.00pm local time. Transfer to the ship and settle in to your cabin. The ship sets sail later tonight and sails through the night towards Melk.
Day 2.-14 August 2019
This morning we have an unforgettable visit to the stunning Melk Abbey before cruising through the gorgeous Wachau Valley and on to Durnstein, famous as the place where King Richard the Lionheart was held captive and was found by his minstrel, Blondel. We sail through part of the night again.
Day 3.-15 August 2019
We arrive in Bratislava, previously known as Pressburg, and one of the former capitals of the Austria-Hungary Empire. This charming little city has shaded squares, a castle to visit and in its alleyways and streets you will discover numerous quirky statues, unlike any you’ll find anywhere else. A fun town!
Day 4.-16 August 2019
This morning we visit Kalocsa and have an opportunity to enjoy a horse show (See EXCURSIONS - BELOW), before returning on board for lunch and an afternoon relaxing as we cruise down the river. (More information to follow)
Day 5.-17 August 2019
Budapest. Beautiful Budapest. This is a city we have often compared to London or Paris and in many ways it rivals Vienna, too, for its culture and architecture. It still hasn’t fully recovered from fifty or more years of stark communist rule; even some second world war damage is still clearly visible. Yet, the city is spell-binding, with its imposing castle overseeing the river below and the spectacular parliament buildings on the opposite bank. Or visit here includes two walking excursions and a visit to the beautiful parliament.
Day 6.-18 August 2019
We still should have some free time in Budapest before sailing in the afternoon towards Estergom, where you can relax in the village or climb to the imposing cathedral for which it is world-famous.
Day 7.-19 August 2019
We arrive in Vienna through the night, ready to tackle the sights and sounds of this amazing capital city. We will include a short walking tour of some of city highlights and a visit to the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace b y metro. We return on board for our final gala evening.
Day 8.-20 August 2019
Our flight home is not until the late afternoon, so we still have quite a bit of time in Vienna. We need to vacate our cabins but we can leave our bags safely aboard, until we need to depart for the airport around 1.00pm. The morning is yours to explore Vienna on your own, maybe doing a bit of last-minute shopping before our departure.
This is a very relaxing holiday, where you can do as little or as much as you wish. We do need to stress, however, that many of the excursions require you to walk over uneven surfaces, up and down steps occasionally and we will occasionally travel by public transport, especially in Budapest and Vienna. If you suffer any walking impediment, you may not be able to take part fully is some of the excursions. We will, however, do our utmost to ensure you enjoy your experience as much as possible.
You must be able to look after your own luggage. We cannot be relied upon to lift, carry or transport anyone’s luggage and we are not insured to do so. If you can’t carry it, I’m afraid neither can we.
What’s included in the holiday:
•Return flights from Dublin to Vienna with Aer Lingus
•Transfers between airport and ship
•7 nights cruise aboard MS Symphonie
•All meals from dinner on 13th August to Breakfast on 20th August
•All drinks, teas, coffees, water aboard (with a few small exceptions)
•A range of excursions, one or more in each city. There may also be extra optional tours.
•Basic gratuities on board
•Escorted throughout by Acetours
•Full financial protection under ATOL 11029
What’s not included:
•Transport to/from Dublin Airport. We can help you arrange this.
•Optional extra excursions.
•Meals or drinks ashore or any other personal expenditure.
Fares: (Provisional as of 31 August 2018)
Based on double occupancy of cabin,
Lower deck £1695pp (Single supp. £350)
Based on double occupancy of cabin,
Upper deck £1895pp (Single supp. £350)
Included in your fare:
* Morning tour of Melk Abbey
* Morning tour of Hungarian Plains and
* Tour of Bratislava by tourist train
* 2 walking tours of Budapest
* 2 tours of Vienna
Morning Tour of Melk Abbey
On arrival in Melk, we will travel by coach up to the ancient Benedictine Abbey, founded over 900 years ago and rebuilt under Habsburg rule. This is one of Europe's most stunning and best-preserved abbeys, which never fails to impress.
Morning Tour of Hungarian Plains
Departure by coach in the company of your host/hostess in the direction of Kiskunsag Park, at the heart of the Puszta.
The Puszta, also known as the Great Plain of Hungary, is a large, flat grassland that was regarded as the Wild West of Hungary in the 19th century with cow-boys watching over colossal cattle herds grazing on pasture. Riding aboard a charabanc - a traditional horse-drawn carriage with wooden benches - you'll be amazed by the wonderful landscapes and unusual fauna of the Puszta. In the course of your visit, you'll get the chance to attend a traditional equestrian show while tasting* "palinka" (plum eau-de-vie) and some "pogacsa" (small savory buns) as well as mineral water, sheltered from the sun under a thatched roof. The csikós, the mounted horse-herdsmen of Hungary dressed in traditional blue attire, will invite you to take part in their "games of skill and ability”. Return on board by coach. (Are you up for it?)
Tour of Bratislava
We depart the ship on foot and walk approximately 300 metres to the "train stop". From here you will experience a short tour, approximately 40 minutes, of this lovely little city. You will have time afterwards to explore on foot, maybe stopping for one of Bratislava's famous hot chocolates!
Tours of Budapest
Our ship docks right in the heart of Budapest and from the dock, your host Alan will take you on two excursions. The timings of these will depend on the ship arrival and departure times and availability of tickets.
One tour will be on foot and by tram, taking in many of the sights of the city, from the Parliament, via the Opera to the Jewish District and back via Vorosmarty Ter and Vaci Utca to the ship. We would hope to include a visit to the Parliament, subject to available tickets. (There is a lot of waliking on this tour but you can opt out at any stage)
The other tour involves a short walk across the Danube and a funicular ride to the Palace which overlooks the river below and the Parliament on the opposite bank. You can reurn at your leisure, by funicular or on foot.
We would also hope to fit in a visit to the superb Market Hall and maybe to one of Budapest's famous baths, Gellert or Szechenyi.
Tours of Vienna
Our ship docks in the Vienna Canal, a short tram ride from the city centre. We have about 400 meters to walk from the ship and then, just four stops away is the city centre. We use this option of travel, as the coaches take much longer in traffic and cannot get close, anyway. From Stephans Cathedral, we will stroll through the Jewish District and up to the Hofburg Palace. We continue on to the museum quarter, via the famous Hotel Sacher, where we would plan to stop for coffee and cake! We will return by tram, venturing along the famous "Ring", upon which stand many of Vienna's famous buildings.
On our last morning, immediately after breakfast, we take a tram to Schoenbrunn Palace, where we will spend the entire morning. We return to the city for a chance to get a snack before returning to the ship to collect our luggage and set off for the airport.
Spanish Riding School of Vienna
If you are interested in visiting the Spanish Riding School, please contact us for detailks and availability. If you visit this, you will have to forego one of the other tours.
1.Croisieurope offer a fixed three course menu for lunch and dinner and are famed for their excellent cuisine. The food is of the highest quality. The menu is on display from early morning but if you would prefer something else, you may ask your waiter if he/she can arrange a different meal. You must do this at breakfast time, or an alternative may not be available. Most dietary requirements can be catered for.
2. “SYMPHONIE” offers one fully-accessible cabin for those who require wheelchair access, but our experience shows that river cruising is not ideal for those with limited mobility. Berthing is often via steep ramps, possibly steps, and we may also need to cross through another vessel. We would endeavour to ensure you get the maximum from a cruise but cannot guarantee you will be able to get off at each and every port. You must also have a carer with you, who is able to manage every aspect of operating and pushing the wheelchair, your luggage, etc. Our representatives cannot be called upon to assist, as we are not insured for it.
3.Unlimited drinks, alcoholic and otherwise, are available throughout your cruise. The offer includes beers, spirits, soft drinks, teas & coffees , bottled water and a selection of fine house wines but excludes those from the wine list and champagnes.
4.Basic gratuities are included aboard the ship but, if you feel you have received exceptional service, please feel free to put something into the unmarked envelope, which will be left in your cabin towards the end of the cruise. Gratuities for tour guides, etc. are not included and a small contribution would be appreciated.