The Danube River runs through several countries in Europe, with the featured itinerary visiting Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.

A river cruise is a great way to travel if you enjoy seeing many different cities and countries, travelling through beautiful waterfront views and enjoying amenities on board while you are not at port. We caught up with Billy, one of our Gate 1 Travel team, who recently enjoyed a Danube River Cruise, and we got the inside scoop on his trip!

Q: Why did you choose a Danube River Cruise and what had you heard about the places it visits that made you decide on this trip?

A: Being able to go to 4 different countries on one trip was very appealing. I knew about the alpine landscape in Austria, but I was eager to learn more about the other destinations.

Aggstein Castle, Wachau, Austria

Aggstein Castle, Wachau, Austria

Q: The Danube River is a very popular international travel destination, how was that reflected in your trip?

A: Our local guide told us that tourism is the number one industry in Austria. It was so beautiful, I can see why everyone wants to go there.

Bratislava Opera House

Bratislava Opera House

Q: What were some of the highlights of your trip?

A: My favourite city was Bratislava, Slovakia. The old architecture was so charming and it was very easy to walk around the city. We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Lipizzaner Stallions in Vienna, Austria. The best thing was waking up each morning and having a different view out of our ship’s window.

Q: What was your favourite meal or what food did you have that you really enjoyed or felt was very authentic?

A: The best meal was lunch on the optional tour of Salzburg where we had real Wienerschnitzel and it was delicious. The best food was in Regensburg, where we could smell the Bratwurst from outside the restaurant. They were mouth-wateringly good!

Q: How was the shopping and did you visit anywhere specifically great for shopping?

A: There were local crafts to buy everywhere as well as more touristy shops. What I love is to buy local artwork while on holidays. Outside the Schonbrunn Palace, I purchased a one-of-a-kind painting from a local student that still hangs on my wall at home.

Schonbrunn Palace Austria

Schonbrunn Palace, photo thanks to Gerry Dyer

Q: What travel tips would you give to someone preparing to go on this trip?

A: Do the optional tours! The Schonbrunn Palace Tour was amazing and really worthwhile.

Q: How did you prepare for this trip?

A: I made sure to be ready to take a lot of photos and I was glad I did. Europe is beyond beautiful along the Danube River.

Q: Would you go back?

A: Absolutely; but I also want to take the Gate 1 cruises on the Main and Rhine rivers and in Holland & Belgium during Tulip Time!

MS Monarch Empress crew

“MS Monarch Empress staff, superb!”, thanks to Suzanne Murphy

Q: How was your tour manager and what were they like? In what ways did they effect your trip?

A: Our tour manager was great. He was very friendly and answered all our questions. He was very knowledgeable and funny too! I often hung out at the back of the group taking photos and noticed that even when we had a local city guide, he was watching to make sure everything was going well.

Q: What did you feel was the overall impression of your trip? 

A: Convenience. When most of your meals are included and the travel between cities happens while you sleep, all you have to worry about is waking up from your afternoon nap in time for dinner! We also only had to unpack one time. To top it all off our tour manager was always ready to answer questions or give suggestions.

Q: Did being on an escorted tour make a difference?

A: It was great to meet new people and have interesting conversations over meals.


Budapest, a great place to start or end your river cruise experience!

Q: Would you recommend this trip to family and friends?

A: I would recommend this trip to anyone; art & architecture lovers, history buffs, adventurers, and anyone who likes to have a good meal and drinks with new friends!

Think this sounds like the journey for you? Gate 1 Travel’s 2019 European River Cruises are available now and get in early for great savings!

Posted by Gate 1 Travel

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