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Vienna sunset, Austria

Luxury Rail and Danube River Cruise on AmaWaterways

17-day luxury rail & river cruise



  • Indulge with white-gloved service on two of the world’s greatest rail journeys
  • Showcase some of Europe’s finest rural scenery
  • Relax in luxury hotels in Venice, Taormina and Budapest
  • Sail on the Danube in 5-star luxury on AmaWaterways
  • Enjoy a choice of included tours and beverages throughout

In Brief

  • 1 Night London
  • 2 Nights Venice
  • 1 Night Taormina
  • 1 Night Bari
  • 1 Night San Marino
  • 5 Nights Budapest
  • 1 Night Bratislava
  • 1 Night Vienna
  • 1 Night Grein
  • 1 Night Linz
  • 1 Night Vilshofen an der Donau


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Rail journey | River cruise | Unique & unusual

This tailor-made itinerary will see you go back to the Golden Age of Travel as you enjoy the glamour of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London to Venice, indulging in all-inclusive meals and champagne in the convivial bar, accompanied by the sound of the onboard pianist. Explore the famous floating city of Venice with gondola rides and gallery visits before swapping it for the cobbled laneways of Taormina, exploring volcano-framed trails, ancient theatres and sandy coves. Then it's time to board the opulent Danube Express for more 1920s indulgences as you dress in your finery to enjoy three-course gourmet meals alongside outside's stunning European scenery before arriving in Budapest. Finally, embark the 5-star AmaSonata, where private balconies, a refined dining room, sun deck and massage parlour act as your base for witnessing the ever-changing scenery that glides past. Pair Vienna's gilded palaces and manicured gardens with the charming Baroque architecture of historic German cities such as Passau before culminating it all in Vilshofen, where you'll indulge in some jovial Oktoberfest activities. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Your adventure starts when you board the Belmond British Pullman train at London Victoria, enjoying a delicious brunch and Bellini as you speed through gorgeous Kent countryside. After crossing the channel, lay eyes on the iconic blue-and-gold carriages of the famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, enjoying a sumptuous four-course dinner with everything from Brittany lobster and salt marsh lamb on the menu, prepared freshly on board. After a nightcap, retire to your cabin which will have been expertly transformed into a cosy bedroom as you head towards the Alps.

Stay: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Days 2-3

Marvel at the magnificent mountain countryside scenery as you enjoy breakfast served in your cabin and spend the morning relaxing in the Bar Car or in your cabin as you enjoy the passing view before heading to one of the three immaculately-restored restaurant carts for a delicious three-course lunch. Afternoon tea is the final indulgent treat before the train finally crosses the Venetian Lagoon where, on arrival, you'll be met and transferred to the Baglioni Luna hotel that overlooks San Giorgio Island and the San Marco Basin. This luxurious hotel is all silk-panelled walls and frescoes – perhaps enjoy a drink at the canal-facing Caffè Baglioni before tonight sampling the delights of the onsite, gourmet Canova Restaurant and grand 18th century painted ceilings of the Marco Polo Ballroom. Day three will see you have a whole day to explore the splendours of this historic city – we've even included a private walking tour of Venice with VIP entry to the Gothic gems of Doges Palace.

Stay: Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 4
Venice to Taormina

In the morning, enjoy a private water taxi to the airport for your flight to Catania, where you will be met and privately transferred to the spectacular Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea hotel in Taormina, nestled in a beautiful bay and framed by ivy-covered houses, cobbled laneways and the harbour's clinking yachts. Tonight head out into the charming town to one of the myriad trattoria for traditional Italian fare and world-class wine.

Stay: Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, Taormina, Sicily (Deluxe)

Day 5
Taormina to Bari

This morning you'll begin your rail journey on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express as you leave Taormina and cross to the Italian mainland on one of the world's very few ‘train ferries'. Enjoy all-inclusive luxury and a personal cabin attendant as you unwind in the elegant bar car that's host to talks, lectures and the sounds of the resident pianist – and, it all stays open until the last guest leaves. Traverse the scenic coastal line across southern Italy, arriving in the Adriatic port of Bari in time for dinner in its beautiful old town, Barivecchia.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: L D

Day 6
San Marino

After breakfast, browse your itinerary which you'll receive daily on the day's upcoming delights. Today you'll head to San Marino, a mountainous micro-state filled with historic architecture. On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled Old Town and narrow cobblestone streets. The Three Towers, castle-like citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighbouring peaks and it's here you'll enjoy lunch, which will feature the country’s famous Torta Tre Monti or ‘Cake of the Three Towers’.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Ljubljana & Budapest

This morning cross the border into Slovenia and enjoy a visit to the beautiful capital city of Ljubljana, offering a delightful combination of ancient architecture and buzzing, youthful culture. Highlights include Preseren Square, Three Bridges and Dragon Bridge before you return to the Golden Eagle Danube Express for lunch and begin the final part of the journey across Slovenia to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Arrive in this spectacular city of two halves that's filled with splendid architecture, hidden cobbles and, of course, the winding Danube as you enjoy a farewell dinner on board. On arrival, you'll be transferred to the five-star Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest in the centre of the city and just moments from all the main attractions.

Stay: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

Meals: B L D

Days 8-9

Enjoy a further two nights in Budapest with the the days yours to do as you please. Contact us for private touring arrangements or simply relax at the hotel, perhaps starting your evenings off with a pre-dinner tipple in the hotel's intimate Blue Fox The Bar or elegant Nobu Lounge. Then, perhaps indulge at the next-door restaurant of the same name, offering refined Japanese classics, or ÉS Bisztró, contemporary Hungarian-Viennese dishes. There are myriad restaurant offerings in the city too, with everything from fine dining to traditional goulash in cosy family eateries.

Stay: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

Days 10-11
Embark the ship & explore Budapest

Check out of your hotel and make your way to the river bank to embark AmaWaterways' five-star river ship, the AmaSonata. Enjoy private balconies, a refined dining room, sun deck and massage parlour over the next few days as you witness the stunning ever-changing scenery. This evening, be treated to a special Illuminations cruise past the capital’s glittering riverfront. On day 11, you'll enjoy an included city tour that begins with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall brimming with vendors selling everything from food to souvenirs. You'll visit both the Buda and Pest sides of the river, home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Buda Castle quarter in Castle Hill and Heroes’ Square.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Arrive into historic Bratislava today. Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens, it's certainly earned the title “Coronation City of Kings” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. There's also the chance to join a culinary host to sample traditional Slovakian specialties such as stuffed potato ravioli, and enjoy a hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 13

The gilded palaces and manicured gardens of Vienna await today – and the “City of Waltzes” truly offers a treasure trove of gems that live up to its nickname. Perhaps join a city tour showcasing regal splendours, from the majestic Opera House to the former Imperial Palace, before exploring Vienna’s historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. A guided bike ride along the Danube is also a lovely way to while away the hours.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 14
Weissenkirchen & Grein

After breakfast you'll reach Weissenkirchen in the heart of the Wachau Valley and be treated to several excursion choices, from walking tours to UNESCO-designated sites to wine tasting events at a local vintner. Later, you'll sail to the medieval riverside town and scenic valley of Grein – highlights include the 500-year-old Greinburg Castle that looms above the village – where you'll enjoy an included folklore show alongside a wine reception.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 15

Sail to Linz today where you'll enjoy a walking tour or guided bike tour to explore the Old City Centre before you've got a choice to explore one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Discover the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg, where you can enjoy a walking tour of the historic centre made famous by The Sound of Music, or head to the spectacularly-preserved Cesky Krumlov, a medieval town nestled in rolling hills. Finally, there's the chance to explore the Austrian Lake District, an ultra-scenic region of emblematic rolling hills studded with shimmering pools.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 16
Passau & Vilshofen

Your penultimate day sees you discover the 2,000-year-old city of Passau, enjoying walking tours among the Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture or guided bike tours along the Danube River. Your final anchor is Vilshofen, where you'll enjoy a festive Oktoberfest celebration with local beer and food, Bavarian folk music and dancing – an event exclusive to AmaWaterways.

Stay: AmaSonata

Meals: B L D

Day 17
Vilshofen to UK

After breakfast, debark the AmaSonata and take the transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Meals: B


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