Adventures by Disney already offers amazing itineraries for families around the world, but at a media event on Monday night the company announced a brand new venture in partnership with AmaWaterways. The new, first-ever Danube River Cruise Adventure takes families on the 170-passenger AmaViola through eight cities across four European countries. The itinerary will be available five times in 2016, with four sailings departing in July and one in December, the latter a holiday-themed adventure. If you’re considering this for a family vacation, here’s what you can expect during the eight-day, seven-night cruise:
Day 1: Vilshofen, Germany
Families will tour the Alderbasbach Brewery, which is also home to a museum and Cistercian Monastery, while enjoying local food, music and folk dancing with costumed entertainers. After the afternoon party, families will board the ship for an elegant dinner as they set sail from Vilshofen, Germany. Finish off the night with the soothing sounds of a live piano player.
Day 2: Passau, Germany
Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city by a local expert dressed in clothing reminiscent of the 18th Century. Families will see St. Stephen’s Cathedral and even make their own marzipan to take home.
Next, families will choose from two excursion options. The first option includes a guided tour through 41 connected, treetop towers and rope bridges, with a giant slide and playground for kids to enjoy after. The second option includes a tour through the 900-year-old Hohenwerfen Castle with a live falconry show for families to see exotic birds up close.
After the day’s activities and dinner on the ship, families will have time to explore Passau on their own, or they can join their children at the Junior Adventurer movie night.
Day 3: Linz, Austria
Local tour guides will take families through Salzburg where they’ll also indulge in a meal at St. Peter Siftskellar, the oldest restaurant in the city.
Next, families will choose between an excursion to Mondsee for a tour of the Mondsee Abbey, where “The Sound of Music” was filmed, or a journey to the Salt Mines of Hallein, where rafts will take them underground and down a mineshaft slide while everyone learns about the history of the mineral. Families will also be able to see other famous sights in town, such as the Mirabell Gardens.
Back on board, guests will enjoy dinner and a spirited sing-a-long to the soundtrack from “The Sound of Music.”
Day 4: Melk and Krems, Austria
First explore the Melk Abbey with kids before swimming in the Danube River and trying cultural activities like marmalade making, wine and juice tasting and traditional Austrian dance lessons. Families will then choose from two excursions. Option one takes families on a three-hour bike ride from Melk to the town of Krems, Austria. Option two allows families to stay on board the ship and make pretzels with kids, which they also get to eat afterward! Other ship activities include board games and wine tastings (for adults).
During the afternoon, families who stayed on board rather than biking can choose from three activities. The first takes guests on a hiking tour of Duernstein and the Burgruine Duernstein castle. The second takes families on a one-hour bike ride along the Danube River. The third takes families to a working apricot farm where they’ll get to taste the various products made there.
Additionally, families will have time to explore the town of Krems on their own. Kids will enjoy another movie night aboard the ship while teens can sing their hearts out at karaoke in the lounge after dinner.
Day 5: Vienna, Austria
Tour the city of Vienna and stop at the Schoenbrunn Palace for an additional tour of the property, including the underground kitchens. Kid-specific activities will also be offered at the Palace, such as a historical dress up area and visits to the onsite children’s museum. Families will also get to enjoy a marionette show and hands-on strudel making demonstration.
For lunch, guests can choose from lunch on the ship or one of the many restaurants in Vienna. In the afternoon, families have three activity options. The first is to explore the famous Spanish riding school at the HofBurg castle; the second is for a bike ride through Klosterneuburg Abbey; and the third is for free family time to explore the city.
After dinner on the ship, families get to choose from two activities. Sample Viennese wine at a local tavern while enjoying live music and entertainment, or listen to the classical sounds of Mozart and Strauss at a private concert.
Day 6: Bratislava, Slovakia
Explore Bratislava via a guided tour with stops at St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Dukla battlefield, as well as time at the Devin Castle, where kids can try archery, make candles and create a custom Adventures by Disney coin souvenir.
After lunch on board the ship, families will get to discover Schloss Hof, the estate of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Stories, culinary tastings, dance lessons, a petting zoo and more will be offered for families to enjoy.
Dinner is enjoyed on the ship in the evening before the family-friendly karaoke night begins.
Day 7: Budapest, Hungary
Take a carriage ride and see a horse show at the Lazar Equestrian Park in Budapest before lunch right onsite, accompanied by Hungarian folk singers. Families can even make their own ghoulash to enjoy for lunch! The afternoon is for touring the city before a Captain’s Farewell reception and dinner on board the ship. The evening is filled with a magic show for all ages and views of Budapest from the ship as it makes its way further down the Danube River.
Day 8: Budapest, Hungary
On the last day of the adventure, families will enjoy breakfast upon the ship with Budapest surrounding them. Airport transfers will be offered for all guests who plan to make their way back home.
In addition to the initial eight-day itinerary, families can opt to add on a three-day, two-night stay, pre or post cruise, in Prague, Czech Republic. During these additional days, families will explore gardens, taste Czech delicacies, explore the city on a guided tour and enjoy a smaller river cruise through Prague along the Vltava River. Additional fees apply.
Rates for the eight-day, seven-night, all-inclusive Danube River Cruise Adventure start from $4,539 per adult and from $4,319 per child (ages 12 and under). The minimum age requirement is 4 years, though Adventures by Disney recommends this trip for children ages 8 and older. For more information and to book, visit the Adventures by Disney website.
– Hilarey Wojtowicz