Danube Cruise

There's nothing better than visiting Vienna on a cruise on the Danube, cruising the city's waters or heading for Bratislava or Budapest

At first glance it may not seem so, but Vienna is a city lying on the waters of the Danube, which, unlike other cities such as Budapest, Bratislava or Belgrade, does not flow in the centre, but about 4 kilometres to the north-east. Moreover, it seems that the Danube in Vienna is less wide than usual, since in the middle lies the Donauinsel, a very long artificial island 20 kilometres long and only 200 metres wide, created to separate the course of the Danube from the Neue Donau canal, which is also artificial.

But the Danube is there in Vienna, and it is vital to the city’s economy. Along the river are industries, factories and even man-made beaches, modern skyscrapers and trendy neighbourhoods; visiting Vienna on a Danube cruise gives you the chance to discover this part of the city from a completely different perspective, perhaps not as poetic as in other European capitals, but certainly worth a visit.

The Danube river system in Vienna is then completed by the Donaukanal, an arm of the river that forms a large island on which the districts of Brigittenau and Leopoldstadt are located. The Donaukanal is much closer to the city centre than the Danube itself, and can be reached on foot or by underground, via the U1 line with the Schwedenplatz stop. And it is precisely at Schwedenplatz, between the two bridges Schwedenbrücke and Marienbrücke, that the departure point for the tourist ships is located.

Cruises on the Danube in Vienna are of all kinds, from the simplest to sail for only a couple of hours, to the most comprehensive ones that also offer dinner. Finally, it is also possible to board a cruise to Budapest or Bratislava.

Danube cruises in Vienna

Danube cruises on the Danube in Vienna take place on board the MS Wien and MS Vindobona motor ships, operated by the DDSG Blue Danube shipping company. Three itineraries are available, simply called A, B and C. On the ships you can relax, sunbathe, enjoy the view from the panoramic terrace or enjoy Viennese specialities at the on-board restaurant.

It is possible to take advantage of departures at different times so that your chosen cruise also includes dinner, a schnitzel snack, lunch, a view of the city at sunset and more.

Itinerary A

Route A, or ‘Green Vienna’, starts at Schwedenplatz, passes the Urania Observatory and continues through the green heart of Vienna, giving you the chance to admire the forests of the Prater area. Passing through the Freudenau area, the ship stops at the Marina Wien station; following the shore of the Donauinsel you can see a grain depot converted into a hotel and the stadium; the cruise ends at the Reichsbrücke bridge.

Itinerary B

Route B, or ‘Modern Vienna’, starts at Reichsbrücke, right where Itinerary A ends. From here, you continue towards Schwedenplatz admiring modern Vienna, whose most representative buildings are the Donauturm skyscraper (literally ‘Danube Tower’, also known in the city by its English name Danube Tower) and the Millennium Tower.

The tour crosses the Nussdorf lock system to reach the Donaukanal, along which a series of interesting historical buildings can be seen, such as the Hundertwasser in the Spittelau area, the Roßau barracks, the Ringturm skyscraper, and the Urania observatory. The tour finally ends at Schwedenplatz.

Itinerary C

Route C is an itinerary for Vienna Pass holders, which takes place on board the MS Blue Danube motorboat. It is a circular route, which includes most of the attractions of itineraries A and B. The departure is along the banks of the Donaukanal. During the trip you can admire the Urania Observatory, the Media Tower, the Schutzenhaus and the Hundertwasser, among others.

Cruises to Bratislava

Slovakia’s capital city, the beautiful Bratislava, can be reached on a short cruise from Vienna lasting only 75 minutes. The company operating this route is the Twin City Liner, which has fast catamarans that can accommodate up to 250 people. Departures take place several times a day, and on board it is possible to travel in first or second class, on two different decks.

Inside, the ambience is comfortable and equipped with numerous amenities, including free Wi-Fi, charging stations for electronic devices and air conditioning. There is also an on-board buffet, and the entire catamaran is wheelchair accessible.

In Vienna, the departure station for the Twin City Liner is the Wien City river station, between Marienbrücke and Schwedenbrücke, along the Donaukanal. Tickets can be purchased online or on site.

Cruises to Budapest

Vienna and Budapest, the two royal capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, are connected by numerous cruises on the Danube, operated by various operators. From simple, short trips to more luxurious ones, it is possible to combine the trip with a dinner or waltz evening.

Alternatively, there are full-fledged Danube cruises lasting from 4 to 9 days, linking Vienna and Budapest and also stopping in Bratislava, Dürnstein, Melk and Linz. The ships are of course equipped with all comforts, you have the choice of various types of cabins, restaurant meals and optional excursions.

Below are some of the operators:

Once in Budapest, you can continue cruising by joining a further cruise on the Danube that will let you discover the beauty of the Hungarian capital in detail.

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Vienna City Card: 24 - 72 Hour Access to Public Transport + Discounts
Vienna City Card: 24 - 72 Hour Access to Public Transport + Discounts
This _über_ convenient Vienna City Card brings the city to your doorstep! Ride all public transport within Vienna city limits and get a discount book for attractions. .
From 17,00 €