As the second longest river in Europe, the Danube is a legend in itself. Avalon Waterways offers a wide range of river cruises along the Danube so if you are planning a holiday to Europe, here are ten facts about the Danube River you might not know!
1. The Danube is home to various plants and animals
Along its winding path, there are close to 5,000 types of animals – including mammals, birds, fish and reptiles – and 2,000 types of plants! It truly is a wildlife lovers’ paradise!
2. The river splits into three at the Black Sea
Beginning from the Black Forest in Germany, the Danube splits into three at the Black Sea in Romania. These sub-rivers are known as the Chila, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe.
3. It travels through ten countries
The waters travel through, or beside, ten different countries so it has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over centuries of history. These countries are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, the Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.
4. Napoleon had his own name for the Danube
In Napoleon’s time, he referred to the river as the ‘Queen of Europe’s River’.
5. There are sunken ships within its waters
Beneath its surface, you will find a number of sunken ships from World War II. Germany sunk hundreds of its ships in the Danube in 1944 to avoid capture by the Soviet Union. When the water levels fall in summer, you can occasionally see some of the ship ruins.
6. The first river cruise on the Danube was a steam engine boat
Along with the introduction of the steam engine, the first steam engine boat sailed in 1830 – and the rest, as they say, is history.
7. It is a fresh water river
With such a large mass of water, the Danube is one of Central Europe’s most important sources of fresh drinking water.
Avalon Waterways has a wide range of river cruises along the Danube. Interested? Find out more here.