An Avalon Active & Discovery river cruise along the enchanting Upper Danube is an experience like no other. With your choice of daily Classic, Active, and Discovery excursions, there are ample opportunities to dive into Europe’s most fascinating destinations, from its storybook towns to its captivating cities.  

As part of Avalon’s new Storyteller Series of Suite Ship sailings, you’ll also have the chance to cruise the Danube in the company of chart-topping, internationally acclaimed authors: Cheryl Strayed (Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things) or Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects). These celebrity-hosted cruises invite you to transport yourself through time and tales as you sail past romantic rolling hills, fairytale Baroque buildings, and stunning cliffside fortresses, capturing insider narratives along the way.  

Cheryl Strayed

“Travel has long been a source of inspiration and rejuvenation for me and I cannot imagine a better place to seek (and find) both of those things than on the legendary Danube River. I could not be more excited to sail from Budapest to Deggendorf on the Avalon Active & Discovery cruise and I’m especially thrilled to be doing it with group of like-minded travellers. Together we’ll explore, connect, relax, and revel in the wild beauty that every adventure brings.” 

– Cheryl Strayed 

“I grew up alongside a river in the middle of America and have always been mesmerised by not just their beauty but their symbolism: of movement, change and possibility. So I’m truly thrilled to be spending time on the Avalon Waterways’ Active & Discovery cruise on the Danube River, in a part of the world I’ve not yet explored, learning and enjoying each day with true fellow travellers.” 

– Gillian Flynn 

Check out some of the dreamy Danube ports you’ll visit below: 

Visegrád  

Visegrad, Hungary
Photo by @vidorphotography1 on Instagram

Lose yourself in local history as you reach Visegrád, a small castle town in Pest County, Hungary. Drink in the scenery as you hike to Visegrád Castle where Count Dracula of Romania was imprisoned in the 15th century. Or perhaps step back in time and watch a Medieval Knights Tournament, featuring targeting and fighting demonstrations by members of the St. George Knightly Order. 

Vienna 

Vienna

From royal palaces to regal pastries, Austria’s imperial capital has it all. Spend two full days in vibrant Vienna with an abundance of activities available. Take a bike tour along the 100-year-old Ringstrasse, explore Belvedere Palace with a local guide, indulge in a delectable breakfast at a Viennese café, or see the Habsburg family’s private art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts – your options for discovery in Europe’s cultural heart are endless. 

Krems 

Krems, Australia
Photo by @lukashavlin on Instagram

Sitting pretty on the north bank of the Danube is Krems, where outdoor enthusiasts can choose to paddle a canoe along its picturesque shores or pedal a bike through its vineyard-dotted hillsides, cycling to nearby Spitz and stopping in the popular town of Dürnstein. Wine lovers mustn’t miss the opportunity to taste the region’s renowned local drops on an interactive Wine World experience! 

Grein 

Grein, Austria
Image by @thomas.scheichl on Instagram

Nestled between green hills and the Blue Danube is the city of Grein. Take a stroll through its charming streets with a local guide and discover its long history, including Austria’s oldest theatre. Whilst here you’ll also get the chance to put your best foot forward when you meet the current Count of Clam on a tour of his majestic medieval castle, Burg Clam. 

Engelhartszell 

Engelhartszell beer
Photo by @velvetescape on Instagram

Next visit the quaint riverside village of Engelhartszell, where you’ll get to sample cheese and beer made by resident monks at the rococo-style Engelszell Abbey, Austria’s only Trappist monastery. You’ll also get to explore the Abbey’s sensory garden – complete with stone labyrinth and vineyard.  

Schlögener Schlinge 

You needn’t worry about the pronunciation of this dramatic river point, considered one of Austria’s most breath taking natural wonders. When you lay your eyes upon this legendary loop, you’ll be absolutely speechless. Delight in the area’s superb views on a scenic guided hike, before soaking in the surroundings from the comfort of your Sky Deck, as you sail through the Danube’s famed horseshoe bend on your way to Deggendorf. It’s the perfect end to your epic Active & Discovery river cruise! 


Active & Discovery on the Danube Storyteller sailings depart 22 July 2022 with Cheryl Strayed and 15 September 2022 with Gillian Flynn 

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