Sailing from Austria
Setting sail from Vienna
Formerly the centre of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is as grand a European capital as you can imagine, jam packed full of thrusting, bombastic buildings that stand as a reminder of Austria's glorious imperial heyday. Architectural highlights include the Spanish Riding School, the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg, the sprawling former residence of the Habsburg royals. Vienna is also a city rich in cultural capital, and still reverberates to the sound of the great composers who lived and worked here, including Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt.
Schloss Schonbrunn, the Habsburgs' summer palace, with great gardens too. Just a few of the huge number of rooms are open – the Imperial Tour takes you into 26.
Esztergom was the birthplace of St Stephen, the first king of Hungary, who was crowned here in 1000 AD and converted the kingdom to Catholicism. The picturesque town is dominated by the magnificent Basilica, which towers high above the Danube.
Vukovar is one of the great tragedies of the Balkan wars, a once prosperous and elegant city reduced to rubble by fierce fighting between Croats and Serbs. There are green shoots of optimism as the city rebuilds, but the battle-scarred streets are a powerful reminder of the devastating conflicts of the 1990s.
Romania: Iron Gates
As the Danube wends its way east, along the border between Serbia and Romania, the river narrows to a dramatic gorge known as the Iron Gates. The river here is flanked by a huge stone carving of Decebalus, the last king of the Dacians and a Romanian national hero.
Belgrade has been invaded and occupied dozens of times over the centuries, a fact that's reflected in the mish-mash of architectural styles, from Ottoman and Art Nouveau to grim relics of the communist era. But Belgrade is also a city with real soul, emerging from a difficult recent history as one of Europe’s most exciting capitals.
Serbia: Novi Sad
Novi Sad is a vibrant and friendly city with a lovely riverside setting. Handsome Austro-Hungarian architecture is a reminder of past glories, while the imposing Petrovaradin Fortress has become the unlikely setting for one of Europe’s biggest music festivals, Exit, which began life as a student protest against the government.
Mohács was the scene of a decisive battle in 1526 that brought Hungary under Ottoman control, but is best known these days for its Busó carnival in February, when men in creepy-looking costumes take to the streets to celebrate the end of winter. The town is also a jumping off point for the attractive city of Pécs, half an hour’s drive away.
Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s most appealing cities, a vibrant and welcoming capital that straddles the Danube. The history of Budapest has been somewhat turbulent, but plenty of beautiful buildings survive, including the imposing Parliament and iconic St Stephen’s Basilica.
Bratislava, Slovakia’s quaint little capital, straddles the Danube close to the border with Austria and Hungary. The compact old town is the best place to begin your exploration, before heading up to the hilltop castle for commanding views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Arriving in Vienna
Opera in Vienna is a must – speak to us about what’s on so we can book your tickets in advance. This is a great New Year destination too.
Your home from home
Crystal has raised the bar in Europe with the launch of the beautiful Crystal Mozart. Without a doubt, this is the World’s Best river cruise vessel.
What we love
Crystal Mozart brings so much space, along with outstanding and attentive Crystal service, excellent dining with genuine open seating and many tables for two, a fantastic spa area with pool, and a fresh contemporary style. We particularly love the comfortable fleet of Crystal coaches operating the shore excursions.
|Crew||92 International Staff|
Glamorous and stylish, Crystal Mozart brings together the best in contemporary design with a significantly higher guest/crew ratio than any other European river cruise vessel.
|Last Refurbished||2016 (Completely refurbished from scratch)|
Tailor-make your trip
See more of Austria
If you’ve got time, go to magical Salzburg too, you will love it.