Danube cruise

Cruise tips you can trust



Danube cruise
tips & insights

When you cruise
makes a big difference

Timing signficantly affects your Danube cruise experience and wallet. Read my advice below.

May to September

This is the prime Danube cruise season. But be aware that the quality of your experience varies by when you go.


Mid-June through August

It can be quite hot and crowded. And fares are at their highest level and booking availability is at its lowest point.


May and September

These two months are pleasantly cooler, crowds are thinner, fares are lower, and bookings are easier to make. But May is the rainiest month of the prime season. And September, though drier, has fewer daylight hours for sightseeing.


October to April

It's too cold for most cruisers. However, if you love shopping and bundling up, consider booking one of the special cruises that visit towns hosting atmospheric outdoor Christmas markets. These cruises sail from late November through December.

Best direction?

Sail downstream if you're on a one-way cruise. The Danube is fast moving. Traveling upstream takes about 50% more time and the ride is less smooth than cruising downstream.

Best Danube section
for cruising

From a cruiser's perspective, the Danube River can be divided into two parts:

Upper Danube

Upstream from Budapest.

Lower Danube

Everything else downstream.


I strongly recommend the Upper Danube for cruising because its riverside vistas are significantly more scenic. And overall, the Upper Danube has more interesting cities.

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