See the best of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest and meet the legendary BBC correspondent, John Simpson, on this five-day river cruise down the Danube

Sailing along the mighty Danube is one of the world's great river journeys and on this exclusive trip you will enjoy all its historic and cultural highlights - while also meeting one of the world's most famous reporters. BBC legend John Simpson will join you as you sail between Vienna and Budapest on your premium CroisiEurope river boat, with all your meals and drinks on board already included in the price.

John will give a fascinating talk and Q&A about his life and extraordinary career in Vienna, sharing brilliant stories and insights from his decades covering wars and revolutions around the world. Each booking will also receive a copy of John's gripping new thriller, Moscow, Midnight, his first novel in 35 years, which he will be happy to sign for you at a special book signing in Budapest. John has seen the Hungarian capital transformed since the fall of communism and armed with his expert insights you will have plenty of time to discover the city for yourself.

You will then sail to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, where you can explore the beautiful and historic old town. Fascinating guided excursions of all three European capitals are all included on what promises to be unique and unforgettable adventure along the Danube.

Meet John Simpson

One of the greatest journalists of his generation, John Simpson first joined the BBC in 1966, has reported from 140 countries, including 42 war zones, interviewed at least 200 leaders and been awarded three Baftas and an Emmy. You will be there to hear John's private talk in Vienna, as he recounts how some of the countries you will be visiting freed themselves from communism, and the part he played in the demise of the infamous dictator Ceausescu in neighbouring Romania. You will also have the chance to ask John your own burning questions following his talk and for him to sign your complimentary copy of his new novel Moscow, Midnight at a special book signing event where you'll get to meet him one-on-one.

Sail in style on MS Vivaldi

The MS Vivaldi, a premium-class ship in CroisiEurope's impressive European fleet, boasts comfortable cabins with picture windows, a panoramic lounge, bar and sun deck. The restaurant serves delicious French food and all your meals and drinks onboard are included in the price.

Free tours of Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava

Your superb five-day itinerary includes free guided excursions to all three stunning European capitals you will be visiting en route. Your trip starts in magnificent Vienna, famous for its stunning baroque architecture and being the home of great composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss. In Budapest, known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', you can visit the historic Hungarian Parliament Building and Buda Castle, and bathe in the famous Gellert Baths. In Bratislava, you can explore its pedestrian-only old quarter with its beautiful palaces, churches and squares.

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Your expert guide

John Simpson

As the BBC's world affairs editor, John Simpson CBE has enjoyed a remarkable journalistic career. During 1979's Iranian revolution John flew to Tehran with the returning Ayatollah Khomeini, dodged bullets during the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, danced on top of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and was there to report on the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia and Romania. He also covered the end of apartheid in South Africa, was hunted by Robert Mugabe's troops in Zimbabwe, was one of the first reporters to enter Afghanistan in 2001 (when he famously crossed the border disguised in a burqa) and was embedded in Northern Iraq during the 2003 invasion. John's many books include Dispatches from the Barricades: An Eyewitness Account Of The Revolutions That Shook The World and We Chose To Speak Of War And Strife: The World Of The Foreign Correspondent.

Over more than 30 years as a foreign correspondent and editor for the BBC, I have been fortunate to have witnessed at first hand many of the seismic events that shaped the modern world. I look forward to sharing some of these unforgettable experiences and my own insights as we sail together between two of Europe's great cities, Vienna and Budapest.

John Simpson

Price includes

  • Return flights, taxes and transfers (regional airports available at a supplement)
  • Four-nights' full-board accommodation on MS Vivaldi including drinks with meals and at the bar
  • Return transfers to and from the ship
  • Exclusive talk, Q&A and book signing with John Simpson as detailed in the itinerary online
  • Copy of John Simpson's Moscow, Midnight (one per booking)
  • Guided tours of Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava
  • Onboard activities as detailed in the itinerary online
  • Free wifi in lounge and bar and all port fees


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  1. Day
    Vienna, Austria

    Fly to Austria's capital city today. Passengers are welcome to board the ship at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we'll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. Tonight's dinner will have an Austrian flair.

    Meals - Dinner
  2. Day
    Vienna, Austria

    This morning, join us on a tour of Vienna. Enjoy some free time this afternoon or join us for a tour of the city, where you'll discover the authentic and unique Vienna through a visit back stage in the Konzerthaus concert hall - home to the Vienna Symphony orchestra. After the tour, enjoy a steaming cup of Vienna Coffee and a delicious pastry. We'll return on board to hear a private talk by John Simpson, as he recounts how some of the countries you will be visiting freed themselves from communism, and the part he played in the demise of the infamous dictator Ceausescu in neighbouring Romania. The ship will then begin sailing towards Budapest.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  3. Day
    Budapest, Hungary

    This morning, before a guided panoramic tour of Budapest, you'll have the chance to ask John your burning questions following his talk in a Q&A. John will also be around to sign your complimentary copy of his new novel Moscow, Midnight at a special book signing event where you'll get to meet him one-on-one.

    You'll then disembark the ship to explore the astonishing 'Pearl of the Danube', cut in half by the Danube river: Buda with its hills and valleys and Pest with its flat plain, whose panoramic view over the banks of the Danube is listed as part of the world's cultural heritage by UNESCO.

    This afternoon, join a discovery tour of the Great Market Hall, a stunning neogothic building whose roof was restored with colorful Zsolnay tiling from Pécs. You could alternatively visit the Gellert Baths and Spa (tour not included), one of the most prestigious spots in Budapest. Take some time to relax or have a swim at the end of today.

    We'll enjoy a Hungarian feast tonight, followed by an evening of traditional folk entertainment. Our ship will begin to cruise towards Bratislava during the night.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Day
    Bratislava, Slovakia

    This morning will be spent sailing towards Bratislava. This afternoon, join us on a guided tour of the Slovakian capital whose charm lies in its old town, home to splendid Baroque palaces, churches and pleasant squares. After our tour, we'll return to the ship for our gala dinner and evening. We will cruise through the night to Vienna.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Day
    Vienna, Austria

    We'll arrive in Vienna early this morning. Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Catch the last bits of this stunning city before flying home.

    Meals - Breakfast

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Call now to book 02039934863