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Cruises to Passau

Passau (Photo:PeterVrabel/Shutterstock)

About Passau

Arriving in Passau for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd landed in Italy instead of Germany. The city has a very Italian atmosphere that's led to its nickname, Venice on the Danube. And indeed, Passau was part of the Roman Empire for more than 400 years. When most of the city was destroyed by fire in 1662, it was rebuilt in Italian Baroque style, reflected in the vast cathedral, churches, squares and former homes of wealthy merchants. Today, as you stroll through the pretty streets, you'll notice a plethora of pizza and pasta restaurants rubbing shoulders with eateries that serve up hearty German fare.

While Passau has an undeniably touristy feel, it's a very attractive destination boasting a legacy of wealth built on the salt trade and, during Renaissance times, the crafting of knives and sword blades. The city occupies a unique location on the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz in southeastern Germany, close to the Austrian border, and so it's also known as the City of Three Rivers. But the rivers haven't always been the city's friends: Passau has repeatedly been flooded by Alpine water swept along the Inn. High water marks on the side of the town hall bear witness to the flooding; the highest date back to 1501, 1595 and 1954, the latter marked at more than 10m (32 feet).

Packed on a thin strip of land, Passau is easy to get around -- a major plus for visitors -- thanks to its small size. Beyond the long riverside promenade walk, lined with lookalike souvenir shops and some decent eateries, lies the picture postcard old town, with traffic-free narrow streets made for meandering and many of the main sights. The sightseeing high spot, in more ways than one, is St. Stephen's cathedral, high up in the Old Town, home to the world's largest cathedral organ. Dominating the Danube side, opposite the dock, is the Veste Oberhaus fortress, which is now a multiple-choice castle containing a museum, youth hostel and restaurant.

Typically, riverboats dock in Passau after breakfast for a morning sightseeing tour, and passengers can opt to return for lunch back onboard or stay in town and have a meal independently in one of the many restaurants. River cruisers are then allowed free time to explore on their own before sailing in the late afternoon.


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Budapest, Bratislava ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    • Itinerary
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Budapest
    • Day 3
      Bratislava
    • Day 4
      Vienna
    • Day 5
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 6
      Linz (Salzburg)
    • Day 7
      Passau
    • Day 8
      Deggendorf
    Ship Details

    Avalon Visionary - Avalon Waterways

    Pros

    Panoramic sliding-glass doors that create "open-air balconies" and beds facing the river

    Cons

    All plugs are European only

    Bottom Line

    An intimate and comfortable ship, small enough to sail places others can't

    Reviews

    Avalon Visionary Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Avalon Visionary, is one of Avalon Waterways' "Suite Ships." It is the sister ship to Imagery I...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    longandfosterjames
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Avalon is excellent
    Read More
    Annebar1
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Wonderful Trip, Made Better with a Few of Our Own Deviations from the Itinerary
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Vienna, Durnstein ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Vienna
    • Day 3
      Vienna
    • Day 4
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 5
      Passau
    • Day 6
      Regensburg
    • Day 7
      Nuremberg
    • Day 8
      Nuremberg
    Ship Details

    Avalon Envision - Avalon Waterways

    Pros

    Emphasis on more space; lower draft to handle low/high river levels

    Cons

    No USB ports by the bed (coming in 2020)

    Bottom Line

    Ship continues the line's focus on views and interesting excursions

    Reviews

    Avalon Envision Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.5
    Service4.5
    Value5.0

    Avalon Envision marks the first new-generation ship for Avalon Waterways, with a shallower draf...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Brenda J Long
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Awesome! This river cruise more than met my expectations.
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    Vallerie
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Beautiful and Relaxing
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Budapest, Bratislava ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Budapest
    • Day 3
      Bratislava
    • Day 4
      Vienna
    • Day 5
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 6
      Linz (Salzburg)
    • Day 7
      Passau
    • Day 8
      Passau
    Ship Details

    Viking Vilhjalm - Viking River Cruises

    Large number of balcony cabins

    Complimentary wine, beer and soda with lunch and dinner

    Culture-rich daily excursions included in the fare

    Reviews

    Viking Vilhjalm Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    Reflecting the heritage of Viking's Norwegian-born founder, Torstein Hagen, Viking Vilhjalm is ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    InsureFun
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Very disappointing
    Read More
    Don Blue
    Sail Date Aug 2018
    Danube Waltz Cruise
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Budapest, Bratislava ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Budapest
    • Day 3
      Bratislava
    • Day 4
      Vienna
    • Day 5
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 6
      Linz (Salzburg)
    • Day 7
      Passau
    • Day 8
      Passau
    Ship Details

    Viking Ingvi - Viking River Cruises

    Tours and most drinks included in price

    Real balcony cabins; a rarity in river cruising

    Sails Europe's Rhine and Danube

    Reviews

    Viking Ingvi Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value3.0

    What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Ingvi, one of Viking's numerous Longship-clas...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Billdref
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Nothing special
    Read More
    christine_flacks
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Exceeds expectation
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Budapest, Bratislava ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    • Itinerary
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Budapest
    • Day 3
      Bratislava
    • Day 4
      Vienna
    • Day 5
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 6
      Linz (Salzburg)
    • Day 7
      Passau
    • Day 8
      Deggendorf
    Ship Details

    Avalon Passion - Avalon Waterways

    Pros

    Waterview beds, French balconies running the room length and well-designed bathrooms

    Cons

    European plugs are annoying for North Americans; inclusions slightly weak for price point

    Bottom Line

    Healthy menus and a boutique feel equal a modern but comfortable take on river cruising

    Reviews

    Avalon Passion Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    With more choices than ever available for European river cruising, lines are being challenged t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    L1k32Cru183
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Great Staff, Well organised, room for improvement
    Read More
    vlnovak
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Beautiful ship and cruise
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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Amsterdam
    Visiting:
    Kinderdijk, Cologne ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Amsterdam
    • Day 2
      Kinderdijk
    • Day 3
      Cologne
    • Day 4
      Koblenz
    • Day 5
      Miltenberg
    • Day 6
      Wurzburg
    • Day 7
      Bamberg
    • Day 8
      Nuremberg
    • Day 9
      Regensburg
    • Day 10
      Passau
    • Day 11
      Emmersdorf
    • Day 12
      Vienna
    • Day 13
      Vienna
    • Day 14
      Budapest
    • Day 15
      Budapest
    Ship Details

    Viking Vili - Viking River Cruises

    Pros

    Daily shore excursions and most drinks included in the fare

    Cons

    No single cabins

    Bottom Line

    An excellent river cruise experience on a stylish ship

    Reviews

    Viking Vili Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    Viking Vili is one of Viking Cruises' ever-expanding fleet of Longships that ply the rivers of ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Jeananaa
    Sail Date Apr 2018
    Anniversary Adventure
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    Ann EC
    Sail Date Apr 2018
    Trip of a Lifetime!
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Passau

    Leaving:
    Budapest
    Visiting:
    Budapest, Vienna ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Viking River Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Passau Route (Viking River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Budapest
    • Day 2
      Budapest
    • Day 3
      Vienna
    • Day 4
      Durnstein (Krems)
    • Day 5
      Passau
    • Day 6
      Regensburg
    • Day 7
      Nuremberg
    • Day 8
      Nuremberg