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Cruises to Vienna

377 Reviews
4 Awards
Vienna (Photo:Ionia/Shutterstock)

About Vienna

Visitors come to Vienna with high expectations of lavish palaces, ornamental parks, cakes piled high with whipped cream and the strain of Strauss waltzes. They're rarely disappointed; this is a city that trades on its glorious past, reveling in its heyday, when Gustav Mahler was conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, Sigmund Freud was inventing psychoanalysis and the coffee houses were abuzz with the banter of middle-class intellectuals.

Yet, as much as it lives in the past, Vienna has hauled itself into the present with elegance and style. Visitors will discover a compact but diverse, multicultural city, with a thriving art and design scene, some truly fabulous shopping, superb contemporary art collections, and acres of gorgeous parks and gardens. Here, you'll find a happy devotion to the good life, whether it's sipping a cocktail at one of the hip bars on the Danube Canal or the gemutlichkeit (the Austrian term for "coziness") of tasting wines grown on the hills around the city in a traditional pub garden in the village of Grinzing.

Because most of the big attractions are around or inside the Ringstrasse, the circular boulevard that encloses the first district, or city center, Vienna is easy to explore. In fact, you could spend days in the first district alone, shopping on the elegant Karntnerstrasse, exploring St. Stephen's Cathedral and countless other Baroque churches, devoting time to galleries and museums and immersing yourself in the famous coffee culture.

The many river cruise lines that call on the city provide a mere snapshot of this thriving center of European culture with little deviation from the very well-trodden tourist trail. But Vienna caters to a diverse range of interests, and the good news is that if you come back for more, or want to explore it alone, the city is a snap to navigate independently.

  • More about Vienna

  • Why go to Vienna?

  • Vienna Cruise Port Facilities?

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Viking Baldur
Viking Baldur

14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

130 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Baldur
Viking Baldur

14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

130 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Var
Viking Var

7 Night
Romantic DanubeDetails

181 Reviews
Leaving:Regensburg
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Ingvi
Viking Ingvi

7 Night
Danube WaltzDetails

164 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Club Cruises

14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

148 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Danube Christmas DelightsDetails

164 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

109 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

6 Night
Christmastime On The DanubeDetails

18 Reviews
Leaving:Nuremberg
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

103 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Romantic DanubeDetails

181 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Danube WaltzDetails

109 Reviews
Leaving:Passau
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Danube Christmas DelightsDetails

109 Reviews
Leaving:Passau
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Festive Season On The Legendary Danube With 2 Nigh...Details

78 Reviews
Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
Dec 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Grand European TourDetails

148 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Danube WaltzDetails

154 Reviews
Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Vienna

Why go to Vienna?

Pros:

Vienna, with its compact layout, is markedly easy to explore

Cons:

Some shops and attractions are closed on Sundays; others close for lunch daily

Bottom Line:

Most points of interest are found in or around Ringstrasse, offering something for everyone

Vienna Cruise Port Facilities?

The big attractions are all in the city center, so there's not much to see around the Reichsbrucke area. The Prater amusement park is about seven blocks from the river, and the Danube Island (Donauinsel), a skinny, 21-kilometer strip of land running along the center of the river, is very close. The island serves as the city's recreational area in summer. It's used for jogging, walking, cycling and roller-blading and is lined with bars, restaurants and river beaches.

Good to Know?

Vienna is a very safe, clean city, although pickpockets inevitably operate in the most crowded tourist areas, such as around St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Keep an eye on shop opening hours; stores are closed on Sundays, and some shut for lunch every day.

Pay attention to good manners; it's customary to greet shopkeepers when you walk in and to say goodbye when you leave. In a coffee house, never, ever ask for a take-out cup. Viennese like to take their time, and coffee drinking is considered sacrosanct, unless you're in Starbucks.

Getting Around?

Public transport is so easy to master in Vienna, there's barely any need to take taxis. If you're planning to use public transport for more than a couple of journeys, buy a 24-hour ticket for unlimited rides. Tickets need to be validated in the machine onboard the trams or at the gate into the underground stations.

By Subway: There are five underground lines (the U-Bahn), and the service is fast and efficient. The nearest U-Bahn to the Reichsbrucke, where most ships dock, is Vorgartenstrasse, served by the U1, which takes you straight into Stephansplatz and St. Stephen's Cathedral.

By Tram/Streetcar: Above ground, the trams are fun and offer the best views; tram line No. 1 goes right round the Ringstrasse for a bargain-priced sightseeing tour of all the main Baroque buildings. Or for a circuit of the Ring by tram with commentary and a multimedia presentation for tourists, a special, yellow Vienna Ring Tram departs every half hour from Schwedenplatz (although you can get on or off at any of the stops around the Ring).

By Horse-Drawn Carriage: You can also tour Vienna by Fiaker, the shiny, horse-drawn carriages that carry romantics around old town, day and night. You can book in advance online at fiaker.co.at.

By Bicycle: Citybike Wien is a free bike system with more than 100 stations around the city center at which you can pick up and drop off bikes. The first hour is free, and it's only 1 euro for the second hour and 2 euros for the third.

On Foot: The city center is compact and a real treat to explore on foot, especially the tangle of narrow streets around St. Stephen's Cathedral. Pick up a free map from the tourist information booths around the city.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Euro. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. There are ATM's all over Vienna. Always check whether a credit card will be accepted when you visit a smaller shop or restaurant; some places are cash only.

Language?

German is the official language of Austria, although Austrians speak with a particular accent. (This will not be distinguishable to a non-German speaker.) In tourist areas, everybody speaks English, but it's polite to say guten Morgen (good morning) or guten Tag (good day) when you walk into a shop or restaurant, and auf Wiedersehen (goodbye) when you leave.

Where You're Docked?

Most river cruise ships tie up on the Danube at the Reichsbrucke terminal on Handelskai, a seven-minute ride by U-Bahn (underground railway) into the center. There is no actual city center mooring because the Danube was diverted years ago to the east of the city to avoid flooding.

Some ships dock at Nussdorf, a pretty wine-growing village to the north, at the foot of the vineyards. It's easy to travel into town by tram from there, although it's a longer ride than from the Reichsbrucke dock.


Vienna Cruise Reviews
I love Vienna. Though you need to get a shuttle bus into the centre from the port, it’s not that far. Great museums (Albertina), cafes and just a great “vibe”. The evening Concert was an optional tour, but was excellRead More
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deredvers
On this river?cruise, we had 2.5 hours in Vienna. Need a minimum of 2, 3 days to see anything in Vienna. Fortunately, we have been there for work/pleasure many times before.Read More
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Ernie P
Saltzburg and Vienna were excellent tours. Could have done without the lunch/Sound of MusicRead More
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kpoecking
I have been to Vienna before, not as part of a cruise, and was there for a full week. The standard port-of-call excursions and a 1-day stay really do not do it justice. If you are limited to one day, I would skip aRead More
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jerrnussbaum

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