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Cruises to Durnstein (Krems)

Durnstein (Krems) (Photo:canadastock/Shutterstock)
Durnstein (Krems) (Photo:canadastock/Shutterstock)

About Durnstein (Krems)

If you sail in at night, it will be hard to ignore the eerily lit Durnstein Castle, (also known as Kuenringer Castle), which overlooks the small town named after it. Durnstein, in Lower Austria, is a port often visited on Danube River cruises. From there, it's a short 10-minute drive into nearby Krems, which is a popular wine-growing region in the Wachau Valley. By car, Durnstein is about an hour outside of Vienna.

Durnstein (meaning dry stone, because it's up so high) Castle is an undeniable draw for tourists, first mentioned in the 12th century as the location where Richard the Lionheart of England was held captive by Leopold V during the Third Crusade. It's a somewhat strenuous climb entirely uphill to the top, but most find that the views of the Danube and the town below are well worth the hike. A stretch of cobblestone street doubles as a pedestrian walkway through the quaint shops and eateries of the town (home to just more than 800 residents).

If your cruise line offers an optional excursion to a vineyard in Krems, be prepared to sample some fabulous white wines, as Austria is known for its award-winning Riesling and other varietals. Krems is also known for being the primary producer of Marillenschnaps, an apricot brandy. If you're interested in touring the city but don't imbibe, there's plenty to see. Krems is about 27 times larger than Durnstein, and it offers plenty of medieval architecture, including Steiner Tor, a gate erected in 1480.

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DAY 1: Budapest

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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DAY 1: Budapest

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
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Cruise Line:
AmaWaterways
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DAY 1: Budapest

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal River Cruises
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DAY 1: Budapest

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
APT
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
AmaWaterways
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Crystal River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Nuremberg
Visiting:
Regensburg, Deggendorf ...
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Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Regensburg
Visiting:
Passau, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Bratislava, Vienna ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Viking River Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Passau
Visiting:
Linz, Durnstein ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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7 Night
Cruise to Durnstein (Krems)

Leaving:
Budapest
Visiting:
Vienna, Durnstein ...
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Cruise Line:
Avalon Waterways
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Why go to Durnstein (Krems)?

Pros:

Krems, in the Wachau Valley, is a short drive away; try the endemic gruner veltliner wine

Cons:

The spellbinding Kuenringer Castle is much farther than it appears, and a strenuous hike to the top

Bottom Line:

The port is a time machine to the medieval era; at night, this tiny town casts a magic glow


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2017 Top-Rated European River Destinations

Durnstein (Krems) Cruise Reviews

Scenic Jasper
Light03
Sail Date: Jul 2019
The Scenic Jasper was docked within an easy walking distance. Explored the Monastery and wandered through the cobbled streets. Durnstein is gorgeous - one of my favourite places.... Read More
River Splendor
Mary Seas
Sail Date: Jun 2019
The river boat had an unscheduled 90 minute stop at Krems which put the boat at the smaller Stein. We walked about this town with few shops open One of the three churches was open for visits. The locals stated... Read More
Viking Gullveig
pandabeat
Sail Date: May 2018
Durnstein is the site of Richard the Lionheart's imprisonment and hence is fascinating to me.... Read More
Scenic Amber
lizallen
Sail Date: Aug 2018
We started our day in Melk and went for a wander about with our passports to provide information about the buildings and gorgeous Abbey that overlooked the river and town. We didn't opt for the tour. Then Steve... Read More
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