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Durnstein River Cruises

About Durnstein 

Nestled in the celebrated Wachau wine-growing region of Lower Austria, Durnstein features on the itineraries of many a Danube cruise. This picture-perfect village offers a scenic contrast to some of the larger cities you’ll visit on a voyage along this celebrated river and the view of it from the Danube is the perfect snapshot of everything that makes cruising the Rhine such an idyllic experience. The town got its name from the medieval castle which overlooks it and indeed, it is this structure which is its single biggest attraction. None other than Richard the Lionheart was held captive here, making it a natural place of pilgrimage and historical curiosity for many UK river cruisers especially. 

Exploring Durnstein 

Dating back to the late 1100s, the aforementioned Durnstein Castle, also known as Kuenringer Castle,  is the main reason you’ll visit the town and indeed, you’ll spot it on its rocky perch overlooking the Danube long before you disembark. Today, it’s little more than a ruin but the structure is still visible and it won’t take too much imagination to cast your mind back to the time when Richard I was held here for a year after returning from one of his Crusades. It was Leopold V Duke of Austria who was responsible; acting on his outrage at the Lionheart’s casting down of his standard at a key battle during the Third Crusade. Though the structure lies in ruins it is truly satisfying to see for yourself a building which played such a key historical role. The view from the castle ruins of the town and river below is pretty special too. 

Durnstein’s other most visible attraction is its striking blue and white church, which is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Austria. The village’s parish church originally started off life as Augustinian monastery and dates back to 1721. Inside, there are some beautiful reliefs and altar pieces to enjoy, courtesy of the celebrated Austrian artist Johann Schmidt. 

Aside from its architectural attractions, Durnstein is a great place to simply relax, take a stroll and drink in the ambience and indeed, the wine. The Wachau is well-known for its wine and despite its small size, Durnstein presents plenty of opportunities to sample some of the regional vintages for yourself. There are local stores as well as restaurants and though no assurance is needed, you’ll find plenty of the wine’s authenticity when you gaze up to the surrounding hillsides, which are resplendent in Wachau vines. 

Durnstein tips 

Durnstein presents the perfect opportunity to pick up some souvenir wine. The village is small and located close to where your ship docks, so you’ll have plenty of time to shop around for a bargain. The convenience of trying before you buy is a bonus, too.

Durnstein Itineraries

Bratislava

Danube Dreams - Prague to Budapest

10 sailing dates May 2019 to October 2019
9 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £2219pp
Koblenz

Magnificient Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

11 sailing dates May 2019 to May 2020
14 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary

Includes direct flights and overseas transfers

AmaWaterways logo FROM £5099pp
Linz

Vienna to Munich

1 sailing date June 2019
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to , Munich
Avalon Waterways logo FROM £1899pp
Vienna

Blue Danube Discovery - Budapest to Nuremberg

16 sailing dates May 2019 to November 2020
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to Germany , Nuremberg
AmaWaterways logo FROM £1539pp
Melk

Magnificient Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

7 sailing dates May 2019 to May 2020
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to , Amsterdam, Holland
AmaWaterways logo FROM £4969pp
Budapest

The Blue Danube - Eastbound

28 sailing dates May 2019 to October 2020
11 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Tauck logo FROM £4799pp
Passau

Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat - Southbound

10 sailing dates June 2019 to April 2020
14 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Tauck logo FROM £5529pp
Vienna

Regensburg to Budapest

1 sailing date July 2020
10 Nights From Regensburg, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Enchanting Danube - Passau to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2020
7 Nights From Passau, to Hungary , Budapest
Uniworld River Cruises logo CALL
Linz

Enchanting Danube - Passau to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2020
7 Nights From Passau, to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Uniworld River Cruises logo CALL
Vienna

Jewels of Europe with Alpine Highlights

1 sailing date May 2020
21 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Zurich
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Regensburg

Jewels of Europe with Alpine Highlights

4 sailing dates May 2020 to August 2020
21 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Zurich
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Melk

Paris to Berlin

5 sailing dates May 2020 to August 2020
23 Nights From Paris, France to , Berlin
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Vienna

Munich to Amsterdam

1 sailing date May 2020
19 Nights From Munich, to Amsterdam, Holland
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Passau

Paris to Budapest

27 sailing dates March 2020 to October 2020
17 Nights From Paris, France to Hungary , Budapest, Hungary
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Salzburg

Paris to Prague

23 sailing dates March 2020 to October 2020
20 Nights From Paris, France to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Würzburg

Budapest to Paris

14 sailing dates May 2020 to October 2020
17 Nights From Budapest, Hungary, Hungary to France , Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Melk

Prague to Paris

12 sailing dates May 2020 to October 2020
20 Nights From Prague, to France , Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Bamberg

Amsterdam to Berlin

1 sailing date May 2020
20 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Berlin
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Bamberg

Amsterdam to Berlin

4 sailing dates May 2020 to August 2020
20 Nights From Amsterdam, Holland, to Berlin
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL

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