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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

Passau

Danube Christmas Markets

1 sailing date November 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2789pp
Berlin

Prague to Amsterdam

5 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
23 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Belgrade

Rhine, Main & Danube

4 sailing dates April 2021 to September 2021
22 Nights From Amsterdam, to Romania , Bucharest
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £5719pp
Vienna

Treasures of the Danube from Bucharest

6 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2022
15 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to Germany , Nuremberg
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £4159pp
Bratislava

Treasures of the Danube from Nuremberg

4 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2022
15 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Romania , Bucharest
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £4649pp
Regensburg

Christmas Markets on the Danube & Prague

2 sailing dates December 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Koln

Grand Europe - Budapest To Amsterdam

1 sailing date May 2021
16 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Krems

Vienna To Budapest

2 sailing dates September 2021 to October 2021
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo FROM £3579pp
Vienna

From the Black Sea to the North Sea

2 sailing dates June 2021 to September 2021
26 Nights From Bucharest, Romania to , Amsterdam
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Nuremberg

Munich to Amsterdam

1 sailing date
20 Nights From , to
APT Cruising logo CALL
Dürnstein

Danube Explorer with Prague from Budapest

1 sailing date July 2021
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £2659pp
Koln

Paris to Prague

9 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
20 Nights From Paris, France to , Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6469pp
Bamberg

Jewels of Europe with Prague & Paris

7 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
20 Nights From Prague, to France , Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6279pp
Miltenberg

Christmas Wonderland

2 sailing dates December 2021
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5379pp
Koln

Magnificient Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date May 2021
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
AmaWaterways logo FROM £5539pp
Dürnstein

The Danube From Germany to Black Sea

7 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
15 Nights From Deggendorf, Germany to Romania , Bucharest
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Melk

Enchanted Europe - Westbound

4 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
15 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Switzerland , Basel
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Melk

Jewels Of Central Europe - Budapest to Remich

4 sailing dates June 2021 to September 2021
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Remich, Luxembourg
Avalon Waterways logo CALL
Prague

Historic Cities of Europe: Budapest to Berlin

1 sailing date September 2021
12 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Berlin Spandau
Saga River Cruises logo CALL
Passau

Walking the Danube

1 sailing date April 2021
7 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to Hungary , Budapest
Saga River Cruises logo CALL

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