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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

Gems of the Danube with Ljubljana & Zagreb

2 sailing dates May 2023 to July 2023
11 Nights From Nuremberg, Germany to , Zagreb
Scenic River Cruises logo CALL
Vienna

Gems of the Danube with Zagreb & Ljubljana

8 sailing dates April 2023 to September 2024
11 Nights From Zagreb, to Germany , Nuremberg
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4199pp
Passau

Danube Christmas Markets with Prague

2 sailing dates December 2023 to December 2024
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £3289pp
Bratislava

Danube Delights & Oktoberfest

2 sailing dates September 2023
9 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Munich
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3239pp
Passau

Oktoberfest & Danube Delights

1 sailing date September 2023
9 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3239pp
Budapest

Prague & Danube Explorer: Budapest - Prague

9 sailing dates May 2023 to October 2024
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2519pp
Bamberg

Christmas Markets Prague - Paris

1 sailing date November 2023
20 Nights From Prague, to Paris
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Paris

Jewels of Europe - Prague - Paris

14 sailing dates April 2023 to August 2024
20 Nights From Prague, to Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6849pp
Miltenberg

Jewels of Europe with Prague - Prague - Amsterdam

18 sailing dates April 2023 to October 2023
17 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5529pp
Budapest

Jewels of Europe - Paris - Prague

17 sailing dates May 2023 to October 2024
20 Nights From Paris, to Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6759pp
Dürnstein

Jewels of Europe - Paris to Budapest

21 sailing dates May 2023 to October 2024
17 Nights From Paris, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6099pp
Passau

Amsterdam & Splendours of Europe

3 sailing dates April 2023 to August 2023
16 Nights From Amsterdam , to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £4759pp
Vienna

Amsterdam & Splendours of Europe

2 sailing dates July 2023 to August 2023
16 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £4159pp
Budapest

Amsterdam to Prague & Splendours of Europe

1 sailing date July 2023
19 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo CALL
Würzburg

Christmas Markets of Europe-Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date November 2024
14 Nights From Amsterdam , to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3899pp
Würzburg

Christmas Markets of Europe -Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date December 2023
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3669pp
Linz

Prague & Danube Explorer - Prague to Budapest

12 sailing dates April 2023 to June 2024
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2519pp
Budapest

Danube Serenade (Eastbound) - Vienna To Budapest

18 sailing dates March 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Vienna, Austria to Hungary , Budapest
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Vienna

Danube Serenade (westbound) - Budapest To Vienna

18 sailing dates April 2023 to November 2023
7 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to Austria , Vienna
Crystal Cruises logo CALL
Budapest

Christmas Markets - Budapest to Amsterdam

3 sailing dates November 2023 to November 2024
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4399pp

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