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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

Vienna

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 FROM £3439pp
Passau

Gems of the Danube with Zagreb & Ljubljana

4 sailing dates April 2023 to September 2023
11 Nights From Zagreb, to Germany , Nuremberg
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £3349pp
Passau

Danube Christmas Markets with Prague

1 sailing date December 2023
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £2499pp
Passau

Danube Delights & Oktoberfest

2 sailing dates September 2023
9 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Munich
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2499pp
Dürnstein

Oktoberfest & Danube Delights

1 sailing date September 2023
9 Nights From Munich, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2499pp
Prague

Prague & Danube Explorer: Budapest - Prague

6 sailing dates May 2023 to October 2023
10 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Prague
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2019pp
Vienna

Christmas Markets Prague - Paris

1 sailing date November 2023
20 Nights From Prague, to Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4799pp
Rudesheim

Jewels of Europe - Prague - Paris

11 sailing dates October 2022 to September 2023
20 Nights From Prague, to Paris
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6219pp
Würzburg

Jewels of Europe with Prague - Prague - Amsterdam

20 sailing dates October 2022 to October 2023
17 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4929pp
Amsterdam

Jewels of Europe - Paris - Prague

10 sailing dates October 2022 to October 2023
20 Nights From Paris, to Prague
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £6169pp
Salzburg

Jewels of Europe - Paris to Budapest

11 sailing dates October 2022 to October 2023
17 Nights From Paris, to Hungary , Budapest
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £5539pp
Nuremberg

Amsterdam & Splendours of Europe

5 sailing dates October 2022 to August 2023
16 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3879pp
Dürnstein

Amsterdam & Splendours of Europe

2 sailing dates July 2023 to August 2023
16 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3879pp
Bamberg

Amsterdam to Prague & Splendours of Europe

1 sailing date July 2023
19 Nights From Prague, to Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £4269pp
Bratislava

Christmas Markets of Europe-Amsterdam to Budapest

1 sailing date December 2022
14 Nights From Amsterdam, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3229pp
Dürnstein

Christmas Markets of Europe -Budapest to Amsterdam

1 sailing date December 2023
14 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Amsterdam
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £3319pp
Vienna

Prague & Danube Explorer - Prague to Budapest

9 sailing dates April 2023 to October 2023
10 Nights From Prague, to Hungary , Budapest
Emerald Cruises logo FROM £2019pp
Vienna

Splendours of Europe with Paris

1 sailing date October 2022
17 Nights From Budapest, Hungary to , Paris
Emerald Cruises logo CALL
Rudesheim

Prague with Christmas Markets of Europe

1 sailing date December 2022
17 Nights From Amsterdam, to Prague
Emerald Cruises logo CALL
Bratislava

Splendours of Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

3 sailing dates October 2022
17 Nights From Amsterdam, to Prague
Emerald Cruises logo CALL

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