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Cruises to Vienna

4 Awards
Vienna (Photo:Ionia/Shutterstock)

About Vienna

Visitors come to Vienna with high expectations of lavish palaces, ornamental parks, cakes piled high with whipped cream and the strain of Strauss waltzes. They're rarely disappointed; this is a city that trades on its glorious past, reveling in its heyday, when Gustav Mahler was conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, Sigmund Freud was inventing psychoanalysis and the coffee houses were abuzz with the banter of middle-class intellectuals.

Yet, as much as it lives in the past, Vienna has hauled itself into the present with elegance and style. Visitors will discover a compact but diverse, multicultural city, with a thriving art and design scene, some truly fabulous shopping, superb contemporary art collections, and acres of gorgeous parks and gardens. Here, you'll find a happy devotion to the good life, whether it's sipping a cocktail at one of the hip bars on the Danube Canal or the gemutlichkeit (the Austrian term for "coziness") of tasting wines grown on the hills around the city in a traditional pub garden in the village of Grinzing.

Because most of the big attractions are around or inside the Ringstrasse, the circular boulevard that encloses the first district, or city center, Vienna is easy to explore. In fact, you could spend days in the first district alone, shopping on the elegant Karntnerstrasse, exploring St. Stephen's Cathedral and countless other Baroque churches, devoting time to galleries and museums and immersing yourself in the famous coffee culture.

The many river cruise lines that call on the city provide a mere snapshot of this thriving center of European culture with little deviation from the very well-trodden tourist trail. But Vienna caters to a diverse range of interests, and the good news is that if you come back for more, or want to explore it alone, the city is a snap to navigate independently.

  • Why go to Vienna?

  • Vienna Cruise Port Facilities?

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Vienna
S.S. Beatrice
SS Beatrice
S.S. Beatrice

18 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

10 Reviews
Leaving:Bucharest
Cruise Line:Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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The A
The A (Photo: Christina Janansky/Cruise Critic)
The A

7 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Nuremberg
Cruise Line:U River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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The A
The A (Photo: Christina Janansky/Cruise Critic)
The A

7 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Vienna
Cruise Line:U River Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon View

7 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Vienna
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Pearl

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Opal

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Imagery II

7 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

75 Reviews
Leaving:Deggendorf
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Jade

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Imagery II

14 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Remich
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Sky

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Paris
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Emerald Sky

20 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Paris
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Dawn

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Destiny

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Luna

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Paris
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Luna

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Imagery II

11 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Star

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Emerald Sky

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Opal

10 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Luna

7 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Jasper

20 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

142 Reviews
Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Sun

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Jasper

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Budapest
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Jasper

20 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Jasper

17 Night
Cruise to ViennaDetails

Leaving:Prague
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Vienna?

Pros:

Vienna, with its compact layout, is markedly easy to explore

Cons:

Some shops and attractions are closed on Sundays; others close for lunch daily

Bottom Line:

Most points of interest are found in or around Ringstrasse, offering something for everyone

Vienna Cruise Port Facilities?

The big attractions are all in the city center, so there's not much to see around the Reichsbrucke area. The Prater amusement park is about seven blocks from the river, and the Danube Island (Donauinsel), a skinny, 21-kilometer strip of land running along the center of the river, is very close. The island serves as the city's recreational area in summer. It's used for jogging, walking, cycling and roller-blading and is lined with bars, restaurants and river beaches.

Good to Know?

Vienna is a very safe, clean city, although pickpockets inevitably operate in the most crowded tourist areas, such as around St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Keep an eye on shop opening hours; stores are closed on Sundays, and some shut for lunch every day.

Pay attention to good manners; it's customary to greet shopkeepers when you walk in and to say goodbye when you leave. In a coffee house, never, ever ask for a take-out cup. Viennese like to take their time, and coffee drinking is considered sacrosanct, unless you're in Starbucks.

Getting Around?

Public transport is so easy to master in Vienna, there's barely any need to take taxis. If you're planning to use public transport for more than a couple of journeys, buy a 24-hour ticket for unlimited rides. Tickets need to be validated in the machine onboard the trams or at the gate into the underground stations.

By Subway: There are five underground lines (the U-Bahn), and the service is fast and efficient. The nearest U-Bahn to the Reichsbrucke, where most ships dock, is Vorgartenstrasse, served by the U1, which takes you straight into Stephansplatz and St. Stephen's Cathedral.

By Tram/Streetcar: Above ground, the trams are fun and offer the best views; tram line No. 1 goes right round the Ringstrasse for a bargain-priced sightseeing tour of all the main Baroque buildings. Or for a circuit of the Ring by tram with commentary and a multimedia presentation for tourists, a special, yellow Vienna Ring Tram departs every half hour from Schwedenplatz (although you can get on or off at any of the stops around the Ring).

By Horse-Drawn Carriage: You can also tour Vienna by Fiaker, the shiny, horse-drawn carriages that carry romantics around old town, day and night. You can book in advance online at fiaker.co.at.

By Bicycle: Citybike Wien is a free bike system with more than 100 stations around the city center at which you can pick up and drop off bikes. The first hour is free, and it's only 1 euro for the second hour and 2 euros for the third.

On Foot: The city center is compact and a real treat to explore on foot, especially the tangle of narrow streets around St. Stephen's Cathedral. Pick up a free map from the tourist information booths around the city.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Euro. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. There are ATM's all over Vienna. Always check whether a credit card will be accepted when you visit a smaller shop or restaurant; some places are cash only.

Language?

German is the official language of Austria, although Austrians speak with a particular accent. (This will not be distinguishable to a non-German speaker.) In tourist areas, everybody speaks English, but it's polite to say guten Morgen (good morning) or guten Tag (good day) when you walk into a shop or restaurant, and auf Wiedersehen (goodbye) when you leave.

Where You're Docked?

Most river cruise ships tie up on the Danube at the Reichsbrucke terminal on Handelskai, a seven-minute ride by U-Bahn (underground railway) into the center. There is no actual city center mooring because the Danube was diverted years ago to the east of the city to avoid flooding.

Some ships dock at Nussdorf, a pretty wine-growing village to the north, at the foot of the vineyards. It's easy to travel into town by tram from there, although it's a longer ride than from the Reichsbrucke dock.


Vienna Cruise Reviews
I was really excited to see Vienna. But was more than a little surprised that I didn’t like it that much. My mother and I came in early on our own and also took the train to Salzburg. We LOVED Salzburg. It’s not... Read More
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VeggyDog4
wonderful descriptions of the history of Vienna leisurely walk; great pace... Read More
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Jake525373
We had a tour of Vienna and enjoyed bier at a local cafe.... Read More
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lynnie1107
We walked in to Vienna from our boat and this was the most amazing city on the whole tour. Would have loved to spend more time here!!... Read More
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brucedeb57

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