• Durnstein Castle stands perched on a hill overlooking the town of the same name. Austria.

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  • Step inside the Benedictine Abbey of Melk, a Baroque beauty.

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  • The Wachau Valley produces some of Austria's best wines.

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  • Passau, Germany, where the Danube meets the Ilz and Inn rivers.

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  • Hlavne Namestie, Bratislava's 14th-century main square. Slovakia.

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The Danube Aboard Crystal Mozart.

Cruise the historic Danube River aboard the luxurious Crystal Mozart. Along the way, take in some of the most remarkable  destinations in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Hungary.

     Johann Strauss chose three-four waltz time to set the Danube to music. He wanted to make the river and his music inseparable. And he succeeded.

     The lilt of the beautiful Blue Danube waltz not only brings to mind elegant couples gliding across the ballrooms of European palaces, it also recalls the ebb and flow of a river that, if it could speak, would tell how it begins as a stream in the Black Forest mountains and grows into a mighty waterway through which its bordering nations’ cultures and influences flow. It would tell how it served as a Roman frontier and how it succeeded in barring the way of a host of invading armies. It would tell a story that only a river as old as time can tell.


11 Days.

Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia

Dates:April through June August through October

Type:Rivers & Rails

Mode:Water

Journey

This is an 11-day  itinerary. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Danube journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.

Day 1: Vienna, Austria
• Fly into Vienna and embark  Crystal Mozart.    
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart
 
Day 2: Vienna
• Old city exploration including the Ringstrasse.    
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 3: Wachau Valley
• Cruise to the Wachau Valley.
Durnstein including Durnstein Castle, Melk including Melk Abbey, Town Hall, and Haus am Stein.   

Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 4: Linz
Old Town including St. Martin’s Church.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart
 
Day 5: Passau, Germany
Old Town touring including St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the New Bishop’s Residence.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart
 
Day 6: Danube Cruising
• Full day of cruising and leisure time.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 7: Bratislava, Slovakia
• Old Town touring.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 8: Budapest, Hungary
Old Town touring including Castle Hill, Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church, and Fishermen’s Bastion.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 9: Danube Cruising
• Full day of cruising and leisure time.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 10: Vienna
• Arrive in Vienna this afternoon, leisure time.
Overnight aboard Crystal Mozart

Day 11: Vienna; United States
• Fly home, or continue on with R. Crusoe & Son.

 

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Pricing

Per person sharing stateroom from $4,105 for this 11-day itinerary.

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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About Our Ship.

The elegant 158-passenger, 77-stateroom Crystal Mozart was redesigned in 2016, and her sleek new interior incorporates contemporary lines and innovative technology.

     Guests are accompanied by 91 seasoned crewmembers, with butler service available for every stateroom. A professional sommelier comes along as well.

     As you cruise, you are invited to participate in onboard enrichment programs and entertainment.

Crystal Mozart’s four decks include four restaurants (all of which are open seating), all with bars, and all serving gourmet Continental cuisine. What’s more, guests can choose to dine in the ship's Vintage Room, where gourmet fare is paired with carefully selected wines (dining in the Vintage Room is at additional cost).

     Also on the Crystal Mozart for your enjoyment: a pop-up bar on the Vista Deck, a living roof garden, a full-service spa, a fitness room, an indoor swimming pool, a library, and a smoking lounge.

     Shore excursions are led by a team of local experts. There are complimentary tours from which to choose as well as a variety of excursions offered at an additional fee. The choice is always yours.

 

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German Wine: A Primer.

Many Americans think that Germany only produces sweet wines. In fact, two-thirds of German wine is dry. Much of it never makes it to the U.S. when you travel to Germany, you’ll have a great opportunity to sample some world-class white wines.

     Germany is one of the most northerly wine-growing countries in the world. It enjoys a long growing season with a balance of rain and sunshine. This combination enables grapes to ripen slowly and—as a result—maintain their fruit acidity while developing natural sugars and absorbing minerals from the soil. The succession of warm days and cool nights in autumn generates an aroma that is unique in the world.

Vineyards carpet the banks of the Moselle River.

     German vintners grow a wide variety of grapes for white and red wine. But, of course, the Riesling is the most famous. British wine writer Jancis Robinson explains that there are many reasons to justify the acclaim. “Riesling has for long been arguably the world’s most undervalued, and certainly most often mispronounced grape. (‘Reeceling’ is correct.) Riesling is the great vine variety from Germany and could claim to be the finest white grape variety in the world on the basis of longevity of its wines and their ability to transmit the characteristics of a vineyard without losing Riesling’s own inimitable style.”

     Germans have a well-known sense of order, so it should come as no surprise that their wines are categorized like no other. German wine production and labeling laws are strict. When you read a German wine label, you can easily learn the following:

  • Grapes used to produce the wine inside
  • Year the grapes were grown
  • Region where the grapes were grown
  • Ripeness of the grapes at picking
  • Dryness or sweetness of the final wine

German stamp.     First, some background. Wine is made by crushing grapes and allowing the sugar in the grapes to ferment with yeast to create alcohol. The longer the fermentation process, the more of the sugar is converted to alcohol. This makes for a stronger, drier wine. In lower quality wine production, if the grapes aren’t ripe enough, cane sugar is added during the fermentation process. The addition of the extra sugar is called chaptalization.

     There are two key concepts to understand German wine. The first relates to the ripeness of the grape at the time of picking. The second relates to the dryness or sweetness of the final wine, which is determined by the length of the fermentation process.

     1. Ripeness of the grapes at harvest. The Germans call this the “quality level” because the riper the grape, the more natural sugar and the higher the quality of the final wine. But it’s really a more accurate English translation to focus on the word “ripeness” instead of “quality” for a reason we’ll explain in a moment.

     2. Dry versus Sweet wine. The word trocken on a German wine label indicates a dry wine. The word halbtrocken indicates a half-dry wine. If neither word is on the label, the wine is likely a sweet wine. The dryness or sweetness of a wine is determined by the length of fermentation. The shorter the fermentation, the more sugar is left, and so the sweeter the wine. The longer the fermentation, the more sugar is converted into alcohol, leaving a dry wine. A dry wine—even if it’s made of less ripe grapes—can still be a high quality wine.

     There are the two main categories of German wine based on ripeness:

QbA: Quality Wine of a specified appellation.Chaptalization is allowed for the production of lighter wines such as QbA and other table wine categories called Deutscher wine and Deutscher Landwein (superior table wine).

Qualitätswein mit Prädikat: Quality Wines with attribute. Chaptalization is prohibited for wines in these subcategories, which represent increasing levels of ripeness and a completely natural process:

     Kabinett (cab-e-net): Usually a light wine in terms of flavor, alcohol, and calories. Often dry (trocken), medium dry (halbtrocken), or sweet. Produced with fully ripened grapes.

     Spätlese (shpate—rhymes with late—lay-sa): These grapes are harvested late in the autumn after the normal harvest. This means that the grapes have more intense flavor and sugar in a higher concentration than QbA or Kabinett wines. These wines make a great pairing with richer foods or enjoyed on their own. Although the grapes are sweeter, they can be fermented longer for a dryer, more full-bodied wine.

     Auslese (aus-lay-sa): Also a late harvest, but the grapes are handpicked to include only very ripe bunches. Given the increased amount of natural sugar, these wines are intense and are often offered as dessert wines. But a winemaker may also ferment these sweet grapes into a dry wine that has a higher alcohol content. These wines work with almost any main course.

     Beerenauslese (bear-en-aus-lay-sa): Another late harvest, but the grapes are handpicked to include only the very ripe individual grapes. The fermentation process is usually halted early so that the end product is an extraordinary sweet dessert wine.

     Eiswein (ice wine): The latest harvest, in which the grapes naturally freeze on the vine and are picked and pressed while frozen. This wine is the most risky for the winemaker since there is a greater risk of losing a crop left on the vine too long. These are truly unique wines with a remarkable concentration of fruity acidity and sweetness.

     Trockenbeerenauslese (tro-can-bear-en-aus-lay-sa): A late harvest of individually handpicked grapes that are raisin-like—overripe and dried up almost to raisins on the vine. These grapes make a very rich, sweet, honey-like dessert wine. But the wine is the most unique sweet dessert wine of all due to its extraordinary longevity and complexity. Prices can be very high, since the yield is extremely low, and Trockenbeerenauslese cannot be harvested every year.

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