Danube River Cruise Pilgrimage

October 9th – 17th, 2023
Starts at $3,900 (plus air)
Priest: Father Peter Idler

People have been asking me to do this for over a decade, I never really even considered leading a river cruise pilgrimage. But after spending a lot of time in Germany and Austria last year, and taking my groups on a few day cruises on the Danube, I decided to offer a pilgrimage to explore Europe from the water!

I’ve hand-crafted all our shore excursions – which are included in the price, of course. We’ll visit the highlights at each stop, including… The Black Madonna of Altötting, Saint Peter’s Cathedral of Regensburg, Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Maria Plain Shrine and its miraculous Virgin with Child, the Lake District, Melk Abbey, a stroll through classy Vienna, Saint Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, and a city tour of Budapest. There will be a beer tasting, a wine tasting, a concert, and some surprises along the way.

Of course this is a pilgrimage, so we will celebrate Mass each day in some of Europe’s most glorious churches.

→ Many of my regular travelers have already signed up, so I know it’s going to be a fun group!

All your dinners are included – as always, with unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks, and water.

Three lunches are included – also with drinks. These lunches are on the ship, but you may decide to stay in town and have lunch on your own.

Your airport transfers are included – from the Munich airport to the hotel and from the ship to the Budapest airport.

All your tips are included.

This is a pilgrimage with The Catholic Traveler, so you know there will be some surprises mixed in as well.

Is this pilgrimage trip for you?

You need to be flexible.
This pilgrimage is not for grumpy people or those unable to be joyfully flexible. Europe is fully back to normal, but the world is still a bit uncertain. While I don’t expect any complications, we have be able to adjust our plans if needed.

Plus, we’ll be on a boat, meaning we are at the mercy of the river too.

So if you are easy-going and excited to travel, even with some uncertainties mixed in, this could be the trip for you!

You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside, and much of it on uneven ground. We can cover up to 5 miles per day. Please do consider this before signing up.

There are no vaccination or mask requirements in Europe or on the ship.


October 9th: Arrive Munich and transfer to your hotel. Later this afternoon we will meet up for Mass, followed by dinner in a traditional Bavarian Bierhaus. Overnight in Munich.

October 10th: Today we drive to Passau. Along the way we will stop in the village of Altötting. This has been a pilgrimage stop for over 500 years. The main square is surrounded by beautiful churches, the highlight being the oldest shrine in Germany dedicated to Mary – we will celebrate Mass here. After a break for lunch, we will continue on to Passau, where we will board our home for the next seven nights, the Five Star, Amadeus Queen. Tonight we begin our cruise on the Danube. Dinner on the ship.

October 11th: This morning we arrive in Regensburg. We’ll tour the Old Town and visit the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Peter’s. You’ll have some time to explore the town or return to the ship and relax. Dinner on the ship.

October 12th: This morning you’ll wake up just in time for a full day excursion to one of my favorite towns, Salzburg. We will walk the Old Town and stroll, maybe dance, through Mirabell Gardens. After time for lunch, we will head to the hilltop Shrine of Maria Plain, with the long venerated Virgin with Child. From here we will travel through the Lake District to Linz, where we will rejoin the ship for dinner and overnight.

October 13th: We arrive in Emmersdorf and visit the overly Baroque Melk Abbey. We will have Mass here and then head back to the ship for lunch. This afternoon we will have a wine tasting before dinner on the ship.

October 14th: Good morning beautiful Vienna! Today we visit one of Europe’s most glorious cities. We will have Mass, a walking tour, and lunch together in a beautiful restaurant. You’ll have time to explore on your own before a private concert this evening. The ship departs late tonight, so you can stay in town for drinks or head back to the ship to relax.

October 15th: This morning you’ll wake up in a new country, Slovakia! We will celebrate Mass in Bratislava, tour the Old Town, and you’ll have some time to explore on your own. Tonight we set sail for Budapest!

October 16th: This morning we explore two of Hungary’s most popular cities, Buda and Pest. We celebrate Mass before giving you time for lunch. Tonight we have a Folklore show on the ship before dinner.

October 17th: Flights home from Budapest.

The Ship

We are traveling aboard the Amadeus Queen.

Deck Plan

Cabins and Pricing

Because this is a cruise, every cabin is priced for double occupancy, meaning two to a room. If you must have a single room, you will need to pay for the entire cabin – the price of two passengers.

If you are traveling solo and want to share a room, I will match you with other another person traveling solo (of the same sex, of course) and that always works out great.

Please do take extra notice of the size of the cabins when considering sharing.

Mozart Deck – Suites

$5,300 per person

26.4 square meters with a walk-out balcony.

Located on the same level as the bar, terrace, and pool.

Rooms can be arranged for one bed or two.

Mozart Deck – Staterooms A

$5,000 per person

17.5 square meters with drop-down panoramic windows.

Located on the same level as the bar, terrace, and pool.

Rooms can be arranged for one bed or two.

Strauss Deck – Staterooms B

$4,800 per person

17.5 square meters with drop-down panoramic windows.

Located on the same level as the restaurant. Identical to the Staterooms B, just one level below.

Rooms can be arranged for one bed or two.

Haydn Deck – Staterooms C

$3,900 per person

16 square meters with panoramic window – window cannot be opened.

Located on the lower level next to the massage room.

Rooms can be arranged for one bed or two.

Remaining Cabins

Payments and Cancellations

Your $1,000 per person deposit secures your space. Deposit is fully refundable for two weeks to give you time to check out flights and make sure you can get the time away.

Final payment is due August 1st, 2023. Final payment is nonrefundable. I am usually super flexible with refunds on my pilgrimages, but since this one involves chartering a boat, a lot of that is out of my hands. For this reason, I highly recommend trip insurance.

Though trip insurance is not required, it is a wise investment in case something comes up while you are in Europe, or you think you may need to cancel. A “Cancel for Any Reason” plan will let you, well, cancel for ‘most’ any reason. Most plans should allow for at least a 75% refund should you need to cancel at any time before departure. I have a friend who specializes in trip insurance, you can contact him directly, but you are under no obligation to use him and I don’t get any sort of kick backs, so shop around and find what works best for you.

As always, if I need to cancel or postpone the pilgrimage, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.

Included in the price

Accommodations for 8 nights
1 night in Munich and 7 nights on the ship.

Breakfast daily plus 11 additional meals.
Wine, beer, soft drinks, and water is included in all group meals.

All group ground transportation
We’ll be traveling in a private motor coach when not on the ship.

Airport Transfers
To keep things simple for you, your airport transfers in Europe are already included, just send me your flight info once booked.
– Munich (MUC) to the hotel
– From the ship to Budapest (BUD)

Full time service of a local tour guide
A local guide will be with us throughout the pilgrimage.

Full time service of a tour director
I’ll be with the group at all times.

No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price! You are responsible only for things you do on your own, souvenirs you wish to buy, and Mass donations directly to the churches.

Guaranteed price
Unlike most tour companies, once I receive your deposit, your tour price will not go up.

All tips for group meals, guides, and drivers
Would you believe that many tour companies require you to tip as you go? Not only does that add to the advertised sticker price of a tour, it’s also a huge hassle to you! No need to worry about that here. Tips are already included.

Entry fees and tours
All entry fees and tours to our included group activities.

You time
We have a lot planned, but time on your own is important. We take our time in churches to give you the opportunity for prayer and reflection. We also include free time for you to explore, shop, and relax.

Not Included

Your flights
Our pilgrimage begins in Munich, Germany. Airport code: MUC
You should arrive at MUC no later than early afternoon on October 9th.
Our only activities this day will be a late afternoon Mass, followed by dinner.

Our pilgrimage ends in Budapest, Hungary. Airport code: BUD
You should depart no earlier than the morning of October 17th. We sleep on the ship in the Budapest port, but official disembarkation is at 9 AM.

Most airlines are offering free changes should anything happen. Some airlines are not offering refunds, but rather a credit.

If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, or if the situation in Europe changes and we need to cancel or postpone the trip, it’s your responsibility to work with your airline to cancel, reschedule, or request refunds.

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