Latest Cruise Cancellation Information
  • Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

  • Rated Great
  • ATOL Protected

Cruise Blog

5 festivals to see on a river cruise

26th January 2016

Updated February 2017

 

A river cruise can be a leisurely and exciting way to explore a new destination. From cruising the diverse and scenic riverbanks to stepping ashore in the heart of the city, there is plenty to see and do depending on your preferred pace of holiday.

mardi gras new orleans mississippi


Most river cruises provide ample opportunities to explore on foot. Make a point to delve into new destinations whilst in port and you can enjoy local cuisine, embrace new cultures and see a whole new way of life. Depending on when you chose to cruise you may be lucky enough to catch unique community events, celebrations or local festivals during your trip.

With river cruises available worldwide, the breadth of new and exciting experiences is endless. Check out a few of our favourite events below which you could encounter on your next river cruise.



Rhine in Flames

Sail on a Rhine river cruise in summer and you might just catch the Rhein in Flammen festival which is held in various locations from Rudesheim to Bonn every year from May to September. You can expect a large audience of around a quarter of a million enjoying a fantastic firework display with flames and romantic flair amidst this beautiful castle-lined region.

Dates in 2017:

Bonn - 06.05.2017

Koblenz - 12.08.2017



Budapest Summer Festival

Held between June and August, the Summer Festival is an incredible opportunity to experience the arts and music of Budapest. With musical performances from the Budapest Symphony and various jazz groups, open-air theatrical productions, exhibitions and more. Combine your river cruise with a stay in Budapest to make the most of the wide range of cultural programmes.

 


Mardi Gras

The unique and rarely touched region of the Mississippi river takes river cruisers through some of USA’s famous musical and cultural hotspots, including Memphis and New Orleans. New Orleans in particular is known for the Mardi Gras festival where parades and floats move through the city daily. Cruise the Mississippi with American Queen Steamboat Company.

 

Mardi Gras River Cruise

 

The Vienna Festival

As one of the icons of music and culture, Vienna holds a yearly festival highly regarded for its musical productions, from classical performances to operas and exhibitions. Stop in Vienna between May and June and you can see prime examples of Austria’s cultural magnificence. Explore Austria when you river cruise the Danube.

 

Oktoberfest

Usually during the last week of September, Oktoberfest is the most famous beer festival in the world. Say prost! (cheers!) with the locals in Munich as you learn of Bavarian traditions, enjoy the locally brewed beers and experience a whole host of celebrations. See Munich on a river fly-cruise, ask one of our sales agents for more details.

 

 

At Iglu Cruise we tailor-make our cruise holidays. If you can't find an itinerary to suit your festival plans, please speak to one of our cruise agents who can help.


5 Must do's in Bratislava, Slovakia

16th November 2015

Eastern Europe has so much to offer holiday goers and explorers alike, with unique quirks, historical towns and beautiful landscapes, there is something to appeal to everyone.

The likes of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia are now seeing an influx of visitors from Western Europe and the welcoming locals make a trip here truly unforgettable. One nation in particular which is growing in popularity is Slovakia, with the capital Bratislava an absolute must on a European cruise.

bratslavia-slovakia


Iglu Cruise offer a number of river cruises along the Danube, starting in Hungary and stopping off in Bratislava en route to Austria. So what is there to do in Slovakia's largest city? Here are our top five suggestions.

 

Bratislava Castle

Sitting on a hill of the Little Carphathians overlooking the city, Bratislava Castle is arguably the most historic and recognisable sight in the capital. It provides stunning views over Bratislava, parts of Austria and on clear days you will you be able to see as far as Hungary. As you would expect, the castle has a long and rich history. It can trace its origins back to the ninth century where it was believed to have been built by the Romans as a frontier post. It was accidentally burned to the ground by garrisoned soldiers in May 1811, leading to a full rebuild in the 1950s.

It is home to both The History Museum and the National Museum, with one of the rooms dedicated to the works of Slovakian and foreign artists. Around 3,500 paintings, statues and print are housed in the castle, the most impressive being copies of 15th century altarpieces by Paul of Levoca.

bratislava-castle

St Martin's Cathedral

Sticking with the historical theme, St Martin's Cathedral is a testament to Bratislava's Gothic architecture. Situated on the edge of the Old Town, the church can trace its history back to the 13th century when it was originally built in a Romanesque style. However, by the 14th century it was replaced by a three-nave Gothic dome and was fully transformed by 1452.

Being the largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava it has been the scene of many a famous ceremony. Between 1563 and 1830 it was known for being the coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary and saw 19 Hungarian Emperors crowned during this time.

Today, it remains open to the public allowing people to wander around this magnificent structure and the see the work of famous Austrian baroque sculptor Raphael Donner.

St Michael's Street and St Michael's Gate

Both St Michael's Street and St Michael's Gate are go-to places for anyone visiting Bratislava. It is the main hub of activity in the city with shops and restaurants lining the street, making for a very lively place. Both locals and tourists alike come out to enjoy the ambiance on an evening with street bands providing a great atmosphere as the sun goes down.

At the top of the street is St Michael's Gate which remains the only city gate in Slovakia that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications. Originally built during the year 1300, it was rebuilt in 1758 and has survived several wars, occupations and the Communist rule, a period renowned for tearing down and replacing historic buildings.

Now it is seen and appreciated as a hugely relaxing area, ideal for enjoying a glass of wine or two and simply watching the world go by.

st-michaels-street-bratislava

Slovak National Theatre

If you get the chance, a visit to the Slovak National Theatre is an absolute must if you are a lover of the arts. It is the oldest professional theatre in the country and consists of three ensembles - opera, ballet and drama. It is split into two separate buildings the old, opened in 1886, and the new, opened in 2007.

The former was designed by Viennese architects R. Fellner and H. Helmer, responsible for creating ten buildings across Europe. It is the home of Neo-Renaissance opera, ballet and philharmonic performances and if you have the chance to catch a show, then it will be an unforgettable experience.

slovak-national-theatre

Novy Most

While Bratislava Castle provides a beautiful panoramic view of the city, for more spectacular views head to one of the more modern structures in Bratislava - Novy Most Bridge.

Despite being built during the era of Slovak Communism, the 1971 bridge does not follow conventional architecture of the time. It is more inkeeping with Bratislava's more historic side and has drawn comparisons to the Space Needle in Seattle.

Providing a link over the Danube, you can venture up the impressive structure to an observation desk where you can take in all the views of Bratislava. Maybe even have a spot of lunch at the restaurant UFO, a popular eatery so booking is advised.

 

Browse our Danube River cruise deals


A day in Siem Reap

4th November 2015

What are the cheap things to do when your cruise calls in Siem Reap for just one day? [More]

24 hours in Krems, Austria

27th October 2015

Krems an der Donau is a key feature of many Iglu river cruises along the mighty Danube, with a number of trips stopping there for a day of sightseeing.

The town is the fifth-largest in Lower Austria, around 40 miles away from the capital Vienna. Officially given its title in 995 AD by Otto III, it has grown substantially and almost superseded the capital during the 11th and 12th century. It is made up of ten smaller divisions and is a great stop-off point as part of your river cruise.

So what is there to do with 24 hours in this riverside town?

Krems, Austria

What to see

Take a stroll from the port into the old town where you will be able to get a real sense of the history of Krems. The town is influenced by the Baroque era of the 16th century and many of the buildings pay homage to this. One in particular is the Steiner Tor which acts as an entrance to Krems and was erected in 1480.

The gate is considered to be the symbol of Krems and took the place of a wall which surrounded the town until the 19th century. It features a mounted memorial on the side of the stone door which commemorates a flooding disaster in 1573. It has appeared on a definitive stamp, similar to a postage stamp, and in 2005 the Steiner Tor underwent restoration work to celebrate the 700-year anniversary of Krems.
Staying in the old town and the Kunst Halle Krems is an absolute must for the culture vultures among you. The art gallery is home to a swathe of contemporary works and in the past has showcased the work of artists such as Pipilotti Rist, Dominik Steiger, William Kentridge, Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono.

Another place to tick off should be the Weinstadmuseum which highlights both the history of Krems but also its proud winemaking traditions. The museum is housed in a beautiful monastery providing a calm and tranquil vibe when you walk through the front door.

Krems Town Hall, Austria

Krems Town Hall

Eat and drink

Situated in the Wachau Valley region of Austria, Krems is famed for its Marillenschnaps. Like many other towns in the area, Krems is a producer of this apricot brandy. While there are similar liquors elsewhere in the world, if you want an authentic taste of the Wachau Valley then you cannot go far wrong with Marillenschnaps.

Krems is surrounded by an abundance of small orchards that are dedicated to producing the apricots designed for this drink. Bars in the town will always have a good bottle, so it would be rude not to try a little following a hearty meal. When it comes to food, Krems is home to some authentic Austrian cuisine. If you are looking for somewhere with real local flavour then head to any one of the Heurigers that are dotted around the town.

Translated as wine taverns you will be able to enjoy some great local fayre washed down with some Austrian wine, but don't forget the Marillenschnaps before you set sail for your next destination.

duernstein wachau, austria


Browse our Danube river cruise deals


9 Historical attractions you must visit on the Danube

20th October 2015

The Danube is the heartline of eastern Europe, starting from the Black Sea cutting through many major countries before ending in Germany.

Such is the diversity of the cities along the Danube, it makes the river ideal for a cruising holiday. There is so much history attached to the waterway that is best experienced on a river cruise. There are a wide variety of Danube river cruises available such as starting in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, passing through the likes of Austria and Germany and ending in Amsterdam.

Along the way there is an abundance of historical sights which help to build the history of the Danube. Let's take a look at nine must-see attractions en route.

danube river

Shoes on the Danube Bank

Starting in Budapest, the Shoes on the Danube Bank is a highly poignant memorial. A collection of shoes on the banks of the river on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade honour the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in the capital during World War II.

Created by film director Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer, the memorial is a reminder of the tragedies which Budapest suffered during the war, while also commemorating the victims.

shoes on the Danube river

Schonbrunn Palace

This magnificent Baroque palace sits in the heart of Vienna, the next stop along the Danube. The 1,441-room palace is a former imperial summer residence originally purchased by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II in 1569.

It remains a focal point of Vienna's, and by a larger extent Austria's, style of architecture reflecting the changing taste of the Habsburg monarchs. Since the 1950s both the palace and the gardens have become major tourist attractions and were recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Schonbrunn Palace, Austria

 

Kunsthistorisches Museum

Staying in Vienna and another attraction to tick off is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Translated as the Museum of Art History, this magnificent building has stood in the Austrian capital since opening in 1891. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary it houses some of the nation's finest art.

Notable works currently installed at the picture gallery include Jan van Eyck: Portrait of Cardinal Niccolo Albergati (c. 1431), The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (1559) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Rembrandt: Self Portrait (1652). It is an absolute must for all art lovers.

Mauthausen Memorial

Not far from the Austrian city of Linz is the Mauthausen memorial. Mauthausen-Gusen was a concentration camp used by the Nazis during World War II. Between 122,766 and 320,000 people are estimated to have been killed here during Germany's occupation of Austria.

Liberated by the US Army in May 1945, Mauthausen is now a national memorial site. It remains largely intact covering almost 3,000 sq ft. There are a number of guided tours going on throughout the day.

Regensburg Dom

Moving into Germany and the Regensburg Dom should be high up on the itinerary for anyone cruising the Danube. This huge cathedral is a brilliant example of pure German Gothic architecture and forms the focal point of the city.

Founded in 1275 and completed in 1634, the Dom is home to some magnificent monuments including one by renowned German sculptor Peter Vischer the Elder. It is a sight to behold and a must-see when in Regensburg.

Regensburg, Germany

Nuremberg Palace of Justice

Nuremberg is a city of huge prominence in Germany. The second largest in Bavaria, behind Munich, it is a place of so much history none more so than the Palace of Justice. Justizpalast was built in 1916 and was the scene of the infamous Nuremberg Trials between 1945 and 1949 after World War II.

Courtroom 600 saw the trial of the main Nazi Germany personalities such as Hermann Göering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Arthur Seyss-Inquart. The courts are still used today and are open to the public.

Rhine Gorge

A magnificent natural sight in the heart of Germany, the Rhine Gorge is where the Rhine takes over from the Danube. The 65-kilometre section of river between Koblenz and Bingen was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

The area is unusual as it produces its own microclimate and has become the home to a number of species not generally native to this part of the world. Aside from this the gorge provides some splendid views.

German National Museum of Contemporary History

Moving on to Bonn in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany and a must in this city is the German National Museum of Contemporary History. Charting the nation's past after 1945, the museum ranges from artefacts from over the previous decades to the changing face of politics in the country.

Admission is free and guide booklets can be obtained in English, as the exhibitions and tours are presented in German.

Koblenz Germany

Koblenz, Germany

Anne Frank Huis

Ending the trip in Amsterdam, a visit to the home of Anne Frank is an absolute must. Situated at the Prinsengracht in central Amsterdam, this unassuming house was where Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution.

The 17th-century canal house became a museum in May 1960, following the publication of Anne's diaries in 1957, she did not survive the war. Behind the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank Huis is well worth a visit.

Browse and book our Rhine river cruises


Book with Confidence

We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.


Price Match Guarantee
Search Cruises
Your Shortlist

You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.


What our customers say


"I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

Christina
(March 2019)

"So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

Gary
(February 2019)


Read more feedback


Are you rebooking a cancelled cruise due to Covid-19?