Along its length of 2,845 kilometers, or 1,767 miles, the Danube touches pristine natural environments from the wild and romantic mountains of the Black Forest down to the Danube delta on the shores of the Black Sea. The monasteries, churches, and palaces which line the great river's route indeed make it a uniquely "Baroque" river. The cities, cultures and religions of the different peoples along the Danube make it one of the world's richest and most intriguing water-borne highways.
The Danube-the most European and fascinating of rivers-binds together the continent's countries and peoples in a unique way. The river is navigable by large ships for 2,415 kilometers, or 1,500 miles, of its total length and smaller excursion craft can sail stretches not accessible to larger vessels. With the completion of clearance operations around the Yugoslav town of Novi Sad in May 2002, through traffic will again be possible as far downstream as the delta. Many ships even sail to the Danube from the western half of the continent through the Main-Danube canal. Passengers aboard a cruise liner can really relax and get to know the Danube from its most exciting perspective. The varied and changing course of the glittering river with its lush green banks, architectural treasures that suddenly loom up high above the shore and then slip by to be replaced by natural wonders and historic cities, makes for an unparalleled holiday experience.
One does not have to take a long cruise to savor the attractions of the Danube and its shores. Shorter trips aboard smaller excursion ships also offer the possibility of exploring the lure of the individual regions, and experiencing the unique marriage of natural and man-made beauty from an ideal perspective-from the river itself.