Once described as a performer who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra, Russell Watson began his career in the unlikely role of a factory worker making nuts and bolts, before entering and winning the local radio talent show that propelled him to stardom. Now the UK's best-selling classical artist, Russell's debut album “The Voice” spent 52 weeks at number one in the UK charts. Having released a further nine albums, Russell has also performed for notable dignitaries including the Queen and Prince Charles.
Now you can discover Russell's story and enjoy an exclusive performance with the man himself, on our brand new eight-day river cruise. Sailing from Budapest, you will discover the delights of the Hungarian capital before venturing on to Vienna via Esztergom, Bratislava, Dürnstein, Melk and Salzburg, before joining Russell in the Austrian capital. The ideal personality with whom to experience the region, which is renowned for its musical heritage, Russell will perform his greatest hits during a delightful private performance aboard the ship in Vienna. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy one-to-one time with the tenor and hear stories from his career during a meet-and-greet event and a CD signing. With seven nights aboard the MS Thomas Hardy luxury river ship and the chance to explore Linz, this is a special opportunity to enjoy time with one of the UK's favourite recording artists, in one of Europe's most significant musical regions.
Fly to Budapest and transfer to your river ship. Enjoy a welcome dinner aboard after time to explore the ship and its facilities. Overnight cruise to Esztergom.
Discover Esztergom, one of Hungary's oldest towns, a royal capital during medieval times and today the seat of the country's archbishop. See Esztergom castle, the former seat of the government. Take lunch aboard and discover the towns and villages of Hungary on one river bank and of Slovakia on the other, as we sail onwards to Bratislava. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.
Explore Slovakia's fast-emerging capital city, Bratislava, on a guided tour and discover its beautifully restored Old Town and 17th-century castle. This afternoon cruise into bucolic Lower Austria, home to some of the countrys best wines. Admire the passing scenery as we sail towards Dürnstein during dinner.
Discover Dürnstein, known for the ice-blue tower of its abbey and the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192, after being shipwrecked on his return from the crusades. After lunch, visit the remarkable Melk Abbey, which has been a monastic school and monastery since the 11th century. Return to the ship for dinner and sail through the scenic Nibelungengau region, which was immortalised in the music and compositions of Wagner.
Take a guided walking tour of Linz exploring its charming baroque old town and fortress-like castle, which is now a museum housing a fine collection of 19th and and 20th-century artworks. Alternatively, visit Salzburg and explore with an expert local guide, before free time to soak up the city's history and that of its most famous son, Mozart.
Visit Vienna, one of the highlights of the cruise. Join a local guide and discover why Vienna is one of Europe's great capitals, before free time to explore the former home of some of the worlds finest classical composers, including Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. This evening, join world-renowned tenor
Russell Watson for an exclusive concert that will bring alive the musical heritage of this wonderful city.
This morning enjoy a scenic cruise through Hungary's peaceful pastoral landscape towards Budapest, the delightful Hungarian capital. Make use of the ships facilities or relax on the sun deck and admire the scenery, before a delicious lunch. On arrival in Budapest, enjoy a sightseeing tour of this captivating city, known as the Pearl of the Danube. This evening attend a delightful farewell Gala Dinner aboard the ship, before a traditional Hungarian folklore show.
After breakfast this morning, disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; if you choose to travel with us on any of the full day excursions by coach, a packed lunch will be provided. Anyone choosing to stay on the ship may of course have lunch in the restaurant; morning/afternoon tea and coffee; all visits and excursions as mentioned; private concert, meet and greet and CD signing with Russell Watson; airport transfers; coach travel as mentioned; travel to and from port of embarkation and the services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager.
The best-selling classical artist in the UK, Russell was propelled to fame after winning a local radio talent competition. His first album The Voice shot to number one in the UK Charts where it remained for a record-breaking 52 weeks,with his second album, Encore, selling selling almost two million copies globally. He has collaborated with respected artists of every musical genre, including Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Lulu, Alexandra Burke, Sean Ryder and the late Luciano Pavarotti, and performed for noted dignitaries including the Queen, Bill Clinton and the Emperor of Japan.
While we include everything you might need in our prices, we never charge for something you might not. If you prefer to pre-order your drinks, you can purchase our drinks package which offers a selection of drinks during lunch and dinner.
Simply relax and when it’s time to dine in the restaurant, take your pick from a range of: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rosé house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu by the glass.
If you choose not to purchase a drinks package, there is a vast selection of drinks on board each ship available for individual purchase. To see an example bar list please see our dining information.
Drinks packages must be purchased by all guests in the same cabin or suite, and do not include drinks from the bar. To book the drinks package please call the reservations team.