Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Vienna, Austria.
Decorated train on the New Year's in Vienna aboard the Danube Express journey
Festetics Palace on New Year in Vienna.

New Year’s in Vienna aboard the Danube Express

9-day Escorted Tour
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The Highlights

  • Travel through Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with five nights on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express
  • New Year’s Eve in Vienna, including group Viennese waltz lesson and special gala dinner served inside the beautiful City Hall, Rathaus Vienna, accompanying a performance by the renowned Wiener Hofball Orchestra
  • Watch Vienna’s New year’s Eve fireworks from City Hall balcony
  • City tours of Budapest, Keszthely, Graz, Vienna, Prague, and Kosice
  • Free time to visit the many Christmas markets of Central Europe
  • Tour of lavishly baroque Festetics Palace in Keszthely
  • Celebratory New Year’s Day brunch at Vienna’s former Hapsburg palace, the Palais Coburg, reached by horse-drawn carriage
  • Guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace and the city’s festive market. Or, on your own, tour the city via its extensive tram network. If there’s time, consider No. 71 to Vienna’s Central Cemetery, whose “residents” include Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss.
  • Three nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

The Tour

Celebrate the New Year in style — with a trip aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express . This festive departure explores Central Europe, and you’ll be at the center of the New Year’s Eve festivities in beautiful Vienna.

Our New Year’s departure offers a sociable atmosphere combined with sumptuous gala dinners, music, opera, dancing and exclusive regional celebrations that you will forever remember.

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From Budapest, venture through winter-wonderland landscapes. Chug across Central Europe, and glide through valleys beneath Austria’s towering Alps.

Along the way, encounter beautiful capital cities and hidden gems. Our New Year’s voyage by private train delivers a stylish combination of musical celebration, rich history and architectural treasures.

The all-inclusive itinerary and the comfortable luxury of the Danube Express will whisk you from location to location in a manner not possible by any other means of travel.

Why go? Because you simply must. Read IRT Founder Owen Hardy’s account.

New Year’s in Vienna aboard the Danube Express map

Countries Visited

  • Hungary
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia


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Day 1: Budapest, Hungary

On arrival in Budapest, you will be met and transferred to the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in this elegant, Art Nouveau landmark where you can meet your fellow travelers and toast to this highly anticipated celebratory journey.

Day 2: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is actually two cities separated by the River Danube. The old city of Buda, and the imposing Royal Palace, dominate the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest.

Our Budapest city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We will also see the Citadel, the Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Heroes’ Square and the City Park.

The rest of the day is at leisure so you can stroll through the many Christmas Markets scattered around the city. You may want to visit the historic Great Market Hall with its endless variety of delicious foods and wines, or warm up at one of the city’s famous thermal baths with rejuvenating holiday dip.

Day 3: Keszthely, Hungary

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the train station to board the Golden Eagle Danube Express. After settling into our luxurious cabins, we’ll make our first journey through the winter landscapes of Hungary to Balaton Uplands National Park.

Emerging from the National Park, we’ll arrive in Keszthely, perched at the very western end of Lake Balaton. This picture-postcard town is filled with grand town houses and, famously, the site of Festetics Palace, a lavish baroque home fit for royalty. After a tour of the palace, we’ll continue into Austria overnight by train.

Day 4: New Year's Eve in Graz & Vienna, Austria

Arriving into Austria this morning, we’ll begin our exploration of the fantastic city of Graz, on the cusp of the Austrian Alps. We will transfer by coach to the city center and have a short walking tour of Graz’s range of renaissance courtyards and provincial baroque palaces. As part of our Freedom of Choice program, you’ll choose to take free time or enjoy a pumpkin seed oil tasting, complete with traditional, locally made bread and wine.

After a gourmet lunch on board the train, we’ll continue to Vienna to begin our New Year’s Eve celebrations. This afternoon, we will have the opportunity to join in with an atmospheric group Viennese waltz lesson. No experience necessary!

Tonight, a special New Year’s gala dinner will be served inside the beautiful City Hall, Rathaus Vienna, serenaded by the renowned Wiener Hofball Orchestra. Music and waltzing will take us through to midnight.

Day 5: New Year's Day in Vienna, Austria

Happy New Year! This morning we will take a horse-drawn carriage ride along the cobbled streets to a celebratory brunch at the Palais Coburg, a stunning former Habsburg Palace. From the Palais we’ll be able to take in the live transmission of the New Year concert from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

If you’d rather see more of the splendid Austrian countryside, as part of our Freedom of Choice program, you will have the option to visit the truly memorable Schönbrunn Palace to see the city’s famous festive market which will be still be open to enjoy.

Later this evening, the group will reconvene on the train for dinner before leaving Austria for the Czech Republic.

Day 6: Cesky Krumlov & Prague, Czech Republic

This morning, we’ll begin our day in the stunning town of Cesky Krumlov, declared a UNESCO World Heritage destination. The town’s old-world charm may well be enhanced by a dusting of snow and should make for a beautiful stop on our journey. A short introduction to the town will allow you to explore the town with allocated free-time. Perfect time to grab a souvenir or two.

We’ll continue after a scenic lunch on board the train to Prague, one of the most beautifully preserved cities in Europe. Spanning the Vltava River, Prague is dominated by the 9th-century Prague Castle, a stunning sight that can be seen almost anywhere in the city. Our introductory tour takes in the Old Town Square, with its many historic buildings and Astronomical Clock, the historic 14th-century Charles Bridge, and the Jewish Quarter.

Tonight we have dinner followed by a private classical concert.

Day 7: Prague, Czech Republic

A full day to explore the city of Prague awaits today. We’ll begin with a vintage tram to travel through the city up the hill to Prague Castle and the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. The castle and its surrounding architectural gems occupy a hillside overlooking the city and river. Lunch will be served nestled in the architectural treasures of this ‘City of a Hundred Spires.’

The rest of the day is free for you to visit more festive markets or take in more of the iconic sites of the city all within walking distance of the station. Dinner will be served on board the train as we continue our journey.

Day 8: Kosice, Slovakia

We start our final day of touring in one of the lesser known gems of Central Europe, Kosice. The city was voted European Capital of Culture in 2013, and its medieval-come-cosmopolitan style is slowly drawing more visitors to this former cornerstone of Communist Czechoslovakia. We’ll take a highlights tour of the city, including the vast oval-shaped central square, filled with relics from the 15th and 16th centuries.

This afternoon we’ll enjoy our final lunch on the train before arriving to Budapest, where we’ll check back into the Four Seasons Gresham Palace before a celebratory farewell dinner toasting new friends and fond memories.

Day 9: Budapest, Hungary

Following breakfast on the final morning, we will be transferred to the airport for onward flight departures.

Dates & Prices

2024 - 2025 Dates

December 28, 2024 - January 5, 2025

  • All prices are per person.

2025 - 2026 Dates

December 28, 2025 - January 5, 2026

  • All prices are per person.

2026 - 2027 Dates

December 28, 2026 - January 5, 2027

  • All prices are per person.
  • 2026 dates and prices are preliminary and are subject to change.


Included in the tour price:

  • Arrival and departure transfers.
  • A generous drinks allowance, including wine, with lunch and dinner.
  • All gratuities.
  • All off-train touring and entrance fees, with personal headsets to make it easy to hear your guide.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
  • An on-board doctor, with medical facilities, is available, should the need arise.
  • 24-hour service attendant.
  • Porterage of bags; your bags will be stowed for you on the train and transported to your hotel at the end of your trip.