Paris & Budapest: Connecting Europe Through the Main-Danube Canal

Trace one of the largest civil engineering projects in history, the Main-Danube Canal, on an insightful voyage connecting Paris and Budapest.
Program No. 24143RJ
15 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Enjoy the rare opportunity to explore two of Europe’s grandest capital cities on one adventure — Paris and Budapest. An elegant river vessel will be your floating classroom as you sail between Western and Central Europe, stopping to experience quintessential villages and lively cities in France, Germany, Austria and Hungary alongside our experts. Mid-voyage, you’ll traverse the Main-Danube Canal— a 106-mile-long channel that unites hundreds of inland ports across multiple countries. Experience this architectural marvel — and its cultural impacts on the European landscape — on an insightful voyage exploring some of the region’s most historic waterways and cities.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy stays in Paris and Budapest before and after your voyage, complete with a high-speed train ride through the French countryside between Paris and Strasbourg.
  • Learn about this feat of engineering as you sail through the 80 locks of the Main-Danube Canal.
  • Gain insight into the relationships between neighboring countries, especially Austria and Hungary, as you delve into the origins, impact and regulations of the European Union.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The German Way
by Hyde Flippo
This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do.
A Time of Gifts
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy.
For Strasbourg, Conversations of Friendship and Philosophy
by Jacques Derrida
In this series of essays, the French philosopher and literary theorist reminisces about the city of Strasbourg and the philosophical friendships he developed there over a period of forty years. More than just a personal narrative, however, it is a profound interrogation of the relationship between philosophy and place, friendship and language.
The Blue Flower
by Penelope Fitzgerald
Set in the Age of Goethe, this exquisitely written short novel is a fictional account of the life of the Romantic poet Novalis. It paints a vivid picture of German intellectual and mercantile life in the late 1700s.
Eyewitness Guide Germany
by Eyewitness Guides
Featuring color photography, excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
The Burgermeister's Daughter, Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
by Steven Ozment
Meticulously researched and absorbing, this narrative by a Harvard historian traces the legal battle of the daughter of a well-to-do family who was thrown out of her home and disinherited in 1525.
All Along the Rhine
by Kay Shaw Nelson
Subtitled "Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland" this tribute to the Rhine Valley complements its history and culture with 130 recipes.
The Germans
by Gordon A. Craig
A gifted historian, Craig explores the paradoxes of German identity in this masterful portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.
The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000
by Mark Cioc, William Cronon (Introduction)
A scholarly, well-researched environmental history of the Rhine, particularly its role in European economic and German national history over the past 200 years.
The Improbable Voyage
by Tristan Jones
Jones, an inveterate Welsh sailor, adventurer and storyteller, channels Eastern Europe circa 1985 in his tale of a tough voyage along the Rhine and Danube to the Black Sea.
The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
by Robert A. Scott
An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches.
Budapest, A Cultural History
by Bob Dent
This brilliant guide introduces the history and traditions of this Central European cultural capital, with emphasis on its most important artists and architects.
A Traveller's History of Paris
by Robert Coles
A fast-moving, short survey of French history with a focus on Paris from its foundation, through the heady days of revolution and up to modern times.

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