Journey through the many centers of Jewish life and history as you sail through the heart of Europe’s grand capitals and charming villages. With a group of 20 fellow cruisers or more, you can customize many excursions on your itinerary, strengthen your bond with your family and community and celebrate Jewish tradition and culture as you sail along the Danube River.*
The Rich Jewish History of Vienna
Most of our Danube River cruises visit Vienna, taking in its grand St. Stephen’s Cathedral and imperial palaces, but on your customized Jewish heritage excursion, you’ll see a different side of the city. You can tour the second district of Leopoldstadt, a small island between the Danube and the Donaukanal Canal in Austria’s magnificent capital city. Home to a large Jewish population, Leopoldstadt is known as Vienna’s Jewish Quarter. The neighborhood is full of kosher markets and restaurants, which you will see when you customize an excursion in Vienna for your group.
Behind Vienna’s Opera House in the Albertinaplatz is the contemporary Memorial Against War and Fascism, created by Austrian sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka. The poignant monument, completed in 1988, commemorates the years of Nazi occupation in Austria from 1938-1945, and can be included on your custom tour.
You may also wish to visit the Jewish Museum in Palais Eskeles, where you will see the foundations of a medieval synagogue. While the museum powerfully highlights this darker page in European history, it also showcases the strength of the Jewish community and their resilience amid great adversity.
Remembrance and Revival in Budapest
Included as part of many of our excursions in the beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest, the poignant “Shoes on the Danube” memorial hauntingly commemorates the 3,500 people who were executed along the Danube riverbank during World War II.
As part of your group’s custom tour, you can also visit the largest synagogue in Europe, the spectacular Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. The exquisite building was heavily inspired by the Islamic architecture of North Africa and medieval Spain.
The Tree of Life Holocaust Memorial, inscribed on its leaves with the names of Hungarian Jews who perished, and the Hungarian Jewish Museum are central points of the Jewish Quarter. Although these tragic reminders of Hungary’s past are scattered throughout Budapest, this once war-torn neighborhood has experienced a revival of Jewish culture. Today, the vibrant quarter boasts a variety of Jewish Hungarian restaurants, bakeries, quirky bars, and shops.