River Cruise Itinerary
Your European adventure begins with two nights in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Guided sightseeing shows you its best-known treasures. See the Astronomical Clock, Hradcany Castle, and St. Vitus Cathedral. Stroll across Charles Bridge, shop for hand-cut crystal, and mix with the locals on Wenceslas Square.Regensburg is one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities and architecture lovers will delight in the treasures it has to offer. Guided sightseeing will show you the Old Town Hall, the Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD—and many mansions with high towers denoting the status and wealth of their early owners. Enjoy a tasting of local sausages before heading to Deggendorf where your river cruise journey begins.Passau, Germany, is called the "City of Three Rivers" as it lies at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. Explore the city with a Local Guide and admire the Patrician houses and baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral. Linz, Austria, offers the Hauptplatz, Austria's largest medieval square which forms the center of the city. Enjoy the magnificent views as your river cruise takes you through the picturesque wine region of Wachau Valley. In Dürnstein, visit the famous blue and white Stiftskirche and taste some of the local wines. Vienna, the "City of Music," makes an immediate impression with its lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace and neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House. In Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, a guided walk takes you through the delightful Old Town and to the gothic St. Martin's Cathedral.In Budapest, the vibrant capital of Hungary, see the must-see sights with a local expert, stroll along the main shopping street of Váci utca, or take pictures from Fishermen's Bastion, which provides the best panoramic views of Budapest.
Day 1 (Wed, May 30, 2018): Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic. Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. This fascinating city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires, and pinnacles highlighting its skyline. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring.
Day 2 (Thu, May 31, 2018): Prague. Prague is a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time, and, unlike other Central European capitals, it was not bombed during the 20th-century wars. A LOCAL GUIDE will show you its best-known treasures, such as the Old Town's Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 and once the envy of all of Europe; HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS; St. Vitus Cathedral; and the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslas Square, an important meeting point and where people demonstrated against the communist regime; watch performers and shop at the market stalls on Charles Bridge; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the Vltava River; or wander around Prague's medieval Old Town, dating from the 10th century. (B)
Day 3 (Fri, Jun 01, 2018): Prague-Regensburg, Germany-Deggendorf (Embarkation). After breakfast leave Prague and travel by motorcoach to Regensburg, one of Germany's best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of "historic interest." Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. During your free time, grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of the Germany's oldest restaurants. Continue to Deggendorf where you'll board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 4 (Sat, Jun 02, 2018): Passau. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR that reveals much more about the "City of Three Rivers." This afternoon, cruise towards Linz. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Sun, Jun 03, 2018): Linz, Austria. Linz is Austria's third-largest city and an important river port where culture plays a significant role in everyday life. This morning, join a local expert for a GUIDED TOUR. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria's largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. On your own, you might like to wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river, or visit the neo-gothic New Cathedral, Austria's largest church, with capacity for 20,000 visitors. Alternatively, choose from several full-day excursions. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Mon, Jun 04, 2018): Melk-Dürnstein. This morning, our first stop is Melk. Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent 11thcentury BENEDICTINE ABBEY, dominating the town from its commanding hill site and one of Europe's largest monasteries. The abbey church houses stunning frescoed ceilings, marvellous statues, a large organ, and an ornate library with a large collection of medieval manuscripts. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! Then, grab a drink and relax on your ship's Sky Deck as you witness beautiful scenery on the way to Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region and best known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. Your Local Guide will take you on an included WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Before dinner we'll introduce you to some of the local WACHAU WINES. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Tue, Jun 05, 2018): Vienna. Wake up this morning in Vienna, known as the "City of Music" and the place that inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria's magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys' Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen's Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you'll see on your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. (B,L,D)
Day 8 (Wed, Jun 06, 2018): Bratislava, Slovakia. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 9 (Thu, Jun 07, 2018): Budapest, Hungary. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. On your INCLUDED TOUR, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 10 (Fri, Jun 08, 2018): Budapest (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)