Duration: 8 Days
This peaceful Danube River cruise through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany—explores some of Central Europe’s most splendid capitals and charming towns. You’ll also discover treasures of Austro-Hungarian royalty. Begin this timeless European river cruise in Budapest, where guided sightseeing acquaints you with the highlights of the vibrant capital of Hungary, including a visit to Gödöllö Royal Palace.
Set sail on the Danube, take pictures of the impressive Parliament Building as you leave Budapest, and head for Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Here, enjoy a guided walk through the delightful Old Town and visit the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. Vienna, Austria, the “City of Music,” was also the home of the Habsburg monarchy, with the stunning Schönbrunn Palace and summer home of the family dynasty. Hear a fascinating lecture on royal dynasties in Europe with a historian on board your ship, and take a Viennese waltz lesson.
Enjoy the magnificent views through the picturesque wine region of the Wachau Valley, with stops for a guided walk in Dürnstein, a visit of the impressive Benedictine Abbey of Melk, and a tasting of renowned local wines. In Linz, walk around the Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, which forms the centre of the city, and be sure to photograph the splendid Trinity Column. Passau, Germany, the “City of Three Rivers,” is uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers converge. See its maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful Patrician houses, and marvel at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. A memorable last stop on this delightful Danube River cruise holiday!
Welcome to Hungary. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Budapest must arrive by 3:30 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm. The day is yours to relax and enjoy the city with time for photographs, cafes, and confections. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST (D)
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe Visit the Adventure centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. CLASSIC - Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes' Square. DISCOVERY - Visit the Royal Palace of Godollo, one of the favorite retreat of Sissi. Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying some free time exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city's cafes and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BRATISLAVA (B,L,D)
lassic and Contemporary-from Cathedrals to Castles DISCOVERY - Enjoy a lecture about European Royal dynasties CLASSIC - Take a Guided City Walk, including the quaint streets of Old Town, Town Hall, and fantastic St. Martin's Cathedral. Enjoy some free time to take Nordic walking sticks from the ship and hike to Bratislava Castle. DISCOVERY - Later, enjoy an onboard Royal Waltz lesson, a living cultural heritage from the Habsburg monarchy. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIENNA (B,L,D)
Strauss, Schnitzel, Strudel, and Sachertorte CLASSIC - Venture into the Habsburg empire with a morning Guided City Tour of Vienna's gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex- Winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral. DISCOVERY - Take a guided tour to Schonbrunn Palace-the former imperial summer home and vast gardens with a history spanning 300 years of the Habsburg monarchy. In your free time why not stroll through pedestrian Karntnerstrasse-the most famous shopping avenue in central Vienna, or take a bike ride through the city and stop in a local cafe to enjoy authentic Austrian confections of Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel. Later this evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert for an unforgettable evening of music in an elegant hall. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DURNSTEIN (B,L,D)
Fairytale Castles, Kings, and Cobblestones CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walk, and hear the legendary tale of King Richard the Lionheart-who was imprisoned in the castle during the Crusades, OR: ACTIVE - Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins to take in the spectacular view of the village, Danube, and the Wachau Valley below. Later, stretch out on the Sky Deck as you sail through the Wachau Valley past vineyards, castles, and charming villages on your way to Melk. MELK Striking Frescoes and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ OR DISCOVERY - Visit the Arstetten Castle, once owned by the Habsburg family and nowadays it is a property of the Hohenbergs,the family of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, assassinated in 1914. DISCOVERY - Enjoy the flavors of the Wachau Valley at a Wine Tasting on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO LINZ (B,L,D)
Fall in Love with Linz-Legendary Art, Music, and the Linzer Torte Ask about today's energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Walk through the city's historic and beautiful sites along the shore of the Danube and see Hauptplatz-Austria's largest medieval square-and the towering white-marble Trinity Column OR DISCOVERY - Take a full day excursion among the picturesque mountain lakes and romantic villages beloved by the Habsburgs. Alternatively, feel free to enjoy the afternoon on your own to bike along the banks of the Danube with a picnic from the ship, or hike through Linz's beautiful nature trails to Postlingberg for a bird's-eye view of the city and river below. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LINZ (B,L,D)
Go for Baroque in Passau-Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet This morning, cruise through the Schlogen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped bend of the river. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful "City of Three Rivers." ACTIVE - Follow your Avalon Adventure Host for Hiking from Oberhaus along a trail down to the valley and along Ilz River. Spend a little free time before sailing to Deggendorf to walk the cobblestone streets and galleries of Artists' Alley or peek into St. Stephen's Cathedral to possibly catch a concert rehearsal. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DEGGENDORF (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends with breakfast this morning. Flights should not leave Munich airport before Noon. (B)