Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary (Embarkation)
Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this exciting city. In the afternoon, transfer to your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception.
Day 2 Bratislava, Slovakia
This morning, enjoy the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. As you cruise upriver, Hungary is on your left and Slovakia is on your right. The two countries share the Danube for a 58-mile stretch, with the border in the middle of the river. At the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains is Bratislava, the dynamic capital of Slovakia, which you reach in mid-morning. Join a LOCAL GUIDE to explore 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; and gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Day 3 Vienna, Austria
A morning of cruising allows you to relax on board before reaching Vienna around lunchtime. This afternoon, enjoy an included visit to the KUNSTKAMMER MUSEUM. An optional concert is available tonight.
Day 4 Vienna
Known as the “City of Music,” Vienna 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. The afternoon is at leisure. 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.
Day 5 Weissenkirchen–Grein
This morning, sail into the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein, before arriving in Weissenkirchen (White Church). Join a GUIDED WALK to learn more about this pretty little Wachau valley town, then, reboard your ship and sail to the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Take an included GUIDED WALK through town and visit its unique historical THEATER, the oldest in Austria still holding regular performances. A behind-the-scenes peek to learn about some of the curiosities of this rococo-style, 167-seat theater will certainly tell you much about life as it was—and as it now is in this small town. The turreted houses on the main square make excellent photo subjects.
Day 6 Mauthausen–Linz
This morning, arrive in Mauthausen and join a local expert for a GUIDED WALK. This afternoon arrive in Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and explore on your own. Linz is an important river port where culture plays a significant role in everyday life. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here, and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. There is free time to explore Linz on your own. 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. Perhaps 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.
Day 7 Passau, Germany
This afternoon, arrive in Passau, located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. This is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses one of the world’s largest church organs with more than 17,000 pipes. Join a Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR through this charming town, and find out much more about the “City of Three Rivers.” Alternatively, you might choose to join one of several full-day optional excursions: to medieval Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; to Salzburg with its Sound of Music sites; or the popular “Romantic Austria” tour. Rejoin your ship in the late afternoon in Passau.
Day 8 Passau (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
On this magnificent cruise vacation, enjoy seeing some of Central Europe’s great cities as well as many small towns that dot the landscape along the way. Visit St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, and savor a Sachertorte in Vienna. And there’s more…enjoy wine tasting in Austria’s Wachau Valley, visit Austria’s oldest theater still holding regular performances in the resort town of Grein, visit one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular monasteries at Melk and explore Germany’s Passau, located at the confluence of three rivers. Guided sightseeing with Certified Local Guides in each city is sure to heighten your experience.
Superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Services of a professional Cruise Director
Onboard lectures, activities & nightly piano music
Sightseeing with Local Guides
Headsets for all guided shore excursions
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.