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16 Day France with Danube River Cruise

16 days with Gate 1  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for France
Depart for France.

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Paris
Arrive in Paris, the City of Lights. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and enjoy the endless delights of Paris. In the early evening, join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink and orientation on the wonderful journey that awaits you in France.


DAY 3, Monday - Chartres, Chambord, Wine tasting, Loire Valley
After breakfast, begin your tour with a visit to Chartres, home to the greatest Gothic cathedral in France. Originally built in 1020, the cathedral contains the sacred Veil of the Virgin relic and a world-renowned collection of stained glass windows. Depart Chartres and travel to the Chateau de Chambord, the largest residence in the Loire Valley. Chambord was built for Francois I in the 16th Century by 1,800 men and master masons. After a photo stop, continue for a wine tasting before heading to the hotel in Tours. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 4, Tuesday - Loire Valley
Spend the full day in the Loire Valley exploring the nearby sights. Travel to the magnificent Chateau de Chenonceau. Stretching across the river Cher, the chateau boasts a 197 foot gallery, built over a series of arches. Take some time to explore the extravagantly furnished rooms and formal gardens, added by the mistress of Henry II, Diane de Poitiers. Also visit the Royal Chateau d'Amboise for a guided tour. The castle is most closely associated with King Francois I who introduced the Renaissance to France, and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court. The artist is buried in the chapel. Return to Tours in the early evening. (
Breakfast)

DAY 5, Wednesday - Mont St. Michel, Normandy
Depart northwards today to the iconic Mont St. Michel, rising from the sea on a mighty rock. Cross the causeway by shuttle and browse the narrow streets and admire the views of the surrounding bay, with time for lunch on your own in this charming town. One of France's most recognizable landmarks, the fortified town is crowned by the mighty 10th century Abbey. Continue to your hotel in the afternoon. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 6, Thursday - Bayeux Tapestry, Normandy Landing Beaches
Spend the full day in Normandy exploring the sights and sandy beaches. Begin by stepping back in time to a historical battle, and see the intricate Tapestry, woven to commemorate the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. Then turn your attention to World War II and the D-Day invasion, a day that is remembered for true bravery and sacrifice and the beginning of the liberation of France. Visit St. Mere Eglise on Utah beach along the east coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, where the allied invasion began on June 6, 1944 - D-Day. Make a stop at the Ranger Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Continue east to visit Omaha beach and the site of the Normandy American Cemetery and memorial. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 American soldiers. Return to your hotel in the early evening. (
Breakfast)

DAY 7, Friday - Giverny, Paris
This morning, depart for Paris. On the way, stop in Giverny and visit the former house of Claude Monet. Explore the famous gardens which inspired many of Monet's paintings. On arrival in Paris, join your fellow travelers for dinner in a French Bistro. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 8, Saturday - Paris City Tour
This morning, enjoy a guided city tour of Paris, including a drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. View the Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Napoleon's Tomb, the Latin Quarter, and the lively Opera district. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure or join the optional tour to magnificent Versailles to witness the grandeur of French classical architecture on the visit to the Palace and extravagant State Apartments. (Breakfast)

Optional: Versailles Apartments (PM)


DAY 9, Sunday - Depart France, Fly to Budapest and Embark Cruise
Bid farewell to your tour manager in France and transfer to the Paris airport for your flight to Hungary. Arrive in Budapest and transfer to the port. After arrival formalities, meet your Gate 1 cruise directors and relax on board. Tonight, a gala Welcome Dinner sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. The ship will set sail at 10 pm. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 10, Monday - Bratislava City Tour
This morning, enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat sails along the scenic Danube. In the late afternoon, arrive in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, a mix of modern and Baroque architecture. This capital city is among the youngest in Europe, yet retains a rich history dating back more than 2000 years. Walk along the cobblestone lanes of the historic town center; view St. Martin's Cathedral, coronation site of the Kings of Hungary, the 13th century Old Town Hall and the Franciscan church. Time to explore this colorful city on your own before returning to the ship for dinner. This evening, the ship will set sail just before midnight. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11, Tuesday - Vienna City Tour
Your morning tour of romantic Vienna introduces you to this Imperial city with its legendary opulence and elegance. Drive along the famed Ringstrasse, Vienna's main boulevard lined with magnificent Baroque palaces, parks and monuments. View the lavish Hofburg Palace, and the impressive Vienna Opera House. Continue to majestic St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Parliament building. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, or, join the optional tour to the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, once summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Visit the gorgeous baroque apartments and stroll through the world-famous manicured gardens. Tonight, perhaps take the opportunity to attend an evening of Viennese culture in the "City of Music" at an optional concert performance of the classical masterpieces of Mozart and Strauss, two of Vienna's most famous citizens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Schonbrunn Palace Tour (PM)
Optional: Classical Viennese Concert (PM)


DAY 12, Wednesday - Melk Abbey
This morning, arrive in the Bavarian village of Durnstein, one of the prettiest towns on the Danube. Free time to stroll this quintessential village in the heart of the Wachau wine district. Walk along medieval cobblestone streets revealing 16th century town houses and wine taverns. Continue cruising late this morning and relax on board as the boat cruises through the scenic Wachau Valley, with lovely storybook views of vineyards, castles, hilltop ruins and monasteries. Later, disembark in Melk for a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. View the Abbot's chambers, the Kaiser's walk and the lavish library. The ship will set sail as you dine on board this evening. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13, Thursday - Full Day in Linz
Early this morning cruise into Linz. Founded by the Romans, Linz has cultivated a strong artistic tradition, especially in the field of music. Today is free to explore the city independently, taking in such sites as St. Mary's Cathedral and Linz Castle, or just relaxing at a café sampling the famous Linzer torte which was named after this quaint city. Alternatively, join the optional full day excursion to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Travel through the picturesque landscape of Southern Bohemia to Cesky Krumlov, a fairy-tale town with its maze of narrow cobbled streets. Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1992, Cesky Krumlov has earned an international reputation for its State Castle and Chateau, one of the largest in Central Europe, superbly furnished with priceless art, tapestries and richly decorated weapons. The guided walk through town is highlighted by Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance houses once mansions of noblemen families. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)


Optional: Full Day Tour of Cesky Krumlov

DAY 14, Friday - Full Day in Passau
Today presents a wonderful opportunity to join the optional full day tour to beautiful Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. The walking tour will include some of Salzburg's most historic sites including the Mirabell Palace, the Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral, and St. Peter's Cemetery. After lunch at a local restaurant, there will be time to discover Salzburg on your own before returning to the ship. If you choose to remain on board, the day is free to explore the 2500-year-old Passau. Well known for its pastel patrician houses, cafes, cobblestone lanes and riverfront promenade, Passau is a Bavarian town with a mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and Gothic architecture. In the early evening, all passengers will rejoin the ship and set sail for Regensburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Tour of Salzburg


DAY 15, Saturday - Regensburg City Tour
Arrive in Regensburg this morning, one of Germany's largest and best preserved medieval cities designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The guided walking tour highlights the city's stunning architecture as you view the Old Town Hall, the Dom St. Peter, and the Porta Praetoria, gateway to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Marvel at beautiful churches and one of the oldest stone bridges crossing the Danube. Return to the boat or spend the afternoon at leisure discovering the delights of Regensburg on your own. The ship will remain docked in port this evening as you enjoy your final night on board. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 16, Sunday - Depart Germany
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. The Munich airport is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the port. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am. (
Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • View the Cathedral in Chartres, the finest architectural example of High Gothic style
  • Visit the fairy-tale Chateau de Chenonceau, stretching across the river Cher
  • Stop in Amboise and tour the Royal Chateau of Amboise
  • Cross the causeway to the magnificent Mont St. Michel, built on an isolated island
  • View the immense Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman conquest of England
  • Commemorate the D-Day invasion with a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery
  • Tour Claude Monet's home in Giverny
  • Drive along the Champs Elysees to to the Arc de Triomphe and continuing to the iconic Eiffel Tower
  • During the Bratislava City Tour, see St. Martin's Cathedral, Old Town Hall and the Franciscan Church
  • Enjoy a city tour of Vienna and view Hofburg Palace, Vienna Opera House and St. Stephen's Cathedral
  • Visit the historic Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture
All This Included
  • Intra-flight: Paris-Budapest
  • 14 nights accommodations
  • River port charges of $190 per person
  • Cruise & hotel porterage
  • 30 meals: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 10 dinners with wine
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Captain's Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
  • Unlimited wine and beer with dinners
  • Locally inspired recipes
  • Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
  • Complimentary bottled water replenished daily in your stateroom
  • Late night snack
  • Complimentary basic Wi-Fi access
  • Self-serve coffee and tea station
  • Lounge serving premium spirits
  • Daily entertainment including an on-board musician
  • Fitness center
  • Non-smoking ship interior
  • Cruise Director & Tour Managers throughout
  • Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English by licensed guides
Accommodations on this Tour
Paris: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel
Tours: Oceania L'Univers Tours
Caen: Best Western Hotel Moderne Caen
Bayeux: Novotel Bayeux
Paris: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Monarch Empress
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • Passengers returning from Munich on Day 16 should select flights that depart no earlier than 11:00 am. The Munich airport is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the Regensburg port.
  • Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. The Monarch Empress is equipped with elevator access between the Empress and Countess decks, however passengers will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes while touring.
  • European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
  • This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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