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23 Day Italy & Danube River Cruise

23 days with Gate 1  Rating: Deluxe

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

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Milan, Transfer Independently to Como
Arrive in the town of Como, home to exquisite Lago di Como, one of Italy's most romantic destinations. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Tonight, a briefing with your Tour Manager about the wonderful journey that awaits you in Italy, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers at a local restaurant. (
Dinner)

DAY 3, Monday - Cross Lake Como to the village of Bellagio
Today, a scenic morning cruise on Lake Como to the charming village of Bellagio, termed one of the most beautiful towns in Italy and "The Pearl" of Lake Como. Nestled amidst cypress groves, its earthy-colored buildings climb up from the lakeside promenade. Wander along the narrow streets and alleyways, lined with craft shops, boutiques and cafes. Or, visit some of the gorgeous gardens with manicured lawns and fountains at Villa Melzi or Villa Serbelloni. Sail back to Como in the afternoon with time to experience the delights of this lakeside town with its spectacular mountain views, wonderful restaurants, and boutiques. (
Breakfast)

DAY 4, Tuesday - Verona Walking Tour, Travel to Venice
After breakfast, set out for Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the richest cities in Roman remains. Enjoy a guided orientation tour of the city followed by free time to savor the atmosphere here. Continue to Venice for dinner and overnight. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 5, Wednesday - Boat Ride to Murano, Tour of Venice
The discovery of Venice begins with a boat ride to the Island of Murano, known for its artistic and colorful Murano glassware. Afterwards, continue to St. Mark's Square where the guided walking tour of this romantic city begins. View the Golden Basilica of San Marco, built over several centuries in a fusion of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian architecture. Walk via the Bridge of Sighs, created at the beginning of the 17th century to serve as a link between prisons. Then, to the pink marble Doge's Palace, official residence of the Venetian ruler; its facade is highlighted by a massive late-Gothic gate, known as the Porta della Carta. The rest of the day is yours to explore Venice independently. Or, participate in this afternoon's optional Gondola Ride with music - it's definitely one of the highlights of any Italian holiday! (Breakfast)

Optional: Gondola Ride with Music (PM)


DAY 6, Thursday - Tour Lucca en route to Montecatini
Magnificent panoramas are waiting for you today as you travel through the rolling Tuscan countryside dotted with olive and fig trees to Lucca, a jewel of medieval architecture, with its massive 17th century walls that completely surround the city. Walk along the winding streets of the original Roman grid revealing layers of history at every turn. Arrive at the Church of San Michele adorned by its beautiful piazza, occupying the site of the ancient Roman Forum. Then, on to Montecatini, the spa center of Italy, known for its world-famous thermal baths. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 7, Friday - Spectacular Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Coast
The drive today takes you to spectacular Cinque Terre, (Five Lands) with the most dramatic scenery on the Ligurian coast, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These enchanting five villages are nestled into the cliffs overlooking the sea, surrounded by vineyards that produce some of Liguria's most celebrated wines. Look for the 19th century railway that transports villagers from place to place as cars were banned over a decade ago. It's a photographer's dream! Return to Montecatini for an evening of fine Tuscan cuisine. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 8, Saturday - Full Day in Montecatini
Explore Montecatini on your own today, or join the not-to-be-missed full day optional tour to Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Upon arrival, walk to the magnificent Duomo celebrated for its magnificent dome designed by Brunelleschi, and view the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti. Continue to the Accademia of Fine Arts, where Michelangelo's David is housed; stand in awe of this glorious work of art. From here, walk through the open-air museum at Signoria Square, ending at the splendid Ponte Vecchio, also known as the "Old Bridge". Return to Montecatini for the rest of the day at leisure. (Breakfast)

Optional: Full Day Florence from Montecatini (AM)


DAY 9, Sunday - Dinner at a Tuscan Vineyard
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Montecatini, or participate in the optional tour to the lovely medieval city of Siena that sits over three hills. The heart of the city is Il Campo, the huge central plaza where the Roman forum used to be, site of the famous Horserace of Palio. After a tour of Campo Square and St. Dominic's Church, return to Montecatini. In the late afternoon, a very special experience as you drive through the lush countryside to a Tuscan farm. Here, you'll tour the vineyards and then settle in for a rustic Tuscan Paesana dinner that includes local wines along with olive oil tastings. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Siena Tour (AM)


DAY 10, Monday - Travel to Sorrento
Depart Montecatini, driving south to the charming coastal town of Sorrento. Along the way, stop for lunch in the hills of Lazio, a region of central Italy bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea. Then, on to Sorrento, where you are welcomed by the spectacular panoramic views and by the sapphire blue waters of the Gulf of Naples. Tonight, a lovely dinner together highlights your arrival in Sorrento. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11, Tuesday - Full Day in Sorrento
A day at leisure in picturesque Sorrento, strikingly beautiful with its seaside setting and soaring cliffs plunging into the sea. As you stroll along the coastal road and through the charming town, you'll understand why this town has long been loved by poets and artists. Don't miss the optional full day tour to the enchanting and picturesque Isle of Capri by boat - it will be a highlight! Here, you'll walk through the narrow lanes of Anacapri, with its chic boutiques and shops offering tastings of the island's famous Limoncello. Then, to La Piazzetta (Piazza Umberto I) where everyone gathers to socialize and to the Gardens of Augustus, towards the top of the island, a natural paradise, from where you can see splendid views of the sea and the famous Faraglioni rock formations, one of the island's natural wonders. After a lovely day in Capri, return to Sorrento and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. (Breakfast)

Optional: Full Day Capri Tour (AM)


DAY 12, Wednesday - The Gorgeous Amalfi Drive
A fantastic day as you drive along the rugged Amalfi coast, undoubtedly one of the most spectacular drives in the world, with its dramatic landscapes and amazing panoramas. Nestled into mountains which rise thousands of feet above the sea, you'll see enchanting villages, cliffs terraced with lemon groves, whitewashed villas and sparkling turquoise seas. Drive via Positano, the coast's most expensive town, and enjoy time at leisure in Amalfi, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Sorrento in time for dinner. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 13, Thursday - Visit Pompeii en route to Rome
Depart Sorrento and head towards Rome. On the way, stop in Pompeii the city that was frozen in time under a thick carpet of volcanic ash almost 2,000 years ago. The tragic fossils of people attempting to escape, along with their children and dogs are still visible, along with the preserved ruins of the Temples of Apollo and Jupiter, and the Forum. Continue north, passing the magnificent Abbey of Monte Cassino, perched high on the mountaintop, scene of a huge battle near the end of World War II in which the abbey was completely destroyed, but has now been lovingly restored. Then, onto Rome, the astonishing city that combines modern city life with ancient wonders. (
Breakfast)

DAY 14, Friday - Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Today visit the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Stroll through one of the most important art collections of the world. Admire the Gallery of Tapestries and the Geographical Maps before arriving to the Sistine Chapel, with its great frescoes by Michelangelo. Continue to St. Peter's Square, passing Bernini's famous colonnade to view St. Peter's Basilica,* built on the burial site of Saint Peter, with the most famous Michelangelo's Pieta. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or, join the optional walking tour of the Eternal City's grand piazzas that includes the Spanish Steps, the legendary Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the baroque Piazza Navona. Tonight, an optional dinner in a typical Roman restaurant with wine and music, then enjoy an illuminated tour of the city. (Breakfast)

Optional: Piazzas of Rome (PM)
Optional: Dinner with Musical Entertainment & Illuminated Drive (PM)


DAY 15, Saturday - Tour Ancient Rome
The historic tour of ancient Rome begins at the legendary Roman Forum, the central area of the city from which ancient Rome developed. Next, view the triumphal Arch of Constantine, erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine's tenth year of leadership over the Eternal City. On to the mighty Colosseum, the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire that seated over 50,000, where gladiator contests and public events were attended by the rich, the poor and by the Emperor himself. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for a Farewell Cocktail at the hotel. (
Breakfast)

DAY 16, Sunday - Depart Italy, Fly to Munich and Transfer to Regensburg for Cruise Embarkation
Bid farewell to your tour manager in Italy and transfer to the Rome airport for your flight to Munich. Arrive in Munich and transfer to the port in Regensburg. The optional group transfer (not included in the price shown above) will operate at approximately 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. The port is a 1.5 hour drive from the Munich airport. Embarkation begins at 3 pm. 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. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 17, Monday - Regensburg City Tour
This morning, explore Regensburg, 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, 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 for lunch or spend the afternoon at leisure discovering the delights of Regensburg on your own. At 3:00 pm, the ship will set sail for Passau. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 18, Tuesday - Morning in Passau
Dock this morning in 2500-year-old Passau, 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. Explore Passau independently in the morning, or, join the optional full day tour to picturesque 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 the boat, continue sailing during lunch and relax on board this afternoon. In the early evening, all passengers will rejoin the ship and continue sailing for Melk. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Tour of Salzburg


DAY 19, Wednesday - Melk Abbey
Disembark in Melk this morning 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. Then, return to the ship and continue cruising through the scenic Wachau Valley on the way to Vienna, the Imperial city legendary for its opulence and elegance. 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: Classical Viennese Concert (PM)


DAY 20, Thursday - Vienna City Tour
This sparkling city on the Danube has captivated travelers for years with its elegant shops, world-class museums, and beautiful gardens. 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 a cafes sampling the famous Viennese Sacher Torte, or, join the optional afternoon tour to the Imperial Schonbrunn Palace, once summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Visit the opulent baroque apartments and stroll through the world-famous manicured gardens. Set sail for Bratislava this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Schonbrunn Palace Tour (PM)


DAY 21, Friday - Bratislava City Tour
This morning, enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat sails along the scenic Danube. At noon, 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 as you sail for stunning Budapest. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 22, Saturday - Budapest City Tour
Your morning tour begins on the Pest side of the river, view the Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, enjoy a lavish Captain's Dinner on board. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 23, Sunday - Depart Hungary
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am. (
Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Discover the beautiful village of Bellagio, "The Pearl" of Lake Como
  • Walking tour of Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the pink marble Doge's Palace in Venice
  • Walking Tour in the walled city of Lucca, a jewel of medieval architecture
  • Stay in Montecatini Terme, the spa center of Italy
  • Visit spectacular Cinque Terre, with the most dramatic scenery on the Ligurian coast
  • Enjoy a rustic Tuscan Paesana Dinner with wine and olive-tasting
  • Experience one of the world's most spectacular drives along the Amalfi coast
  • Travel past the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius to Pompeii, the city frozen in time
  • Tour of the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's incomparable Sistine Chapel
  • Historic tour of Ancient Rome including the Roman Forum and the Colosseum
  • Visit the historic Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture
  • Enjoy a city tour of Vienna and view Hofburg Palace, Vienna Opera House and St. Stephen's Cathedral
  • During your Budapest City Tour, see the Parliament, Heroes Square, Royal Palace and Matthias Church
All This Included
  • Intra-flight: Rome-Munich
  • 21 nights First Class accommodations
  • River port charges of $190 per person
  • Italian city hotel taxes
  • Cruise & hotel porterage
  • 42 meals: 21 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 14 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
Como: Hotel Metropole Suisse
Venice: Hotel Carlton & Grand Canal
Montecatini: Grand Hotel Plaza
Sorrento: Grand Hotel Vesuvio
Rome: Massimo D'Azeglio
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Monarch Empress
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • *Due to Religious events, the opening times of St. Peter Basilica are subject to change without notice. In these cases, you will visit the Vatican Library instead of the Basilica.
  • 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. 
  • Some departures are operated with more than one coach. Hotels of similar standard may be substituted.
  • 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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