Day 1 Nuremberg (Erlangen), Germany
Welcome to Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city. Transfer from the airport to your ship.* After boarding, you have free time to stretch your legs and explore the city a bit on your own. (D)
Note: The docking location at embarkation is at Am Hafen 17 in Erlangen, about 10 miles from Nuremberg Airport and 14 miles from the Nuremberg train station.
Day 2 Main–Danube Canal & Nuremberg, Germany
Your morning tour of Nuremberg includes the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. You have a brief stop at the main courthouse before walking from the imperial palace grounds, past the Albrecht Dürer House and on to the Main Market Square of Old Town, enclosed within ancient city walls.
After lunch aboard your ship, join a lively and entertaining discussion of the European Union as you sail through the locks that comprise the Main–Danube Canal. An engineering marvel, the canal stretches 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube, enabling river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Dinner is served aboard while we cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Regensburg, Germany
This morning, meet your guide dockside for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Take time to stroll the streets or to shop. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time.
This afternoon, spend more time in Regensburg, perhaps visiting Germany’s oldest restaurant, the Alte Würstküche. Or, choose an optional excursion to Kelheim at the southernmost point of the Main–Danube Canal. Travel by road to Kelheim, then cast off on a ferryboat ride to explore the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey*, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Rejoin your ship for dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Passau, Germany
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You’ll see the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Krems & Vienna, Austria
This morning, cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste some local Austrian specialties as you spot attractive riverside towns and castle ruins along the way. After lunch, explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate. Visit Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. The splendid ceiling fresco in the imperial stairwell is one of the largest in the world. Visit the church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship and continue cruising through the splendid Wachau Valley. Arrive in Vienna after dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening, or you may choose to attend an optional concert in the “City of Waltzes.” (B, L, D)
Day 6 Vienna, Austria
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the “Versailles of Vienna,” erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world’s oldest zoo and Roman ruins. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Walk up the hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church; enjoy brilliant views of the city below. Return to your ship for lunch and the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Budapest, Hungary
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Budapest, giving yourself more time to explore the bustling Hungarian capital. (B)
During this 8-day journey, encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital, traditional, hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest. Witness Vienna’s imperial architecture and tour medieval towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Savor the tastes of authentic dishes, learn about local legends and understand why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his waltz.
8-day cruise with river-view stateroom
6 guided tours with audio headset
All meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner
Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Culture Curriculum: Enjoy musical entertainment highlighting Austrian & Hungarian classics; attend lectures on the European Union, Viennese coffee houses and Mozart; learn how to make your own apple strudel
All port charges
Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
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.