From the splendor of Prague to the Gypsy violins of Budapest, you’ll treasure every moment of this memorable Danube River cruise. Enjoy three nights in Prague with guided sightseeing as well as time to explore this marvelous city on your own. Discover the Hradcany Castle grounds, wander through Prague’s Jewish Quarter, shop for hand-cut crystal, savor authentic Czech dumplings, stand in Wenceslaus square where protestors demonstrated against Communism, or visit one of the many churches. Then drive to Nuremberg and set sail for medieval Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest, with guided sightseeing in each city. Sail through the fascinating Main Danube Canal and witness the scenic beauty as you cruise past quaint towns. Attend a beer tasting, tour Melk’s splendid Benedictine Abbey, and experience the music, art, culture, and historical sights in romantic Vienna—a memorable vacation!
Day #1 Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic. Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires and pinnacles highlighting its skyline. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring.
Day #2 Prague. Prague is a 1,000-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles Bridge. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square or stroll along the Vltava River. (B)
Day #3 Prague. A free day for you to explore the city at your own pace. Your Cruise Director will have other suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day #4 Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation). After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day #5 Nuremberg. Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses. Nuremberg’s traditions include its famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Regensburg. Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights included on your tour are the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)
Day #7 Passau–Linz, Austria. Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, 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. An optional full-day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular Sound of Music sights. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Melk–Vienna. Melk’s magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! This evening, arrive in Vienna, known as the “City of Music,” which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (B,L,D)
Day #9 Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s capital has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your city tour. You do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. (B,L,D)
Day #10 Budapest, Hungary. Budapest, spanning the banks of the Danube, is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Eight bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with Fishermen’s Bastion and the Matthias Church is among the many sights your Certified Local Guide will show you. Shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain, and paprika. (B,L,D)
Day #11 Budapest (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)