This splendid Central Europe river cruise introduces you to the magnificent Rhine, Main, and Moselle Rivers, as well as to the fascinating Main Danube Canal. Your vacation begins with two overnights, guided sightseeing, and a visit of the Hradcany Castle grounds in the “Golden City” of Prague. Also enjoy guided sightseeing in Bamberg, Würzburg, Miltenberg, and Trier. Visit the Bishop’s Residenz in Würzburg, Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in pretty Rüdesheim, and Reichsburg Castle above the little town of Cochem. Other highlights: attend a traditional baking demonstration, cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, and travel by high-speed train from Metz to Paris. Your vacation ends in Paris with two overnights and guided sightseeing of the major sights.
Day #1 Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic. Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.
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. Your Cruise Director will have other suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day #3 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 #4 Bamberg. A beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is medieval Bamberg. Your walking tour takes in the breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the River Regnitz, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Würzburg. Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP’S RESIDENZ is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Miltenberg. Located on the Main River, Miltenberg is a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall shown to you during your guided walk. This afternoon, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (B,L,D)
Day #7 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge–Koblenz. Pretty Rudesheim is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, 2,000-year-old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. The Deutsches Eck, located on a tongue of land where the two rivers converge, holds an impressive equestrian statue of Wilhelm I. The Moselle River is some 312-miles long, rising in the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France and entering Germany at Trier. The entire Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Cochem–Bernkastel. Visit REICHSBURG CASTLE, which sits atop a conical hill covered in vines. From here the views of the little town of Cochem nestled down below and of the river valley are splendid. Cruising the wide, peaceful curves of the river, it quickly becomes obvious that the Moselle is an important wine-growing region. Most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. Dock overnight in Bernkastel. (B,L,D)
Day #9 Trier–Remich, Luxembourg. The venerable Episcopal city of Trier is the oldest in Germany and, some claim, even older than Rome! The famous Porta Nigra is the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement and still gives access to the town center. This afternoon cruise to Remich in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. (B,L,D)
Day #10 Remich (Disembarkation)–Metz–Paris, France. Say goodbye to your crew after breakfast today and travel to Metz to board the HIGH-SPEED TRAIN for a swift and comfortable journey to Paris. (B)
Day #11 Paris. Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Madeleine, Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows. (B)
Day #12 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)