Discover the fascinating and scenic Danube with its charming small towns and exciting cities on this river cruise vacation. Begin with a guided sightseeing tour and a 2-night city stay in Vienna, the “City of Music,” for a more comprehensive experience. Savor Sachertorte in a local café, spend time in one of the many marvelous museums, window shop along the Kärntnerstrasse, or stroll along the historic streets. Then, board your ship and begin exploring the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Enjoy the serene atmosphere as you glide along the river, passing quaint villages and scenic beauty. Visit Melk’s impressive and breathtaking Benedictine Abbey, see Dürnstein’s baroque Stiftskirche, and enjoy guided sightseeing in Slovakia’s vibrant capital of Bratislava. Your journey concludes with two overnights in exciting Budapest, including guided sightseeing and time to explore on your own. Enjoy Hungarian cuisine, view the remnants of the Communist regime, explore its famous produce market—Central Market Hall, wander around the former Royal Palace grounds, explore its famous churches, or just sit back and relax. It’s all available on this grand vacation!
Day #1 Arrive in Vienna, Austria. Welcome to Vienna, Austria’s capital, which is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. The remainder of the day is yours to start exploring this elegant city.
Day #2 Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna has much to offer: the 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 included tour. You do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B)
Day #3 Vienna (Embarkation). Time today to do some window shopping along the Kärntnerstrasse and perhaps enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. This afternoon, transfer to your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day #4 Melk–Dürnstein. Today is dedicated to the beautiful and romantic Wachau Valley, where so much of the excellent Austrian wines are grown and produced. This morning, visit the impressive BENEDICTINE ABBEY of Melk, which towers over the town. Lounge on the Sky Deck with a glass of white wine while enjoying the scenery as you sail to Dürnstein, whose baroque blue and white Stiftskirche stands right on the river bank. Explore on your own or choose one of a variety of optional excursions your Cruise Director will propose. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Bratislava, Slovakia. Situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava is the dynamic capital of Slovakia. The charming Old Town with its Town Hall and Mirbach Palace as well as gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL should not be missed. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Budapest, Hungary (Disembarkation). 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 are among the many sights a Certified Local Guide will show you. This afternoon you can explore this vibrant city at your own pace. (B)
Day #7 Budapest. A free day to enjoy Hungary’s exciting capital. Shop for renowned peasant embroidery, Herend porcelain, and paprika. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for many things to do. (B)
Day #8 Budapest. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)