Arrive in Budapest and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or begin exploring this beautiful city.
Your morning excursion includes sightseeing in Buda and Pest. From historic Buda Castle, enjoy a spectacular view of the twin cities spread over both banks of the river. Your tour also features the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the massive Heroes’ Square and more.
After checking out of your hotel in Budapest, you will have your choice of a free morning to explore Budapest on your own or join an optional excursion to Puszta, the great Hungarian Plain which stretches across eastern Hungary. This excursion includes a savory traditional lunch with delicious Hungarian goulash. Tonight, meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Bratislava.
This afternoon, arrive in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. You have your choice of two tours today: a walking tour of the city’s major sites, including the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral; or a “Communist History” tour that includes architectural landmarks such as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and the Soviet War Memorial. Spend the evening in Bratislava before the ship cruises to magnificent Vienna later tonight.
This morning enjoy a guided tour of romantic Vienna that will include the majestic Opera House, the Ringstrasse and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The afternoon is free to stroll along the Kärtnerstrasse or sample some of Vienna’s famous pastries in the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join an optional tour this afternoon to the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, a glorious example of Baroque architecture. Tonight, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert.
Reach the Wachau Valley early this morning for your walking tour of Dürnstein, one of the prettiest towns along the Danube, filled with cobblestone streets, 16th-century town houses and wine taverns. Marvel at the magnificent blue facade of the Baroque Stiftskirche and see the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, was held for ransom in 1192. This afternoon, you can enjoy a guided bike tour from Dürnstein to Melk (capacity controlled) or relax onboard as you cruise the beautiful Wachau Valley. Your ship arrives in Melk late this afternoon, where you will tour the spectacular Benedictine Abbey that inspired the novel The Name of the Rose. Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore Melk, one of Europe’s great cultural heritage sites.
After breakfast, take an optional full-day excursion to fascinating Salzburg and the Sound of Music sights, or cruise through Upper Austria to Passau in Germany. In Passau the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. During your walking tour, gaze at this fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 ago.
In the afternoon the ship arrives in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have your choice of three tours: a guided walking tour, in which you will see the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 A.D.; an afternoon bike ride to the Walhalla Temple, which honors distinguished Germans throughout history (capacity controlled); or a trip to the Audi Factory in Ingolstadt, where you will take a guided tour of the Audi Car Museum or production line (subject to availability, capacity controlled).
Enjoy a scenic morning as the ship crosses the Continental Divide via the Main-Danube Canal and leisurely cruises through the beautiful Altmühl Valley. This afternoon, you have a choice of two excursions in Nuremberg: a “Medieval History” tour that will show you the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, the Imperial Castle and Old Town Hall; or a “WWII Tour” that focuses on the city’s role during the Third Reich. You will visit the infamous Zeppelin field Hitler used to hold Nazi rallies and the Justice Palace courtroom where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946 (when available). The ship moors in Nuremberg overnight.
This morning, depart Nuremberg after breakfast and drive through the pastoral countryside to Karlovy Vary, better known by its German name, Carlsbad, and most famous for its Bohemian spa. After lunch, continue to Prague and check into the hotel.
Your morning’s sightseeing tour reveals why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with a historic city center that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the 1,000 year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps to visit Wenceslas Square or enjoy yourself in one of the city’s many charming cafes. This evening, an optional “Folklore Dinner Show” provides an opportunity to learn about Czech music, dance and traditions
Spend a day at your leisure. Stroll through a museum or gallery, wander along the banks of the Vltava River, relax at an outdoor café, or shop for local handicrafts. This afternoon, participate in an optional excursion to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp that is now a memorial to those who perished, or an optional excursion to Lobkowicz Palace.
Bid farewell to Prague and prepare for your homeward flight.