Arrive in Budapest and transfer to your luxurious river cruise ship. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Cocktail Reception followed by dinner. (D)
This morning, your sightseeing tour takes you to historic Buda Castle from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the River. Your tour also features the distinctive Fisherman's Bastion, the Royal Palace and St. Stephen's Basilica. (B,L,D)
Wake up this morning in Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic. Choose from a “Communist Tour” or a walking tour of the city's major sights, including the Old Town Hall, the stunning Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral. Later, there is time to explore on your own, before cruising this afternoon to Vienna. Perhaps, venture into the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, explore the vibrant capital on your own or enjoy an optional evening Mozart and Strauss concert. (B,L,D)
Your guided city tour is followed by free time in the city center, then a walking tour from St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Enjoy an optional excursion to the Schönbrunn Palace and the Carriage Museum. You will have free time to stroll along the main shopping street, Kärntnerstrasse, or sample some of Vienna's famous pastries. After dinner, enjoy a traditional Heuriger visit to a wine village near Vienna for some music and casual wine tasting. (B,L,D)
This morning you arrive in Dürnstein, where you will marvel at the magnificent blue façade of the baroque Stiftskirche. Above town you'll spot the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart, King of England, was imprisoned in 1192. Your walking tour through medieval cobblestone streets reveals 16th-century town houses and wine taverns. Your tour will also include a wine tasting at a local vintner. After lunch, you will cruise the Wachau Valley to Melk, location of the famous Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest baroque monasteries, which you will tour this afternoon. You may also choose a guided bicycle ride from Durnstein to Melk (capacity controlled). The ship moors overnight at Melk. (B,L,D)
This morning, the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. You will enjoy brunch on board, followed by a walking tour of this historic city. This afternoon we visit the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Austrian Lake District and the town of Gmunden, on the beautiful “Traunsee” Lake Traun. Here there is time to enjoy a scenic cruise across the lake. For the more adventurous, you can take a cable car ride up Grünberg Mountain for spectacular views over the lake. Those passengers not wishing to visit the Lake District can join an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov. This is a wonderfully preserved medieval town, nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. Also available is an optional excursion to Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and setting for the “Sound of Music". (B,L,D)
Early this morning, cruise through Upper Austria to Passau in Germany, where, the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. Your city tour takes you on an exploration of this fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. This afternoon, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, a charming 1200-year-old Bavarian town, on the confluence of the river Vils and the Danube. This afternoon, enjoy “Oktoberfest” in Vilshofen. Relax at long tables and benches, enjoy traditional beers accompanied by Bavarian folk music, song and dance. (B,L,D)
This morning disembark the ship, departing Vilshofen after breakfast for your return flight home.