Board your cruise in Budapest. Tonight, you will meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Cocktail and Dinner.
This afternoon, arrive in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. You have your choice of two tours today. The first option is a walking tour of the city’s major sites, including the Old Town Hall, the stunning Mirbach Palace and gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. In the alternative, choose a “Communist History Tour” that includes architectural landmarks such as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and the Soviet War Memorial. Late tonight, the ship cruises to magnificent Vienna. (B,L,D)
This morning enjoy a guided tour of romantic Vienna that will include the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and the historic 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. In the alternative, join an optional tour this afternoon to the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, a famous example of baroque architecture. Tonight, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert. (B,L,D)
Early this morning reach the Wachau Valley for your walking tour of Dürnstein, known as one of the prettiest towns along the Danube. Marvel at the magnificent blue facade of the baroque Stiftskirche and see 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 also includes a wine tasting at a local vintner. This afternoon, you can enjoy a guided bike tour from Dürnstein to Melk (capacity controlled). The ship arrives in Melk late this afternoon, where you will tour the spectacular Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest baroque monasteries. Gaze at the famous library that inspired Umberto Eco while writing “The Name of the Rose.” Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore Melk, one of Europe’s great cultural heritage sites. (B,L,D)
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, where you will have the choice of two different excursions. The first choice is an optional excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart. The tour includes a visit to the Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg Cathedral, Mozart’s Square, and much more. In the alternative, remain on the ship and cruise through scenic Upper Austria to Passau. Located where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube, this 2,000-year-old city is noted for its Gothic and Italian baroque architecture. A walking tour of Passau will take you along the cobblestone streets of Old Town where you will see the city fortifications and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. (B,L,D)
In the early afternoon arrive in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have your choice of three different tours here. The first is 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. The next tour is an afternoon bike ride to Walhalla, where you will visit the Walhalla temple which honors distinguished Germans throughout history (capacity controlled). Your third choice is a trip to the Audi Factory in Ingolstadt, where a member of the Audi team will take you on a guided tour of the Audi Car Museum or Factory Floor (subject to availability). Known for its distinctive architecture, the museum features unique, high-tech exhibits on the history of the car, combined with a fascinating look back at the 20th century. The tour is capacity controlled. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a morning of scenic cruising through the Main-Danube Canal and relax during a leisurely cruise through the beautiful Altmühl Valley. This afternoon, you have a choice of two different excursions in Nuremberg, capital of Franconia. On one tour, you will explore the medieval history of Nuremberg, and see the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, the Imperial Castle and Old Town Hall. The other tour will focus on Nuremberg during World War II as the center of the Third Reich. Visit the infamous Zeppelin field used to hold rallies and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946 (when available). (B,L,D)
This morning, disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)