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Visit castle ruins in the German countryside

Grand European Tour: Amsterdam to Budapest

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Viking River Cruises
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Embark on your ship in Budapest and discover the Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Sample the food and wine of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud. Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe and three of its rivers. This iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary, with engaging encounters at every bend.

*This itinerary runs departures aboard multiple sister-ships. Contact us for more details.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Amsterdam, Netherlands | Embark
Day 2 : Kinderdijk, Netherlands
Day 3 : Cologne, Germany
Day 4 : Koblenz, Germany
Day 5 : Miltenberg, Germany
Day 6 : Würzburg, Germany
Day 7 : Bamberg, Germany
Day 8 : Nuremberg, Germany
Day 9 : Regensburg, Germany
Day 10 : Passau, Germany
Day 11 : Melk, Austria
Days 12-13 : Vienna, Austria
Day 14 : Budapest, Hungary
Day 15 : Budapest, Hungary | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore magnificent Marksburg Castle at Koblenz
  • Visit the Bishops’ Residenz at Wurzburg
  • View the Alte Würstküche, Germany’s oldest restaurant

Ship

Viking River Cruises

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Explore Cologne Stroll through the romantic streets of Amsterdam Morning light in Budapest Explore historic Bamberg Explore the unique architecture of Bamberg Visit castle ruins in the German countryside

Day 1 Amsterdam, Netherlands | Embark

Arrive in Amsterdam. After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the Van Gogh Museum next door.

Day 2 Kinderdijk, Netherlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, and enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return on board for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. Cruise through the night.

The Kinderdijk Windmills excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Kinderdijk Windmills by Bicycle, Kinderdijk by Vintage Barge, Kinderdijk Windmills & Dutch Cheese Making.

Day 3 Cologne, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day with a morning tour of Cologne, Germany’s fourth-largest city. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin’s Church and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the free time enjoying Cologne’s atmospheric waterfront, or perhaps join an optional excursion on which you ascend to the Dom’s roof for up-close views of the cathedral’s architecture and bird’s-eye vistas of Cologne. Afterward, return on board for dinner. Alternately, you may set off on an optional excursion to explore Cologne’s spirited beer culture, sampling Kölsch, a light, crisp beer brewed only in Cologne, and enjoying a brauhaus dinner. After, return to the ship for a late-evening departure.

The Cologne Walking Tour is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Cologne by Bicycle, Bruhl UNESCO Palaces, Top of Cologne, Cologne's Beer Culture & Dinner.

Day 4 Koblenz, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping in Koblenz to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. After the tour, continue cruising this stunning stretch of the Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point and is named after the legendary Rhine maiden who lured sailors to their demise. Lunch and dinner are served on board your ship.

The Marksburg Castle excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz Walking Tour.

Day 5 Miltenberg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The morning is spent sailing along the beautiful Main River as it winds its way through the Spessart region, home of the actual Snow White. During the sail, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the region’s glassblowing traditions during a live demonstration. After lunch, stop in Miltenberg, known for its half-timbered houses and Germany’s oldest inn. Join the walking tour that concludes with free time for you to explore. Sail through the night.

The Miltenberg Walking Tour excursion is included.

Day 6 Würzburg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, instead, join an optional full-day journey along Germany’s picturesque “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, with its turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Upon returning to Würzburg, enjoy a tour of the Bishops’ Residenz before rejoining the ship for dinner. 

The Würzburg Residenz & Walk excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Hike the Würzburg Hills.

Day 7 Bamberg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue along the Main–Danube Canal this morning, arriving in Bamberg in early afternoon. Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning on board. 

The Bamberg Walking Tour is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Franconian Countryside.

Day 8 Nuremberg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, disembark in Nuremberg and visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s; then see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. Alternatively, you may take an optional World War II tour that includes the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. After lunch, spend free time exploring Nuremberg’s Old Town. Or, join an optional tour to discover the secret network of underground bunkers where priceless art was hidden in wartime. Depart just before dinner.

The Nuremberg Through History is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Nuremberg & World War II, Surviving the War: Art in Nuremberg, Faber-Castell Factory & Museum.

Day 9 Regensburg, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Regensburg midday. After lunch, tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Würstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Alternately, you may choose to disembark this morning and drive with your guide to Munich for an optional full-day tour of this cultural and historic city, rejoining your ship in time to enjoy dinner on board before the evening departure. 

The Regensburg Through History excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Munich Highlights.

Day 10 Passau, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. View the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ*, considered Europe’s largest church organ. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. Alternately, set out this morning with your guide to enjoy a full-day optional tour of picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. Cruise through the night.

The Passau Walking Tour & Organ Concert is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Salzburg Highlights, Bavarian Cruise & Baroque Town Of Schärding, Bavaria by E-Bike, Hite the Passau Hills, Fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle By Plane, Flightseeing over Passau.

*Passau organ concert is available May 1 -October 31 only and is closed on Sundays.

Day 11 Melk, Austria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin the ship; cruise through the spectacular Wachau Valley this afternoon. Before dinner, you have time to explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate, or take an optional excursion to a local winery to sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing region. 

The Melk Abbey excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Göttweig Abbey & Dinner, Wachau Valley Winery.

Day 12-13 Vienna, Austria

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Today tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to the ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, the Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or, you may choose to join an optional excursion. Perhaps visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the “Versailles of Vienna,” or go behind the scenes at the Spanish Riding School to see its famed Lipizzaner stallions. This evening, you might enjoy an optional classical concert or celebrate the bottling of this year’s wine vintage among the locals at a high-spirited optional Heurigen dinner. 

The following day, enjoy a day at leisure in Vienna. Perhaps see an unrivaled collection of Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts, or visit the Albertina. Maybe ride the Riesenrad, the world’s oldest Ferris wheel. Alternatively, you may join an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the “Versailles of Vienna,” or enjoy a Viennese waltz lesson as well as visiting the palace during a full-day optional excursion. A cup of coffee or tea and a slice of exquisite Sachertorte are a must for any afternoon in Vienna. Later, rejoin your ship and sail for Budapest.

The Panoramic Vienna excursion is included. Optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Schönbrunn Palace, Klimt & Viennese Gold Workshop, Schönbrunn Palace & Vienna Boys’ Choir, Behind the Scenes at the Lipizzaner Stallions, Historic Framer's Market Visit with Viking Chef, Behind The Scenes At The Vienna Boys’ Choir, Mozart & Strauss Concert.

Day 14 Budapest, Hungary

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Danube River divides Hungary’s capital city into the once separate towns of Buda and Pest. Explore both sides, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Alternately, choose one the optional excursions designed to allow you to delve deeper into the history, culture and cuisine of this fascinating city. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner.

The Panoramic Budapest excursion is included. Optional excursions are available for an additional charge: Budapest Castle Hill City Hike, Hungarian Horseman, Life Behind the Iron Curtain, Hungarian Icons, Dohány Street Synagogue & Jewish Budapest, Grand Market: Taste of Hungary, Budapest Thermal Bath and Budapest by Bike. 

Day 15 Budapest, Hungary | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark in beautiful Budapest. 

Viking River Cruises

Deals

Flexible New Booking Policy
For new bookings made before April 30, 2020, travelers have the option to postpone travel dates up until 24-hours prior to departure, with no rebooking fees. A travel credit, valid for 24 months, will be issued to use toward a future voyage. Contact us for more details. Some restrictions may apply.
Applies to all existing 2020 departures

Per person starting at
$4,399
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Standard Stateroom (F)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
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Standard Stateroom (E)
150 sq ft, river-view with half-height picture window. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
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French Balcony Stateroom (D)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
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French Balcony Stateroom (C)
135 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door with French balcony. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Veranda Stateroom (B)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
Select a Date
Veranda Stateroom (A)
205 sq ft, river-view with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door & full-size veranda. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Veranda Suite (AA)
275 sq ft, river-view with full-size veranda off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.
Viking Ship
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Explorer Suite (ES)
445 sq ft, river-view with private wraparound balcony off separate sitting room & French balcony off sleeping quarters. Hotel-style bed with optional twin-bed configuration; luxury linens & pillows. Flat-screen TV with infotainment system, outlets & USB ports. Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control. Private bathroom with heated floor and premium toiletries.

Notes

*This itinerary runs departures aboard multiple sister-ships. Contact us for more details.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Port taxes & fees
Cruise Fares Exclude:
  • ​Airfare
  • Gratuities onboard or on land
  • Travel protection plan, trip cancellation or travel health insurance
  • Optional shore excursions/ tours/concerts
  • Excess baggage charges 
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package are additional costs to the passenger
*Shore excursions vary by departure and are subject to change.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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