Celebrate the beauty and history of the Danube, Europe's second-largest river. Visit charming towns while journeying across the Continental Divide, then cruise along Austria's Wachau wine region. Visit three grand old capitals: magnificent Vienna, charming Bratislava, and vibrant Budapest. Continue to Croatia and Serbia and sail through the Iron Gates, a narrow passage dividing the Balkan mountains from the Carpathian mountains. End your grand European river cruise by sailing along the Romanian/Bulgarian border, including several days to explore historical Prague and Bucharest before and after the cruise.
Explore historic Prague, including Prague Castle and the city center
Join an Oktoberfest festival in Vilshofen, with traditional Bavarian beer
Enjoy optional excursions, such as hikes and guided bike tours
Tour Vienna's hidden treasures and highlights, like the Opera House
Experience the wonders of Prague and its historic city center that is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site on your city tour or you can hike to the grand castle. See Rudolfinum, the National Museum, Wenceslas Square and the Hundertwasser Dancing House. Visit the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the romantic Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square, where you will find the capital’s famous Astronomical Clock.
Day 3: Prague, Czech Republic
Beer has a long and illustrious history in the Czech Republic, with the first brewery known to have existed in 993. Pilsner Urquell was created in 1842, being the first pilsner ever made, while Budweiser came into being in the city of Budweis. Beer is a core part of the country’s national identity, so the Czechs are the biggest consumers of beer in the world. The country is home to more than 100 breweries with a combination of big names and micro establishments offering a huge range of styles, so join a Czech beer tasting and discover for yourself what makes the Czech’s beer some of the very best in the world.
Day 4: Prague | Regensburg | Vilshofen, Germany | Embark
Depart from Prague via motorcoach and enjoy a stop in Regensburg. After a local highlights tour, drive to Vilshofen where you will board your ship. Later in the day, enjoy an AmaWaterways exclusive Oktoberfest celebration.
Enjoy a free morning to walk around the quaint village of Vilshofen. Later, cruise to Passau, where you have the option of exploring it one of three ways. Your city tour takes you on an exploration of this fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. As an alternative, explore the city on a guided bike tour (capacity controlled).
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second-largest city in Austria. You will have the choice of several choices of excursions: Opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg where you’ll tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. Or join a morning walking tour through the old city center of Linz and by the Mozart House; or go on a bike tour of the city’s famed “Cultural Mile” and the Danube.
Head up to the Sun Deck for panoramic views as you unwind with a scenic cruise through the Strudengau and UNESCO-designated Wachau valleys. After reaching Weissenkirchen, you’ll be treated to several choices of excursions. Take a walking tour of Dürnstein before visiting the UNESCO-designated Melk Abbey. Or hike the trail up to the ruins of Durnstein Fortress, where Richard the Lionheart was once held captive, and where you find spectacular views of the valley, river, and village below. For a more culinary-focused experience, sample special apricot treats from a local boutique. In the evening, enjoy a wine tasting hosted by a local vintner.
The “City of Waltzes” is a treasure trove and your city tour showcases its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs. Conclude your tour in the UNESCO-designated historic city center and visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For a more active exploration, take a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time exploring this iconic city even more.
Bratislava has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city.
You cannot help but fall in love with Budapest, known as the “Queen of the Danube.” Your city tour begins with visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall brimming with vendors selling everything from food to souvenirs. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. As an alternative, hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city below. Spend your last evening on board cruising around the famed Parliament Building as the city turns on all her dazzling lights.
Tradition will be on full display in Puszta, the Great Hungarian Plain. Tour a genuine Hungarian csárda (farm) run by world-champion carriage-drivers. Afterwards, be treated to an unforgettable performance of horsemanship and then experience the Hungarians’ warm hospitality, along with a traditional lunch complete with authentic goulash.
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohács and then visit Pécs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Széchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pécs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or choose a guided bike tour through Mohács. For wine connoisseurs, you’ll want to go instead to the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago.
Arrive in Vukovar, Croatia in the morning and choose between a tour of Vukovar or wine tasting in the town of Ilok. Your city tour of Vukovar includes the Ovcara Memorial, the monumental cross that is a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. As an alternative, travel to the town of Ilok, which is famous for its wines. Here, you will visit a local winery and sample their vintages before your walking tour of the town. After your tour, continue to Novi Sad and enjoy a walking tour beginning at Danube Park and then stroll through the old town center. You will also tour the 18th-century Austrian-Hungarian Petrovaradin Fortress.
Explore Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on a city tour that includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Later, choose from three intriguing excursions. Visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family; and then tour the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery. For those wishing a more active adventure, join a guided bike tour or hike to well-preserved Belgrade Fortress with its conical towers.
Today take a full day of cruising through one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. Here the Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between Serbia and Romania. The banks of the river along this natural border are lined with sheer-faced rocks that stretch high overhead, an unforgettable highlight of your adventure.
Your time in Vidin begins with a visit to Belogradchik, a beautifully restored castle located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations, as well as Vidin Castle. Visit Baba Vida Fortress, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, where you can enjoy a fascinating historical re-enactment. You may also opt instead for a Banitsa pastry and yogurt tasting, or a guided bike tour on which you can see sights like the Ottoman post office and visit the synagogue. The ship departs early afternoon.
Visit Bulgaria's ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to go to Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo- Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings and Bulgarian medieval art.
Day 18: Giurgiu | Disembark | BraȘov, Romania
Disembark the ship in Giurgiu and board a motorcoach to journey through the Romanian countryside to Bran, where you’ll visit Transylvania’s legendary Bran Castle, which is forever linked with the legend of Dracula. Afterwards, travel to the lovely village of Brașov. Enjoy a tour of the town and then check into your hotel.
Day 19: Brasov | Sighisoara
Dracula lovers will be in for another treat with an excursion to Sighişoara, birthplace to Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula. It’s hard to believe that this perfectly preserved UNESCO designated town filled with resplendent pastel-colored buildings, stone lanes, medieval towers and pedestrian-friendly Old Town was Vlad's place of birth. His home is still here, marked with a placard; however, today it houses a kitschy restaurant called “Casa Dracula.”
Day 20: Bucharest
En route to Bucharest, stop in Sinaia to visit the enchanting Peleș Castle, considered by many to be one of the most stunning in Europe. Tour the castle, which was once the residence of the royal family. Later in the day, check into your hotel.
Day 21: Bucharest
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, has earned its nickname, the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a visit to the city’s most impressive sites—including the historic city center and the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest administrative building in the world.
Day 22: Depart Bucharest
Bid farewell to Burcharest as you prepare for your homeward flight.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.