Celebrate the beauty and history of the Danube, Europe's second largest river. Journey from Nuremberg across the Continental Divide, and along the way visit charming towns and marvel at beautiful vistas. Enter Austria and cruise along the Wachau wine region. Visit three grand old capitals, magnificent Vienna, charming Bratislava and vibrant Budapest. Continue to Croatia and Serbia and cruise through the Iron Gates, a very narrow passage dividing the Balkan mountains from the Carpathian mountains. End your grand European river cruise by sailing along the Romanian/Bulgarian border.
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, whilst Budweiser came into being in the city of Budweis. Beer is a core part of the country’s national identity, so much 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.
You have three choices of excursions while in Nuremberg. Enjoy a guided tour through Nuremberg’s beautiful medieval city, showcasing the Imperial Castle, famous town wall and the legendary fountain of the Market Square. Or turn back the pages of a darker history with a guided tour of the city’s most important WWII sites, including the enormous Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. You’ll also visit the Nuremberg Trials Memoriam, and Courtroom 600 if the courtroom is not in session. En route to Regensburg, you’ll cruise through the manmade marvel, the Main-Danube Canal. Alternatively, savor traditional Franconian specialties by sampling famously delicious Nuremburger Bratwurst, Rot bier (red beer) and Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Explore one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities Regensburg on a guided walking tour showcasing the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria. Alternatively, sample some Bavarian specialties—beer, sausage and pretzels, and for those who wish to be more active, join a bike tour to Walhalla where you will see the Neoclassical white marble temple inspired by the Parthenon in Athens.
Enjoy a walking tour along Passau's cobblestone streets admiring the Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For guests looking for a more active morning, you can choose between a guided bike tour along the Danube River, or a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus Fortress for panoramic views overlooking three rivers. Later in the day, set sail for Linz.
Cruise to Melk, known for its magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries. Alternatively, you can join a guided bike tour that takes you through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley; or go on a walking tour along Dürnstein's cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, famed church tower. Later in the day, set sail through the vineyard-rich Wachau Valley.
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems and you have two ways to discover them. Join a city tour showcasing its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs before concluding in Vienna’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For a more active exploration of the area, take a guided bike ride along the Danube. During the afternoon, you can enjoy leisure time or pedal your way to Klosterneuburg Monastery on a guided cycling tour.
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.
After breakfast this morning, take an excursion to Puszta, the vast Hungarian plain that stretches to the eastern border of the country. This area is home to Hungarian cowboys who still wear traditional dress and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. After touring a typical csarda (farm), see an amazing performance of Hungarian horsemanship. Enjoy warm Hungarian hospitality and a traditional lunch before returning to the ship in Budapest.
Arrive in Mohács around breakfast time and depart for your excursion to Pécs. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, the city was an important cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. See St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral, as well as either a mosque that has been converted to a church or the restored synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács.
This morning, enjoy a Yugoslav Civil War tour of Vukovar that shows you the Ovcara Memorial and Cemetery, the monumental cross that serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, one of Europe’s greatest historical treasures. After a walking tour of the city, later in the evening see the Petrovaradin fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached and that is now home to a hotel, museum and artists’ studios.
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city that includes visits to Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. This afternoon you have your choice of one of three excursions. Your first option is a visit to the mausoleum of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, a beloved figure who was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans during the Second World War and became the first President of Yugoslavia. Your second option is a tasting of Serbian plum brandy and local snacks at the Quburich Distillery. Your third option is a guided bike tour through Belgrade around Ada Ciganlija Island.
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. Afterwards, 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, you'll 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.
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Piano Deck, Fixed Window. 148 sq.ft.
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Piano Deck, Fixed Windows. 148 sq.ft.
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Violin & Cello Deck, French Balcony. 170 sq.ft.
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Cello Deck, French & Outside Balcony. 210 sq.ft.
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Violin Deck. French & Outside Balcony. 210 sq.ft.
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Cello Deck. French & Outside Balcony. 235 sq.ft.
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Violin Deck. French & Outside Balcony. 235 sq.ft.
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Violin Deck. French & Outside Balcony. 290 sq.ft.
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Violin Deck. French & Outside Balcony. 350 sq.ft.
- 14 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom (most with twin balconies)
- Computer for internet access
- Entertainment-On-Demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, movies, a music library and English language TV stations
- Mini-fridge, desk and sitting area
- Bottled water replenished daily
- Wellness Program with a dedicated Wellness Host leading various exercise classes as well as discussions on healthy eating and relaxation techniques, both on board and on shore.
- Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
- Internet and Wi-Fi access
- Sun deck pool with swim-up bar and walking track
- Fitness room, massage services and hair salon
- Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
- Daily entertainment including cultural performances
- All onboard dining in a variety of venues
- Regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
- The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant
- Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner, Captain's Cocktail and Gala Dinner
- La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs exclusive dining experience
- Unlimited fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Unlimited sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast
- Sip & Sail Daily Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks
- Tapas, sandwiches, snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
- Immersive tours in every destination
- Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options
- Bike tours and hikes
- Special Interest Tours
- Knowledgeable guides
- Personal headset for easy exploration
- Airport transfers with purchase of air from the expedition company
-3 nights hotel accommodation in Prague at the InterContinental or Hilton Old Town (or similar), including city tour, Czech beer tasting and daily breakfast
-Transfer from hotel in Prague to Pilzen with a highlights tour and then on to the ship in Nuremberg
-Transfer from the ship in Giurgiu to Bran Castle and then Brasov
-2 nights hotel in Brașov at the Kronwell Brașov Hotel (or similar), including city tour, Sighișoara excursion and daily breakfast
-Transfer from the hotel in Brasov to Bucharest via Sinaia with Peles Castle tour
-2 nights hotel in Bucharest at the Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar), including city tour and daily breakfast
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!