Day 1 Arrive in Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation)
Welcome to Germany! This afternoon board your river cruise vessel. Before dinner, meet your crew for a welcome reception. This special departure on the Danube is available to only 165 lucky passengers, who will have the unique opportunity to share this experience with Diana Gabaldon, who is also the Godmother of an Avalon ship. Diana is the American author of the book series “Outlander”. If you are her fan, don’t miss the chance to meet her, and if you are not, it will be easy for you to start loving her and appreciating her novels. (Dinner)
Day 2 Nuremberg
Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS” tour. During the sailing afternoon, our special guest Diana Gabaldon is available to sign her books for you. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Regensburg
Arrive in Regensburg today. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Passau
This morning, dock in Passau. Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK. Alternatively, choose from several full-day optional excursions while your ship continues to sail into Austria. Rejoin your vessel in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Melk, Austria–Vienna
This morning, enjoy an included GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendor of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breathtaking! Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, the landmark of Dürnstein. This afternoon, enjoy a lecture delivered by our special guest Diana Gabaldon and sail into Vienna. Known as the “City of Music,” it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights shown to you by your LOCAL GUIDE during your included CITY TOUR. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! In the late afternoon, leave Vienna for Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Budapest, Hungary
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica; shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika at one of its 180 vendor stalls; wander around the Royal Palace grounds; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Budapest (Disembarkation)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
From the rich history of Germany to the unique culture of Hungary, this Danube river cruise takes you to three countries, and the scenic beauty as you cruise past quaint towns, can be experienced right from your stateroom or atop the sky deck of your ship.
In Nuremberg, Germany, board your river cruise vessel docked on the Main Danube Canal and visit this thousand-year-old city with a Local Guide. Next, reach Regensburg, the only German city not bombed during WWII. Lovers of architecture will enjoy the many listed buildings of historic interest, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. And here you’ll taste local sausages at one of Germany’s oldest restaurants and we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s famous beers. Next stop is Passau, known for its narrow winding streets lined with Patrician houses, and the magnificent Italian baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral. In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, which sits high on a bluff. Take in the breathtaking views before continuing through the picturesque Wachau Valley to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music.”
Your European river cruise vacation ends in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with guided sightseeing and free time to explore this vibrant city on your own.
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés; Welcome dinner; Daily Afternoon Tea; Daily Night Fare; Farewell dinner; Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Headsets for shore excursions
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Personalized room options & excursions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.