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23 Day Grand European River Cruise 2020
(Amsterdam to Giurgiu)

23 days with Gate 1  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for the Netherlands
Depart for the Netherlands.

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Amsterdam
Welcome to Amsterdam, Holland's sophisticated and modern capital. After arrival formalities, rest and relax on board, or begin your discovery of the many cultural sites this city has to offer. This evening, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala Welcome Dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Dinner)

DAY 3, Monday - Excursion to Enkhuizen
Depart Amsterdam this morning and travel to nearby Enkhuizen, one of the prettiest towns in the Netherlands, boasting a very Dutch and tranquil atmosphere. Explore the historic town, once an important harbor to the former United East India Company, referred to as the world's first multinational company. Take a walking tour around the 17th century town centre and continue to the harbor where you learn about Enkhuizen, maritime traditions. Afterward, visit the Zuiderzee Museum to gain knowledge about the culture and history of this region. Understand how people once lived on the banks of the Zuiderzee, through interactive exhibits. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4, Tuesday - Amsterdam City Tour
Today's panoramic tour of 700-year-old Amsterdam introduces you to both the old and the new sections of this city. View the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, the Queen's official home-away-from-home. On to the Dutch National Monument dedicated by Queen Juliana as a memorial to the victims of WWII and to the unusual Skinny Bridge, once so narrow that pedestrians could not pass each other. Then, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals for an up-close view of the stately historic homes, 16th-century warehouses and charming churches with striking bell towers. Continue exploring Amsterdam on your own this afternoon. Rejoin the ship for dinner and set sail this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5, Wednesday - Cologne City Tour
Today join a walking tour of Cologne, highlighted by the soaring twin-steeple Gothic cathedral that is the geographical and spiritual heart of the city. Known for its vibrant art scene, Cologne abounds with cafes, galleries, shops and taverns. After dinner on board, time to explore Cologne's vibrant night life before setting sail. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6, Thursday - Morning in Koblenz & Afternoon Cruising
The ship docks this morning in Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Join an orientation walk this morning and free time to explore the Romanesque architecture and imposing defensive towers of this 2000-year old city. Or, join the optional tour to the dramatic Marksburg Castle, the only hill castle on the Rhine that's never been destroyed and has been continuously occupied for over 700 years. During lunch, set sail and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on board, taking in the spectacular vistas as the ship sails past castles perched on lofty cliffs, terraced vineyards and tiny villages. Pass the mighty Lorelei Rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine rising vertically from the waters, named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Marksburg Castle Tour

DAY 7, Friday - Miltenberg & Wertheim Walking Tours
After a leisurely morning on board, arrive in the picturesque Bavarian village of Miltenberg, a jewel on the banks of the Main River. Discover the Market Square with its Renaissance-era fountain, the Merchant Hall with its stunning Gothic architecture and the unique 14th and 15th century half-timbered houses. Continue to Wertheim by coach, a charming German town well known for its glassworks and Franconian wine. Rejoin the ship just before dinner and set sail for Wurzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8, Saturday - Wurzburg City Tour
Discovery Wurzburg, named the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," with its dramatic Marienberg fortress, 15th century bridge and lush vineyards. Your tour takes you to the ornate Bishops' Residenz Palace, a stunning example of Baroque architecture, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon, relax on aboard as the ship cruises, or join the optional tour along Germany's "Romantic Road" to Rothenburg, with its turreted city wall and impressive Gothic architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Rothenburg City Tour

DAY 9, Sunday - Bamberg City Tour
Today, dock in historic Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your walk in the medieval city center with its impressive 11th century Romanesque cathedral and gorgeous Rose Garden. After, view the very unusual City Hall built on a tiny island in the middle of the Regnitz River and Little Venice, an area of colorful fishermen's houses. This afternoon is free to explore Bamberg independently, before setting sail this evening while you dine on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10, Monday - Nuremberg City Tour
Today explore Nuremberg, an energetic city with a visible history of almost one thousand years. The guided excursion visits the historic Palace of Justice where the War Crimes Tribunal met in 1946 and continues to the vibrant Market Square. After lunch on board the ship, the afternoon is free to further discover this wonderful city on your own. Stroll through the shops that fill the Old Town or walk along the fortified walls of Nuremberg Castle. In the late afternoon set sail for Regensburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11, Tuesday - Regensburg City Tour
This morning relax on board as the ship cruises the Danube River. Arrive to Regensburg in the early afternoon, one of Germany's largest and best preserved medieval cities, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The guided walking tour highlights the city's stunning architecture as you view the Old Town Hall, Dom St. Peter and the Porta Praetoria, gateway to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Marvel at beautiful churches and one of the oldest stone bridges crossing the Danube. Return to the boat or spend the afternoon at leisure discovering the delights of Regensburg on your own. Tonight, after dinner, the ship sets sail for Passau. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12, Wednesday - Morning in Passau
Dock this morning in 2500-year-old Passau, known for its pastel patrician houses, cafes, cobblestone lanes and riverfront promenade. Passau is a Bavarian town with a mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and Gothic architecture. Explore Passau on a guided walking tour in the morning, or join the optional full day tour to picturesque Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. The walking tour will include some of Salzburg's most historic sites including the Mirabell Palace, the Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral, and St. Peter's Cemetery. After lunch at a local restaurant, there will be time to discover Salzburg on your own before returning to the ship. If you choose to remain onboard the ship, continue sailing during lunch and relax this afternoon. In the early evening, all passengers will rejoin the ship and continue sailing for Melk. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Tour of Salzburg

DAY 13, Thursday - Melk Abbey
Disembark in Melk this morning for a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. View the Abbot's chambers, the Kaiser's walk and the lavish library. Then, return to the ship and continue cruising through the scenic Wachau Valley. This Afternoon, arrive in the village of Durnstein, one of the prettiest towns on the Danube. Free time to stroll this quintessential village in the heart of the Wachau wine district. Walk along medieval cobblestone streets revealing 16th-century town houses and wine taverns. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14, Friday - Vienna City Tour
Your morning tour of romantic Vienna introduces you to this Imperial city with its legendary opulence and elegance. Drive along the famed Ringstrasse, Vienna's main boulevard lined with magnificent Baroque palaces, parks and monuments. View the lavish Hofburg Palace, and the impressive Vienna Opera House. Continue to majestic St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Parliament building. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, or, join the optional tour to the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, once summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Visit the gorgeous baroque apartments and stroll through the world-famous manicured gardens. Tonight, perhaps take the opportunity to attend an evening of Viennese culture in the "City of Music" at an optional concert performance of the classical masterpieces of Mozart and Strauss, two of Vienna's most famous citizens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Schonbrunn Palace Tour (PM)
Optional: Classical Viennese Concert (PM)

DAY 15, Saturday - Budapest City Tour
During your morning tour of the city you will visit the Buda side with its castle district, as well as the Pest side with the Parliament, the City Park and the Heroes Square. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, enjoy a lavish gala dinner on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 16, Sunday - Holloko City Tour
This morning, travel to the charming village of Holloko (meaning raven-stone) hidden in the Cserhát hills in northeastern Hungary. Take a walking tour of the historic village, a fine example of a preserved traditional settlement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience the typical rural life of the Palóc people and see craftsmen at work. Spend free time in the village and perhaps try some Palóc dishes for lunch before heading back to Budapest. Tonight set sail for Kalocsa. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 17, Monday - Puszta Horse Show
Awake this morning in Kalocsa, Hungary, a picturesque town that specializes in the production of paprika. One of the oldest towns in Hungary, Kalocsa is well-known for the horse shows of Puszta, in the rural region of the country. View an exciting show as you experience the countryside. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 18, Tuesday - Vukovar & Osijek
Arrive in Vukovar, the largest river port in Croatia. Spend the day learning about both the ancient and recent history of the area. The region is full of culture, with numerous museums conveying the story of Vukovar's chaotic past. Visit Osijek, the economic and cultural center of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. During lunch, set sail to Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, offering picturesque architecture and vibrant night life, elected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 19, Wednesday - Belgrade City Tour
Explore the highlights of Belgrade and learn about the city’s turbulent history and architecture. Visit the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress dramatically situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the lovely park surrounding it. Perhaps, continue to the Republic Square and view the National Theatre, National Museum and the Prince Mihail monument. Stroll along Knez Mihajlova street, the main pedestrian and shopping zone in the city. Afterwards, arrive at the Vracar Plateau to view the Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox Church in the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 20, Thursday - Iron Gates & Scenic Sailing
Spend the day admiring the picturesque countryside as your travel eastward. Soak in the history as you view the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. Sail through the famed Iron Gates, a gorge that contains a pair of hydroelectric dams and power stations. It is easy to understand why visitors flock to this stunning gorge. The landscape around the area is truly breathtaking. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 21, Friday - Full Day in Vidin
Cross the border into Bulgaria early this morning and arrive in the port town of Vidin. The day is yours to explore this beautiful town with its many historic and cultural landmarks. Be sure to sample the regional wine, as Vidin is known for its fertile climate ideal for the production of premium wine grapes. Sail away mid-afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 22, Saturday - Ruse City Tour
Today explore Ruse, one of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, brimming with history from the Ottoman Empire. Enjoy a walking tour and view the building of the Tax Administration with its wonderful facade, adorned with seven different symbolic figures on the roof. You could step back in time during a visit to the Kaliopa House, preserved from the late 19th century. Or, journey south on the optional tour of the village of Arbanassi in Veliko Tarnovo. This soaring village atop a high peak exemplifies the Bulgarian National Revival architectural movement. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi.

DAY 23, Sunday - Depart Romania
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. The Bucharest airport is approximately a 2 hour drive from the port. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 am. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Discover the history in Ruse, dating back to the Ottoman Empire
  • Sail through the famed Iron Gates, flanked by the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges
  • Explore the highlights of Belgrade, a city with turbulent history
  • Enjoy an authentic Serbian dinner and folklore dancing
  • View an exciting horse show in Pustzta, Hungary
  • See magnificent panoramic views of Budapest from atop Fisherman's Bastion
  • Tour romantic Vienna with its legendary opulence and elegance
  • In Melk, join a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey
  • Marvel at the beautiful churches and ancient stone bridges in Regensburg
  • Cruise the Main-Danube Canal, considered a marvel of modern engineering
  • Walk in Bamberg's medieval center with its 11th century Romanesque cathedral
  • View the mighty Lorelei Rock named for the siren "Lorelei" rising vertically from the waters
  • Sail on the legendary Rhine to Cologne, capital of the Rhineland
  • In Amsterdam, board a glass-top boat and cruise the winding canals
All This Included
  • 21 nights First Class accommodations
  • River port charges of $570 per person
  • Cruise porterage
  • 61 meals: 21 breakfasts, 19 lunches, 21 dinners
  • Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
  • Services of local guides in all major cities
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring during excursions

River Cruise Features & Amenities

  • Gala Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
  • Wine and beer with dinners
  • Locally inspired recipes
  • Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
  • Late night snack
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas
  • Self-serve coffee and tea station
  • Lounge serving premium spirits
  • Fitness center
  • Non-smoking ship interior
  • Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English by licensed guides
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Monarch Duchess
Notes
  • Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. Giurgiu to Amsterdam: Passengers arriving to Bucharest on Day 2 should select flights that arrive no later than 2:00 pm. Transfers to Giurgiu will depart at approximately 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Embarkation will begin at 2:00 pm however early arrivals may rest in the lounge if their assigned cabin is not ready upon check-in. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. There are no elevators or chair lifts on board. Kindly refer to our Terms for additional information. While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
  • Know Before You Book - High & Low Water European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
  • This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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