11 Day Thanksgiving Danube River Cruise with Budapest (Budapest to Regensburg, Monarch Empress)
11 days with Gate 1 Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Hungary Depart for Hungary
DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Budapest Arrive in Budapest. The remainder of the day is at leisure to discover Buda and Pest in this elegant city with its wealth of historic monuments linked by eight graceful bridges. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your local host at the hotel at approximately 6 PM, followed by a briefing about the journey. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4 PM on Day 2 or earlier, if possible.
DAY 3, Tuesday - Budapest City Tour Your morning tour begins on the Pest side of the city; view the Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, anoptionaldinner and show in Budapest. Travel to the outskirts of Budapest for a traditional Hungarian Dinner in a scenic forested location. While dining, you'll be entertained by colorfully dressed dancers performing a variety of spirited folk dances accompanied by a group playing live music. (Breakfast)
Optional:Dinner & Show in Budapest (PM).
DAY 4, Wednesday - Holloko City Tour & Cruise Embarkation 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. This afternoon, transfer to the port to embark your cruise. Tonight, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 5, Thursday - Bratislava City Tour & Christmas Market This morning, enjoy the tranquil scenery as you sail along the scenic Danube. In the late afternoon, arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, a mix of modern and Baroque architecture. This capital city is among the youngest in Europe, yet retains a rich history dating back more than 2000 years. Walk along the cobblestone lanes of the historic town center; view St. Martin's Cathedral, coronation site of the kings of Hungary, the 13th century Old Town Hall and the Franciscan church. Time to explore this colorful city on your own before returning to the ship for dinner. This evening, the ship will set sail to Vienna. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Friday - Vienna City Tour & Christmas Market 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 7, Saturday - Melk Abbey This morning, 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. Continue cruising late this morning and relax on board as the boat cruises through the scenic Wachau Valley, with lovely storybook views of vineyards, castles, hilltop ruins and monasteries. Later, disembark in Melk 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. The ship will set sail as you dine on board this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Sunday - Full Day in Linz & Christmas Market Early this morning cruise into Linz. Founded by the Romans, Linz has cultivated a strong artistic tradition, especially in the field of music. Today a walking tour explores the city, viewing sites such as St. Mary’s Cathedral and Linz Castle. Alternatively, join the optional full day excursion to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Travel through the picturesque landscape of Southern Bohemia to Cesky Krumlov, a fairy-tale town with its maze of narrow cobbled streets. Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1992, Cesky Krumlov has earned an international reputation for its State Castle and Chateau, one of the largest in Central Europe, superbly furnished with priceless art, tapestries and richly decorated weapons. The guided walk through town is highlighted by Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance houses once mansions of noblemen families. There will be time to explore the festive Christmas Market. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional:Full Day Tour of Cesky Krumlov.
DAY 9, Monday - Full Day in Passau Today presents a wonderful opportunity to join the optional full day tour to beautiful Salzburg, the 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 and to browse stalls at the traditional Christmas Market before returning to the ship. If you choose to remain on board, the day is free to explore the 2500-year-old Passau. Well known for its pastel patrician houses, cafes, cobblestone lanes and riverfront promenade, Passau is a town with a mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and Gothic architecture. In the early evening, all passengers will rejoin the ship and set sail for Regensburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional:Full Day Tour of Salzburg.
DAY 10, Tuesday - Regensburg City Tour & Christmas Market Arrive in Regensburg this morning, 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, the 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 as well as its Christmas market on your own. The ship will remain docked in port this evening as you enjoy your final night on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11, Wednesday - Depart Germany This morning transfer independently to the airport in Munich for your departure flight. The Munich airport is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the port. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 AM. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Experience the charm of the world-famous Christmas markets in Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, Passau & Regensburg
Enjoy a city tour of Vienna and view Hofburg Palace, Vienna Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Tour the historic Benedictine Melk Abbey, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture
All This Included
9 nights accommodations
River port charges of $190 per person
Cruise & hotel porterage
22 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Local host in Budapest
Services of local guides in all major cities
Shore excursions per itinerary
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 basic Wi-Fi access in public areas
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English by licensed guides
Accommodations on this Tour
Budapest: Corinthia Hotel Budapest
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Monarch Empress
Cabin upgrades are available.
Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. Budapest to Regensburg: Passengers returning from Munich on Day 11 should select flights that depart no earlier than 11 AM. The Munich airport is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the Regensburg port. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises.
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. When the option exists, the operator will "swap ships" with another vessel sailing in the opposite direction, retaining the sailing experience. Crew, ship and cabin configuration may differ. 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.