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Heart of the Danube: Bavaria to Budapest 2021
(Westbound)

8 days with Tauck  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Budapest & embark ship 
Tour begins: 4:00 PM, Budapest, Hungary. A transfer is included from Franz Liszt Budapest Airport directly to your riverboat, where embarkation begins at 4:00 PM. Enjoy a welcome toast before dinner onboard as your riverboat sails to Bratislava this evening. (D)

Day 2 A day of choice in and around Bratislava, Slovakia 
Awaken this morning for a choice of activities in or near Bratislava, Slovakia's visually intriguing capital city. One is a walking tour of the cobblestoned, vehicle-free historic center of Bratislava; medieval, Baroque and modern architecture mix as you visit sites that include the 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, St. Michael’s Gate, St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the Primate’s Palace, where you’ll view rare 17th-century British tapestries; afterward, spend some free time exploring on your own. Another choice is an excursion to the countryside, lush with vineyards, for a wine-tasting and a visit to Cerveny Kamen Castle. Dating back to the 13th century, "The Red Stone Castle" is one of the best-preserved castles in Slovakia, boasting historical furnishings and artwork; during your visit, enjoy a falconry demonstration. Back aboard ship, settle in for an afternoon at leisure as the riverboat returns to Vienna this evening.

(B, L, D)

Day 3 A day & night in Imperial Vienna 
Begin the day in Vienna with a tour of the city’s fabulous landmarks, then take your choice of awe-inspiring museum tours: visit the Belvedere, an opulent 18th-century palace and former residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, housing masterpieces from the Medieval to Art Nouveau and Modern (including works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Shiele); the Kunsthistoriches (Fine Arts Museum), founded by the Habsburgs in the 19th century to exhibit their vast, eclectic art collection – the museum is a work of art itself; or the House of Music (Haus der Musik), featuring imaginative interactive exhibits on famous composers (where you can actually “conduct” the Vienna Philharmonic). The afternoon is free for you to explore more of this amazing city – once the capital of the Habsburgs' Austro-Hungarian Empire – on your own. Later, join us this evening at Palais Pallavicini for a Tauck Exclusive – a gala evening of dining and musical performances in elegant Viennese style. The sumptuous surroundings of Palais Pallavicini (built in 1784), with its ornate decor and magnificent state rooms, will transport you to another time – in fact, the palace facade is famous in another cultural reference... as the location of Harry Lime’s (Orson Welles) apartment in the classic film The Third Man.

(B, L, D)

Day 4 Castles, wine and picture-perfect Dürnstein 
This morning, your riverboat docks in the picture-perfect Austrian village of Dürnstein, where you can choose a guided walking tour with some free time to explore – and if you’re game, climb to the brooding ruins of Kuenringerburg Castle high above the town, where Richard the Lionhearted was once held for ransom in the 12th century. Another possibility is a challenging bicycling excursion (not suitable for beginners) through the Wachau Valley, starting and ending in Dürnstein; or a walking tour of Krems. Return to the riverboat, and set off on a leisurely, scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley. You'll spy vineyards, castles, ancient hilltop ruins and monasteries as you sail; this is wine country famous for its Reislings and Grüner Veltliners, which you will get a chance to sample at a Tauck Exclusive wine tasting event in the town of Weissenkirchen.

(B, L, D)

Day 5 Grein or the Mauthausen Memorial 
Arrive in the typically picturesque riverside village of Grein, Austria, for a choice of sightseeing in Grein or a visit to the Mauthausen Memorial. In Grein, your visit begins with a guided walking tour of the village, which includes views of the Grein Theatre – since 1791 the oldest operating theatre in Austria – and the historic town square with the adjacent Gothic St. Giles Church, known for its fine altar and stained glass. If you wish, visit Schloss Greinburg, the privately owned castle of the Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, showcasing the history and lifestyle of one of the most significant ruling families in Europe (including Queen Victoria of England). Alternatively, pay a poignant guided visit to the museum and memorial on the site of the infamous World War II-era Mauthausen–Gusen concentration camp, approximately 20 kilometers east of Linz. You’ll tour the camp’s main complex, preserved as a museum and memorial to the victims of the last major concentration camp liberated by the Allies. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy the chef's signature dinner and local entertainment tonight.

(B, L, D)

Day 6 Exploring Passau or Cesky Krumlov 
Your riverboat arrives in Passau today for a choice of sightseeing in this riverside town in Germany, or an excursion to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Once a Roman outpost at the confluence of three rivers, Passau is over 2,500 years old, a quintessential Bavarian town of pastel patrician houses, cafes, romantic cobblestone lanes and riverfront promenades, made for walking (many streets are closed to traffic). If you choose to stay in Passau, your walking tour immerses you in its storybook mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and German Gothic architecture. See St. Stephen’s Cathedral; view the hilltop fortress where Passau’s prince-bishops once resided; and peruse the 14th-century Rathaus (Town Hall). Later, if you wish, join your Tauck Director for a brisk walk to a hilltop fortress, or attend a public concert on the famous organ of St. Stephen's Cathedral, when available. Alternatively, travel to Cesky Krumlov, an incredibly well-preserved medieval town in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Your walking tour includes Krumlov Castle, one of the largest castle complexes in Central Europe, embracing 40 buildings and palaces of medieval, Renaissance and Rococo designs, plus numerous courtyards and gardens. Return to the riverboat and continue cruising tonight, bound for Regensburg.

(B, L, D)


Day 7 Historic insights in Regensburg
A choice of sightseeing excursions awaits you in colorful Regensburg; one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval towns, it boasts more than 1,400 historic structures. You may choose a walking tour of town that includes the Dom (cathedral), the market, the town hall, and 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (a medieval stone bridge over the Danube that’s the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in the country), and a guided visit to St. Emmeram Palace – royal residence of Thurn und Taxis, the family dynasty whose fortune began in the 16th century and is the largest in Germany today. The castle, formerly a Benedictine abbey, is lush with Baroque features and frescoes, from the throne room to the ballroom and magnificent library, with displays of splendid art treasures, weaponry and fine porcelain – you can’t see it all, of course, since the family still lives here! Your second choice is a guided bicycle excursion in and around Regensburg that includes a ride and visit to the Walhalla memorial, a massive hilltop hall of fame (with many featuring busts and sculptures of distinguished figures from Germany history), commissioned by King Ludwig I and completed in the 1840s. Your afternoon is free. Return to the ship for tonight's farewell toast followed by dinner, as the riverboat makes its way to Straubing for the end of your cruise.

(B, L, D)


Day 8 Journey Home 
Tour ends: Straubing, Germany. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included from the riverboat to Munich International Airport or Munich's main railroad station. You should allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in.
(B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - An Imperial Evening at a private Vienna palace with dinner and classical performers
  • Wine-tasting event at the village of Weissenkirchen, in Austrian wine country
All This Included
When your road is the Danube, it’s enchanting... Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and Germany are linked by peaceful river landscapes dotted with storybook castles and romantic villages surrounded by stone terraced vineyards, where making world-class wines – and tasting them! – is an art.

A wonderfully preserved medieval castle and town in the Czech Carpathian mountains are as awe-inspiring as the palaces and museums of Imperial Vienna. As you cruise from port to port, explore the cobblestone streets and market squares in the Old Towns of Bratislava, Cesky Krumlov, Grein, Passau, and Regensburg, each offering unexpected cultural treasures and culinary pleasures around every bend. And the pièce de résistance – a Tauck Exclusive gala evening with music and dancing at a private palace conjures up elegant Old World Europe just for Tauck guests!
  • All gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Directors
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions – $1,554 Value
  • Choice of sightseeing in Passau or medieval Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic
  • Choice of visit to Grein or the poignant Mauthausen Memorial
  • Choice in Vienna of world-class museums, including the Haus der Musik
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship now include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport and train station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 20 meals; service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharges
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard ms Joy or ms Savor
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice. Museums and attractions may be subject to closure due to state, local or religious holidays. This cruise includes a fair amount of walking in each city.
  • 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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