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Authentic Danube & Prague

Authentic Danube & Prague

10 Days from Vienna to Prague

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Vienna (Embark)

Transfer from Vienna International Airport to your ship. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Vienna

On this day, explore the “City of Waltzes” and dive into its vast artistic legacy with your choice of tours. The city is known for its imperial palaces, famous residents and expansive art collections. See the Musikverein, a beautiful concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic. Or delve into the hidden secrets of Vienna in some of its most historical sites.

Viennese highlights with Musikverein

Vienna is a city that has never failed to impress, and you’ll see why the moment your tour begins as you drive through streets lined with baroque architecture and pass by the grand, imperial Ringstrasse on your way to the famous Musikverein.

Vienna’s musical history is one of particular renown, and lays claim to such greats as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. The Musikverein is Vienna’s premier center for classical music. Enjoy a guided tour through this historical building.

The Golden Hall of the Musikverein is known by friends of music all over the world, not only for being the permanent seat of the renowned Vienna Philharmonic and the main stage of the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, but also for its unique architecture.

After touring the Musikverein, you will set out on foot to see the city up close, passing by the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and all the other highlights of downtown Vienna.

The secrets of Vienna

The city of Vienna is famous for its charm and beauty, but it’s also full of mystery under the surface. Uncover the many secrets of Vienna with your guide as you head all over town, diving deep into the city’s past at such historical sites as the allegedly haunted Imperial Palace.

The star of our tour is Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, whose gothic spire and extravagantly tiled roofs are an iconic element of Vienna’s cityscape. Also known as the Stephansdom, this nearly millennium-old building has seen many architectural changes over the centuries and features various secret signs and symbols, added to send covert messages to those who could decipher them. Luckily, your guide can help you do just that.

Magical history tour

Watch as history comes alive on this exploration of the city at the interactive multimedia venue Time Travel Vienna. Discover Vienna’s eventful history in a unique way; Time Travel Vienna features a 5D cinema, animatronic wax figures, rides and multimedia shows equipped with extraordinary sound and light effects. After, you’ll embark on a humorous and expertly-led walk around the city that will bring you to the historic St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Schönbrunn royal experience

Learn more about the everyday life of the imperial family at the “Schloss Schönbrunn Experience” Children’s Museum. Dress up as a prince or princess, learn the secret language of fans, play with imperial toys or set the table for an imperial dinner. Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, is a stunning 1,441 room Baroque palace that’s revered as one of the most important architectural and historical monuments in the country. Marvel at its over 300 years of history that reflect the changing tastes of former monarchs and wander through its vast gardens.

Day 3: Weissenkirchen, Melk

Start your day in the heart of the Danube’s Wachau Valley, strolling through Weissenkirchen’s idyllic wine village while sampling mouth watering apricot treats. Named for its white church that dominates the landscape, the city is flanked by vineyard-lined hills, historic houses and beautiful courtyards. The Melk Abbey is a baroque monastery and sits atop a rocky formation overlooking the Danube.

Melk Abbey with library visit

The Babenbergs, a great medieval ducal family that controlled a wide swath of Austria before yielding to the Habsburgs, were the first to erect a castle on the hill above Melk, which they subsequently gave to Benedictine monks. These monks, some 900 years ago, turned it into a fortified abbey—and the greatest center of learning in Central Europe. Their library was celebrated far and wide (and still is; Umberto Eco paid tribute to it in his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose). Medieval monks there created more than 1,200 manuscripts, sometimes spending an entire lifetime hand-lettering a single volume. Today the library contains some 100,000 volumes, among them more than 80,000 works printed before 1800. This beautiful complex, completely redone in the early 18th century, is a wonderful example of baroque art and architecture, and the views from its terrace are spectacular. As you walk through the abbey’s Marble Hall with your guide, look up at the ceiling fresco painted by Paul Troger: Those classical gods and goddesses represent Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, allegorically bringing his people from dark to light and demonstrating the link he claimed to the original Roman Empire.

After your tour of the abbey, you’ll have time to explore Melk on your own, or you can take the motorcoach back to the ship.

Weissenkirchen village walk with wine tasting

You’ve seen the apricot orchards along the river banks; now taste the fruit. Begin with an easy walk to Weissenkirchen, which may be the prettiest village in the Wachau—and that’s saying quite a bit. Named for its famous white church, Weissenkirchen is simply picture-perfect. Its centuries-old wine estates, houses with colorful flower boxes, lovely gardens and apricot orchards make for a wonderfully idyllic setting between the river and the mountains. Later, sample some Wachau wines at a local winery where your guide will share various details about why these extraordinary wines are so unique.

“Let’s Go” vineyard hike

If you're up for a hike, join a group on a hike up through the vineyards. A stairway at the church will take you past the ancient cemetery and up to the hiking trail that leads through the vineyards planted with Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes. You'll enjoy expansive views over the river valley as you approach your resting point. An easy walk back to the ship; instead of a reverse hike, you can comfortably stroll back into the village via a different route, passing many small vintners along the way.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 4: Engelhartszell, Passau, Vilshofen

A new day brings new experiences in the forest-lined district of Engelhartszell. Experience Germany’s great outdoors by biking along the Danube River. Arrive in the afternoon at the “City of Three Rivers,” Passau, where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers join together, at one time bringing an influx of wealth and culture into the region.

“Let’s Go” scenic Bavarian river biking

Set off on an invigorating bike ride from Engelhartszell to Passau, led by an experienced professional bike guide. Wind your way through the lovely countryside, along the Danube’s right side, into the picturesque Danube Valley. These particular landscapes are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe—characterized by expansive vineyards, tree-lined slopes, and castle-dotted hillsides—and seamlessly blend the region’s cultural, historical and natural components together. Pedal onwards toward Passau, past more charming villages, meadows and orchards, rounding out your trip in Passau’s Old Town.

Passau walking tour

The skyline of Passau is dominated by two buildings that owe their existence to the prince-bishops who ruled the city until 1803: the great fortress looming on a hill above the three rivers, home to the bishops until the 17th century, and the green onion domes of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As you walk through the cobblestone streets toward those green onion domes, you’ll realize that Passau retains the layout of the medieval town.

However, many of the wooden medieval buildings burned to the ground in the 17th century, and the prince-bishops imported Italian artists to build a new cathedral and a magnificent new residence for the bishops themselves. As a result, these splendid structures flaunt Italian baroque and rococo style and ornamentation, complete with opulent gilding and wonderful frescoes. Your guide will introduce you to some of the architectural highlights—the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned with large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner—and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.

"Let's Go" hiking around Passau

Set off on a nice but strenuous hike up St. Georgsberg mountain to the highest spot of Passau, where the fortress Veste Oberhaus is located. Designed to be a symbol of military strength and aristocracy, the imposing building sits high on the hill facing the rest of Passau across the Danube River. Now it is home to the Oberhausmuseum, a youth hostel, a restaurant and an open-air theater.

We’ll have time to walk around to see the Oberhaus up close and, more importantly, enjoy the most picturesque views to be found anywhere in Passau, before hiking back down the hill. At the bottom, we’ll find the historic Old Town, where St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located. After a total of 2 hours hiking, we end our tour in front of the Cathedral, whose baroque white façade and aquamarine domes are an iconic fixture of Passau architecture.

Pedal Passau

Head out on a cycling excursion on the famous Danube Bike Trail, venturing through Passau, Engelhartszell and other fascinating locales. This flat pathway hugs the river and offers spectacular views of Germany’s lush scenery. The Danube Bike Trail is one of Europe's largest, following stretches of the Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Ilz River splash

Enjoy an afternoon on the water with the chance to try out rowing, canoeing or paddle-boarding on the Ilz River, nicknamed the “Black Pearl,” due to the moors and bogs at its river basin that give the water a mesmerizing black color. The Ilz is a paradise for kayakers and paddle boarders alike and allows people of all experience levels to have fun here.

Treasure hunt trek

Join a local geocaching guide on a unique discovery of Passau’s historical and hidden spots. Pay close attention to clues and hints as you make your way from one station to the next, uncovering important historical information about your current location. Each station also includes a special activity for kids.

Day 5: Deggendorf, Straubing

Nestled between Regensburg and Passau sits a town surrounded by the foothills of the Bavarian Forest, Deggendorf. Journey deep into the alluring Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany’s first national park, and discover outdoor leisure at its best.

Day 6: Regensburg

The nearly 2,000-year-old history of Regensburg begins with a Roman fort in 90 AD, from which Regensburg grew into the large and prosperous trade center that it became in the last few centuries of the Medieval period. This long history has been excellently preserved through Regensburg’s iconic architecture—particularly its many Gothic and Romanesque churches and Patrician houses.

Regensburg walking tour

People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago.

As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history is similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge that made Regensburg a 12th-century trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own. It’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings, but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping. The ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.

“From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit

Hops vines grow up their strings in a field tower almost twice a person’s height. They’re grown for their flowers, which add a distinctive flavor to beer—but the fields they grow in add a distinctive flavor to the hops. You could call it terroir for beer, and you can delve into hops cultivation and hops brewing today. Travel through Bavaria’s Holledau region, the largest hops growing district in the world, and meet an enthusiastic ambassador of hops growing and beer making. She will give you a quick and lively history of hops in Germany—including Bavaria’s law governing the making of beer, which has specified since 1560 that the only ingredients permitted in beer are water, barley and hops—and lead you on a tour through the growing fields her family owns, followed by a craft beer tasting in the cozy barn turned beer hall. It’s a delicious way to get to know a fascinating aspect of the international farm-to-table movement.

Revved engines

Tour BMW’s state-of-the-art facility with an expert guide and see how their cars are produced from start to finish. Put on your safety goggles and factory coats and watch how massive conveyors lift the 3-series BMW up to be welded by computer-controlled robots. This tour offers a captivating look at the production of “the ultimate driving machine.”

Day 7: Nuremberg

The archetypal medieval German city, Nuremberg was once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, housing many German kings in the Kaiserburg castle complex. Later, this city became the epicenter of the Nazi party. When the end of WWII left Nuremberg almost completely leveled, it was chosen to be the site of the war crimes tribunal—the Nuremberg Trials. Now, most of the city has been restored, including the old castle.

Nuremberg city tour with WWII Rally Grounds and Documentation Center visits

Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture (partly because of its significance in the Holy Roman Empire, which he called the First Reich), and so beginning in 1927, he chose to hold his massive rallies in the city. By 1933, his favorite architect, Albert Speer, had designed the vast Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where thousands upon thousands of Nazi troops saluted Hitler. (Leni Riefenstahl captured these events in her famous propaganda film Triumph of the Will.) Not all of Speer’s plans were executed, and some of his grandiose structures were bombed out of existence, but the remainder stand as vivid testimony to Hitler’s megalomania. A four-square-mile (10-square-kilometer) complex known as Zeppelin Fields contains parade grounds and a huge grandstand, the excavation site where a stadium for 400,000 people was begun—the hole is now filled with water—and the half-finished Congress Hall.

NOTE: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8: Nuremberg to Prague (Disembark)

Disembark your ship and transfer from Nuremberg to Prague.

Day 9: Prague

Prague has been a magnet for artists, writers, scientists and composers for centuries. It also boasts great beer, a lively art scene, stunning castles and up-and-coming fashion designers, making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit.

Prague Old Town and Charles Bridge walking tour

Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum and Wenceslas Square on your way to massive Prague Castle. Step inside the castle's protective walls and enter a self-contained city, with courtyards, palaces, towers, churches and gardens designed for kings and emperors, along with housing and workplaces for all those who tended the rulers. Among the highlights are the lofty St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to finish, and Vladislav Hall, whose complex stone-vaulting system was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the late Middle Ages. After strolling through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague's 17th-century goldsmiths lived (alas, there's no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists), you may reboard the motorcoach for a ride back to the hotel or continue our guided walk through the picturesque Lesser Quarter, the district around the castle, to Charles Bridge. Cross the landmark bridge named for Charles IV, who ordered its construction in 1357; it's strictly for pedestrians now, so you can pause and look down at the Vltava below you and examine some of the statues that line the bridge, before you head to Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague's architectural history. You'll find Prague's most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th-century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinsky Palace and a group of Renaissance houses. 

Hradčany Castle visit

Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you along the banks of the Vltava River past such sites as the Prague Castle, Queen Anne’s Summer Palace and the St. Agnes Convent.

Step off the coach to see the lofty St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to finish, and Vladislav Hall, whose complex stone-vaulting system was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the late Middle Ages. Then take a stroll through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague's 17th century goldsmiths lived (alas, there's no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists).

Here you may reboard the motorcoach for a ride back to the hotel or head out for some free time in the Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague's architectural history. You'll find Prague's most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinský Palace and a group of Renaissance houses.

Czech out Prague

Set off with your family guide on an exploration of Prague. Head to the Petrin Tower, a mini version of the Eiffel Tower built for the Jubilee Exposition in 1891. This monument sits atop a hill and offers stunning views of Prague below. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can climb the 299 steps to the top. Up next is the UNESCO-designated Hradčany Castle District and the majestic Prague Castle—the largest ancient castle in the world. It’s half a mile long and is comprised of a large cathedral, palace, the office of the Czech President and an entire street of tiny houses called Golden Lane. Watch the changing of the guards, explore Golden Lane, or wind your way down through the historic district of Malá Strana and cross the Vltava River on the famous Charles Bridge. Your day ends in the heart of Old Town Square with a well-timed show of the 12 apostles on the 600-year-old astronomical clock.

Day 10: Prague (Depart)

Depart from Prague’s Václav Havel Airport for your journey home.
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1: Prague (Arrive)

Arrive at Václav Havel Airport Prague. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.
Note: For Arrival, Departure and Transfer details, please visit Uniworld.com/transfers. For Port Location details, please visit Uniworld.com/ports.

Day 2: Prague

Prague has been a magnet for artists, writers, scientists and composers for centuries. It also boasts great beer, a lively art scene, stunning castles and up-and-coming fashion designers, making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit.

Prague Old Town and Charles Bridge walking tour

Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum and Wenceslas Square on your way to massive Prague Castle. Step inside the castle's protective walls and enter a self-contained city, with courtyards, palaces, towers, churches and gardens designed for kings and emperors, along with housing and workplaces for all those who tended the rulers. Among the highlights are the lofty St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to finish, and Vladislav Hall, whose complex stone-vaulting system was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the late Middle Ages. After strolling through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague's 17th-century goldsmiths lived (alas, there's no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists), you may reboard the motorcoach for a ride back to the hotel or continue our guided walk through the picturesque Lesser Quarter, the district around the castle, to Charles Bridge. Cross the landmark bridge named for Charles IV, who ordered its construction in 1357; it's strictly for pedestrians now, so you can pause and look down at the Vltava below you and examine some of the statues that line the bridge, before you head to Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague's architectural history. You'll find Prague's most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th-century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinsky Palace and a group of Renaissance houses. 

Hradčany Castle visit

Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you along the banks of the Vltava River past such sites as the Prague Castle, Queen Anne’s Summer Palace and the St. Agnes Convent.

Step off the coach to see the lofty St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to finish, and Vladislav Hall, whose complex stone-vaulting system was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the late Middle Ages. Then take a stroll through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague's 17th century goldsmiths lived (alas, there's no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists).

Here you may reboard the motorcoach for a ride back to the hotel or head out for some free time in the Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague's architectural history. You'll find Prague's most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinský Palace and a group of Renaissance houses.

Czech out Prague

Set off with your family guide on an exploration of Prague. Head to the Petrin Tower, a mini version of the Eiffel Tower built for the Jubilee Exposition in 1891. This monument sits atop a hill and offers stunning views of Prague below. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can climb the 299 steps to the top. Up next is the UNESCO-designated Hradčany Castle District and the majestic Prague Castle—the largest ancient castle in the world. It’s half a mile long and is comprised of a large cathedral, palace, the office of the Czech President and an entire street of tiny houses called Golden Lane. Watch the changing of the guards, explore Golden Lane, or wind your way down through the historic district of Malá Strana and cross the Vltava River on the famous Charles Bridge. Your day ends in the heart of Old Town Square with a well-timed show of the 12 apostles on the 600-year-old astronomical clock.

Day 3: Prague to Nuremberg (Embark)

Transfer from your hotel in Prague to your ship in Nuremberg.

Day 4: Nuremberg

The archetypal medieval German city, Nuremberg was once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, housing many German kings in the Kaiserburg castle complex. Later, this city became the epicenter of the Nazi party. When the end of WWII left Nuremberg almost completely leveled, it was chosen to be the site of the war crimes tribunal—the Nuremberg Trials. Now, most of the city has been restored, including the old castle.

Nuremberg city tour with WWII Rally Grounds and Documentation Center visits

Hitler considered Nuremberg the perfect expression of German culture (partly because of its significance in the Holy Roman Empire, which he called the First Reich), and so beginning in 1927, he chose to hold his massive rallies in the city. By 1933, his favorite architect, Albert Speer, had designed the vast Nazi Party Rally Grounds, where thousands upon thousands of Nazi troops saluted Hitler. (Leni Riefenstahl captured these events in her famous propaganda film Triumph of the Will.) Not all of Speer’s plans were executed, and some of his grandiose structures were bombed out of existence, but the remainder stand as vivid testimony to Hitler’s megalomania. A four-square-mile (10-square-kilometer) complex known as Zeppelin Fields contains parade grounds and a huge grandstand, the excavation site where a stadium for 400,000 people was begun—the hole is now filled with water—and the half-finished Congress Hall.

NOTE: The permanent exhibition at the Documentation Center will be closed until the fall of 2023. In its place, a special temporary exhibition may be available.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 5: Regensburg

The nearly 2,000-year-old history of Regensburg begins with a Roman fort in 90 AD, from which Regensburg grew into the large and prosperous trade center that it became in the last few centuries of the Medieval period. This long history has been excellently preserved through Regensburg’s iconic architecture—particularly its many Gothic and Romanesque churches and Patrician houses.

Regensburg walking tour

People have been describing Regensburg as “old and new” for a thousand years. A single structure perfectly illustrates this: Porta Praetoria, the gate built by the Romans during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. The gate and adjacent watchtower have been incorporated into a much newer building, but the plaster has been removed to reveal the ancient stones laid so long ago.

As you walk through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town, the city’s 2,000-year history is similarly revealed: the Stone Bridge that made Regensburg a 12th-century trading powerhouse, the Gothic town hall where the Imperial Diet met for three centuries, the 13th-century fortified patrician houses and the spectacular Cathedral of St. Peter, whose magnificent 14th-century stained-glass windows alone are worth your walk.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own. It’s very hard to get lost in Regensburg because the spires of the cathedral are visible all over town, so don’t hesitate to roam. The historic quarter not only boasts almost a thousand beautiful old buildings, but also many cozy pubs and some great shopping. The ship is docked conveniently close, so it’s easy to drop your treasures off and go back for more.

“From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit

Hops vines grow up their strings in a field tower almost twice a person’s height. They’re grown for their flowers, which add a distinctive flavor to beer—but the fields they grow in add a distinctive flavor to the hops. You could call it terroir for beer, and you can delve into hops cultivation and hops brewing today. Travel through Bavaria’s Holledau region, the largest hops growing district in the world, and meet an enthusiastic ambassador of hops growing and beer making. She will give you a quick and lively history of hops in Germany—including Bavaria’s law governing the making of beer, which has specified since 1560 that the only ingredients permitted in beer are water, barley and hops—and lead you on a tour through the growing fields her family owns, followed by a craft beer tasting in the cozy barn turned beer hall. It’s a delicious way to get to know a fascinating aspect of the international farm-to-table movement.

Revved engines

Tour BMW’s state-of-the-art facility with an expert guide and see how their cars are produced from start to finish. Put on your safety goggles and factory coats and watch how massive conveyors lift the 3-series BMW up to be welded by computer-controlled robots. This tour offers a captivating look at the production of “the ultimate driving machine.”

Day 6: Straubing, Deggendorf, Vilshofen

Nestled between Regensburg and Passau sits a town surrounded by the foothills of the Bavarian Forest, Deggendorf. Journey deep into the alluring Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany’s first national park, and discover outdoor leisure at its best.

Day 7: Vilshofen, Passau

A new day brings new experiences in the “City of Three Rivers,” Passau, where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers join together, at one time bringing an influx of wealth and culture into the region.

“Let’s Go” scenic Bavarian river biking

Set off on an invigorating bike ride venturing through Passau and Engelhartszell, led by one of our certified wellness instructors. Pedal through Passau's Old Town, past more charming villages, meadows and orchards. Wind your way through the lovely countryside, along the Danube’s right side, into the picturesque Danube Valley. These particular landscapes are some of the most beautiful in all of Europe—characterized by expansive vineyards, tree-lined slopes, and castle-dotted hillsides—and seamlessly blend the region’s cultural, historical and natural components together.

Passau walking tour

The skyline of Passau is dominated by two buildings that owe their existence to the prince-bishops who ruled the city until 1803: the great fortress looming on a hill above the three rivers, home to the bishops until the 17th century, and the green onion domes of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As you walk through the cobblestone streets toward those green onion domes, you’ll realize that Passau retains the layout of the medieval town.

However, many of the wooden medieval buildings burned to the ground in the 17th century, and the prince-bishops imported Italian artists to build a new cathedral and a magnificent new residence for the bishops themselves. As a result, these splendid structures flaunt Italian baroque and rococo style and ornamentation, complete with opulent gilding and wonderful frescoes. Your guide will introduce you to some of the architectural highlights—the rococo stairways of the New Residence; the cathedral; and the Town Hall, which boasts a magnificent atrium adorned with large paintings by Ferdinand Wagner—and make sure you get a close-up view of the point where the three rivers meet.

"Let's Go" hiking around Passau

Set off on a nice but strenuous hike up St. Georgsberg mountain to the highest spot of Passau, where the fortress Veste Oberhaus is located. Designed to be a symbol of military strength and aristocracy, the imposing building sits high on the hill facing the rest of Passau across the Danube River. Now it is home to the Oberhausmuseum, a youth hostel, a restaurant and an open-air theater.

We’ll have time to walk around to see the Oberhaus up close and, more importantly, enjoy the most picturesque views to be found anywhere in Passau, before hiking back down the hill. At the bottom, we’ll find the historic Old Town, where St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located. After a total of 2 hours hiking, we end our tour in front of the Cathedral, whose baroque white façade and aquamarine domes are an iconic fixture of Passau architecture.

Ilz River splash

Enjoy an afternoon on the water with the chance to try out rowing, canoeing or paddle-boarding on the Ilz River, nicknamed the “Black Pearl,” due to the moors and bogs at its river basin that give the water a mesmerizing black color. The Ilz is a paradise for kayakers and paddle boarders alike and allows people of all experience levels to have fun here.

Treasure hunt trek

Join a local geocaching guide on a unique discovery of Passau’s historical and hidden spots. Pay close attention to clues and hints as you make your way from one station to the next, uncovering important historical information about your current location. Each station also includes a special activity for kids.

Pedal Passau

Head out on a cycling excursion on the famous Danube Bike Trail, venturing through Passau, Engelhartszell and other fascinating locales. This flat pathway hugs the river and offers spectacular views of Germany’s lush scenery. The Danube Bike Trail is one of Europe's largest, following stretches of the Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Day 8: Weissenkirchen, Melk

Start your day in the heart of the Danube’s Wachau Valley, strolling through Weissenkirchen’s idyllic wine village while sampling mouth watering apricot treats. Named for its white church that dominates the landscape, the city is flanked by vineyard-lined hills, historic houses and beautiful courtyards. The Melk Abbey is a baroque monastery and sits atop a rocky formation overlooking the Danube.

Melk Abbey with library visit

The Babenbergs, a great medieval ducal family that controlled a wide swath of Austria before yielding to the Habsburgs, were the first to erect a castle on the hill above Melk, which they subsequently gave to Benedictine monks. These monks, some 900 years ago, turned it into a fortified abbey—and the greatest center of learning in Central Europe. Their library was celebrated far and wide (and still is; Umberto Eco paid tribute to it in his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose). Medieval monks there created more than 1,200 manuscripts, sometimes spending an entire lifetime hand-lettering a single volume. Today the library contains some 100,000 volumes, among them more than 80,000 works printed before 1800. This beautiful complex, completely redone in the early 18th century, is a wonderful example of baroque art and architecture, and the views from its terrace are spectacular. As you walk through the abbey’s Marble Hall with your guide, look up at the ceiling fresco painted by Paul Troger: Those classical gods and goddesses represent Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, allegorically bringing his people from dark to light and demonstrating the link he claimed to the original Roman Empire.

After your tour of the abbey, you’ll have time to explore Melk on your own, or you can take the motorcoach back to the ship.

Weissenkirchen village walk with wine tasting

You’ve seen the apricot orchards along the river banks; now taste the fruit. Begin with an easy walk to Weissenkirchen, which may be the prettiest village in the Wachau—and that’s saying quite a bit. Named for its famous white church, Weissenkirchen is simply picture-perfect. Its centuries-old wine estates, houses with colorful flower boxes, lovely gardens and apricot orchards make for a wonderfully idyllic setting between the river and the mountains. Later, sample some Wachau wines at a local winery where your guide will share various details about why these extraordinary wines are so unique.

“Let’s Go” vineyard hike

If you're up for a hike, join a group on a hike up through the vineyards. A stairway at the church will take you past the ancient cemetery and up to the hiking trail that leads through the vineyards planted with Riesling and Grüner Veltliner grapes. You'll enjoy expansive views over the river valley as you approach your resting point. An easy walk back to the ship; instead of a reverse hike, you can comfortably stroll back into the village via a different route, passing many small vintners along the way.

Day 9: Vienna

On this day, explore the “City of Waltzes” and dive into its vast artistic legacy with your choice of tours. The city is known for its imperial palaces, famous residents and expansive art collections. See the Musikverein, a beautiful concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic. Or delve into the hidden secrets of Vienna in some of its most historical sites.

Viennese highlights with Musikverein

Vienna is a city that has never failed to impress, and you’ll see why the moment your tour begins as you drive through streets lined with baroque architecture and pass by the grand, imperial Ringstrasse on your way to the famous Musikverein.

Vienna’s musical history is one of particular renown, and lays claim to such greats as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. The Musikverein is Vienna’s premier center for classical music. Enjoy a guided tour through this historical building.

The Golden Hall of the Musikverein is known by friends of music all over the world, not only for being the permanent seat of the renowned Vienna Philharmonic and the main stage of the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, but also for its unique architecture.

After touring the Musikverein, you will set out on foot to see the city up close, passing by the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and all the other highlights of downtown Vienna.

The secrets of Vienna

The city of Vienna is famous for its charm and beauty, but it’s also full of mystery under the surface. Uncover the many secrets of Vienna with your guide as you head all over town, diving deep into the city’s past at such historical sites as the allegedly haunted Imperial Palace.

The star of our tour is Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, whose gothic spire and extravagantly tiled roofs are an iconic element of Vienna’s cityscape. Also known as the Stephansdom, this nearly millennium-old building has seen many architectural changes over the centuries and features various secret signs and symbols, added to send covert messages to those who could decipher them. Luckily, your guide can help you do just that.

Magical history tour

Watch as history comes alive on this exploration of the city at the interactive multimedia venue Time Travel Vienna. Discover Vienna’s eventful history in a unique way; Time Travel Vienna features a 5D cinema, animatronic wax figures, rides and multimedia shows equipped with extraordinary sound and light effects. After, you’ll embark on a humorous and expertly-led walk around the city that will bring you to the historic St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Schönbrunn royal experience

Learn more about the everyday life of the imperial family at the “Schloss Schönbrunn Experience” Children’s Museum. Dress up as a prince or princess, learn the secret language of fans, play with imperial toys or set the table for an imperial dinner. Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, is a stunning 1,441 room Baroque palace that’s revered as one of the most important architectural and historical monuments in the country. Marvel at its over 300 years of history that reflect the changing tastes of former monarchs and wander through its vast gardens.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 10: Vienna (Disembark)

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Vienna International Airport for your flight home.

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