Budapest Hungary

Day 1: Amsterdam (embark)

Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.

Day 2: Cologne

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Cologne walking tour with choice of cathedral OR Kölsch beer tasting OR Museum Ludwig

You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne’s many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll with a local expert through Old Town to the city’s iconic UNESCO-listed Gothic cathedral. For beer connoisseurs, you’ll wish to visit a brewery to taste the traditional local brew of the city, Kölsch. And for lovers of art, you won’t want to miss one of the most important contemporary museums in Europe, Museum Ludwig. Cap the day off at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. 

Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

Day 3: Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Rüdesheim

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of gondola ride to the Niederwald Monument OR Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum

Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Upper Middle Rhine. Later, experience Rüdesheim from above on a cable car ride over Rheingau vineyards or visit a unique collection of self-playing musical instruments.

Day 4: Frankfurt

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Frankfurt city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Frankfurt walking tour.

Get an overview of modern-day Frankfurt as well as its charming Old Town, or experience Frankfurt as a local.
Optional Excursions:
Tour of Heidelberg with Castle visit

Tour of Heidelberg with Castle visit

  • Duration: 5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $75.90

A motorcoach carries you to Heidelberg, sometimes called the most romantic city in Germany. It is home to the nation’s oldest university, a charming baroque Old Town lying along the banks of the Neckar River and extraordinarily beautiful castle ruins overlooking the town. Your tour will take you to the castle—with its views of the red-tile roofs of the town below, the handsome Old Bridge and the wooded hillsides beyond—and then into Old Town, where you will see the late-Gothic Holy Spirit Church, the Student Prison and the longest pedestrian street in Germany.

Day 5: Wertheim

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Wertheim walking tour with pretzel making and wine tasting at a private wine estate

Stroll through Wertheim’s historic center and enjoy a private wine tasting and pretzel making with a baker.

Day 6: Würzburg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Würzburg Residence visit

Art lovers will want to visit the Würzburg Residence.

Day 7: Cruising the Main River, Rothenburg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Rothenburg and Weikersheim village & castle tour

Enjoy a day of scenic cruising on the Main River. Later, fairytale lovers will want to go to Rothenburg and Weikersheim, where you’ll visit a grand palace.

Day 8: Bamberg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bamberg walking discovery tour OR exclusive Franconian “Village Day”

City dwellers will wish to discover Bamberg—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and country dwellers will wish to experience a Franconian village outing.

Day 9: Nuremberg, cruising the Main-Danube Canal

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Nuremberg city tour OR WWII historical tour with Documentation Center

Once in Nuremberg, join either a city tour or a tour focusing on significant WWII sites. Note: We are only permitted to see Courtroom 600 during trial breaks.

Day 10: Kelheim, Regensburg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking discovery tour OR “From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit OR BMW factory visit OR exclusive guided “Lets Go” bird’s-eye view of Regensburg

Discover Germany’s best-preserved medieval city on a walking tour; visit a Bavarian hops farm; or tour the state-of-the-art BMW factory. Note: If the tour lands on a day when the BMW factory is closed, an alternative venue will be organized.

Day 11: Passau, cruising the Danube River, Engelhartszell

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

A “trifecta” of choices to experience Passau—a walking discovery tour OR city tour with old town walk OR exclusive guided “Lets Go” Bavarian river bike ride

Discover Passau with a variety of choices, either on an intimate walking tour, panoramic city tour or via a “Lets Go” choice with a ride along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Danube and into the heart of Passau.

Day 12: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Weissenkirchen “Village Day” with exclusive guided “Lets Go” vineyard hike with wine tasting OR Melk Abbey with library visit

Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Weissenkirchen, where you can sample fine local wine, along with a vineyard hike. Alternatively, you can visit the Melk Abbey and its extraordinary library.
Optional Excursions:
Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Easy:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $86.90

Vienna is linked inextricably with music, as so many great composers lived and worked here: Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms—the list is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of chamber music performed by some of Vienna’s world-class professionals in a historic and intimate concert venue. The music, naturally, will be by Mozart and Strauss.

Schönbrunn Palace after hour visit

Schönbrunn Palace after hour visit

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $71.50

Imagine strolling through the royal chambers and gardens of Schönbrunn Palace without the crowds. That’s the agenda this evening, as you visit this baroque masterwork after the doors close to the public. Schönbrunn was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, so the state rooms reflect the luxury and splendor of the baroque and Rococo eras, but you’ll also see the suites occupied by the last significant Habsburg emperor, Franz Joseph, and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi, she was enormously popular in her day). Franz Joseph’s private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast with the opulent public rooms. Follow your tour of the palace with a tranquil stroll through the famous baroque gardens, with their parterres, gloriettes and fountains, before driving past the beautifully illuminated monuments of Vienna on your way to the ship.

Day 13: Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit or exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour

Get acquainted with Vienna’s treasure trove of imperial gems on a city tour with a visit to Prince Eugene’s Winter Palace. If you prefer to experience the city’s artistic gems, join an art tour, featuring a Gustav Klimt exhibit at the Belvedere.
Optional Excursions:
Home-hosted Coffee in a Viennese palace apartment

Home-hosted Coffee in a Viennese palace apartment

  • Duration: 2.5
  • Easy:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Ring Street is not just home to many of Vienna’s stately public buildings; people live here too. What lies behind the imposing facades of the residential buildings on Ring Street? You have the opportunity to find out with a visit to the home of a friendly couple who reside in a typical turn-of-the-20th-century apartment in one of these historic buildings. They will invite you into their living room (and kitchen) for the quintessential Viennese experience: coffee and homemade apple strudel. The aroma of strudel fresh from the oven is divine, the conversation relaxed and easy—learn a bit about daily life in this beautiful neighborhood and share your own experiences with your hosts.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Perhaps the apex of baroque design in Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace’s gardens and structures form a perfectly integrated masterwork; it was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, and she made it the social and political center of her empire, beginning in 1740. Your visit today will concentrate on the rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi, she was enormously popular in her day). Franz Joseph restored the state rooms to their rococo splendor, but his private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast.

Day 14: Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Budapest city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour OR exclusive guided “Lets Go” Budapest by bike

Choose one of three ways to savor the beauty of Budapest: a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including Castle Hill; do as the locals do; or on an active exploration with biking on a “Green Budapest” tour. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $93.50

Some people call Etyek Budapest’s vineyard. Just a short distance from the bustling city, the village stands among rollings hills and verdant rows of vines—that just happen to be at same latitude as France’s famous Champagne vineyards. Though Hungary’s best-known wines are Tokai and Bull’s Blood, this region is ideal for growing white wine grapes. It’s the country’s newest wine district, and yet it’s also an old wine district—Swabians settled here after the Turks withdrew in date tk and planted wine grapes—that was virtually abandoned. In the 1990s a few dedicated winemakers began renewing the vineyards and reinventing the kinds of wines they produced. Istvan Kalna is one of them: his limestone cellar dates to the 1850s; his vines are much younger. He grows sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes and transforms them into delightful sparkling wines. Join the winemaker himself for a tour of his cellars and learn about the fermentation process that puts the bubbles in bubbly, then gather around for a tasting of Kalna wines and rustic Hungarian nibbles that set off the fruit of the vines perfectly.

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Strenuous:
  • Price: $53.90

Let a local show you the city he loves from the back of a bike—but without the hard work of pedaling up Budapest’s hills. An e-bike gives you all the fun of biking through the city with none of the work—and this tour is both personal and varied. Start at one of the most popular gathering spots in Budapest, the Aquarium Club, where something is always happening: concerts, exhibits, performances—and, yes, a glass-roofed bar below the pool. Swing by Hunyadi Market, an old-fashioned farmers market where farmers near the city sell their seasonal produce under striped canopies during the summer or indoors in the only remaining original market hall in the heart of the city. Roll down tree-lined residential Benzur Street, stop at the memorial to 1956 revolution, sip the famous thermal waters at the Fountain of Youth under Elizabeth Bridge, pass the national opera house and St. Stephen’s basilica, and head up to the Castle District for a stunning view of the city across the river. It’s an eclectic survey of both quirky destinations (a coffee bar straight out of the 1950s) and celebrated city highlights, all illuminated by a personable, well-informed and charming host.

Ruin Pub Crawl

Ruin Pub Crawl

  • Duration: 3
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $38.50

Cap off your day with a cocktail-hour pub crawl in the hippest—and formerly the shabbiest—neighborhood in the city. Budapest’s “ruin” pubs may be incredibly popular with the city’s 20-somethings but they are fun and lively places to grab a drink whatever your age. A cross between pop-up nightclubs, cultural centers and neighborhood hangouts, ruin bars get their name from their location—derelict buildings in the old Jewish Quarter. Puder puts the focus on art and theater, with wildly eclectic décor and plenty of performance pieces, along with a comprehensive bar menu. Nearby Szimpla Kert was the first ruin bar; put together with found or thrift-shop furniture in an abandoned building, it kicked off the entire craze almost 20 years ago. The enormous garden, complete with an old Trabant, is a great spot for a beer and a conversation with strangers. A short walk with your pub expert leads to other popular scenes: you might visit Csendes, which pays homage to traditional Hungarian coffee bars as well as to quirky décor, or Extra, which specializes in craft beers, before returning to the ship.

Day 15: Budapest

Enjoy a free day in Budapest.

Day 16: Budapest, cruising the Danube River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Budapest city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour or exclusive guided “Lets Go” Budapest by bike

Choose one of three ways to discover Budapest’s wonders. Savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district. If you prefer to experience the city as the locals do, then take a ride on the metro; stop at a lively market hall; visit the oldest and most beautiful garden in the city, Károlyi Garden; and explore the National Museum. For a more active exploration of the city, join the guided bike tour. Cap your day off with the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $93.50

Some people call Etyek Budapest’s vineyard. Just a short distance from the bustling city, the village stands among rollings hills and verdant rows of vines—that just happen to be at same latitude as France’s famous Champagne vineyards. Though Hungary’s best-known wines are Tokai and Bull’s Blood, this region is ideal for growing white wine grapes. It’s the country’s newest wine district, and yet it’s also an old wine district—Swabians settled here after the Turks withdrew in date tk and planted wine grapes—that was virtually abandoned. In the 1990s a few dedicated winemakers began renewing the vineyards and reinventing the kinds of wines they produced. Istvan Kalna is one of them: his limestone cellar dates to the 1850s; his vines are much younger. He grows sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes and transforms them into delightful sparkling wines. Join the winemaker himself for a tour of his cellars and learn about the fermentation process that puts the bubbles in bubbly, then gather around for a tasting of Kalna wines and rustic Hungarian nibbles that set off the fruit of the vines perfectly.

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Strenuous:
  • Price: $53.90

Let a local show you the city he loves from the back of a bike—but without the hard work of pedaling up Budapest’s hills. An e-bike gives you all the fun of biking through the city with none of the work—and this tour is both personal and varied. Start at one of the most popular gathering spots in Budapest, the Aquarium Club, where something is always happening: concerts, exhibits, performances—and, yes, a glass-roofed bar below the pool. Swing by Hunyadi Market, an old-fashioned farmers market where farmers near the city sell their seasonal produce under striped canopies during the summer or indoors in the only remaining original market hall in the heart of the city. Roll down tree-lined residential Benzur Street, stop at the memorial to 1956 revolution, sip the famous thermal waters at the Fountain of Youth under Elizabeth Bridge, pass the national opera house and St. Stephen’s basilica, and head up to the Castle District for a stunning view of the city across the river. It’s an eclectic survey of both quirky destinations (a coffee bar straight out of the 1950s) and celebrated city highlights, all illuminated by a personable, well-informed and charming host.

Day 17: Cruising the Danube River, Vukovar (Osijek)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day tour of Vukovar and Osijek with exclusive farm visit and home-hosted lunch OR full day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch

Start your day with a short walking tour of Vukovar before departing for Osijek, or head directly to Osijek. Discover the city’s abundance of cultural and artistic heritage, including Tvrda, the self-contained 18thcentury Habsburg defensive fortress. Later, travel through the Croatian countryside to a family-owned farm where you’ll sip homemade brandy and indulge in a tapas-style buffet of locally produced delicacies.

Day 18: Belgrade

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace or exclusive guided “Lets Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour

Choose one of two ways to explore Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia and one of Europe’s oldest cities. Join a panoramic tour that includes a visit to the Royal Palace. For a more active exploration, opt for a guided bike tour highlighting historic sites dating from WWII to the present day.
Optional Excursions:
Meet Belgrade - people, places and little wonders

Meet Belgrade - people, places and little wonders

  • Duration: 3
  • Strenuous:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

You can’t begin to understand fascinating, contradictory Belgrade without meeting some of its citizens and hearing their stories. Chat, for instance, with the last perfume-maker in Belgrade about his custom fragrances, including one called Belgrade Nights. His shop, with its glass bottles and vintage family photos, evokes a long-ago time when Belgrade was a center of perfume making. Across the street, Black Sheep offers delicious hand-made ice cream—perhaps you’d like a taste of the day’s flavor, which might be pear and crème brulee? Belgrade is passionate about two soccer teams, Partizan and Red Star, and about street art, so naturally the two come together on the walls of buildings. Partizan’s partisans commissioned portraits of famous Partizan fans—but you’ll see that Red Star’s fans have tagged some paintings. In the Skadarlija neighborhood, drop by an eclectic antique shop, and near the Parliament building, meet the charming young women who run a restaurant in a hidden villa courtyard. At the Kalenic green market, a jam-maker lets you in on some of her secret ingredients, and on Gavrilo Princip street, visit a family-owned candy shop that stills makes Turkish delight by hand.

Day 19: Cruising the Iron Gates

Enjoy a day onboard, cruising through the Iron Gates, an 83-mile-long stretch of scenic gorges, which are among the most dramatic sights in all of Europe.

Day 20: Vidin, cruising the Danube River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bulgarian red rock country OR Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit

Explore the lesser-known town of Vidin, your base for one of two unusual excursions. One takes you to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations, which are over 200 million years old—and have inspired nearly as many legends. The other takes you to Cetate Cultural Port, a haven for Romanian artists of all sorts—poets, potters, painters, filmmakers and musicians.

Day 21: Rousse (Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or Rousse and Ivanovo)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch OR Rousse walking discovery tour and Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries

You could choose to spend the day visiting two historic hill towns, Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi, home to six amazing 17th-century stone churches, each one decorated with intricate frescoes, and visit the Nativity Church, with murals of the Nativity and the Last Judgment. Afterwards, be treated to a traditional Bulgarian country lunch. For those who wish for a different experience, spend time in Rousse and then visit the UNESCO-designated cave churches of Ivanovo—once an enclave of more than 40 churches and chapels—and the Basarbovo Rock Monastery, where monks still live and worship today. Spend your last night on the ship at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.

Day 22: Giurgiu, transfer to Bucharest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bucharest city tour with People's Palace VisitOR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest tour

Disembark the ship and transfer via motorcoach to Bucharest. A panoramic tour highlights the city’s eclectic mix of architecture and spend some time in the lavish People's Palace - the world's largest civilian building. If you prefer to do as the locals do, enjoy a leisurely walk as you take in the locals’ favorite sights and taste some of their favorite appetizers.

Day 23: Bucharest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Romanian countryside tour with visits to Mogosoaia Palace and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb

Explore the 18th-century Mogosoaia Palace and the lakeside tomb of Vlad the Impaler.
Optional Excursions:
Ceausescu's Mansion

Ceausescu's Mansion

  • Duration: 1.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $31.90

While most Romanians scraped by on severely rationed food and two hours of electricity a day, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu lived in an 80-room villa in one of Bucharest’s poshest neighborhoods. It’s called the Spring Palace (because it’s on Spring Street, where most of the Romanian communist elite lived), and it’s just one of the many mansions the dictator owned—and these days it’s open to visitors curious to see how the dictator and his family lived. The Ceausescus always took their shoes off to protect their carpets; you’ll be handed blue shoe covers before you follow their footsteps into their lavish mansion. Your tour guide will point out that the silk wallcoverings, reproduction Louis XVI furnishings, and hand-loomed carpets were all made by Romanian firms. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a solarium, Elena Ceausescu’s luxurious bedroom suite (her furs and hundreds of pairs of shoes are gone), a screening room where the dictator watched American TV shows that were forbidden to the rest of the country, and a bunker two levels below ground give you further insight into the lives of the couple who all but bankrupted their nation.

Sinaia Mountain Resort with Peles Castle visit, lunch and Champagne tasting Rhine Azuga Cellars

Sinaia Mountain Resort with Peles Castle visit, lunch and Champagne tasting Rhine Azuga Cellars

  • Duration: 8.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $82.50

Sinaia, called the “Pearl of the Carpathians,” is home to Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces. The castle was once the summer residence of the Romanian kings; its 160 rooms are opulently decorated with leather, ebony, walnut and mother-of-pearl, and contain invaluable collections of art and furniture—you can see why it’s often used for official receptions. After visiting Peles Castle, you will make a short drive through the Busteni Mountains to a local wine cellar to sample some delightful Romanian sparkling wines.

Day 24: Bucharest, transfer to the airport

Transfer to Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport for your flight home.


Day 1: Bucharest

Arrive at Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport and be transferred to the hotel.


Day 2: Bucharest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of People’s Palace visit OR Romanian countryside tour with visits to Mogosoaia Palace and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb

Spend some time today in the lavish People’s Palace— the world’s largest civilian building. Or you can choose to explore the 18th-century Mogosoaia Palace and the lakeside tomb of Vlad the Impaler.

Day 3: Bucharest, transfer to Giurgiu (embark)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bucharest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest tour

A panoramic tour highlights the city’s eclectic mix of architecture. If you prefer to do as the locals do, enjoy a leisurely walk as you take in the locals’ favorite sights and taste some of their favorite appetizers. Later, transfer by motorcoach to Giurgiu and embark your ship.

Day 4: Rousse (Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or Rousse and Ivanovo)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch OR Rousse walking discovery tour and Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries

You could choose to spend the day visiting two historic hill towns, Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi, home to six amazing 17th-century stone churches, each one decorated with intricate frescoes, and visit the Nativity Church, with murals of the Nativity and the Last Judgment. Afterwards, be treated to a traditional Bulgarian country lunch. For those who wish for a different experience, spend time in Rousse and then visit the UNESCO-designated cave churches of Ivanovo— once an enclave of more than 40 churches and chapels— and the Basarbovo Rock Monastery, where monks still live and worship today. Spend your first night on the ship at the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.
Optional Excursions:
Tour of Heidelberg with Castle visit

Tour of Heidelberg with Castle visit

  • Duration: 5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $75.90

A motorcoach carries you to Heidelberg, sometimes called the most romantic city in Germany. It is home to the nation’s oldest university, a charming baroque Old Town lying along the banks of the Neckar River and extraordinarily beautiful castle ruins overlooking the town. Your tour will take you to the castle—with its views of the red-tile roofs of the town below, the handsome Old Bridge and the wooded hillsides beyond—and then into Old Town, where you will see the late-Gothic Holy Spirit Church, the Student Prison and the longest pedestrian street in Germany.

Day 5: Cruising the Danube River, Vidin

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bulgarian red rock country OR Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit

Explore the lesser-known town of Vidin, your base for one of two unusual excursions. One takes you to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations, which are over 200 million years old—and have inspired nearly as many legends. The other takes you to Cetate Cultural Port, a haven for Romanian artists of all sorts—poets, potters, painters, filmmakers and musicians.

Day 6: Cruising the Iron Gates

Enjoy a day onboard, cruising through the Iron Gates, an 83-mile-long stretch of scenic gorges, which are among the most dramatic sights in all of Europe.

Day 7: Belgrade

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace OR exclusive guided “Go Active” “I Bike Belgrade” tour

Choose one of two ways to explore Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia and one of Europe’s oldest cities. Join a panoramic tour that includes a visit to the Royal Palace. For a more active exploration, opt for a guided bike tour highlighting historic sites dating from WWII to the present day.

Day 8: Cruising the Danube River, Vukovar (Osijek)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of full day tour of Vukovar and Osijek with exclusive farm visit and home-hosted lunch OR full day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch

Start your day with a short walking tour of Vukovar before departing for Osijek, or head directly to Osijek. Discover the city’s abundance of cultural and artistic heritage, including Tvrda, the self-contained 18th-century Habsburg defensive fortress. Later, travel through the Croatian countryside to a family-owned farm where you’ll sip homemade brandy and indulge in a tapas-style buffet of locally produced delicacies.

Day 9: Budapest, cruising the Danube River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Budapest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Budapest by bike

Choose one of three ways to discover Budapest’s wonders. Savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest, which lie on opposite sides of the Danube on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district. If you prefer to experience the city as the locals do, then take a ride on the metro; stop at a lively market hall; visit the oldest and most beautiful garden in the city, Károlyi Garden; and explore the National Museum. For a more active exploration of the city, join the guided bike tour.

Day 10: Budapest

Enjoy a day at leisure in Budapest.

Day 11: Budapest

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Budapest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Budapest by bike

Choose one of three ways to savor the beauty of Budapest: a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights, including Castle Hill; do as the locals do; or on an active exploration with biking on a “Green Budapest” tour.

Day 12: Cruising the Danube River

Enjoy a day of scenic cruising on the Danube River.

Optional Excursions:
Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

Exclusive Mozart and Strauss concert at a Viennese palace

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Easy:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $86.90

Vienna is linked inextricably with music, as so many great composers lived and worked here: Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms—the list is as long as it is glorious. Enjoy an evening of chamber music performed by some of Vienna’s world-class professionals in a historic and intimate concert venue. The music, naturally, will be by Mozart and Strauss.

Schönbrunn Palace after hour visit

Schönbrunn Palace after hour visit

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $71.50

Imagine strolling through the royal chambers and gardens of Schönbrunn Palace without the crowds. That’s the agenda this evening, as you visit this baroque masterwork after the doors close to the public. Schönbrunn was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, so the state rooms reflect the luxury and splendor of the baroque and Rococo eras, but you’ll also see the suites occupied by the last significant Habsburg emperor, Franz Joseph, and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi, she was enormously popular in her day). Franz Joseph’s private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast with the opulent public rooms. Follow your tour of the palace with a tranquil stroll through the famous baroque gardens, with their parterres, gloriettes and fountains, before driving past the beautifully illuminated monuments of Vienna on your way to the ship.

Day 13: Vienna

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Vienna city tour with Winter Palace of Prince Eugene visit OR exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour

Get acquainted with Vienna’s treasure trove of imperial gems on a city tour with a visit to Prince Eugene’s Winter Palace. If you prefer to experience the city’s artistic gems, join an art tour, featuring a Gustav Klimt exhibit at the Belvedere.
Optional Excursions:
Home-hosted Coffee in a Viennese palace apartment

Home-hosted Coffee in a Viennese palace apartment

  • Duration: 2.5
  • Easy:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Ring Street is not just home to many of Vienna’s stately public buildings; people live here too. What lies behind the imposing facades of the residential buildings on Ring Street? You have the opportunity to find out with a visit to the home of a friendly couple who reside in a typical turn-of-the-20th-century apartment in one of these historic buildings. They will invite you into their living room (and kitchen) for the quintessential Viennese experience: coffee and homemade apple strudel. The aroma of strudel fresh from the oven is divine, the conversation relaxed and easy—learn a bit about daily life in this beautiful neighborhood and share your own experiences with your hosts.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $53.90

Perhaps the apex of baroque design in Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace’s gardens and structures form a perfectly integrated masterwork; it was Empress Maria Theresa’s favorite palace, and she made it the social and political center of her empire, beginning in 1740. Your visit today will concentrate on the rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his empress, Elisabeth (known as Sissi, she was enormously popular in her day). Franz Joseph restored the state rooms to their rococo splendor, but his private rooms reflect his rather severe nature, making for an illuminating contrast.

Day 14: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Weissenkirchen “Village Day” with exclusive guided “Go Active” vineyard hike with wine tasting OR Melk Abbey with library visit

Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Weissenkirchen, where you can sample fine local wine, along with a vineyard hike. Alternatively, you can visit the Melk Abbey and its extraordinary library.
Optional Excursions:
Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $93.50

Some people call Etyek Budapest’s vineyard. Just a short distance from the bustling city, the village stands among rollings hills and verdant rows of vines—that just happen to be at same latitude as France’s famous Champagne vineyards. Though Hungary’s best-known wines are Tokai and Bull’s Blood, this region is ideal for growing white wine grapes. It’s the country’s newest wine district, and yet it’s also an old wine district—Swabians settled here after the Turks withdrew in date tk and planted wine grapes—that was virtually abandoned. In the 1990s a few dedicated winemakers began renewing the vineyards and reinventing the kinds of wines they produced. Istvan Kalna is one of them: his limestone cellar dates to the 1850s; his vines are much younger. He grows sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes and transforms them into delightful sparkling wines. Join the winemaker himself for a tour of his cellars and learn about the fermentation process that puts the bubbles in bubbly, then gather around for a tasting of Kalna wines and rustic Hungarian nibbles that set off the fruit of the vines perfectly.

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Strenuous:
  • Price: $53.90

Let a local show you the city he loves from the back of a bike—but without the hard work of pedaling up Budapest’s hills. An e-bike gives you all the fun of biking through the city with none of the work—and this tour is both personal and varied. Start at one of the most popular gathering spots in Budapest, the Aquarium Club, where something is always happening: concerts, exhibits, performances—and, yes, a glass-roofed bar below the pool. Swing by Hunyadi Market, an old-fashioned farmers market where farmers near the city sell their seasonal produce under striped canopies during the summer or indoors in the only remaining original market hall in the heart of the city. Roll down tree-lined residential Benzur Street, stop at the memorial to 1956 revolution, sip the famous thermal waters at the Fountain of Youth under Elizabeth Bridge, pass the national opera house and St. Stephen’s basilica, and head up to the Castle District for a stunning view of the city across the river. It’s an eclectic survey of both quirky destinations (a coffee bar straight out of the 1950s) and celebrated city highlights, all illuminated by a personable, well-informed and charming host.

Ruin Pub Crawl

Ruin Pub Crawl

  • Duration: 3
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $38.50

Cap off your day with a cocktail-hour pub crawl in the hippest—and formerly the shabbiest—neighborhood in the city. Budapest’s “ruin” pubs may be incredibly popular with the city’s 20-somethings but they are fun and lively places to grab a drink whatever your age. A cross between pop-up nightclubs, cultural centers and neighborhood hangouts, ruin bars get their name from their location—derelict buildings in the old Jewish Quarter. Puder puts the focus on art and theater, with wildly eclectic décor and plenty of performance pieces, along with a comprehensive bar menu. Nearby Szimpla Kert was the first ruin bar; put together with found or thrift-shop furniture in an abandoned building, it kicked off the entire craze almost 20 years ago. The enormous garden, complete with an old Trabant, is a great spot for a beer and a conversation with strangers. A short walk with your pub expert leads to other popular scenes: you might visit Csendes, which pays homage to traditional Hungarian coffee bars as well as to quirky décor, or Extra, which specializes in craft beers, before returning to the ship.

Day 15: Engalhartszell, cruising the Danube River, Passau

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

A “trifecta” of choices to experience Passau—walking discovery tour OR city tour with old town walk OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Bavarian river bike ride

Discover Passau with a variety of choices, either on an intimate walking tour, panoramic city tour or via a “Go Active” choice with a ride along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Danube and into the heart of Passau.

Day 16: Regensburg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking discovery tour OR “From Hops Field to Beer Stein” farm visit OR BMW factory visit OR exclusive guided “Go Active” bird’s-eye view of Regensburg

Discover Germany’s best-preserved medieval city on a walking tour; visit a Bavarian hops farm; or tour the state-of-the-art BMW factory. Note: If the tour lands on a day when the BMW factory is closed, an alternative venue will be organized.
Optional Excursions:
Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

Etyek - Champagne in the Countryside

  • Duration: 3.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $93.50

Some people call Etyek Budapest’s vineyard. Just a short distance from the bustling city, the village stands among rollings hills and verdant rows of vines—that just happen to be at same latitude as France’s famous Champagne vineyards. Though Hungary’s best-known wines are Tokai and Bull’s Blood, this region is ideal for growing white wine grapes. It’s the country’s newest wine district, and yet it’s also an old wine district—Swabians settled here after the Turks withdrew in date tk and planted wine grapes—that was virtually abandoned. In the 1990s a few dedicated winemakers began renewing the vineyards and reinventing the kinds of wines they produced. Istvan Kalna is one of them: his limestone cellar dates to the 1850s; his vines are much younger. He grows sauvignon blanc and chardonnay grapes and transforms them into delightful sparkling wines. Join the winemaker himself for a tour of his cellars and learn about the fermentation process that puts the bubbles in bubbly, then gather around for a tasting of Kalna wines and rustic Hungarian nibbles that set off the fruit of the vines perfectly.

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

Exclusive Buda & Pest e-bike tour

  • Duration: 3.5
  • Strenuous:
  • Price: $53.90

Let a local show you the city he loves from the back of a bike—but without the hard work of pedaling up Budapest’s hills. An e-bike gives you all the fun of biking through the city with none of the work—and this tour is both personal and varied. Start at one of the most popular gathering spots in Budapest, the Aquarium Club, where something is always happening: concerts, exhibits, performances—and, yes, a glass-roofed bar below the pool. Swing by Hunyadi Market, an old-fashioned farmers market where farmers near the city sell their seasonal produce under striped canopies during the summer or indoors in the only remaining original market hall in the heart of the city. Roll down tree-lined residential Benzur Street, stop at the memorial to 1956 revolution, sip the famous thermal waters at the Fountain of Youth under Elizabeth Bridge, pass the national opera house and St. Stephen’s basilica, and head up to the Castle District for a stunning view of the city across the river. It’s an eclectic survey of both quirky destinations (a coffee bar straight out of the 1950s) and celebrated city highlights, all illuminated by a personable, well-informed and charming host.

Day 17: Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Nuremberg

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Nuremberg city tour OR WWII historical tour with Documentation Center

Once in Nuremberg, join either a city tour or a tour focusing on significant WWII sites. Note: We are only permitted to see Courtroom 600 during trial breaks.

Day 18: Bamberg, cruising the Main River

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Bamberg walking discovery tour OR exclusive Franconian “Village Day”

City dwellers will wish to discover Bamberg—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and country dwellers will wish to experience a Franconian village outing.
Optional Excursions:
Meet Belgrade - people, places and little wonders

Meet Belgrade - people, places and little wonders

  • Duration: 3
  • Strenuous:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $49.50

You can’t begin to understand fascinating, contradictory Belgrade without meeting some of its citizens and hearing their stories. Chat, for instance, with the last perfume-maker in Belgrade about his custom fragrances, including one called Belgrade Nights. His shop, with its glass bottles and vintage family photos, evokes a long-ago time when Belgrade was a center of perfume making. Across the street, Black Sheep offers delicious hand-made ice cream—perhaps you’d like a taste of the day’s flavor, which might be pear and crème brulee? Belgrade is passionate about two soccer teams, Partizan and Red Star, and about street art, so naturally the two come together on the walls of buildings. Partizan’s partisans commissioned portraits of famous Partizan fans—but you’ll see that Red Star’s fans have tagged some paintings. In the Skadarlija neighborhood, drop by an eclectic antique shop, and near the Parliament building, meet the charming young women who run a restaurant in a hidden villa courtyard. At the Kalenic green market, a jam-maker lets you in on some of her secret ingredients, and on Gavrilo Princip street, visit a family-owned candy shop that stills makes Turkish delight by hand.

Day 19: Würzburg (Rothenburg)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Würzburg Residence visit OR Rothenburg and Weikersheim village & castle tour

Art lovers will want to visit the Würzburg Residence, and fairytale lovers will want to go to Rothenburg and Weikersheim, where you’ll visit a grand palace.

Day 20: Wertheim

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Wertheim walking tour with pretzel making and wine tasting at a private wine estate

Stroll through Wertheim’s historic center and enjoy a private wine tasting and pretzel making with a baker.

Day 21: Frankfurt (Heidelberg or Frankfurt)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of Frankfurt city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Frankfurt walking tour

Get an overview of modern-day Frankfurt as well as its charming Old Town, or experience Frankfurt as a local.

Day 22: Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Rüdesheim

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Choice of gondola ride to the Niederwald Monument OR Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum

Experience Rüdesheim from above on a cable car ride over Rheingau vineyards or visit a unique collection of self-playing musical instruments. Later, cruise through the UNESCO-designated Upper Middle Rhine.

Day 23: Cologne

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:

Cologne walking tour with choice of cathedral OR Kölsch beer tasting OR Museum Ludwig

You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne’s many treasures. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll with a local expert through Old Town to the city’s iconic UNESCO Gothic Cologne Cathedral. For beer connoisseurs, you’ll wish to visit a brewery to taste the traditional local brew of the city, Kölsch. And for lovers of art, you won’t want to miss one of the most important contemporary museums in Europe, Museum Ludwig. Cap the day off at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. 

Note: On Sundays and Catholic holidays, guided tours inside the cathedral are not allowed, but individual visits are still welcomed.

Optional Excursions:
Ceausescu's Mansion

Ceausescu's Mansion

  • Duration: 1.75
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $31.90

While most Romanians scraped by on severely rationed food and two hours of electricity a day, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu lived in an 80-room villa in one of Bucharest’s poshest neighborhoods. It’s called the Spring Palace (because it’s on Spring Street, where most of the Romanian communist elite lived), and it’s just one of the many mansions the dictator owned—and these days it’s open to visitors curious to see how the dictator and his family lived. The Ceausescus always took their shoes off to protect their carpets; you’ll be handed blue shoe covers before you follow their footsteps into their lavish mansion. Your tour guide will point out that the silk wallcoverings, reproduction Louis XVI furnishings, and hand-loomed carpets were all made by Romanian firms. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a solarium, Elena Ceausescu’s luxurious bedroom suite (her furs and hundreds of pairs of shoes are gone), a screening room where the dictator watched American TV shows that were forbidden to the rest of the country, and a bunker two levels below ground give you further insight into the lives of the couple who all but bankrupted their nation.

Sinaia Mountain Resort with Peles Castle visit, lunch and Champagne tasting Rhine Azuga Cellars

Sinaia Mountain Resort with Peles Castle visit, lunch and Champagne tasting Rhine Azuga Cellars

  • Duration: 8.5
  • Intermediate:
  • Transportation:
  • Price: $82.50

Sinaia, called the “Pearl of the Carpathians,” is home to Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces. The castle was once the summer residence of the Romanian kings; its 160 rooms are opulently decorated with leather, ebony, walnut and mother-of-pearl, and contain invaluable collections of art and furniture—you can see why it’s often used for official receptions. After visiting Peles Castle, you will make a short drive through the Busteni Mountains to a local wine cellar to sample some delightful Romanian sparkling wines.

Day 24: Amsterdam (disembark), transfer to the airport

Disembark the ship and transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Amsterdam.