Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring. Tonight, return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (Dinner)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Today we visit highlights of the hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest sides of the city, starting with Pest's National Opera House and historic Heroes' Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen's Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch on board your ship; the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. You may choose to join us on an optional excursion to experience the thermal springs, restorative natural spas whose waters locals have bathed in for centuries. Or, perhaps select another of our optional excursions designed to allow you to delve deeper into the history, culture and cuisine of this fascinating city. Return to your ship for dinner and evening departure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a day of scenic cruising along the beautiful Danube toward Vienna. As we sail, perhaps join this morning's German language lesson to learn a few key words and phrases. You may also choose to attend an afternoon presentation on Viennese coffee houses. We arrive early this evening. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city's baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen's Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Alternately, you may wish to join us on one of the day's optional excursions, perhaps touring Schönbrunn Palace, the "Versailles of Vienna,” visiting the Spanish Riding School's famed Lipizzaner stallions, or celebrating a local tradition this evening at a high-spirited Heurigen dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria's finest Italian baroque architecture. See its wonderful frescoes and admire the comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts in its library. Rejoin your ship and cruise through dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town's narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. Admire the New Bishop's Residence and see the impressive baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral; its ornate interior is home to the Europe's largest church organ. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own. Alternately, set out this morning with your guide to enjoy a full-day optional tour of picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. We depart just before dinner and cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Regensburg after breakfast and tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter's Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Würstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany's oldest restaurant. Alternately, you may choose to disembark this morning and drive with your guide to Munich for an optional full-day tour of this cultural and historic city, rejoining your ship before our evening departure. Cruise through dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cruise the Main–Danube Canal this morning. Or, instead, disembark for a short drive to the center of Nuremberg and use your free time to explore until lunchtime. After lunch, venture out on a tour of the city. Visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. See the Old Town area as you walk past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Alternately, you may choose to join an optional afternoon World War II tour including the illuminating Documentation Center. Dinner is served on board your ship before we depart late this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Continue along the Main–Danube Canal this morning, arriving in Bamberg in early afternoon. Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town's distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, tour Würzburg's Bishops' Residenz, one of Germany's largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, you may choose to disembark this morning to experience an optional full-day journey along Germany's picturesque "Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, with its turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner and an evening glassblowing demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Stop in a bakery and a butcher shop, and learn about Wertheim's glassblowing tradition. Enjoy free time to explore before returning to your ship for lunch. Alternately, depart this morning on an all-day optional excursion that offers a rare glimpse into noble life, enjoying Privileged Access visits to two very different castles: Schloss Mespelbrunn and Schloss Löwenstein. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, we cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine; this stunning stretch of the river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river's narrowest point; the rock is named after a legendary Rhine Maiden who lured sailors to their demise. This afternoon, we'll stop to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. Rejoin your ship in Koblenz and dine on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Begin your day with a morning tour of Cologne, Germany's fourth-largest city. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin's Church and see the Dom, Germany's largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your free time enjoying Cologne's atmospheric waterfront, or perhaps join an optional excursion on which you ascend to the Dom's roof for up-close views of the cathedral's architecture and bird's-eye vistas of Cologne. Afterward, return on board for dinner. Alternately, you may set off on an optional excursion to explore Cologne's spirited beer culture, sampling Kölsch, a light, crisp beer brewed only in Cologne, and enjoying a brauhaus dinner. After, return to your ship for a late-evening departure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We sail along the Rhine during the morning hours. Admire scenic views and enjoy a morning of enjoyable Dutch diversions: sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. This afternoon, your ship arrives in Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Disembark for an afternoon tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Board your ship for departure and dinner. Arrive in Amsterdam around midnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Amsterdam; take time to explore the city's neighborhoods, museums and exciting nightlife. (Breakfast)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
15 Days 12 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 12 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
Working with Eric was a true blessing. As not seasoned river cruise travelers, he was readily available to answer questions and "hold our hands" when we were unsure of aspects of the trip. Thank you Eric!!
The trip was too short. We completely loved it but wish it didn't have to end. Every port we had a included tour and they were all so wonderful. The optional tours were also very good and not that expensive. The food was great, different that we are used to in the states but totally enjoyable. The entertainment was a piano player and guitar player in the lounge which was perfect for the setting. Our cruise director was not only there with us all the time but very entertaining as well. Never knew when he was joking or not so it made it fun. All ports were interesting and educational. The only thing was that it was very cold so coming from Florida it felt colder than we are used to since leaving NY. However, I would totally go with Viking again and use Affordable Tours. They were a really big help.
very competent and friendly staff
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