Welcome to Regensburg, Germany. Having escaped major damage during World War II, this picturesque town is considered one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities and the oldest city along the Danube. Transfer from the airport to your ship.* After boarding, you have free time to stretch your legs and explore the city on your own. (Dinner)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
This morning, meet your local guide for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter's Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Alternately, you may instead choose to cast off on a ferryboat ride to marvel at the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You will also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey*, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Upon your return in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the same included walking tour of Regensburg that was offered this morning. Or, you may choose instead to sample some of the excellent local beer on an optional excursion to explore the brauhaus culture and Bavarian microbrews or take a full-day optional tour to Nuremberg. Rejoin your ship for dinner. We depart this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)* Weltenburg Abbey tour is available from May–October only.
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. See the New Bishop's Residence and view the impressive baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own. Alternately, you may instead choose a full-day optional excursion to explore glorious Salzburg; visit the Italianate Old Town, see settings from the film The Sound of Music and enjoy lunch at Austria's oldest restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure. We cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spotting attractive riverside towns and castle ruins along the way. After lunch, disembark in Krems and visit Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. The splendid ceiling fresco in the imperial stairwell is one of the largest in the world. Visit the church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship and continue cruising toward Vienna. Arrive in Vienna just after dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening. Or, you may choose one of this evening's optional excursions, such as a classical concert in the "City of Waltzes.” (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Awake in Vienna. Today we tour this Austrian capital. 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. Or, you may join us for an optional excursion to visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the "Versailles of Vienna.” Dinner is served on board. Or, you may choose to head to the famed Grinzing district to join locals in a high-spirited Heurigen celebration of the year's wine vintage. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Spend another enriching day in Vienna. You many choose to join one of our many optional excursions, including a panoramic tour of Vienna by bike, a visit to the local Farmers' Market with a local chef, or an all-day excursion to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, filled with lovingly restored baroque city palaces and leafy squares. Early this evening, enjoy scenic cruising as we start sailing toward Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary's vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Drive through Heroes' Square and learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda's Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy brilliant views of the Danube and the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from Fishermen's Bastion. Return to your ship for lunch; the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. You may also choose to join us on one of several optional excursions designed to reveal this fascinating city's culture, history and cuisine in greater depth. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Budapest, giving yourself more time to explore the bustling Hungarian capital. (Breakfast)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
8 Days 5 Guided Tours / 3 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 5 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
Karen did a great job coordinating this wonderful trip from Miami to Zurich .we flow many airlines before, but Swiss Air is the best. Cruise was great , staff was very courteous , helpful and attentive to our needs. . Will try Viking in the future.
David has been exceptional in assisting us with our travel needs.
It's unfortunate that excursions and Silver Spirits beverage package cost more if booked on the ship. If booked early, the cost is in dollars. If booked on the ship, the cost is in Euros (15+ percent higher). Onboard credits provided by Travel Agent are not available until boarding so the credits are not worth as much as anticipated. When calling Viking to ask about cost of booking excursions after boarding, I was told we would not pay more than the early booking cost. Viking agent said we would pay in Euros but the price would be adjusted for the exchange rate so it would cost the same as booking early in dollars. We learned this was incorrect information after boarding. We were also told we could use onboard credits for tips. This contradicts Viking literature so not sure if that is really the case. We booked our trip only two months ahead so some optional excursions were full. Viking agent told us there likely would be space available on the full excursions when we started our trip. We were told to check myvikingjourney.com 3 days ahead of departure because there may be cancellations. We learned bookings cannot be made online this close to departure so not sure why were given this advice. We were also told to check with the Program Director upon arrival because they keep a few slots open. This also was not the case.
The cruise was wonderful, but I was surprised how much time we spent on buses. The tours and guides we're great. I just felt like I hadn't read the fine print to know that the included tours all required bus transport, which took time away from cruising on the ship. I envisioned stepping on and off the ship and walking around some towns and villages on our own, but it was usually required to go with the bus trip if we wanted to see anything. The entire package was a classy trip, but it was different than I thought it would be.
Overall the booking experience, patience that our agent had with our relentless questions, was excellent. River cruise with Viking outstanding. The only problem we had was on the return flight. (not the problem of affordable tours) Our 11:00 AM booked flight from Zurich to Amsterdam was cancelled. Had to stand in line over 3 hours at KLM. Couldn't take next day flight which was offered due to work-business commitment that I needed to get back for - so flew that night to London - had to sleep in airport overnight - catch early morning flight back to states. Put a damper on what was an outstanding vacation.
This was an awesome river cruise. Highly recommend.
This was our first time with Viking and on a river cruise. After taking over 10 ocean cruises, we will NEVER go back to the ocean cruises. On the river, there is always something to see, and with the small group of people, you get to know and you are not lost in a sea of 1000 passengers. The views from the river cruise were so much better, up close, and in view. Not miles away. The food was so good, and having wine with meals at no extra charge were so very nice. Tours were included too. No extra money every time you turn around. The staff were so well-organized, you never had to worry about anything. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Top notch staff all the way around. We will be taking another RIVER cruise soon!! Thank you!
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