Arrive in Paris, the romantic capital of France. Transfer from the Charles de Gaulle airport to your hotel for a 2-night stay. After check-in, enjoy free time to explore this exciting city, or join our "welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.
Today's tour begins with a drive along the Champs-Élysées, past the Arc de Triomphe to the world-famous Louvre. The remainder of the day is yours to experience more of this timeless city: visit a museum, explore Montmartre or take a moonlit cruise along the Seine River. The banks of the Seine, with their graceful bridges and unrivaled city views, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. (Breakfast)
Today, stop in Reims for lunch and a visit to Reims Cathedral before continuing on to the Luxembourg American Cemetery to pay homage to the many Americans who lost their lives during the World War II Battle of the Bulge. Continue on to Trier and embark your ship. Dinner is served on board. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Enjoy a morning tour of Trier, Germany's oldest city, set on the banks of the Moselle River. See the wonderfully preserved Roman Porta Nigra gate, Trier Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady. Lunch is served on your ship as we depart. Enjoy scenic cruising along the Moselle this afternoon. We dock in Bernkastel around dinnertime. After your evening meal you can take a walk through the town's cobblestone streets, or join an optional wine-tasting excursion in this famous wine region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
A walking tour takes you through the quaint Moselle town of Cochem. Then, visit imposing Reichsburg Castle. After lunch you sail the scenic Moselle to Winnigen, arriving in the evening during dinner. Explore the cobbled streets and cafés, or stay on your ship and hear folktales about the Moselle. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark for a tour of Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress that was never destroyed. Since its fortifications have remained so intact, stepping inside is a veritable journey back to the Middle Ages. Take in views of the Rhine Valley from this castle's stunning vantage point. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy cruising through the storied Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with medieval castles, historic towns and vineyards. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today's full-day excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany's oldest university. Tour the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, built in the 12th century but twice destroyed by lightning and then later rebuilt. A guided walk through Heidelberg's Old Town and marketplace is included, as is lunch in a local restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Disembark in Karlstadt and take a half-day excursion to the enticing Franconian wine town of Würzburg where you tour the Bishops' Residenz, a beautiful baroque palace with numerous paintings and frescoes. Enjoy some free time in Würzburg this afternoon, or join an optional journey along the "Romantic Road” to the walled medieval village of Rothenburg. Meet your ship in Würzburg and dine on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, enjoy scenic cruising along the Main River as you make your way eastward through the Franconia region of Germany. After lunch we stop in the historic town of Bamberg, founded in 902 and an important center of the German Enlightenment. Enjoy a walking tour of Bamberg's beautifully preserved Old Town area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then take time to explore or perhaps sample the town's famous locally brewed smoky beer, rauchbier. Dine on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark in Bamberg for a tour of the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. See the ruins of Zeppelin Field, Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. Enjoy lunch on your own, then transfer to Prague. Check in to your hotel for a 2-night stay and take time to explore the city and see what you discover. (Breakfast)
This morning, tour the "City of a Hundred Spires.” A guided walk takes you through Old Town to the famed Charles Bridge. Then, travel to Hradčany for a guided tour inside Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure; you can see the Town Hall's intricate 15th-century astronomical clock and spend some time in historic Wenceslas Square. You also have the opportunity today to join an optional tour to Lobkowicz Palace. (Breakfast)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Prague and discover more of this celebrated city. (Breakfast)
12 Days 10 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 10 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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