Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Transfer from the airport to your hotel. After checking in for a 2-night stay, enjoy free time to explore this celebrated city, or join our "welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.
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)
Travel to the Bavarian city of Nuremberg and join a tour that takes you to the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials. Briefly stop at the courthouse before returning to Old Town, enclosed within ancient city walls. Complete your day with a walk from the imperial castle grounds, past the Albrecht Dürer House to the Main Market Square, with its elaborate Gothic fountain. Continue to Bamberg to embark your ship. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today 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. Enjoy lunch on board your ship before we depart this afternoon and begin cruising along the scenic Main River, which winds its way west through the Franconia region of Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Disembark in Würzburg, a Franconian wine town, and tour the Bishops' Residenz, a beautiful baroque palace with numerous paintings and frescoes. After an onboard lunch, enjoy some free time in Würzburg, or join an optional journey to the walled medieval village of Rothenburg. Return to your ship and relax as you dine and cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We sail through the early morning, arriving in Wertheim after breakfast. Disembark for a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, an ancient city that is home to Germany's oldest university founded in 1386. 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 at dinnertime; we sail through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Mainz during breakfast, then disembark and join a guided tour of a city that boasts over 2,000 years of history. Walk along the picture-postcard streets of Old Town and stop at the Gutenberg Museum. Founded in 1900, 500 years after the birth of Johannes Gutenberg, the museum covers the history of the printed word and displays many illuminating books and fascinating printing technologies, including a replica of Gutenberg's workshop. Return to your ship for lunch and scenic afternoon cruising along the Rhine. Arrive in Rüdesheim midafternoon. You have time at leisure to enjoy the restaurants, bars and shops that line Rüdesheim's Drosselgasse, or you may choose to join an optional wine-tasting experience. Dine on board and remain docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cruise this morning through the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine. With castles perched on both sides, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch on board your ship, you arrive in the quaint Moselle town of Cochem. Stretch your legs with a walking tour of the city and visit the imposing Reichsburg Castle. Return to your ship before dinnertime; we sail through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We dock in Bernkastel this morning, one of the Moselle's most beloved medieval villages and a thriving wine center. You might join an optional wine tasting excursion during your stay. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy lovely unspoiled scenery as we cruise along the Moselle River toward Trier. We arrive this afternoon in time for a tour of Germany's oldest city. See the wonderfully preserved Roman Porta Nigra, Trier Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady. Dine on board. We remain docked here tonight so you may wish to take an evening stroll in town. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Disembark in Trier this morning, then travel to Luxembourg where, at the American Cemetery, you can pay homage to the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the World War II Battle of the Bulge. Then pause in Reims to visit the cathedral and stop for lunch before continuing on to Paris. When you arrive in the romantic capital of France, check in to your hotel for a two-night stay. Your evening is free to explore and dine on your own. (Breakfast)
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. (Breakfast)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your trip with 2 additional nights in romantic Paris. (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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