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
Viking River Cruises was wonderful. This was our 3rd trip with them, and we would highly recommend them.
Our cruise with Viking was disappointing. It was not due to Viking, but unavoidable circumstances. It became a bus cruise. A canal lock was broken just past our boarding . We were able to cruise the river in daylight hours only about 6 hours at the most during the entire week. Spent a lot of time on a bus. Not sure we want to do another river cruise.
Surpassed all expectations....we're already getting ready to book our next cruise with Viking!
Viking River cruises is a first class act. We were treated like kings and queens! I will definitely cruise with them again. Would like to try their ocean cruise ships in the near future.
Our Travel Consultant, Donna, went out of her way to make me feel comfortable with the whole process of booking my trip. I would call with questions and she made sure I knew the answer before we ended emails or phone calls. Donna made me feel like I was her only customer, and was always happy to answer my questions.
This was our second Viking River Cruise. The first cruise was almost exactly two years prior on the Rhine River and was perfect, which made my expectations for this trip higher than they had a right to be. Due to a hotter and dryer than normal summer, river levels on the Danube were too low. Our Viking Cruise ship could not make it to Budapest nor could it sail past Passau, which resulted in our first night at a hotel instead on the Viking Gullveig. The Hilton Hotel was beautiful and in a great location but not what we had signed up for. Upon reaching Passau our itinerary was changed because of the number of river cruise ships that were forced to make adjustments. We spent two nights docked in an industrial area instead of Viking's usual dock. Our visit to Regensburg required a 90 minute bus trip each way and the included tour of Nuremburg would require a 3 hour bus trip each way for a 4 hour walking tour. In place of Nuremburg, we opted for a shorter trip into Linz, Austria and were given a credit to be used on the ship. Viking also provided a larger credit to compensate for the overall issues with the cruise. I believe that Viking, as a company did much to make up for problems over which they had no control. My wife and I have a future Viking ocean cruise booked and will be able to use the credits on that trip; other people (especially first timers who only have this experience to judge Viking as an organization and river cruising in general) may simply lose out by not booking a second Viking cruise within the year for credit expiration. One issue that I have concerns our Viking arranged flights. We were to fly from Nuremburg to Frankfort to London only to find upon our arrival at the Nuremburg airport that our flight to Frankfort was cancelled. No reason was offered. We were given a voucher for a taxi to the Frankfort airport and we arrived with time to spare before our next flight. We paid for air travel from Nuremburg to Frankfort, not a taxi ride and believe we should receive some compensation for that change as well. Overall, I still rank Viking as the best cruise line and would not hesitate to book additional cruises. I must point out that our cruise director on this trip and all of the staff did their very best under difficult circumstances to make this an enjoyable trip.
Excellent trip, good, markets and wines
Food was very good - not great but plenty good enough. Cruise ship food is just as good. The cruise was very organized and stress free. The cruis director did a terrific job and the non-balcony room was fine.
Viking did an amazing job both on board and with land tours.
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