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 see 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 wish to visit the Art Nouveau Gellért Spa, or one of the many other lavish facilities in this "City of Healing Waters.” Return to your ship for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Bratislava this afternoon and embark on a walking tour of Slovakia's charming capital with a long and fascinating history. It is the only national capital that borders two other countries, Austria and Hungary. See attractions like the medieval Town Hall complex and fortifications at Michael's Tower, the baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral, and pass by several Hapsburg-era baroque palaces before returning to your ship. This evening you can relax or take a walk before our late departure. (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. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the "Versailles of Vienna,” erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world's oldest zoo and Roman ruins. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today's highlight is an exclusive visit of the splendid Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery for more than 900 years. Participate in an exclusive visitor program at Göttweig, created to provide an understanding of the daily business of the venerable institution. You may also take an invigorating bicycle ride through the Wachau Valley before returning to your ship. This afternoon, enjoy scenic sailing as we cruise toward Linz. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Wake up in Linz this morning and set off to explore this cultural gem by mini-train and on foot. Ride along the Danube's south bank and take in the sights; see the Brucknerhaus concert hall, Linz Castle and the Market Hall, where Mozart wrote the Linz Symphony, followed by a walking tour of the city's Old Quarter. Alternatively, join a full day optional excursion to the beautiful Bohemian town of Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the baroque and Renaissance buildings and the town's charming streets, brimming with cafés, shops and galleries. Return on board for dinner and a late-evening departure. (Breakfast, 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 an onboard lunch, but return to the city to further explore on your own before dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 additional nights in the breathtaking Czech capital of Prague. (Breakfast)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
8 Days 6 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 6 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
We had a wonderful time. Everyone from the Captain, Cruise Director, Manager and Chef were great. The crew was the best of the three cruised we took with Viking. Sorin the Mate De was very friendly and met all our need. The wait staff in the dinning room were very happy to make our experience great.
This river cruise was our third Viking River Cruise. We have enjoyed all three river cruises, and we are always impressed with Viking's focus on customer service!
Everything about the trip was at least as good as advertised. The staff on the boat were over-the-top courteous and attentive. The food was excellent and the chef was happy to honor special requests. The overall feeling was comfortable luxury. The only criticism I have would be about the pastries. Since the tour is through France, the pastry chef could use more French techniques--the pastries were better in the shops onshore.
We enjoyed the organization of all of the tours and the extra special touches on the Normandy Beaches tours. One suggestion was that the dinning room in the evenings got very loud. Maybe the acoustics could be better to absorb some of the noise. It was a fantastic trip.
We are ready to book again. Excellent experience!
The Paris, Normandy Cruise was so much better than I expected. From being greeted at the airport through all the various excursions the staff at Viking were awesome. The accommodation was so very comfortable, the food was out of this world and being taken to the airport to fly home, where the staff made sure we were at the right boarding gate, was way beyond my expectation. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who has had no experience with river cruises. My Travel consultant was the person who convinced me to go so I applaud him and say Thank You, you are the best ever Travel Consultant. If I could rate him and this cruise it would be ten gold stars.
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