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.
Your morning begins with a panoramic tour of the 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. Rejoin your ship in Visegrád for lunch as we cruise along the scenic Danube River. Enjoy a midafternoon Viennese coffee workshop, complete with apple strudel. (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 choose to join us for an optional excursion to visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the "Versailles of Vienna.” This evening, you might celebrate the bottling of this year's wine vintage among the locals at a high-spirited optional Heurigen dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, spend time exploring Vienna. You many choose to join one of our many optional excursions, including a panoramic tour of Vienna by bike or an all-day optional excursion to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, filled with lovingly restored baroque city palaces and leafy squares. Perhaps venture to the local Farmers' Market with a local chef. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own or on board, after which you may choose to join us for a Mozart & Strauss concert. We are docked here overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark in Krems and set off for Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. See the splendid ceiling fresco in its imperial stairwell, one of the largest in the world. Visit the abbey church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Alternately, you may instead choose to explore your environs by bicycle, enjoying a ride along a riverside bike path considered one of Europe's most scenic. Afterward, rejoin your ship and cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste some local Austrian specialties during lunch on board, taking in views of attractive towns and castle ruins along the way. (Breakfast, Lunch, 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. 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 before departing. Alternately, you may instead journey into the countryside on an optional excursion to a local farm where you will have the opportunity to join a festive Bavarian party, experiencing traditional German music and food and tasting locally brewed beer. Or, you may 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. We cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, meet your local guide for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe's best preserved medieval cities. 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. Take time to stroll the streets, shop or visit Germany's oldest restaurant, the Alte Würstküche. Lunch is served on board your ship.
This afternoon, take an optional excursion to visit Weltenburg Abbey* and experience a short cruise through a stunning mountain pass, one of the most breathtakingly scenic bends in the Danube Narrows. Alternately, you may choose a full-day optional excursion to see the highlights of the grand city of Munich or a full-day optional excursion to Nuremberg, one of Germany's most renowned and intriguing cities. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)* Weltenburg Abbey tour is available from May–October only.
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with our extension to Nuremberg or Prague, Czech Republic, including a tour of Old Town and Prague Castle. Alternatively, you can join or fully guided four-night extension to Prague and Nuremberg to experience the best of both towns. (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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