Today, you will arrive in Munich. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the charming hamlet of Oberammergau at the foothills of the beautiful Ammergau Alps. Check-in to your hotel and enjoy time to explore your stunning surroundings. Your Viking Tour Director is available to help you plan your time today, so you can make the most of your visit. (D)
After breakfast, enjoy a morning at your leisure. This afternoon, take your seats for a performance of Passionsspiele, The Passion Play. The play's origins date back to 1633 when the Great Plague descended upon the village. After many lives were lost, the villagers made a promise to God that they would tell the story of Christ, should no more lives be lost. The tradition continues today and it is a great honor for Oberammergau's residents to be a part of this powerful dramatic performance. During the intermission, enjoy a traditional Bavarian dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
This morning, embark on a scenic drive to Chiemsee-a beautiful freshwater lake immersed in a picturesque setting. Upon arrival, you will take a boat ride to Herreninsel. Meet your guide and take a stroll to Herrenchiemsee Palace. Built by King Ludwig II in 1878, its design replicates the Palace of Versailles. Explore its rooms and extensive grounds with your guide. Then, return to your motor coach and continue your journey to Salzburg. Check in to your hotel and enjoy free time to explore with dinner at your leisure. (B, L)
This morning, explore more of Salzburg, the revered birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a walking tour as you take a stroll past many of the city's grand sights. Stop at the Alter Markt, Salzburg's oldest marketplace, dating from the 13th century. At Domplatz, see the impressive Salzburg Cathedral and the Statue of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by allegorical figures on four sides. You will also see St. Peter's Abbey and Salzburg's famous Festival Halls, where international stars of opera, concert and theater have performed during the Salzburg Festival for nearly a century. After your tour, enjoy free time to further explore and dinner at your leisure. (B)
After breakfast, set out to see the most renowned sites where The Sound of Music was filmed, including the gardens at Mirabell Palace, where the Pegasus Fountain and a now-famous stairway played a role in the song "Do-Re-Mi.” You will also see Nonnberg Abbey, Hellbrunn Palace and Mondsee Cathedral, better known as St. Michael's Basilica, where Maria and Baron von Trapp's wedding was filmed. Enjoy free time for lunch and a stroll around this lakeside, picturesque town. Afterward, continue to Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn Rivers, to embark your ship. (B, D)
Today you will take a walking tour of this elegant town, called the Dreiflüssestadt ("City on Three Rivers”), which is situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn Rivers. Admire the New Bishop's Residence and see the impressive baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral; its ornate interior is home to Europe's largest church organ. (B, L, D)
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. (B, L, D)
After scenic sailing this morning through the Wachau Valley, you will arrive in Krems. Enjoy lunch on board, then depart your ship for an exclusive visit of the splendid Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery for more than 900 years. You may also pay a visit to a local vineyard for a tasting before returning to your ship. Dinner will be served on board as we prepare to set sail for Vienna. (B, L, D)
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. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Bratislava this morning 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. Enjoy scenic cruising this afternoon as we set sail toward Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we see highlights of the once separate towns of Buda and Pest, 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, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. 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 a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
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.
0 DaysPort 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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