Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door. (Dinner)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return on board for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. We cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Begin your day with a morning tour of Cologne, Germany's fourth-largest city. Stroll through Old Town past St. Martin's Church and see the Dom, Germany's largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your free time enjoying Cologne's atmospheric waterfront, or perhaps join an optional excursion on which you ascend to the Dom's roof for up-close views of the cathedral's architecture and bird's-eye vistas of Cologne. Afterward, return on board for dinner. Alternately, you may set off on an optional excursion to explore Cologne's spirited beer culture, sampling Kölsch, a light, crisp beer brewed only in Cologne, and enjoying a brauhaus dinner. After, return to your ship for a late-evening departure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping in Koblenz to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. After your tour, continue cruising this stunning stretch of the Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river's narrowest point and is named after the legendary Rhine maiden who lured sailors to their demise. Lunch and dinner are served on board your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The morning is spent sailing along the beautiful Main River as it winds its way through the Spessart region, home of the actual Snow White. During our sail, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the region's glassblowing traditions during a live demonstration. After lunch, we stop in Miltenberg, known for its half-timbered houses and Germany's oldest inn. Join our walking tour that concludes with free time for you to explore. We sail through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, you may choose to join an optional full-day excursion along Germany's picturesque "Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, with its turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Upon returning to Würzburg, enjoy a tour of the Bishops' Residenz, one of Germany's largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Continue along the Main–Danube Canal this morning, arriving in Bamberg in early afternoon. Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town's distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark in Nuremberg and visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s; then see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. Alternately, you may take an optional World War II tour that includes the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. After lunch, spend free time exploring Nuremberg's Old Town. Or, join an optional tour to discover the secret network of underground bunkers where priceless art was hidden in wartime. We depart just before dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Regensburg midday. After lunch, tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter's Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Würstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany's oldest restaurant. Alternately, you may choose to disembark this morning and drive with your guide to Munich for an optional full-day tour of this cultural and historic city, rejoining your ship in time to enjoy dinner on board before our evening departure. (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. 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. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. Alternately, set out this morning with your guide to enjoy a full-day optional tour of picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. We cruise through the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria's finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship; cruise through the spectacular Wachau Valley this afternoon. Before dinner, you have time to explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate, or take an optional excursion to a local winery to sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing region. (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. Alternately, you may choose to join an optional excursion to see the famed Lipizzaner Stallions; or, express your creativity and create a lasting keepsake at an optional art workshop inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Enjoy a day at leisure in Vienna. Perhaps see an unrivaled collection of Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts, or visit the Albertina. Maybe ride the Riesenrad, the world's oldest Ferris wheel. Alternately, you may join an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the "Versailles of Vienna,” or enjoy a Viennese waltz lesson as well as visiting the palace during a full-day optional excursion. A cup of coffee or tea and a slice of exquisite Sachertorte are a must for any afternoon in Vienna. Later, rejoin your ship and sail for Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The Danube River divides Hungary's capital city into the once separate towns of Buda and Pest. Explore both sides, 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. Alternately, choose one of our optional excursions designed to allow you to delve deeper into the history, culture and cuisine of this fascinating city. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, where you tour Old Town landmarks and Prague Castle. (Breakfast)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
15 Days 12 Guided Tours / 4 Countries
Daily Shore Excursions: 12 included guided tours
Port Charges: Included on all itineraires
Darlena, Thank you for being so helpful during our booking and marvelous Viking Grand River Tour. All of the material in our travel package was spot on with the step by step explanations. You always returned my call promptly. We will recommend your services on our next Viking trip. Respectfully, Alan
I like Viking. I am already booked for 3 more future cruises.
Delightful trip with wonderful staff. Was a trip of a life time and hope I can go again
The agent that put our trip together was outstanding. Complete knowledge and understanding of the Viking Cruise policy and procedures. She was very helpful when a couple of minor issues came up with Viking and she quickly helped us resolve them. Would definitely book another trip through Affordable Tours.
The Viking River Cruise, European Grand tour, was exceptional. The cruise staff were wonderful, attending to every detail once we boarded the ship to arrival at the airport for our return trip home. The staff that greeted us at the airport upon arrival needs training. They did not actually greet us. They were in a cluster talking among themselves and the Uniworld rep directed us to them. We then stood around for 45 minutes without a rep telling us what was happening. I finally went to find out what the delay was. They then told us three people were missing luggage so we had to wait for them.
Our first Viking river cruise was an excellent experience. Well-organized itinerary, friendly and hard-working staff, delicious and plentiful food and beverage choices, and customer service orientation assured us of a positive and happy vacation.
This was our first cruise and we chose river cruise because of small number of guests and proximity to land. Viking Skirnir Tour director met us on the dock in Amsterdam, welcomed us and assured us Viking would care for us the entire trip. Every staff member from crew, housekeeper, waiters, chef, etc always addressed us and were there to please. The included tours were excellent. The French balcony room 270 was small, but comfortable. The sliding glass door enabled us to open, enjoy the views and the cool river breezes, and even touch the walls of the 68 locks traveled through from Amsterdam to Budapest. The upper deck was enjoyable for relaxing, or walking around 12.75 times for 1 mile of exercise. There were adequate seating, but not all covered. We did experience unseasonably warm temperatures and only 1 day of rain. The cafe for relaxed dining was nice for lunch. The main dining room was fantastic for all 3 meals. The Chef and his staff prepared 5 star meals every night for dining with 3 choices as well as some standbys as steaks if you preferred. The desserts were to die for. I wish he and his staff would come to my home. My only negative was the upper deck had to be closed around 5 days as we proceeded on Main River where there were many LOW bridges. There was a bar area with sofas and comfortable seating which was available whether you had drinks or not. There was a daily review by Tour director of the day and the upcoming activity along with the Chef describing your upcoming meal. Yum, Yum, Yum. Your daily included tours were separated into various groups to accomodate smaller tours and always one for gentle tour for those requesting. The tour ended on Sunday night with a river cruise of Budapest city lights where everyone was on upper deck celebrating an OUTSTANDING experience of a lifetime.
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