Embark on a magical winter European cruise and discover Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia while enjoying all the delights of the off-season, such as fewer crowds and easier access to iconic sites. Sailing from Budapest to Regensburg, you’ll appreciate a fantastic balance of cultural capitals and the charming small towns that embody old-world Europe.
When you’re not relaxing aboard your ship, you’ll follow The Sound of Music to Salzburg, discover Bavaria’s unending charms, and enjoy spirited recitals, including a private classical music performance at Vienna’s esteemed Kursalon and an organ concert at a Franciscan church in Bratislava. Onboard lectures and performances will bring culture and the arts right to you, while cooking demonstrations will teach you how to make delicious regional specialties.
Treat yourself to more time in Budapest with an optional extension that includes extra exposure to local cuisine and a Jewish history tour; or venture to Prague, the city of grand castles, unbeatable beer, and cobblestoned treasures. Traveling solo? We’ve added more supplement-free solo cabins to the m/s River Splendor, as well as adjoining cabin options and third-guest accommodations that make cruising Europe with the family even easier.
Next stop: Munich, Germany!
Your cruise begins with an overnight flight to Germany’s Bavarian hub, Munich. You can also begin your journey earlier with an optional pre-extension to Prague.
Transfer to Regensburg, embark ship, and enjoy a Welcome Drink with the Captain
Upon arrival in Munich, a Vantage representative will assist you with transferring to your ship in Regensburg. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of this city's remarkable architecture, some of which dates back as far as the 11th century. Enjoy your first dinner and entertainment onboard this evening.
Vantage Onboard Enrichment:
Wandering Regensburg’s historic streets by foot or bike
Delve into Bavarian custom and culture with a day in medieval Regensburg.
Largely spared from World War II bombing, Regensburg is remarkably well-preserved, with an Old Town doubling as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander the city on a walking tour of its medieval highlights. You’ll also meet Martin, Regensburg’s city guard, who will regale you with a special presentation. Later, you'll have leisure time to explore on your own or continue shopping the Christmas market for handmade items including marionettes, dolls, pottery, candles, and more.
Set off on a tour of Passau, painting and gingerbread making, and enjoy the Captain’s Gala Dinner
More baroque splendor awaits you in picturesque Passau, located at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers. On a walking tour, we’ll admire the UNESCO-listed Old Town and pass by St. Stephan's Cathedral. Don’t forget to try the gingerbread here in Passau — it’s spiced, warm, delectable, and you’ll even learn how to make it later this afternoon.
This afternoon, a local painter comes on board for a colorful painting lesson. Then, learn the secrets of making Germany’s treasured lebkuchen — also known as gingerbread — in the ship’s lounge. Tonight, join the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Follow "The Sound of Music" to Salzburg, or explore the cultural capital of Linz
You'll have a choice of tours in Austria today. Set off today for storybook Salzburg, nestled in the Austrian Alps. This city — Mozart’s hometown, in fact — also boasts a few locales featured in the beloved classic, "The Sound of Music." Or, choose to explore lovely Linz, a cutting-edge city at the forefront of the arts and technology that UNESCO dubbed a City of Media Arts. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll have time to soak up the charm of these Austrian cultural gems.
Explore the Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna
After breakfast, learn how to make delicious apple strudel during a cooking demo as your ship arrives. Then, venture to Vienna and enjoy a panoramic city drive along the UNESCO-listed Ringstrasse that will give you a better view of this imperial and artsy capital.
Later, feel the grandeur of Palais Liechtenstein on a special tour of this dazzling estate. Later, spend some time exploring Vienna on your own via a convenient shuttle to and from the ship. Tonight, warm-up dancers join us on board for a lively show
On selected departures, Liechtenstein Palace is not available due to private events. Our group will visit Imperial Treasury Vienna or The Opera House on those occasions.
The best of Vienna: Lipizzaner horses and a private Kursalon concert
A lecture on the Habsburg monarchy kicks off your second day of discoveries in Vienna. Afterward, attend a rehearsal of the famed Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School. After lunch on the ship, catch the Vantage shuttle back to the center of Vienna for more independent discoveries.
This evening, attend an exclusive Waltz Dance course, where you'll learn the timeless, elegant movements of this incredible art form.
Organ recital, the Captain’s Gala Dinner, and evening entertainment
Get to know Bratislava on a walking tour of the city’s historical sites including the Main Square, National Theater, and an inside visit to the Bishop’s Palace before attending a classical organ recital at a local Franciscan church.
This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the streets of Bratislava. Tonight, celebrate with your fellow travelers at the Captain’s Farewell Reception.
Exploring Budapest on a city tour
Wake up in Budapest, which you’ll see this morning on a city tour.
Almost the entirety of Budapest’s historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you’ll see the best of it as you visit City Park; Heroes' Square with its statues of Magyar chieftains; elegant Andrassy Avenue; the iconic Parliament building; and Castle Hill, where you’ll have free time and entrance to Fisherman's Bastion.
Your afternoon is free for you to explore. Perhaps you’ll head to visit a famous confectioner like Gerbeaud, or Hauer Confectionery and Café. Maybe you’ll do some window shopping on Váci Utca, the pedestrian shopping zone. Or ask your Concierge to help arrange a visit to one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths, such as Széchenyi or Gellért.
Fly home, or stay in Budapest for a post-trip extension
Disembark your river cruise ship in Budapest and transfer to the airport to return home, or check into your Budapest hotel and begin your post-trip extension here.
Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.
Please Note: Port times & itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels and winter weather may affect itinerary.