Majestic Rivers of Europe Wine Cruise: Castles, Cathedrals & Fairytales - 2019

14-night river cruise with Mainz, Cologne, Rudesheim, Offenbach, Marktheidenfeld, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, Budapest
  • CRUISE THROUGH LEGENDARY EUROPEAN LANDSCAPES, INCLUDING THE WACHAU VALLEY AND THE RHINE-MAIN-DANUBE CANAL
  • DELVE INTO REGIONAL WINES WITH TASTINGS AND LECTURES, AND MEET THE VINTNERS WHO BRING THESE WINES TO LIFE
  • PRIVATE CONCERT AT THE KURSALON MUSIC HALL IN VIENNA
  • CITY TOUR OF BUDAPEST, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
  • YOUR CHOICE OF GUIDED TOURS IN VIENNA: SCHONBRUNN PALACE OR THE MUSEUM OF ART HISTORY
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$2,999
  • $199
    PER DAY
  • 15
    DAYS
  • 29
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
16 DAYS FROM $3,598
Luxury
Extend Your journey (2 available)
Amsterdam, Netherlands

4 DAYS FROM $699

Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

6 DAYS FROM $849

FLY FOR FREE
Save up to $4098 per couple with FREE International Airfare on Select Departures!
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FREE EXTENSION
Save up to $1,398 per couple with FREE Amsterdam extension on select departures!
 

Budapest to Bonn

Pre-Trip Extension

Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

FROM: $849 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $142 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary

Today, fly overnight to Budapest. You can also begin your journey earlier with an optional pre-trip extension to Prague & Bratislava.

DAY 2:

Satisfy your thirst for Hungary

Today, you’ll land in Budapest, Hungary. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to the pier, where you will board your Deluxe river ship and officially begin your European river cruise.


Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Going for baroque on a city tour of Budapest

Draped over several hills on a gentle curve in the Danube River, Budapest is a beautiful, baroque capital whose city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get to know the city on an included panoramic tour. Unforgettable Moment: On the Buda side of the river, take in stunning views of Pest across the Danube from a fairytale-like terrace called Fisherman’s Bastion. You can also enjoy an optional Hungarian Horse Show today. Tonight, celebrate the beginning of your European river cruise with the Captain’s Welcome Party and Dinner.

Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the most magnificent sites of Budapest, including Freedom Bridge, Chain Bridge, and the Hungarian Parliament Building during an easy 5-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Hungarian Horse Show

Hungarian Horse Show

  • Approximate Cost: $65 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4.5 hours
  • Location: Budapest, Hungary
  • When: Half-day tour
Enjoy the romantic scenery of the countryside as you visit the Equestrian Park of the Lázár brothers, who have won several world championships in carriage riding. Hungarian horsemen will welcome and accompany you to the inn’s yard where you will enjoy the famous Hungarian “pálinka” (brandy) before going to the show. The horse show features varied styles of dressage and fun competition with guests. After the show, a carriage awaits you for a scenic ride through the surrounding area.

DAY 4:

Make Vienna the apple of your eye

A morning of scenic sailing through Bratislava awaits this morning. Cultural Connection: During the cruising, join your Cruise Director in the lounge for a lively German lesson — pick up a few key words and phrases, to use when interacting with locals. Culinary Feature: Enjoy an apple strudel-making session today in the lounge and enjoy dessert before lunch!

You'll have your choice of two tours when you arrive in Vienna — either the city's excellent Museum of Art History or the grand Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wine Feature: This evening, dinner is on board your ship, or wine enthusiasts can treat themselves to a fun evening with a Viennese Heurigen Dinner, cozy family-style affairs with vino and music.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Viennese Heurigen Dinner, Wine & Music

Viennese Heurigen Dinner, Wine & Music

  • Approximate Cost: $99 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • When: Evening tour, including dinner

The congenial atmosphere of cozy, family-style wine taverns, known as heurigens, is perfectly complemented by hearty food, lively music — and locally produced vintages, of course. Heurigens traditionally have rustic decor, open courtyards with outdoor seating, and an accordion player playing traditional Viennese songs. You’ll visit an authentic heurigen for dinner, music, and wine! You can look forward to a fun and festive evening!


DAY 5:

Vienna highlights, and a private Kursalon concert

Join an onboard lecture this morning on Musical Vienna prior to venturing to Austria's grand capital. Then you’ll be treated to a city tour of Vienna, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the many highlights are Liechtenstein Palace, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps you can schedule a visit to a spa in Vienna through our Vantage Concierge Service, or take one of the complimentary bicycles on board the ship for a ride. Unforgettable Moment: This evening, you’ll be treated to a private classical music concert at the Kursalon.

Cultural Connection: This evening onboard ship, learn how to waltz with expert guides!

Biking Opportunity: Enjoy the architecture of Vienna, including panoramic sights of the city’s skyscrapers, during a medium 8-mile route. Click here for details.

Watersport opportunity: Alternatively, ask your concierge about renting a boat or kayak during your free time.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

Scenic Wachau Valley cruising, onboard German lessons

Relax as your ship cruises the Danube River through the scenic Wachau Valley, now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape. As you take in the romantic views of hilltop castles, ancient monasteries, and terraced vineyards, you'll cruise by the wine town of Dürnstein. In 1192, King Richard the Lionheart of England was imprisoned in the castle that looms above the town.

Wine Feature: Tonight’s dinner will be further enhanced by a pairing and tasting of local wines with commentary.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Music and pub crawls in picturesque Passau

Today, join a walking tour of baroque Passau, known as the "town of three rivers" because it's located where two tributaries join the Danube river. On your tour, enjoy an organ concert inside St. Stephan’s Cathedral. 

Biking Opportunity: Follow the beautiful Ilz River along a scenic 10-mile route (moderate level). Click here for details.

Painting Lesson: Join a local artist to learn how to capture the scenery with a brush.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Regensburg: Roman architecture and Bavarian charms

You’ll arrive at the picturesque Regensburg today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating to the Roman era. A morning walking tour reveals what many call the most charming town on the Danube River — it's sure to be a highlight of your Europe river cruise.

Culinary Feature: Join an interactive cooking demonstration for a lesson on how to make a regional specialty!

Biking Opportunity: Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including Walhalla Memorial Hall, during a medium 14-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Nuremberg, customized for you — tour the town’s highlights or explore its WWII history

This morning you'll have your choice of two city tours of Nuremberg. Choose “Nuremberg and World War II” to explore the city’s World War II history and visit the Documentation Center, or take the “Highlights of Nuremberg” tour that includes a visit to the delightful Toy Museum. 

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure with shuttle service into the city center. Then enjoy some Cultural Connections with an onboard lecture titled, "Made in Nurnberg," followed by dinner and nightly entertainment — the Bavarian Brass Band!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Altmühl Valley sailing and walking tour of Bamberg

Cultural Connection: You’ll cruise toward Bamberg today and arrive mid-morning for a walking tour of the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll have free time to explore independently afterward and return to your ship in time for lunch.

Set sail bound for Würzburg and hear a fascinating lecture on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal along the way.

Culinary Feature: Learn about to make Swabian meat pockets, a hearty dish that is well known in this region.

Wine Feature: Tonight’s delicious dinner onboard includes a pairing of four wines with insights on their local production.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Tour and winetasting inside the Würzburg Residenz

Wine Feature: Arriving in Würzburg, set out on a half-day tour of the Würzburg Residenz, a baroque European castle that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour includes a visit to the wine cellar for a tasting and lecture from an experienced sommelier. The Residenz are ideal for strolling, and you’ll have time to do so before transferring back to the ship for lunch. More active travelers will have the option to walk back to the ship and take a bike excursion in Wurzburg with your Concierge after lunch onboard.

Alternatively, you may join an optional tour of medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber, whose timbered homes and cobbled streets are like stepping back in time. Those who’ve been on the optional tour will have their wine tasting at the Residenz Cellar this afternoon, should you use.

Culinary Feature: During an onboard cooking demonstration today, try making and savoring some beef roulade.

Biking Opportunity: Explore the scenic banks of the Main River during this medium 17-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Full-day Rothenburg Tour with Christmas Museum

Full-day Rothenburg Tour with Christmas Museum

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: Würzburg, Germany
  • When: Full-day tour

Picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber features winding cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered houses, as well as massive towers and intact city walls around the Old Town where one can take in views over both the city and the Tauber valley. Known for its “eternal Christmas” atmosphere, the town’s various shops sell beautiful, handcrafted Christmas gifts and souvenirs all year round. Come December, the area comes to life with the famous Christmas Market, one of the most romantic markets in Germany. You’ll take a walking tour and pay a visit to the Christmas Museum; plus, you’ll enjoy some free time to explore the shops and take in the stunning views.


Note: Christmas Museum is not available during holiday season departures.

DAY 12:

Exploring village life in Marktheidenfeld, with a BBQ lunch and traditional live music

Wine Feature: Today you’ll yourself in the culture of two fascinating villages. You’ll have your choice of tours after breakfast when you dock in Wertheim, all of which feature local manufacturing traditions, ranging from an ironmill to a winery, where you’ll get to sample the wares, of course! (Signups will be onboard.)

Unforgettable Moment: The highlight of our day today will be a delightful half-day tour of Marktheidenfeld, during which we’ll savor a BBQ lunch and take in some traditional live music.

Cultural Connection: This afternoon onboard ship, a glassblowing demonstration introduces us to the artistry of this age-old craft.

Culinary Feature: Watch a cooking demonstration on kasspatzle (the German version of macaroni and cheese).

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 13:

Day-tripping through romantic Heidelberg

Unforgettable Moment: Enjoy panoramic views from the plaza of imposing Heidelberg Castle, a Gothic-Renaissance ruin of red stone looming above the downtown and see the castles famed Heidelberg Tun, an immense wine barrel, now empty, with a capacity of some 58,000 gallons. Afterwards, descend via funicular from the castle to the town center to stroll the pedestrian-only main street and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Transfer back to the ship for dinner. Cultural Connection: More onboard entertainment; tonight, it's the 4 Virtuosos. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 14:

Rhine Valley views; Rudesheim personalized for you

Arrive in Rüdesheim, where you'll have your choice of three tours. The first is a cable car ride to the historic Niederwald Monument, which overlooks the Rhine Valley and commemorates the unification of Germany in the late 19th century. You can also embark on a mini-train ride to Siegfried's Musikkabinett, an amusing museum dedicated to self-playing music and its instruments.

Wine Feature: Your third choice of tours is a newly added wine tasting walking tour, where you’ll sample three different regional vintages — and have a nifty souvenir glass to take home!

Scenic Sailing: Afterwards, you'll return to the ship for some scenic sailing, during which we'll marvel at the scenery and hear about local lore, including the legend of Lorelei.  

Tonight, attend the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 15:

Sip Kölsch while exploring the historic cultural center of Cologne

This morning, take a walking tour of this historic German cultural center, which includes a Kölsch beer tasting. 

Biking Opportunity: Enjoy this scenic path along the iconic Rhine River, with terrific views of the Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge, during this easy 5-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 16:

Disembark ship and return home (or begin your extension to Amsterdam!)

After disembarking in Bonn, transfer to the airport in Frankfurt for your return flight home. Or, join our enriching optional post-trip extension.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Amsterdam, Netherlands

FROM: $699 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $175 PER DAY

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 may affect itinerary.

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Majestic Rivers of Europe Wine Cruise: Castles, Cathedrals & Fairytales - 2019

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