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Fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary
Today, fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary. You can also begin your journey earlier with an optional pre-trip extension to Prague and Bratislava.
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.
Wine Feature: Get settled into the rhythm of your cruise with the first of your wine of the day selection from your bartender in the lounge.
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 opt to 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.
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!
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.
Vienna as you like it, and a private Kursalon concert
Join an onboard lecture this morning on "Musical Vienna" prior to venturing to Austria's grand capital. Soon you’ll arrive in Vienna, where you’ll be treated to a city tour that includes the UNESCO-listed city center. Among the many highlights you'll visit 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 on board ship, learn how to waltz with some experts who will give you lessons!
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.
Water Sport opportunity: Alternatively, ask your Concierge about renting a boat or kayak during your free time.
Scenic Wachau Valley cruising, onboard German lessons
Scenic Sailing: 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. Cultural Connection: During the afternoon's 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.
Wine Feature: Tonight's dinner will be further enhanced by a pairing and tasting of local wines with commentary.
Music 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.
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.
Biking Opportunity: Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including Walhalla Memorial Hall, during a medium 14-mile route. Click here for details.
Culinary Feature: Join another interactive cooking lesson and learn how to make a regional specialty!
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 an afternoon at leisure with shuttle service to the city center. After, ready yourself for more Cultural Connections with a lecture titled, "Made in Nürnberg," followed by dinner and more evening entertainment — the Bavarian Brass Band!
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.
Tour and wine tasting inside the Würzburg Residenz
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 is ideal for strolling, and you’ll have time to do so before transferring back to the ship for lunch.
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.
Exploring village life in Marktheidenfeld, with a BBQ lunch and traditional live music
Wine Feature: Today you’ll immerse 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 iron mill to a winery, where you’ll get to sample the wares, of course! (Sign-ups will be on board.)
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: During scenic sailing today, a glassblowing demonstration will introduce you to the artistry of this age-old craft.
Culinary Feature: Watch a cooking demonstration on
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 have lunch in a local restaurant. After, transfer back to the ship for dinner on board.
Sip Kölsch while exploring the historic cultural center of Cologne
After breakfast on board, the ship will arrive in Cologne! Embark on a walking tour of this historic German cultural center, which includes the Cologne Cathedral and a Kölsch beer tasting.
Afterwards, return to the ship for the Captain's Farewell Dinner and live entertainment.
Rhine Valley views, Rüdesheim personalized just for you
Scenic Sailing: This morning begins with some scenic sailing down the Rhine featuring onboard commentary from our Cruise Director. Some highlights include Lorelei, a steep slate rock that sits at the center of local lore and has enamored singers, poets, and viewers for centuries. We’ll also pass a series of castles along the Rhine Gorge, and your Cruise Director will identify them and offer some history!
You'll soon arrive in Rüdesheim, where you'll have your choice of two tours. 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! Afterwards, you'll return to the ship for dinner, which will be followed by onboard entertainment.
Disembark ship and return home (or begin your extension to Amsterdam!)
After disembarking in Mainz, transfer to the airport in Frankfurt for your return flight home. Or, join our enriching optional post-trip extension.
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.