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Majestic Rivers of Europe Wine Cruise: Castles, Cathedrals & Fairytales - 2020

13-night river cruise with Mainz, Cologne, Rüdesheim, Heidelberg, Wertheim, Marktheidenfeld, Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, Budapest
  • THE SPLENDOR OF THE RHINE AWAITS AT EVERY BEND...
  • PRIVATE CONCERT AT THE KURSALON MUSIC HALL IN VIENNA
  • CITY TOUR OF BUDAPEST, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
  • YOUR CHOICE OF TOURS IN VIENNA, INCLUDING SCHONBRUNN PALACE
  • MAKE THE MEMORIES OF A LIFETIME WHEN YOU EXPLORE EUROPE ALONGSIDE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ON OUR SPECIAL DEPARTURES
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$3,449
  • $229
    PER DAY
  • 15
    DAYS
  • 28
    TOURS
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16 DAYS FROM $3,449
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Bonn to Budapest

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Frankfurt, Germany

Today, fly overnight to Frankfurt, Germany. You can also begin your journey earlier with an optional pre-trip extension to Amsterdam.

DAY 2:

Enjoy beautiful Bonn

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

Vantage Onboard Enrichment:

  • Morning yoga and stretching, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Optional early risers’ breakfast in the Captain’s Club, offered throughout the duration of your cruise
  • Chess, shuffleboard, track, spa, and other amenities

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Sip Kölsch while exploring the historic cultural center of Cologne

Today, take a walking tour of the historic German cultural center of Cologne, where you’ll see the iconic Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, we'll enjoy a Welcome Reception and Dinner as well as some onboard entertainment.

Culinary Feature: Enjoy a tasting of Kölsch beer at a traditional German brewhouse, a signature flavor that is only made here in Cologne.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Cologne
Cultural Connections:
  • Kölsch beer tasting
  • Evening entertainment in the lounge
Biking Opportunity:
  • Enjoy this scenic path along the iconic Rhine River, with terrific views of Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge, during this easy 5-mile route. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Rhine Valley views; Rüdesheim personalized 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 then 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 vigorous hiking tour, where you’ll sample three different regional vintages. Afterwards, you'll return to the ship for dinner.

Included Features:

  • Scenic sailing of the UNESCO-listed Upper Middle Rhine Valley with commentary
  • Your choice of tours in Rüdesheim: Cable car ride to Niederwald Monument, a mini-train ride to Siegfried's Musikkabinett, or a wine hike in Rüdesheim

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Day-tripping through romantic Heidelberg

Today, set off from Frankfurt for a full-day excursion to Heidelberg, a UNESCO site that is home to Germany’s oldest college, Heidelberg University. In Heidelberg, you’ll tour 15th-century Heidelberg Castle, one of the most famous of European castles, an imposing Gothic-Renaissance ruin of red stone that illustrates the history of Germany. Ride the funicular from the castle to the town center, where you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then have free time to explore. Tonight, enjoy onboard entertainment from four musical virtuosos.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Heidelberg with Heidelberg Castle and lunch at a local restaurant
Cultural Connection:
  • Evening entertainment in the ship’s lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

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

Wine Feature: This morning, 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 ironmill to a winery, where you’ll get to sample the wares, of course! (Signups will be onboard.)

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. Back on the ship, enjoy a German language lesson.

Culinary Feature: This evening, your interactive cooking lesson option includes Käsespätzle or another regional specialty.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • German-style BBQ with traditional live music

Included Feature:
  • Tour one of four traditional German industries in Marktheidenfeld: Visit the local paper factory, a forge where traditional blacksmithing is done, a local château, or a family-owned winery

Cultural Connection:
  • German language lesson

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Tour and wine tasting 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.

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.

Late this afternoon, attend a lecture on “Germany in the 21st Century: Changes & Challenges.”

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of the Würzburg Residenz with wine tasting

Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard lecture: Germany in the 21st Century: Changes and Challenges

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Tour to Rothenburg with Christmas Museum

Tour to Rothenburg with Christmas Museum

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 9 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 take in the stunning views, explore the shops and enjoy lunch on your own.

Note: Lunch is not provided on this tour. The Christmas Museum is not available during holiday season departures.

DAY 8:

Altmühl Valley sailing and walking tour of Bamberg

While we cruise this morning, attend a lecture on "Bavaria: Germany's special state". Later, we’ll pass through the locks of the canal and enjoy a day sailing through the lovely Altmühl valley. Arriving in Bamberg, we'll embark on a fascinating walking tour of the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Later, enjoy a and a glassblowing demonstration about the artistry of this age-old craft. Also, learn how to make Swabian meat pockets during an onboard demonstration this evening, a regional treat customary in southwestern Germany.

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

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Bamberg

Cultural Connections:
  • Onboard lecture on "Bavaria: Germany's special state"
  • Wine pairing dinner onboard
  • Glassblowing demonstration

Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Swabian meat pockets

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 Medieval Nuremberg” tour that includes a visit to the Castle grounds and walking tour from Hauptmarkt to St. Sebald Church. During afternoon free time, feel free to visit the Toy Museum, as Vantage will cover the entrance fee, and attend an onboard lecture about the Main-Danube canal. This evening, chat with your fellow travelers during cocktail hour in the lounge and enjoy a delectable dinner on board.

Included Feature:

  • Your Choice of Tours: "Nuremberg in WWII" or "Medieval Nuremberg"

Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard lecture on the Main-Danube canal

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Regensburg: Roman architecture and Bavarian charms

Explore UNESCO-listed Regensburg today. This city has a history stretching back to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and you’ll get to know its heritage during a walking tour. Admire the impressive cathedral, as well as the famous stone bridge which was built in the 12th century. Later, back on the ship, enjoy the "Magic of Rhythm Show," where international tap stars showcase a variety of styles, from ferociously fast Paddle-and-Roll rhythms to languid, elegant Soft Shoe to fiery a-cappella counterpoint. From the first taps to last, these artists will captivate you with thrilling, humorous and unforgettable performances.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Regensburg

Cultural Connections:
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Biking Opportunity:
  • Explore Regensburg’s monuments and history, including the Walhalla Monument, during a moderate 14-mile route. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

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.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Passau
Cultural Connections:
  • Organ concert at St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Onboard painting lesson in the ship’s lounge
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Tiroler Gröstl
Biking Opportunity:

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Music and dancing in Vienna

Scenic Sailing: Relax as your ship cruises the Danube River through the scenic Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape.

This morning, an apple strudel making demonstration awaits in your Captain's Club while you sail, followed by an onboard lunch. Be prepared for what awaits you later this afternoon with an insightful onboard lecture about Musical Vienna. Once in Austria's capital, you’ll be treated to a delightful evening filled with tunes and revelry at an exclusive Kursalon music hall concert, with a dinner and wine pairing later on. Later onboard, keep the party going with dancing onboard; local dancers will show you their fancy footwork and teach you a few steps.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Exclusive, private concert at the Kursalon

Included Feature:
  • Scenic Wachau Valley sailing with live commentary

Cultural Connections:
  • Apple strudel making demo
  • Onboard lecture: Musical Vienna
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Wine pairing dinner onboard

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Vienna and the Austrian National Library

This morning you’ll be treated to a city tour of Vienna, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the many highlights are the Austrian National Library and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, followed by lunch onboard the ship.

Wine Feature: Wine enthusiasts should treat themselves to an optional fun evening with a Viennese Heurigen Dinner, cozy family-style affairs with wine and music.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Panoramic city tour of Vienna including an inside visit of the Austrian National Library

Cultural Connection:
  • Evening onboard entertainment — Viennese Party Night

Vantage Lifestyle:
  • Viennese pub crawl (optional)

Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Styrian Pot Roast

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:
  • Ask your Concierge about renting a boat or kayak during your free time

Included Meals:

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

Viennese Heurigen Dinner, Music & Wine

  • Approximate Cost: $109 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • When: Evening tour, including dinner

Join us for this lively optional tour and take a seat inside a traditional heurigen — a cozy, family-style tavern — for hearty food, lively music, and locally produced vintages, of course. Heurigens customarily feature rustic décor, open courtyards with outdoor seating, and an accordion player playing traditional Viennese songs. Look forward to a fun, authentic, and festive evening!


DAY 14:

Vienna as you like it, then Budapest-bound

You'll have your choice of two tours this morning: either the city's excellent Museum of Art History or the grand Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon, sail leisurely towards another great European capital: Budapest. You’ll gather with your fellow travelers tonight for the Captain’s Farewell Party.

Included Feature:

  • Your choice of tours in Vienna: Schoenbrunn Palace or the Museum of Art History

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Going for baroque on a city tour of Budapest

Your European river cruise comes to a conclusion in grand style, as you arrive in Budapest. During your tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, enjoy the stunning panoramic views across the Danube River from the hilltop terraces of Fisherman’s Bastion. You can also opt to enjoy an optional Hungarian Horse Show today.

Included Feature:

  • City tour of Budapest
Biking Opportunity:
  • Enjoy the most magnificent sites of Budapest, including Freedom Bridge, Chain Bridge, and the Hungarian Parliament Building during a medium-paced 9-mile route. Click here for details

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Hungarian Horse Show

Hungarian Horse Show

  • Approximate Cost: $69 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 driving. 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 16:

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

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home, or begin your optional post-trip extension.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

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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