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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
  • $229
  • 15
  • 28
16 DAYS FROM $3,449
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Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

6 DAYS FROM $1,199

Amsterdam, Netherlands

4 DAYS FROM $1,099

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Budapest to Mainz

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Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

FROM: $1199 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $200 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary

Today, fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary.

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.

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:


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. 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 choose 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.

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 4:

Make Vienna the apple of your eye

A morning of scenic sailing through Bratislava awaits this morning, along with an onboard German language lesson.

Enjoy an apple strudel-making session today in the lounge and enjoy dessert before lunch!

This afternoon, you’ll arrive in Vienna, where you’ll be treated to an optional city tour that includes the UNESCO-listed city center. Among the many highlights you'll see are the Austrian National Library and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

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.

Cultural Connections:

  • Apple strudel making demo
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • German language lesson

Scenic Sailing:
  • Enjoy morning scenic sailing through Bratislava, including views of Bratislava Castle

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 5:

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. Then you'll experience another unforgettable moment on your choice of two tours: either the Museum of Art History or Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the grandest of European castles. 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 ship-board bicycles. This evening, you’ll be treated to a private classical music concert at the Kursalon.

Back onboard ship, dancers will entertain you and welcome you up into the crowd to enjoy some fancy stepping, too, for a waltzing lesson.

Culinary Feature: You’ll enjoy an interactive cooking lesson with your chef — sign up in advance onboard when you find out what the regional specialties will be!

Vantage Exclusives:

  • Your choice of tours in Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace or the Museum of Art History
  • Evening Kursalon concert

Cultural Connections:
  • Onboard lecture: Musical Vienna
  • Evening onboard entertainment and waltzing lesson

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

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

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.

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

Included Feature:

  • Scenic Wachau Valley sailing with live commentary

Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Tiroler Gröstl

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

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 in Passau
  • Onboard painting lesson in the ship’s lounge
Biking Opportunity:

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.

This evening’s interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club is savory pork ribs braised in dark beer.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Regensburg
Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Dark beer braised short ribs
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 9:

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

This morning, learn about the Main-Danube canal during an onboard presentation, followed by lunch.

This afternoon, 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.

Later this evening, 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:

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

Cultural Connections:
  • Onboard lecture: Made in Nuremberg
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Altmühl Valley sailing and walking tour of Bamberg

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 "Bavaria: Germany's special state" along the way.

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 wine pairing 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

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

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

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. More active travelers will have the option to walk back to the ship for 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.

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

Included Feature:

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

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

Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Beef rouladen

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 12:

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

This morning on the ship, a glassblowing demonstration introduces us to the artistry of this age-old craft.

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 Marktheidenfeld, 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.

Later, watch a cooking demonstration on kasspatzle (the German version of macaroni and cheese).

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:
  • Glassblowing demonstration onboard

Culinary Feature:
  • Interactive cooking lesson in the Captain’s Club: Käsespätzle

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Day-tripping through romantic Heidelberg

In the morning, the ship docks in Aschaffenburg, and we will take a coach bus to Heidelberg. 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. This evening, we'll meet the ship in Rüsselsheim and enjoy onboard entertainment, including expert vocal performances from the 4 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 14:

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 at a local brewery. The afternoon includes time to relax on your own. This evening, we'll enjoy some onboard entertainment prior to dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Cologne

Cultural Connections:
  • Kölsch beer tasting
  • Evening entertainment in the lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Rüdesheim personalized for you; Rhine Valley views

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, return to the ship for the Captain's Farewell 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 16:

Disembark ship and return home

Today, we disembark in Mainz and transfer to Frankfurt's airport to return home or opt for our optional extension to Amsterdam (select departures).

Included Meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Amsterdam, Netherlands

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $275 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.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

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

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