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

14-day river cruise with Mainz, Cologne, Rudesheim, Offenbach, Marktheidenfeld, Wuerzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, 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
  • RESERVE YOUR DELUXE SOLO SPACE ON OUR REFURBISHED M/S RIVER NAVIGATOR — THE MOST SINGLE CABINS!
  • MAKE THE MEMORIES OF A LIFETIME WHEN YOU EXPLORE EUROPE ALONGSIDE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ON OUR SPECIAL DEPARTURES
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$3,899
  • $259
    PER DAY
  • 15
    DAYS
  • 28
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
16 DAYS FROM $4,498
Luxury
Extend Your journey (2 available)
Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

6 DAYS FROM $1,099

Amsterdam, Netherlands

4 DAYS FROM $1,099

Fly & Save Up To $2,000
Save up to $2,000 per couple on international airfare on select departures
Solos Save Up To $6,299
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Triples Save Up To $7,400
Travel together and save by adding a third guest to your suite from $1,099!
 

Budapest to Mainz

Pre-Trip Extension

Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $183 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.

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.

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 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. 

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: $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.

Culinary Feature: 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 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. 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: $109 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 décor, 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 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. Unforgettable Moment: 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.

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!

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. 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.

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.

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

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

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.

Cultural Connections: Germany is renowned for its handmade goods, like the toys you may see today. Learn about how they are made and centuries-old traditions today during an onboard presentation this afternoon. Later this evening, tap your toes to the entertaining sounds of a Bavarian brass band, who will perform some of Europe’s most iconic folklore pieces.

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 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 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 moderate 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

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 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.

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.

This evening, onboard entertainment includes expert vocal performances from the 4 Virtuosos.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 14:

Rüdesheim personalized for you; Rhine Valley views

After some scenic sailing in the morning — during which we'll marvel at the scenery and hear about local lore, including the legend of Lorelei — you'll 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!

Afterwards, you'll return to the ship for 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 at a local brewery. The afternoon includes time to relax on your own and take part in a German lesson. This evening, we'll enjoy some onboard entertainment prior to dinner.

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

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:

Breakfast

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.

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

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