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Fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary
Today, fly overnight to Budapest, Hungary.
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.
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.
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.
Waltzing into Vienna and Liechtenstein Palace
Today, set off on a panoramic city drive of Vienna, giving you a comprehensive view of this storied city at the heart of central Europe, including Liechtenstein Palace. Your afternoon is free to explore Vienna, perhaps on a self-guided cycling tour. Your evening is at leisure, or join an optional wine tasting tour and dinner at a traditional Viennese restaurant this evening with music.
Culinary Feature and Cultural Connection: Culinary demonstrations await you today — enjoy time with our chef as he instructs travelers on how to make a pot roast. You can also learn to make apple strudel during a morning demonstration.
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!
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!
Watersport Opportunity: Alternatively, ask your Concierge about renting a boat or kayak during your free time.
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.
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, visit a beer garden, and enjoy an organ concert inside St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Afterwards, partake in a fun pub crawl.
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 The Walhalla memorial hall, during a moderate 14-mile route. Click here for details.
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.
Altmühl Valley sailing and walking tour of Bamberg
Cultural Connection: While we cruise this morning, attend a lecture on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, one of Europe’s greatest engineering feats. 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.
Culinary Feature: Learn about to make Swabian meat pockets, a hearty dish that is well known in this region.
Tour and wine tasting inside the Würzburg Residenz
Your European river cruise continues to Würzburg. Here, you'll set out on a half-day tour of the Würzburg Residenz, a baroque European castle that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour includes a visit to the wine cellar for a tasting and lecture. Alternatively, you may join an optional tour of medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Cultural Connection: Late this afternoon, attend a lecture on “Germany in the 21st Century: Changes & Challenges.”
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.
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.
Exploring village life in Marktheidenfeld, with a BBQ lunch and traditional live music
Unforgettable Moment: The highlight of our day today will be a delightful half-day tour of a local German village, during which we’ll savor a BBQ lunch and take in some traditional live music. Back on the 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).
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.
Rhine Valley views; Rüdesheim personalized for you
After some scenic sailing in the morning — during which we'll marvel at the scenery and hear about local lore — you'll arrive in Rüdesheim, where you'll have your choice of two 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. Or, embark on a mini-train ride to Siegfried's Musikkabinett, an amusing museum dedicated to self-playing music and its instruments. Afterwards, you'll return to the ship for the Captain's Farewell Dinner.
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. 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.
Disembark ship and return home (or begin your extension to Amsterdam!)
Today, return home or opt for our optional extension to Bratislava & Prague, or Oberammergau and Munich (select departures).
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.