Grand European Sojourn - 2017

Austria • Germany • Hungary • Bulgaria • Croatia • Romania • Serbia
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This trip combines two tours for the best air value!

Experience the ultimate Deluxe European river cruise on a voyage that connects the spires of Cologne and the spectacular Rhine Gorge with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire cities of Eastern Europe. This itinerary linking two of our most popular river cruises — Grand European Tour and Passage to Eastern Europe — is tailor-made for delving into the full pageant of European history and culture. And you'll journey in the best way possible: by unpacking just once, then exploring Europe in comfort, aboard a state-of-the-art Vantage river cruise ship. On this comprehensive European river cruise, you'll visit seven countries via the continent's great river "highways" — the Rhine, the Main, and the Danube. On the Rhine river cruise portion, simply stroll off your boat into the winding lanes of medieval towns and villages. And on the Danube river cruise, get to know Vienna and Budapest, meet local people, and visit a local home. You simply won't find a better, more in-depth Deluxe European river cruise ... or a better value!

Amsterdam to Bucharest

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart Home / Overnight flight to Amsterdam, The Netherlands (or depart earlier for optional extension)

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

Included Meals:


DAY 3:


This morning, get the perfect view of Amsterdam's historic center on a narrated canal cruise along the city's 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll also enjoy a guided tour of one of Europe's most esteemed collections of art at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Cultural Connection: Take a German lesson, allowing you to pick up a few words to use with locals on your journey.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 4:

Cologne, Germany

Enjoy the views this morning as our river cruise takes us through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, also a UNESCO site. The gorge is the best place to view European castles by river. Arrive in Cologne, where you'll embark on a guided walking tour in the afternoon. After the tour, you'll also have free time to explore on your own. Cultural Connection: Get a glimpse of local life on a pub crawl led by your Cruise Director.

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 5:


Your next port of call is Koblenz, a more than 2,000-year-old city strategically set at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. From the wedge-shaped headland where the waters meet, known as Deutsches Eck or "German Corner," a giant equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I overlooks the united rivers. You'll embark on a walking tour of this charming town, before setting off for an afternoon of scenic sailing. As we pass the imposing Lorelei cliff, you'll hear the ancient legend of Lorelei, the siren whose song lured sailors to their destruction against the rocks.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

Frankfurt / Miltenberg

Today, set off on 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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:


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. 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.”

Biking Opportunity: Explore the scenic banks of the Main River during this medium 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: Wurzburg, 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 8:

Rhine-Main-Danube Canal

Today we'll transit the great Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, the remarkable engineering feat that crosses Europe's continental divide to connect the water's of the northward flowing Rhine to the southward flowing Danube. Enjoy a relaxing day aboard ship. Perhaps you'll schedule a reinvigorating massage in our massage studio. Cultural Connection: While we cruise this morning, attend a lecture on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Later, we’ll pass through the locks of the canal and enjoy a day sailing through the lovely Altmuuml;hl valley.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:


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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:


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.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:


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 an extremely scenic medium 10-mile route. Click here for details.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

Wachau Valley Scenic Cruising / Vienna

Relax as your ship cruises the Danube River through the scenic Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Landscape, on your way to Vienna. You’ll be treated to an apple strudel baking demonstration as well as a lecture on Musical Vienna before enjoying today's highlight: a private classical music concert at the Kursalon.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 13:

Vienna, Austria

Set off on a panoramic tour of Vienna, including entrance into the National Library. Your evening is at leisure or join an optional wine tasting tour and dinner at Heurigen Wolff this evening.

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
Optional Tour: Viennese Heurigen Dinner, Wine & Music

Viennese Heurigen Dinner, Wine & Music

  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location:
  • 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 decor, open courtyards with outdoor seating, and an accordion player playing traditional Viennese songs. 

DAY 14:


You'll have your choice of two tours today: 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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 15-17:

Budapest, Hungary

After you arrive in Budapest on Day 15, set off on a city tour of the Hungarian capital including a visit to Fisherman's Bastion, or join an optional tour of a Hungarian Horse Show. On Day 16, enjoy a day at leisure, or set out on a delightful full-day optional tour to the Hungarian village of Hollókó, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a "living village" of early rural life. On Day 17,  you'll tour Budapest's grand State Opera House, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Much of the structure was destroyed by American bombing during World War II, then restored afterwards. You'll also sample some cake and coffee at the famed Cafe Gerbeaud.

Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Optional Tour: Hungarian Horse Show,

Hungarian Horse Show

  • Approximate Cost: $65 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 riding. 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.

Holloko: A Step Back in Time

Holloko: A Step Back in Time

  • Approximate Cost: $109 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Budapest, Hungary
  • When: Full-day tour, including home-hosted lunch

A scenic journey back in time, into the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, takes you to the medieval UNESCO World heritage village of Holloko. Here life follows the same patterns it did centuries ago — the houses are built in a medieval style with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs, and the locals still honor age-hold customs and dress in traditional embroidered clothing on special occasions — such as your arrival! You'll be greeted with singing, dancing, and a snack of Hungarian cheesecake. Then in small groups, we'll be invited into a home for lunch — a truly wonderful way to meet people of Hungary. Afterwards, you'll take a walking tour of the village's cobbled streets.

DAY 18:

Kalocsa / Mohacs 

Today, you’ll visit the town of Kalocsa, where you’ll enjoy a city tour that includes workshops on folk painting, folk embroidery, and the making of traditional Hungarian paprika bread, as well as an organ concert. Sample Hungarian specialties during lunch on board. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Cultural Connection: You'll take part in an insightful Folklore Workshop today. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 19:


This morning, disembark to tour Vukovar and the vibrant university city of Osijek, where you’ll meet a Croatian family while enjoying lunch in their home. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about Croatia’s independence firsthand. If you’re in Osijek when school is in session, you’ll visit an elementary school classroom and meet the children, or you’ll attend a guitar concert in a church courtyard.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 20:


Cultural Connection: Following an informative lecture on modern Serbia, discover the country’s 2,500-year-old capital, Belgrade, on a half-day tour. Belgrade’s recent history has left the city somewhat disheveled — yet you’ll be impressed by bold redevelopment and the positive outlook of the residents. You’ll also visit Kalemegdan Fortress. This afternooon, you may want to take advantage of the optional tour to Tito’s Memorial and Royal Palace.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Tito's Memorial and Royal Palace

Tito's Memorial and Royal Palace

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Belgrade, Serbia
  • When: Afternoon Tour

Start your tour at the Royal Compound in Dedinje, a fashionable district of Belgrade. King Alexander I Karadjordjevic built it for his family in the 1920’s, before his assassination in 1934 changed the course of Yugoslavian history. Today, the Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic and his family live in the Royal Palace. You’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the grounds, the Royal Palace, and the Church of Saint Andrej the First Called, along with a welcome drink. Your next stop is the memorial to former President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito and the museum showcasing tributes he received during his rule.

DAY 21:

Cruising the Iron Gates of the Danube 

Relax on deck and enjoy the views as your river cruise passes through one of the most dramatic and beautiful stretches of the Danube river, the series of gorges known as the Iron Gates of the Danube. As your ship passes through two sets of locks, you’ll hear commentary from the bridge describing the process. You'll also enjoy a Balkan-style BBQ party on the sundeck, weather permitting.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 22:

Ruse, Bulgaria (Veliko Turnôvo & Arbanassi)

Cultural Connection: As you cruise, take in a morning presentation on the “Bulgaria, Romania, and the Expansion of the European Union.” You’ll arrive in the Bulgarian river port of Ruse, nicknamed “Little Vienna” for its attractive baroque architecture. Cultural Connection: Enjoy a charming dance performance by Bulgarian children. Later, witness a fascinating icon painting demonstration on board.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 23:

Ruse / Disembark Ship / Bucharest

After disembarking, transfer to Bucharest, Romania’s capital. After lunch at a local restaurant you'll have a choice of included tours: a guided visit to the sprawling People’s Palace, or an easy walking tour at Manuc's Inn. Afterwards we'll take in the city’s mix of imposing monuments and leafy, old-world boulevards during a panoramic city tour, before checking into our hotel. Tonight, a Farewell Dinner at the hotel celebrates the conclusion of your Grand European Sojourn

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 24:

Bucharest / Return to USA (or begin optional extension)

Return home, or continue with your five-day Transylvania extension.

Included Meals:


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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Grand European Sojourn - 2017

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Vantage Uniworld Viking River Cruises Vantage Advantage
Journey Grand European River Cruise: Rhine Valley to Bucharest Grand European River Voyage European Sojourn [OFFER]
Cruise-Only Price* [PRICE] $13,199 $6,917 Best Value in Deluxe Cruising, plus limited time offer for 2-for-1 International Airfare - a $1,298 value!
Trip Length [DAYS] 29 Days 23 Days Combining the best of the Danube with Eastern Europe
Per Diem [PERDIEM] $455 $301 Save from $51 to $25 per person per day - not including special offers
Cabin Upgrades $100-$300 increments $850 to Deluxe Suite $1,000 to Owners Suite $845-$1,050 increments $2,620 to Verdana Suite $250-$1,450 increments $4,600 to Verdana Suite $8,600 to Explorer Suite Lowest Stateroom upgrades in the market!
Included Tours 20 Included Tours 23 Included Tours 18 Included Tours Most Included Tours! 6 Christmas markets, most time in Budapest & Vienna, Private classical concert in Vienna
UNESCO 11 UNESCO 11 UNESCO 9 UNESCO More Sightseeing!
Special Features 8 Informative lectures & presentations on board; Choice of included tour in Vienna, Wurzburg, Passau, Nuremberg and Rudeshiem; Private concert at the Kursalon in Vienna; Glassblowing demonstration; German beer tasting; German Village Life Tour; Bulgarian Children's dance performance; Home hosted meal Student lunch; School visit (when school is in session - alt. Guitar concert); Eastern Orthodox Choir; Vantage Exclusive tour in Kalosca; Local entertainment;  Complimentary bicycles; and Pub Crawl. 2 Lectures; Home host / school visit; Onboard Local Entertainment; Complimentary use of bicycles, and Nordic walking sticks. 5 Lectures; Learn how to make Rudesheimer coffee; Learn about icons and orthodox religions from Bulgarian priest folkloric performances. Experience the best of the Rhine and Danube with the MOST cultural connections and special features. PLUS exclusive private concert in Vienna a value of $170 per couple!
Meals 74 meals: 25 breakfasts, 24 lunches, 25 dinners. Lunches in Heidelberg and Cesky Krumlov; 2 meals with locals. 76 meals 64 meals The MOST meals per day! Special meals included a BBQ lunch, 2 meals ashore and 2 meals with locals!
Single Travelers Low single supplement from only $3100! Specially Priced Single Stateroom from $9199; Roommate Matching & Guranteed Share Programs 100% single supplement 100% single supplement Single Friendly!
Extend Your Trip [EXTENSIONS] 1 choice:    3-days Amsterdam $899-$949, $299- 316 per day 2 choices: Amsterdam $549, $183 per day Transylvania $699, $175 per day Best Value on Extensions - Lowest Per diems on extensions! Save $29 per day in Amsterdam and $75 per day in Transylvania!
10 Ways to Save Referral Rewards - $200 per traveller referred after 2 referrals. Buy direct & save - no travel agents, savings passed on to you. SmartPay - pay in full, 15-months in advance and save 12%. Save at least $280 on this trip. Preferred Traveler Rewards - Earn 5% of purchase price towards future trips! Past travelers save $150 per person on 7- to 12-night cruises Referral Rewards - $100 per traveller referred. Sell through Travel Agents Best Rewards Program in Deluxe Travel!

*Prices are subject to change & based on comparable March or November departure dates
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