Grand European Sojourn - 2018

Germany • Austria • Hungary • Bulgaria • Croatia • Serbia • Romania
  • CITY TOUR OF BUDAPEST (A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE) FEATURING FISHERMAN’S BASTION
  • LET THE MUSIC OF VIENNA CAPTIVATE YOU DURING A CONCERT IN THE ELEGANT KURSALON MUSIC HALL
  • YOUR CHOICE OF GUIDED TOURS IN VIENNA: SCHONBRUNN PALACE OR THE MUSEUM OF ART HISTORY
  • SCENIC CRUISING THROUGH THE WACHAU RIVER VALLEY (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$8,599
  • $330
    PER DAY
  • 26
    DAYS
  • 18
    TOURS
Luxury
Single Supplement: Call
Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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27 DAYS FROM $8,599
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Amsterdam, Netherlands

3 DAYS FROM $649

Transylvania, Romania

3 DAYS FROM $299

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On this truly spectacular river voyage, you'll visit no less than seven countries, as you follow the Rhine, Main, and Danube through the heart of Europe. This special itinerary seamlessly links two of our most popular river cruises — Majestic Rivers of Europe: Castles, Cathedrals & Fairytales and Passage to Eastern Europe & Transylvania — and visits a breathtaking 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Just imagine strolling off your boat into the winding lanes of medieval towns and villages … getting to know the baroque treasures of the Austro-Hungarian Empire … mingling with local people … taking part in fascinating Cultural Connections. Plus, Vantage is the only company in the travel industry whose river ships include cabins built specifically for solo travelers, with free Single Supplements. You simply won't find a better, more in-depth Deluxe European river cruise ... or a better value!

Mainz to Bucharest

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart Home / Overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to the pier in Mainz, where you will board your Deluxe river ship and officially begin your European river cruise. You can also begin your journey earlier with an optional pre-trip extension.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Cologne

This morning, take a walking tour of this historic German cultural center. 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. This evening, we'll enjoy a Welcome Reception and Dinner as well as some onboard entertainment. 

Culinary feature: Enjoy a tasting of Kolsch beer, a signature brew that is only made here in Cologne. 

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 4:

Rudesheim, Germany

After some scenic sailing in the morning -- during which we'll marvel at the scenery and hear about local lore -- you'll arrive in Rudesheim, 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 dinner, which will be followed by onboard entertainment.

Culinary feature: Enjoy a cooking demonstration of German sour cabbage and sausage. You'll also get a chance to taste some delightful Reisling wine.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Aschaffenburg / Frankfurt

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. Unforgettable Moment: 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 6:

Wertheim / Marktheidefeld

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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Würzburg

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:

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. There is also an opportunity to partake in a cooking demonstration today, one of several available on your journey. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Nuremberg

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. 

Culinary feature: Watch a cooking demonstration on kasspatzle (the German version of macaroni and cheese).

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Regensburg

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:

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 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. After arriving in Vienna, you'll enjoy a half-day tour that includes a visit to Liechtenstein Palace. Later, take some time on your own, or join us on an optional Heurigen Dinner. 

Culinary feature: Take part in another cooking demonstration today, during which you'll learn about Tiroler Grostl.

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. You’ll visit an authentic heurigen for dinner, music, and wine! You can look forward to a fun and festive evening!



DAY 13:

Vienna, Austria

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. During free time this afternoon, take a bike for a spin, stop into the lounge for onboard dancing demos, or speak to the concierge about arranging to rent a kayak or boat.

Unforgettable Moment: Later, listen to a lecture on Musical Vienna before enjoying today's highlight: a private classical music concert at the Kursalon. 

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 14:

Vienna

Enjoy a morning at leisure with shuttle service available. 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. Alternatively, you can choose to take our Hungarian Horse Show optional tour, where you'll be given a tour of the Lazar Equestrian Park in addition to a delightful 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. 


Culinary feature: Learn how to make goulash, and then sample this superb regional dish.

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:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Optional Tour: 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.


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.

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
Optional Tour: Puszta Tour

Puszta Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 Hours
  • Location: Kalocsa, Hungary
  • When: Afternoon tour

Get a glimpse of Hungarian country life with a visit to a working horse ranch that maintains a herd of up to 120 horses. Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed with wine, bread, and onion slices. Watch authentic Hungarian csikós (cowboys) display their prowess on horseback. Next, take a carriage ride into the puszta, Hungary’s scenic great plain. As a special treat, a shepherd’s wife will provide homemade scones (pogacsa) and brandy (palinka). Before leaving, you’ll be able to visit the animals, including the Hungarian grey cattle, the long-haired “mangalica” pig herd, and the cheeky, clamorous donkey foals.


DAY 19 -20:

Pécs / Vukovar (Osijek)

On Day 19, set out on an excursion to Pécs, where a city tour will feature the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter and the Roman Necropolis — together recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those who enjoy additional walking can also visit the Museum Quarter. Savor lunch in Pécs at a local restaurant.

On Day 20, 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:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 21:

Belgrade

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 afternoon, you may want to take advantage of the optional tour to Tito’s Memorial and Royal Palace. If you're up for something a bit more adventurous, speak to your concierge about where you can rent a canoe or kayak on the river. Later, raise a glass during an informal pub crawl.  

Watersport opportunity: Rent a boat or kayak during your free time.


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 22:

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. Cultural Connection: Enjoy a fascinating introduction to the Cyrillic alphabet, the script invented by a Byzantine monk in the 9th century that is now widely used throughout the Slavic world.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 23:

Ruse, Bulgaria

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:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 24:

Ruse (Veliko Turnôvo & Arbanassi)

Step ashore for a full-day tour to Veliko Turnovo, a 12th-century Bulgarian capital where colorful houses perch above the winding Yantra River. Cultural Connection: While in Veliko Turnovo, you’ll have lunch with university students. You’ll continue to the 16th-century village of Arbanassi, where you’ll be treated to a heavenly Eastern Orthodox choir performance at the Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 25:

Giurgiu / Disembark Ship / Transylvania / Brasov

After disembarking ship, we’ll travel into Transylvania, the mountainous, legend-haunted region in central Romania. On the way, we’ll stop for lunch in Sinaia, a former royal summer retreat, and visit the fairytale Peles Castle. As we enter Transylvania proper, you’ll see why it’s known as the last medieval landscape in Europe. Our destination is charming Brasov, the compact baroque city that still retains the medieval  walls and gates erected nine centuries ago by Saxon merchant princes. Upon arrival in Brasov, enjoy a panoramic tour of the city that includes pretty Council Square, which is surrounded by tidy baroque buildings in pastel colors. The tall spire of the aptly named Black Church towers above. Dinner is included at your hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 26:

Brasov / Bucharest*

Today you’ll transfer from Brasov to Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, where we’ll have lunch. Afterwards, explore Bucharest’s grand monuments and leafy, old-world boulevards on a city tour that includes a choice of entrances. You can visit the infamous People’s Palace, the grandiose, sprawling, and never-completed administrative building initiated by dictator Nicolae Ceausecu. Alternatively, take a fascinating tour of Manuc’s Inn, Bucharest’s oldest hotel building, which was built as a way station for caravans and surrounds a large open courtyard. 

* Please note: Travelers taking the Transylvania post-trip extension will remain in Brasov and complete the Bucharest part of the base itinerary on their last day.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 27:

Bucharest / Return to USA 

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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.

Contact Vantage

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Grand European Sojourn - 2018

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Vantage Viking River Cruises Uniworld Vantage Advantage
Journey Grand European Sojourn European Sojourn Ultimate European Journey 2-for-1 Cruise Prices & Free Airfare! The BEST Value in River Cruising.
Cruise-Only Price* 26 Days from $7,999 23 Days from $7,799 25 Days from $9,999 The BEST pacing & Greatest value compared to our competitors. *Pricing is based on a late May Departure
Per Diem $307 per day $339 per day $399 per day Save up to $184 per couple per day - that's a total of $4,784 for 26 days.
Ship & Staterooms The 176-passenger ms River Voyager & ms River Splendor offer all staterooms face outside and feature a glorious view (cabin size ranges from 166-346 sq ft). Why not add to the glamour and romance by staying in our top-of-the-line Suite? More space equals more tranquility and pleasure — room for a separate sitting area, floor-to-ceiling windows with French balcony, and a spacious full bath with shower and tub. Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. Viking Longships offer you a choice of stateroom category (cabin size ranges from 150-445 sq f The recently remodeled, 130-passenger River Duchess has Suites and Staterooms from 151-214 sq ft. Join us and unpack just once! We have the most square footage on lower and bottom cabins, plus the best Suite Life Deal in the cruise business!
Single Travelers 8 Single-Occupancy Cabins (127 sq ft) with the most single-friendly prices. A limited number of singles are available for an additional supplement.  A limited number of singles are available for an additional supplement.  The ONLY deluxe tour operator in Europe with specially built single cabins.
Included Tours 23 Included Tours 18 Included Tours 20 Included Tours The Most Included Tours!
Special Features Participate and learn in culinary & cocktail demonstrations & tastings, including special themed dinners and regional wines, plus, enjoy FREE bikes and maps! 8 Informative lectures & presentations on board; Choice of included tour in Vienna, Wurzburg, Passau, Nuremberg and Rudeshiem; Private concert at the Kursalon in Vienna; Bulgarian Children's dance performance; Student lunch; School visit (when school is in session - alt. Guitar concert); Eastern Orthodox Choir; Vantage Exclusive tour in Kalosca; Local entertainment;  Complimentary bicycle use. 5 Lectures; Learn how to make Rudesheimer coffee; Learn about icons and orthodox religions from Bulgarian priest folkloric performances. Your choice of 1 out of 2-3 tours per day including "like a local" city tours Croatian farm tapas meal Bulgarian country lunch Active bike tour options Passage through the Iron Gates on the Danube River The most complimentary bikes, culinary demos, and included features—exclusive to Vantage travelers! Experience the best of the Rhine and Danube with the MOST cultural connections and special features. PLUS exclusive private concert in Vienna
Meals 74 meals—competitive meal inclusions, plus spa dining. Lunches in Heidelberg and Cesky Krumlov; 2 meals with locals. 64 meals 65 meals Best value - most included meals
Discover More 3 daysTransylvania from $299; 4 days Amsterdam from $899 2 choices: 3 days Amsterdam from $549, $183 per day; 4 days Bucharest & Transylvania from $799, $200 per day No extension choices Extend your dream trip from must $100 a day!
10 Ways to Save Enjoy traveler referral rewards & SmartPay early-payment savings plan: Save up to $1800 per couple combining maximum SmartPay savings and Past Traveler Discounts (based on a $6,000 trip cost) Past travelers rewards – reserve trip within one year — $200 per person; within two years $100 per person. None The Best Travel Rewards Program in the Market

*Prices are subject to change and based on comparable departure months.
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