Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists and poets throughout the centuries. Travel to legendary destinations on a 7-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. Explore a 2,000-year-old city, savor Wachau Valley wines, and experience the timeless beauty and fascinating history of Vienna and Budapest. Add on a pre-cruise extension to Prague.
There is a lot to be said in favor of cruising! Less unpacking and repacking, slower pace, lovely accommodations. The boat was beautiful, with attentive staff and good food.
— Jane F., Naples, FL
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Vilshofen to Budapest Itinerary
Vilshofen / Embark
Arrive in Vilshofen, transfer to the boat, and meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner.
Vilshofen, Germany / Passau
This morning you are free to explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau. This afternoon you will have a walking tour of this 2,000-year-old city, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture, cobblestone streets, Rathaus, Domplatz and Residenzplatz squares, as well as St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
The ship arrives this morning in Linz. Enjoy a walking tour of the second largest city in Austria or choose a guided bike tour that will show you around the Old City Center, along the Danube River, and past the ultra-modern Ars Electronica Center. Later, you will have a choice of three different excursions. The first option is an excursion to Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center made famous by "The Sound of Music.” The second option is an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. The third option is a visit to the Austrian Lake District, the scenic Salzkammergut region. All three regions are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Weissenkirchen / Dürnstein / Melk
Cruise through the narrow Strudengau this morning en route to Weissenkirchen. You have three choices of how to explore Dürnstein today. The first is a walking tour along the town’s cobblestone streets followed by a visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey at Melk, one of Europe’s largest and most famous monastic sites, home to religious relics and a library filled with medieval manuscripts. Alternatively, you may join a hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom, or enjoy an Apricots and Sweets tasting instead. Tonight, after dinner on board, enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery.
This morning, you will have a chance to savor the Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna through your choice of one of three different excursions. The first option is a panoramic tour of Vienna that guides you past the majestic Opera House, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall, and Vienna University. Afterwards, you will visit Vienna’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Graben, and the world famous Spanish Riding School. The second option is a walking tour of Vienna’s hidden treasures that takes you to secret places and sights like Ankeruhr, a whimsical Art Nouveau clock. Your third option is a guided bike tour along the Danube and through the Donaupark. This afternoon, you can join a guided bike ride to Klosterneuburg Monastery, or explore at your leisure. Be sure to sample some Viennese coffee and pastries.
Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Bratislava, where you will have three choices of excursions. The first is a walking tour that includes the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace, and St. Martin’s Cathedral. The second is a Slovakian Specialties tasting where you will enjoy a welcome glass of sparkling wine, sample a creamy soup made from sheep's cheese, and learn how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli. Finally, you can also join a hike up to Bratislava Castle, which includes visits to the Castle Upper Terrace and Court of Honor. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own.
Your morning excursion includes sightseeing in the cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the river. You will see famed Heroes’ Square and Castle Hill, home to Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church and spectacular views of the Danube. Alternatively, you may also opt to join a hike up to Castle Hill on which you will see Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, and Parliament Square. After dinner, the ship will sail a special Illuminations Cruise past the glittering riverfront of Budapest.
Your cruise comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight.
ADD ON A PRE-CRUISE PRAGUE LAND PROGRAM
Additional 3 nights in Prague pre-cruise from $780
Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic
Arrive in Prague and transfer on your own to the hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
This morning, choose between a standard city tour and a hike. Both will reveal why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with a historic city center that’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see Rudolfinum, the National Museum, Wenceslas Square, and the Hundertwasser Dancing House. Next, visit the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the romantic Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square, where you will find the capital’s famous Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church, and the statue of Jan Husek. The following day is at your leisure, perhaps to stroll through a museum or gallery, wander along the banks of the Vltava River, relax at an outdoor café, or shop for local handicrafts.
Regensburg, Bavaria / Vilshofen / Embark
Depart Prague this morning and stop in Regensburg for a guided walking tour of one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch on your own, continue on to the charming 1,200-year-old Bavarian town of Vilshofen and board your luxurious ship. Later this afternoon, join your fellow passengers at a private Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, with traditional beers and Bavarian folk music and dancing. Later, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner aboard the ship.
ADD ON A PRE-CRUISE MUNICH LAND PROGRAM (2018 ONLY)
Additional 3 nights in Munich pre-cruise from $1320
Arrive in Munich, Germany
Arrive in Munich and check-in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Munich, which includes a photo stop at BMW World, followed by a walking tour of the Old Town. On your walking tour you will see such iconic sights as the 15th-century Frauenkirche, the “Cathedral of Our Lady,” with its typical domes, Viktualienmarkt, the famous outdoor market of Munich and the Rathaus-Glockenspiel at Munich’s New Town Hall. The afternoon is free for you to explore Munich on your own. (B)
Today, you will visit the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. This postcard perfect castle, set amidst the Bavarian Alps, was built in the 19th century by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria as an elaborate homage to composer Richard Wagner. After a tour of the castle, arrive in Füssen, where you will have free time for lunch on your own before returning to Munich. (B)
Munich / Vilshofen / Embarkation
Depart Munich this morning and transfer to the charming 1,200-year-old Bavarian town of Vilshofen and board your luxurious ship. Later this afternoon, join your fellow passengers at a private Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, with traditional beers and Bavarian folk music and dancing. Later, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner aboard the ship. (B,D)