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From Prague to Istanbul aboard a Premier River Vessel

Overview

Travel to legendary destinations, beginning with a 3-night stay in majestic Prague. After embarking upon your cruise, you will savor Wachau Valley wines, experience the beauty and history of Vienna and Budapest, traverse the narrow Iron Gates, and cruise along the Romanian-Bulgarian border to Bucharest, capital of Romania. We also offer this itinerary in the reverse, from Istanbul to Prague.

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.

Itinerary

PRAGUE TO BUCHAREST ITINERARY

Day 1
Prague, Czech Republic

Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic, and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.

Day 2
Prague

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 rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps to enjoy yourself in one of the city’s many charming cafés.

Day 3
Prague

Spend a day 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. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4
Prague / Regensburg / Vilshofen / Embarkation

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.

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Day 5
Vilshofen / Passau, Germany

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, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to one of the world’s largest pipe organs.

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Day 6
Linz, Austria

The ship arrives this morning in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. You will have a choice of three different excursions. The first option is a walking tour of Linz, guiding you along the Landstrasse, the main downtown shopping district and pedestrian thoroughfare, to the city’s Main Square. You will enjoy some free time after to explore on your own, wander into a café or do a little shopping. 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 choice 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.” Enjoy free time on your own before returning to the ship.

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Day 7
Weissenkirchen

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.

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Day 8
Vienna

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.

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Day 9
Bratislava, Slovakia

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.

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Day 10
Budapest, Hungary

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.

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Day 11
Budapest

After breakfast this morning, you will have an excursion to Puszta, the great Hungarian plain that stretches to the eastern border of the country. This area is home to Hungarian cowboys who still wear traditional dress and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. After touring a typical csarda (farm), you will see an amazing performance of Hungarian horsemanship. You’ll also enjoy warm Hungarian hospitality and a traditional lunch of goulash before returning to the ship in Budapest.

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Day 12
Mohacs / Pécs, Hungary

Arrive in Mohács around breakfast time and depart for your excursion to Pécs. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, the city was an important cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. You will see St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral, as well as either a mosque that has been converted to a church or the restored synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács.

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Day 13
Vukovar, Croatia / Novi Sad

This morning, enjoy a Yugoslav Civil War tour of Vukovar that will show you the Ovcara Memorial and Cemetery, the monumental cross that serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, one of Europe’s greatest historical treasures. After a walking tour of the city, you will later in the evening see the Petrovaradin fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached and that is now home to a hotel, museum and artists’ studios.

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Day 14
Belgrade, Serbia

Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, that includes visits to Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. This afternoon you will have your choice of one of three excursions. Your first option is a visit to the mausoleum of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, a beloved figure who was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans during the Second World War and became the first President of Yugoslavia. Your second option is a tasting of Serbian plum brandy and local snacks at the Quburich Distillery. Your third option is a guided bike tour through Belgrade around Ada Ciganlija Island.

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Day 15
Cruising / Iron Gates

Today, enjoy a full day of cruising through one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. Here the Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between Serbia and Romania. The banks of the river along this natural border are lined with sheer-faced rocks that stretch high overhead, a sight that will be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise.

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Day 16
Vidin, Bulgaria

Your time in Vidin begins with a visit to Belogradchik, a beautifully restored castle located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations, as well as Vidin Castle. Afterwards, you will visit Baba Vida Fortress, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, where you will be treated to a fascinating historical re-enactment. You may also opt instead for a Banitsa pastry and yogurt tasting, or a guided bike tour on which you will see sights like the Ottoman post office and visit the synagogue. The ship departs early afternoon.

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Day 17
Giurgiu / Veliko Turnavo

Today, enjoy a visit to the ancient capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnavo. Here you will tour Tsarevets Hill, the old citadel of the city. You will see the old fortress walls, the Royal Palaces and the Patriarchal church and the Baldwin’s Tower. Or you may choose to hike to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries built into the side of a mountain. Return to the ship afterward and enjoy a free evening.

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Day 18
Rousse / Disembarkation / Bucharest, Romania

Disembark the ship in Rousse and continue your tour by motor coach. Today we explore Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Begin with a city tour that features a visit to the Open Air Museum, dedicated to preserving the traditional architecture of rural Romania. After lunch, guests will enjoy a guided tour of the Palace of the Parliament. Later this afternoon check in to your hotel. The evening is free for you to explore the city on your own if you wish.

Day 19
Bucharest / Transylvania

After breakfast, enjoy a full day excursion today to the legendary region of Transylvania, a place deeply rooted in myth and history and comfortably nestled between the Carpathian Mountains. Take a scenic country drive to Sinaia, where you’ll have an opportunity to see the exquisite Peles Castle, a former summer palace for Romanian royalty. Continue on to Bran for where you will have lunch before visiting the infamous Bran Castle, otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle.

Day 20
Depart Bucharest

Bid farewell to Bucharest as you prepare for your homeward flight.

BUCHAREST TO PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 1
Bucharest, Romania

Arrive in Bucharest and check-in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.

Day 2
Bucharest / Transylvania

Enjoy a full day excursion today to the legendary region of Transylvania, a place deeply rooted in myth and history and comfortable nestled between the Carpathian Mountains. Take a scenic country drive to Sinaia, where you’ll have an opportunity to see the exquisite Peles Castles, a former summer palace for Romanian royalty. Continue on to Bran for where you will have some free time for lunch before visiting the infamous Bran Castle, otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle.

Day 3
Bucharest / Rousse, Bulgaria / Embarkation

Today we explore Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Begin your day with a city tour that features a visit to the Open Air Museum, dedicated to preserving the traditional architecture of rural Romania. After lunch, guests will have a choice between free time in the newly renovated Lipscani district, the historical city center of Bucharest, or a guided tour of the Palace of the Parliament. This afternoon, embark upon your river cruise ship. Tonight, gather on board for a Welcome Dinner.

Day 4
Giurgiu / Veliko Turnavo

Today, enjoy a visit to the ancient capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnavo. Here you will tour Tsarevets Hill, the old citadel of the city. You will see the old fortress walls, the Royal Palaces and the Patriarchal church, and the Baldwin’s Tower. Or, you may choose to the visit Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries built into the side of a mountain. Return to the ship afterward and enjoy a free evening.

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Day 5
Vidin, Bulgaria

Your time in Vidin begins with a visit to Belogradchik, a beautifully restored castle dating back to the Dark Ages, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. Afterwards, you will have your choice of one of three excursions. You first choice of excursion is a visit to the Baba Vida Fortress, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, where you will be treated to a fascinating historical re-enactment. You second option is a visit to a local home where you will see a demonstration on how to make of traditional Bulgarian Banitsa pastry and home-curdled LB yoghurt. Your third option is a guided bike tour from Vidin Park to the Baba Vida fortress.

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Day 6
Cruising / Iron Gates

Today is a full day of cruising through one of Europe's most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. Here the Danube narrows as it winds through a range of magnificent gorges between the southern Carpathian Mountains and the northwestern Balkan Mountains. This natural border between Serbia and Romania will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure.

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Day 7
Belgrade, Serbia

Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, that includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. This afternoon you will have your choice of one of three excursions. Your first option is a visit to the mausoleum of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, a beloved figure who was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans during the Second World War and became the first President of Yugoslavia. Your second option is a tasting of Serbian plum brandy at the Quburich Distillery. Your third option is a guided bike tour through Belgrade.

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Day 8
Novi Sad / Vukovar, Croatia

Arrive in Novi Sad in the morning and enjoy a walking tour from Danube Park to the old town center. After your tour, the ship continues on to Ilok, Croatia. Choose between an excursion to Ilok with a wine tasting or a city tour of Vukovar. Vukovar’s rich history bears the influence of the Austrians, Ottoman Turks, Germans, Croatians and Serbians. See Vukovar’s Baroque town center, the Franciscan Monastery, the Castle of the former ruling Eltz family, and the monumental cross that is a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence.

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Day 9
Mohacs / Pecs, Hungary

This morning the ship arrives in Mohács, where you depart for your excursion to Pécs. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pécs became an important early Christian diocese and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. The area around Pécs is made up of rolling hills, vine clad slopes and a modest climate that give the city a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Upon arrival, you will take a city tour that includes UNESCO underground excavations, St. Peter’s Basilica, the main Catholic Cathedral in the city, as well as the restored Synagogue. You will return to the ship in Mohács.

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Day 10
Budapest

Today you will visit the famous Puszta region, the vast flat plain where Hungarian cowboys still wear traditional garb and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. Upon arrival, you will be met by horse herdsmen and greeted with warm hospitality. Try a lunch of goulash, the national dish, before returning to the ship in Budapest late this afternoon. Late tonight, the ship will sail a special “Illuminations Cruise” along the city’s illuminated riverfront. We moor in Budapest overnight.

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Day 11
Budapest

This morning’s sightseeing tour takes you to historic Buda Castle, which offers a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest below. Your tour also includes the Fisherman’s Bastion, Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square and more. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. The ship departs early this evening for Slovakia.

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Day 12
Bratislava, Slovakia / Vienna, Austria

Wake up this morning in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Enjoy a walking tour of the city’s top sights, including the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and St. Martin’s Cathedral. Later, you will have some free time before the ship cruises to Vienna, the music capital of the world. After dinner, experience a traditional “Viennese Wine and Music” evening in a rustic wine tavern outside the city, where you can enjoy a glass of newly pressed, locally grown wine and Austrian music and hospitality.

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Day 13
Vienna

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 city tour, where you will see the Opera House, the Ringstrasse and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The second option is a walking tour of Vienna’s hidden treasures, like the romantic Schönlaterngasse. Your third choice is a guided bike tour along the Danube and through the Donaupark. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure, or join a guided bike ride to Klosterneuberg Abbey.

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Day 14
Weissenkirchen / Emmersdorf / Grein

We arrive in Weissenkirchen this morning, from where you will depart for either a walking tour along Dürnstein’s cobblestone streets or hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom and back through the town. Return to the ship and continue onwards cruising through the gorgeous scenery of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon you will visit the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see jewel-encrusted crosses containing religious relics, frescoes and richly embroidered vestments, as well as the abbey’s priceless collection of medieval manuscripts. Tonight the ship arrives in Grein, where you may enjoy some free time to explore this charming town.

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Day 15
Linz

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 a visit to the Austrian Lake District, the scenic Salzkammergut region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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 choice 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.”

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Day 16
Passau, Germany / Vilshofen

Early this morning, cruise through Upper Austria to Passau in Germany, where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. Enjoy a walking tour of this 2,000-year-old city, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture, cobblestone streets and St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Guests looking for a more active morning can choose between a guided bike tour from Passau to Erlau, or a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus fortress overlooking Passau. This afternoon, the ship cruises to the medieval town of Vilshofen, where you will enjoy a festive “Oktoberfest” celebration with local food, beer and Bavarian folk music and dancing.

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Day 17
Vilshofen / Disembarkation / Regensburg / Prague, Czech Republic

This morning, disembark your ship in Vilshofen and depart for Prague. Stop in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, where you will have a walking tour and free time to explore the city’s historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue on to Prague, taking in the scenic beauty of the countryside before arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon.

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Day 18
Prague

Your morning’s sightseeing tour reveals 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. Visit the 1,000 year-old Prague Castle and St. Vitus before walking over the Charles Bridge to the Old Market Square. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps to visit Wenceslas Square or enjoy yourself in one of the city’s many charming cafes.

Day 19
Prague

Spend a day 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.

Day 20
Depart

Bid farewell to Prague and prepare for your homeward flight.

Highlights

Highlights

Delightful cuisine and wines, optional guided bike tours
Vienna, with its famed opera house
Evening river cruise in Budapest, walking tour of ancient Novi Sad, Serbia
Bucharest, the “Paris of the East”

Details

Length: 20 days
Cost From: $6198  
Arrive: Prague, Czech Republic (or Bucharest, Romania)
Depart: Bucharest, Romania (or Prague, Czech Republic)
Lodging: 7 nights hotels, 14 nights aboard 164-passenger premium river vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, River Cruising
Trip Level:

15-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
Cruise collection 2017 brochure

2017 Cruise Collection

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