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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. Disembark your cruise and continue overland to Veliko Tarnovo, the ancient capital of Bulgaria, before arriving in Plovdiv. Your sojourn concludes with 3 nights in exotic Istanbul. 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 ISTANBUL 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
Your morning sightseeing tour brings you to Prague’s historic city center, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city before visiting the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle. Afterwards, walk over Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square. This evening, an optional “Folklore Dinner Show” provides an opportunity to learn about Czech music, dance and cultural traditions. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3
Prague
Spend the day at your leisure or take an optional excursion to Terezin, the infamous WWII concentration camp that is now a memorial to those who perished. Or choose an optional excursion to Lobkowicz Palace. 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
Melk / Krems

Cruise through the narrow Strudengau this morning en route to Melk. A guided tour will take you through Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest and most famous monastic sites, home to religious relics and a library filled with medieval manuscripts. From here, continue cruising the beautiful Wachau Valley to Krems, where you will take a motor coach ride to Dürnstein. On your walking tour of this picturesque old town, you’ll see the magnificent blue façade of the local abbey church and the ruins of a castle where Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned. Tonight, after dinner on board, enjoy a wine tasting at a winery.

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Day 8
Vienna

During your morning city tour of Vienna, you will see the famous Opera House, the Ringstrasse, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The afternoon is free to stroll through the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace. This evening, you will have the opportunity to attend an optional Mozart and Strauss concert. The ship moors in Vienna overnight.

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Day 9
Bratislava, Slovakia

Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Bratislava, where you will have a walking tour that includes the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace, and St. Martin’s Cathedral. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own.

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Day 10
Budapest, Hungary

This morning, your sightseeing tour takes you to the historic Buda Castle, which offers a splendid view of the river and the twin cities of Buda and Pest. Your tour also features the Fisherman’s Bastion, Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and Heroes’ Square. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own. After dinner, the ship will sail a special “Illuminations Cruise” past the glittering river front 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 during breakfast, then depart for your excursion to Pécs. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pécs was an important cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. You will visit the Mosque Church, the largest structure surviving from the Ottoman period, as well as the underground burial chambers that date back to the 4th century. You will also see St. Peter’s Basilica, the city’s main Catholic cathedral, as well as the restored Synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács. After lunch, enjoy a wine-tasting excursion to sample aromatic, spicy wines from the vineyards of Villány.

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Day 13
Vukovar, Croatia / Novi Sad

This morning, your “Yugoslav Civil War” tour of Vukovar will show you the Ovcara Memorial, the monumental cross that serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. You may also choose a wine tasting excursion to the town of Ilok instead. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, one of Europe’s greatest historical treasures. On your afternoon walking tour of the city, you will see the Petrovaradin fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached, now home to a hotel, museum and artists’ studios. Some guests will also see the Novi Sad Synagogue, a beautiful structure located in the Old Town District.

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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 the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, take the “Tito’s Memorial” tour, which includes a visit to the House of Flowers where the tomb of Josip Tito is located. You will also see some of the many gifts Tito received during his presidency. After your tour, you will have free time in the city center to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the city’s main shopping area.

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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

Today you will visit Belogradchik, a beautifully restored castle dating back to the Dark Ages, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. Continue on to the Baba Vida Fortress, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country. Standing guard over the Danube at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin, this massive medieval castle has thick walls and four imposing towers, a stark contrast to the peaceful park that surrounds it. Inside, you’ll be treated to a fascinating historical re-enactment, a performance held exclusively for AmaWaterways guests. The ship departs early afternoon.

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Day 17
Giurgiu / Bucharest, Romania

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Begin your day with a city tour that features a visit to the Palace of the Parliament or the Open Air Museum, dedicated to preserving the traditional architecture of rural Romania. After lunch, you will have a guided tour of the newly renovated Lipscani district, the historical city center of Bucharest. The evening is yours to enjoy in Bucharest.

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Day 18
Rousse / Disembarkation / Veliko Tarnovo / Plovdiv
Disembark the ship in Rousse and continue your tour by motor coach. Your first stop is the ancient capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, where you will see a traditional market known as Samovodska Charshia. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch before continuing on to Plovdiv. This evening, take a walking tour to see traces of ancient Roman ruins found throughout Plovdiv’s Old Town area, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 19
Plovdiv, Bulgaria / Istanbul
After breakfast, continue on to exotic Istanbul for the grand three-night conclusion of your journey. You will stop for lunch in Erdine before continuing on to Istanbul and checking in to your hotel. The rest of the evening is free to explore on your own.
Day 20
Istanbul
A comprehensive city tour will take you through Istanbul’s Old City, with its numerous Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman monuments. Admire the mighty defensive walls, the Roman aqueduct, and the hippodrome. See the Galata Tower and visit the beautiful and historic Blue Mosque, so named for the blue tiles adorning its interior. This afternoon is free to explore the town on your own or join the optional “Turkish Delight” tour, an in-depth look at some of Istanbul’s most unique sights.
Day 21
Istanbul
Today, your guided sightseeing tour will take you to the spectacular Ottoman Sultans’ Grand Palace of Topkapi, home to every Sultan from the 15th-19th centuries. During your tour, admire the private chambers of the Sultans, the Harem (women’s quarters) and the Imperial Treasury’s vast collection, including the jewel-encrusted Topkapi Dagger and the stunning 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. This afternoon, enjoy an optional Bosphorus cruise to Istanbul’s chic, trendy neighborhood of Ortaköy, or spend the remainder of the day shopping for souvenirs or relaxing at a tea house or café.
Day 22
Depart Istanbul
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.

 

ISTANBUL TO PRAGUE ITINERARY
Day 1
Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey, and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
Day 2
Istanbul
This morning's comprehensive city tour will show you the old city, with its numerous Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman monuments of its historic past. You will see the mighty defensive walls, the Roman aqueduct, the hippodrome, and the Galata Tower, and visit the beautiful Blue Mosque. This afternoon is free to explore on your own or join the optional “Turkish Delight” tour, an in-depth look at some of Istanbul’s most unique sites.
Day 3
Istanbul
Today, your guided sightseeing tour will take you to the spectacular Ottoman Sultans’ Grand Palace of Topkapi, home to every Sultan from the 15th-19th centuries. During your tour, admire the private chambers of the Sultans, the Harem (women’s quarters) and the Imperial Treasury’s vast collection, including the jewel-encrusted Topkapi Dagger and the stunning 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. This afternoon, enjoy an optional Bosphorus cruise to Istanbul’s chic, trendy neighborhood of Ortaköy, or spend the remainder of the day shopping for souvenirs or relaxing at a tea house or café.
Day 4
Istanbul / Plovdiv, Bulgaria

This morning, you depart for Plovdiv. Enjoy a walking tour of Plovdiv after checking in to your hotel. The remainder of the evening is yours to explore this quaint Bulgarian town.

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Day 5
Veliko Tarnovo / Rousse / Embarkation

This morning, transfer to the hilltop town of Veliko Tarnovo, where you will enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch. Afterwards you will visit this ancient capital of Bulgaria and tour Tsarevets Hill, the old citadel of the city. Continue on to Rousse to board your ship. Tonight gather on board for a Welcome Dinner.

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Day 6
Giurgiu / Bucharest, Romania

Enjoy a full day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Visit the Open Air Museum, dedicated to Romania’s traditional architecture. After lunch, you may visit the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world, or take a tour of the city’s historic center. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure or enjoy a walking tour of Rousse. The ship departs early this evening for Bulgaria.

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Day 7
Vidin, Bulgaria

Today, enjoy a leisurely day of cruising the Danube, arriving in early afternoon at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th-century Baba Vida castle stands guard over the Danube with its massive walls and dark towers, a stark contrast to the natural park that surrounds it. From here, take an excursion to Belogradchik, a restored 6th-century fortress located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. The ship departs late tonight.

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Day 8
Cruising / Iron Gates

Enjoy a full day of cruising through one of Europe's most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. The Danube narrows here as it winds through a range of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. Today’s passage will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure. The ship cruises through the night, en route to Serbia.

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Day 9
Belgrade, Serbia

Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. On your panoramic city tour, you will visit the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, take the “Tito’s Memorial” tour, which includes a visit to the House of Flowers where the tomb of Josip Tito is located. You will also see some of the many gifts Tito received during his presidency. Afterwards, you will have free time in the city center to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the main pedestrian and shopping center of the city. The ship departs very late tonight.

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Day 10
Novi Sad / Ilok / Vukovar, Croatia

Arrive in Novi Sad in the morning and enjoy a walking tour, beginning at Danube Park and strolling through the old town center. After your tour, continue on to Vukovar, Croatia, arriving this evening. You will have a choice of tours, either Vukovar or Ilok. The city tour of Vukovar includes the Ovcara Memorial, the monumental cross that is a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. The tour of Ilok includes a visit to a local winery to sample different vintages, followed by a walking tour of the town. After you rejoin the ship in Vukovar, we cruise overnight to Mohacs.

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Day 11
Mohacs / Pecs, Hungary

We arrive in Mohacs early this morning. Later, enjoy an excursion to Pecs, EU Cultural Capital 2010. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pecs became an important early Christian bishopric and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, you will also see St. Peter’s Basilica, the main Catholic cathedral in the city, as well as the restored synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohacs. The ship departs early this afternoon for Budapest.

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Day 12
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 13
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 14
Bratislava, Slovakia / Vienna, Austria

Arrive this morning in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. You have your choice of two tours today. The first option is a walking tour of the city’s major sights, including the Old Town Hall, the Mirbach Palace, and the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. As an alternative, take the “Communist Tour” that includes architectural landmarks such as the Radio Building, Liberty Square, and the Soviet War Memorial. 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 just outside the city, where you will enjoy some newly pressed wine, music, and hospitality. The ship moors overnight in Vienna.

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Day 15
Vienna

Savor Vienna’s Baroque elegance during your guided sightseeing tour, which will include the Vienna Opera House, the Ringstrasse, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. After dinner on board, enjoy an optional tour of Schonbrunn Palace and a Mozart & Strauss concert in one of the city’s great concert houses. We set sail at midnight and cruise through the night.

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Day 16
Dürnstein / Melk

This morning you will arrive in Dürnstein and take a guided walking tour along the town’s medieval cobblestone streets. You will see 16th-century town houses, wine taverns, and the distinctive blue façade of the local church, and enjoy a tasting of Wachau Valley wines. The ship arrives in Melk late this afternoon, where you will tour the spectacular Melk Abbey and the medieval library that inspired novelist Umberto Eco to write The Name of the Rose. The ship departs in Melk later tonight.

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Day 17
Linz / Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic / Salzburg

The ship arrives this morning in Linz. Enjoy a walking tour of the second largest city in Austria. 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 18
Passau, Germany / Vilshofen
Early this morning, cruise through Upper Austria to the German town of Passau, where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. Your city tour takes you on an exploration of this fairytale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. This afternoon, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, a charming 1,200-year-old Bavarian town where you will experience a mini “Oktoberfest” celebration with local food, beer, and Bavarian folk music and dances. The ship moors overnight in Vilshofen.
Day 19
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 Regensburg’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and have lunch on your own. Continue to Prague and check into your hotel.
Day 20
Prague
Your morning’s sightseeing tour reveals why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with its historic city center 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 Town Square. The balance of the day is at your leisure, perhaps to visit Wenceslas Square or relax in a charming cafe. This evening, an optional “Folklore Dinner Show” provides an opportunity to learn about Czech music, dance, and traditions.
Day 21
Prague
Spend the day as you wish today. You might take a stroll through a museum or gallery, wander along the banks of the Vltava River, relax at an outdoor restaurant, or shop for local handicrafts and artwork. This afternoon, you can take an optional excursion to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp that is now a memorial to those who perished. An optional tour of Lobowicz Palace is also available.
Day 22
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”
Treasures of Istanbul, including the fabulous Topkapi Palace

Details

Length: 22 days
Cost From: $6098  
Arrive: Prague, Czech Republic (or Istanbul, Turkey)
Depart: Istanbul, Turkey (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

2016 Cruise Collection

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