Travel through four countries on the beautiful Danube and experience the sights and sounds that have inspired musicians, poets, and artists for centuries. Begin your cruise in magnificent Budapest, continue to historic Bratislava and legendary Vienna, the birthplace of the waltz, cruise the scenic wine-growing region of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the fairytale cities of the Austrian Lake District. Add on an optional post-cruise extension 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.
Budapest to Vilshofen Itinerary
Arrive in Budapest and board your luxurious river cruise ship. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner. Tonight, the ship will sail a special Illuminations Cruise past the capital’s glittering river front.
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.
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.
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.
Weissenkirchen / Emmersdorf / Grein
After reaching the Wachau Valley early this morning, you will have three tour options: A walking tour along Dürnstein’s cobblestone streets followed by a wine tasting, a hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom, or an Apricots and Sweets tasting. Return to the ship and continue 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.
Linz / Afternoon Options
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 options are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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 squares like Rathaus, Domplatz, and Residenzplatz, as well as St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Guests looking for a more active morning can choose between a guided bike tour along the Danube 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 beer and Bavarian folk music and dancing.
Vilshofen / Disembarkation
This morning, disembark your ship in Vilshofen.
ADD ON A POST-CRUISE PRAGUE LAND PROGRAM
Additional 3-nights in Prague post-cruise from $780
VILSHOFEN / DISEMBARKATION / REGENSBURG / PRAGUE
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. (B)
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. 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. (B)
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. (B)
Bid farewell to Prague and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)
ADD ON A POST-CRUISE MUNICH LAND PROGRAM (2018 ONLY)
Additional 3-nights in Munich post-cruise from $1320
Vilshofen / Disembarkation / Munich
This morning, disembark in Vilshofen and depart for the BMW Welt and Museum. After lunch on your own, join a tour of the Welt and Museum. Those looking for an alternative can instead visit Nymphenburg Palace and enjoy its Baroque splendor. Later, transfer to your hotel in Munich. (B)
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 this wonderful city is yours to explore on your own. (B)
Bid farewell to Munich and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)