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Grand Danube Cruise

Spend 3 nights in Prague, then embark on a fascinating cruise from Vilshofen to Istanbul, spending 1 night in Bulgaria and 3 nights in Istanbul
23 Days ∙ Travel to Prague & return from Istanbul or reverse

OVERVIEW

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, 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 and take the optional air transfer to Istanbul or continue overland to Veliko Tarnovo, the ancient capital of Bulgaria, before arriving in Plovdiv. Your sojourn concludes with 3 nights in exotic Istanbul.


  • SELECT DIRECTION:
DayDestinationActivities
1Overnight flight to Czech Republic
2PragueHotel check-in
3PragueCity tour
Optional Folklore Dinner Show
4Free time
PragueOptional Terezin tour
OR optional Lobkowicz Palace tour
5PragueTransfer to Regensburg
RegensburgWalking tour
VilshofenEMBARKATION
“Oktoberfest”
Welcome Dinner
6VilshofenFree time
PassauWalking tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
7LinzGmunden excursion
OR Salzburg excursion
8MelkBenedictine Abbey tour
KremsDürnstein walking tour and wine tasting
OR guided bicycle tour
9ViennaCity tour
Optional Schonbrunn Palace tour
Optional evening Mozart & Strauss concert
10BratislavaWalking tour
OR Communist history tour
11BudapestCity tour and “Illuminations” cruise
12BudapestPuszta excursion
13MohacsPecs excursion
OR Mohacs guided bike tour
14Novi SadWalking tour
VukovarCity tour
OR Ilok excursion
15BelgradeCity tour
OR “Tito's Memorial” tour
OR guided bicycle tour
16Iron GatesCruising the Iron Gates
17VidinBaba Vida Castle and Belogradschik fortress
18GiurgiuBucharest excursion
OR Rousse walking tour
19RousseDISEMBARKATION
Veliko TarnovoCity tour
ArbanassiLunch stop and transfer to Plovdiv
PlovdivHotel check-in
Walking tour
20EdirneLunch stop and transfer to Istanbul
IstanbulHotel check-in
21IstanbulCity tour
Optional Turkish Delight Tour
22IstanbulTopkapi Palace Tour
Optional Bosphorus Cruise
23IstanbulReturn flight home
DayDestinationActivities
1Overnight flight to Turkey
2IstanbulHotel check-in
3IstanbulCity tour
Optional Turkish Delight Tour
4IstanbulTopkapi Palace Tour
Optional Bosphorus Cruise
5PlovdivHotel check-in
City tour
6Veliko TarnovoCity tour
RousseEMBARKATION
Welcome Dinner
7GiurgiuBucharest excursion
OR Rousse walking tour
8VidinWalking tour & fortress visit
Belogradchik excursion
9Iron GatesCruising the Iron Gates
10BelgradeCity tour
OR optional “Tito’s Memorial” tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
11Novi SadWalking tour
VukovarCity tour
OR Ikok excursion
12MohacsPecs excursion
13BudapestPuszta excursion
14BudapestCity tour
15BratislavaWalking tour OR “Communist" tour
ViennaOptional evening concert
16ViennaCity tour
Viennesse Wine & Music Evening
17DürnsteinWalking tour & wine tasting
Cruise Wachau Valley
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
MelkBenedictine Abbey tour
18LinzWalking tour
OR Austrian Lake District excursion
OR Cesky Krumlov excursion
OR Salzburg excursion
19PassauWalking tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
Vilshofen"Oktoberfest"
20VilshofenDISEMBARKATION
RegensburgWalking tour; transfer to Prague
PragueHotel check-in
21PragueWalking tour
Optional “Folklore Dinner Show”
22PragueOptional Terezin excursion
23PragueReturn flight home
DayDestinationActivities
1VilshofenEMBARKATION
“Oktoberfest”
Welcome Dinner
2VilshofenFree time
PassauWalking tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
3LinzGmunden excursion
OR Salzburg excursion
4MelkBenedictine Abbey tour
KremsDürnstein walking tour and wine tasting
OR guided bicycle tour
5ViennaCity tour
Optional Schonbrunn Palace tour
Optional evening Mozart & Strauss concert
6BratislavaWalking tour
OR Communist history tour
7BudapestCity tour and “Illuminations” cruise
8BudapestPuszta excursion
9MohacsPecs excursion
OR Mohacs guided bike tour
10Novi SadWalking tour
VukovarCity tour
OR Ilok excursion
11BelgradeCity tour
OR “Tito's Memorial” tour
OR guided bicycle tour
12Iron GatesCruising the Iron Gates
13VidinBaba Vida Castle and Belogradschik fortress
14GiurgiuBucharest excursion
OR Rousse walking tour
15RousseDISEMBARKATION
DayDestinationActivities
1RousseEMBARKATION
Welcome Dinner
2GiurgiuBucharest excursion
OR Rousse walking tour
3VidinWalking tour & fortress visit
Belogradchik excursion
4Iron GatesCruising the Iron Gates
5BelgradeCity tour
OR optional “Tito’s Memorial” tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
6Novi SadWalking tour
VukovarCity tour
OR Ikok excursion
7MohacsPecs excursion
8BudapestPuszta excursion
9BudapestCity tour
10BratislavaWalking tour OR “Communist" tour
ViennaOptional evening concert
11ViennaCity tour
Viennesse Wine & Music Evening
12DürnsteinWalking tour & wine tasting
Cruise Wachau Valley
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
MelkBenedictine Abbey tour
13LinzWalking tour
OR Austrian Lake District excursion
OR Cesky Krumlov excursion
OR Salzburg excursion
14PassauWalking tour
OR guided bicycle tour (capacity controlled)
Vilshofen"Oktoberfest"
15VilshofenDISEMBARKATION

INCLUDED FEATURES

  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul at The Ritz-Carlton (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
  • 1-night hotel accommodation in Plovdiv at the Dedeman (or similar), including Buffet Breakfast
  • Fully escorted motor coach tour from the ship in hotel in Istanbul to ship in Rousse
  • 14 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom - 82% of the staterooms with French balconies
  • Life enriching tours and excursions daily with personal headset included
  • “Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights” excursions
  • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
  • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
  • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
  • Free-flowing red & white wines from Europe's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
  • Transfer from the ship in Vilshofen to the hotel in Prague
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Prague at the InterContinental or Hilton Old Town (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
  • Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
  • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
  • Services of professional Cruise Manager
  • All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
  • All transfers with the purchase of cruise, land & air package
  • All local taxes

DETAILED ITINERARY


Select Direction:       or  

Day 1DEPART USA/CANADA
Board your overnight flight to Prague, Czech Republic.
Day 2ARRIVE IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Arrive in Prague and check-in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
Day 3PRAGUE
Your morning sightseeing tour takes 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 Hradcany 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 traditions. (B)
Day 4PRAGUE
Spend the day at your leisure or take an optional tour to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp that is now a memorial to those who perished. Or, if you prefer, join an optional excursion to Lobkowicz Palace. (B)
Day 5PRAGUE – REGENSBURG, GERMANY – EMBARKATION – VILSHOFEN
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. (B,D)
Day 6VILSHOFEN – PASSAU
This morning you are free to explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau. This afternoon you have a choice of two tours. The first option is a walking tour of this 2,000-year-old city, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture, cobblestoned streets, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to one of the world’s largest pipe organs. Another option is a guided bike tour along the Inn River to Weinstein (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 7LINZ - GMUNDEN
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. You will have the choice of two different excursions: a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the historic town of Gmunden; or take an excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart, and enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8MELK – KREMS (DÜRNSTEIN)
Cruise through the narrow Strudengau this morning en route to Melk. A guided tour will take you to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries and the inspiration for the novel The Name of the Rose. From here, continue cruising the beautiful Wachau valley to Krems. You will have the choice of two excursions this afternoon. The first is a motor coach ride to Dürnstein, where you will have a wine tasting and walking tour through the town’s medieval cobblestoned streets, past 16th-century town houses, wine taverns, and the magnificent blue facade of the Baroque Stiftskirche. High above town, look for the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionhearted was once imprisoned and held for ransom. As an alternative, enjoy a guided bike tour from Krems to Dürnstein and back (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 9VIENNA
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 enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert or join a “Vienna Wine and Music Evening” excursion to a traditional wine tavern to enjoy music, good cheer and newly pressed local wine. The ship moors in Vienna overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 10BRATISLAVA, 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. As an alternative, take a “Communist History” tour that includes such architectural landmarks as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and Soviet War Memorial. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 11BUDAPEST, 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. After dinner, the ship will sail a special “Illuminations Cruise” past the illuminated river front of Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 12BUDAPEST
You will have an excursion to Puszta today, the vast Great Hungarian Plain which stretches across to the East, where Hungarian cowboys still wear traditional dress and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. Experience the warm hospitality and enjoy a light lunch of goulash. (B,L,D)
Day 13MOHACS - PÉCS - VILANY
After arriving in Mohacs, depart for your excursion to Pecs, the 2010 European Union Cultural Capital. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pecs became an important early Christian diocese and Turkish cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, 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 Mohacs. After lunch, enjoy a wine-tasting excursion to sample aromatic, spicy wines from the vineyards of Vilany. As an alternative, take a guided bicycle tour to Mohacs in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 14VUKOVAR, CROATIA – NOVI SAD, SERBIA
This morning, choose either a city tour of Vukovar or an excursion to the town of Ilok. Your 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. As an alternative, travel to Ilok to visit a local winery, sample different vintages, and have a walking tour of the town. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia. Enjoy a walking tour of Novi Sad in the afternoon, from Danube Park through the streets of the Old Town district. (B,L,D)
Day 15BELGRADE
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including 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. You will have free time in the city center after your tour to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the city’s main pedestrian and shopping area. A guided bicycle tour is available in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 16CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES – VIDIN, BULGARIA
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 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. Late this evening, the ship cruises to Vidin. (B,L,D)
Day 17VIDIN
The Baba Vida Castle, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, stands guard over the Danube at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th- century castle has massive walls and four imposing towers, a stark contrast to the bucolic park that surrounds the castle. From here, take an excursion to Belogradschik, a beautifully restored 6th- century fortress, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. The ship moors overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 18GIURGIU – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – ROUSSE, BULGARIA
Enjoy a walking tour of Rousse or a full day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” In Bucharest, visit the Open Air Museum, which was dedicated to the traditional architecture of rural Romania. After lunch you will have two options: a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world; or a tour of the newly renovated Lipscani district, the historical city center of Bucharest. The evening is yours to spend however you wish. (B,L,D)
Day 19ROUSSE – DISEMBARKATION – VELIKO TARNOVO – PLOVDIV, BULGARIA
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 have a city tour. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the hilltop town of Arbanassi, where you will sample a traditional Bulgarian lunch before continuing on to Plovdiv. This evening, see the main highlights of Plovdiv Old Town on a walking tour before dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 20PLOVDIV – ISTANBUL, TURKEY
After breakfast, continue on to exotic Istanbul for the grand three-night conclusion of your Grand Danube Cruise. You will stop for lunch in Erdine, then continue on to Istanbul and check into your hotel. The rest of the evening is free to explore on your own. (B,L)
Day 21ISTANBUL
A comprehensive city tour will take you through its 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. (B)
Day 22ISTANBUL
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 century. 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 Bosporus cruise to Istanbul’s chic, trendy neighborhood of Ortaköy, or use the remainder of the day to shop for souvenirs or relax at a tea house or café. (B)
Day 23ISTANBUL - USA
Bid farewell to Istanbul as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)
Day 1DEPART USA/CANADA
Board overnight flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
Day 2ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL
Arrive in Istanbul and check in to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
Day 3ISTANBUL
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. (B)
Day 4ISTANBUL
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 century. 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 use the remainder of the day to shop for souvenirs or relax at a tea house or café. (B)
Day 5ISTANBUL-PLOVDIV, BULGARIA
This morning, you depart for Plovdiv. After lunch in Erdine, continue your journey through the Bulgarian countryside. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Plovdiv after checking in to your hotel. The remainder of the evening is yours to explore this quaint Bulgarian town. (B,L,D)
Day 6VELIKO TARNOVO – ROUSSE – EMBARKATION
The first stop this morning is the ancient capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnavo. Here you will tour Tsarevets Hill, the old citadel of the city. Those passengers who wish to shop can instead visit Samovodska Charshia, a traditional market street. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch in the hilltop town of Arbanassi before continuing on to Rousse to board your ship. Tonight gather on board for a Welcome Dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 7BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Enjoy a full day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Visit the Open Air Museum, which is dedicated to Romania’s traditional architecture. After lunch, you will have two options: a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world, or a tour of the city’s historical center. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 8VIDIN, BULGARIA
Today, enjoy a leisurely day of cruising the Danube, arriving in the late afternoon at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th-century Baba Vida Fortress sits 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 Belogradschik, a beautifully restored 6th-century castle, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. (B,L,D)
Day 9CRUISING - 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 Mountains and the Balkan Mountains. Today’s passage will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure. (B,L,D)
Day 10BELGRADE, SERBIA
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and explore some of its 5,500 streets, 16 plazas and 32 squares. On your panoramic tour, you will see the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, take the optional “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. A guided bicycle tour is available in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 11NOVI SAD –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, where you may choose between two tours: 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. (B,L,D)
Day 12MOHÁCS - PÉCS, HUNGARY
Arrive in Mohács during breakfast and then depart for your excursion to Pécs, EU Cultural Capital 2010. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pécs became an important early Christian bishopric and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, 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 main Catholic Cathedral in the city, as well as the restored Synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács. (B,L,D)
Day 13BUDAPEST
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, brandy and scones. Try a lunch of goulash, the national dish, before returning to the ship in Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 14BUDAPEST
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. (B,L,D)
Day 15BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Wake up 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, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in one of Imperial Vienna’s great formal concert houses. (B,L,D)
Day 16VIENNA
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, 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. (B,L,D)
Day 17DÜRNSTEIN – MELK
This morning arrive in Dürnstein, where you will take a guided walking tour along the town’s medieval cobblestone streets, passing by 16th-century town houses, wine taverns, and the distinctive blue façade of the local church. Your tour includes a wine tasting at a local vintner, where you will enjoy several different vintages. As an alternative, explore the majestic Wachau Valley on a guided bike tour from Dürnstein to Melk (capacity controlled). The ship arrives in Melk 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 moors overnight in Melk. (B,L,D)
Day 18LINZ – GMUNDEN
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. Your walking tour will take you along the Landstrasse to the city’s main square. You will see St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Marian Column, Landestheatre and St. Martin’s, the oldest church in Austria. Return to the ship for brunch. This afternoon you have the choice of three different excursions: a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the historic town of Gmunden; or join an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border; or take an excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart, and enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 19PASSAU, 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 fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. As an alternative, explore the city on a guided bike tour (capacity controlled). This afternoon, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, a charming 1200-year-old Bavarian town where you will experience a mini “Oktoberfest” celebration with local food, beer, Bavarian folk music and dances. (B,L,D)
Day 20VILSHOFEN - 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 enjoy a walking tour. Afterwards, enjoy 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. (B)
Day 21PRAGUE
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. (B)
Day 22PRAGUE
Spend a day at your leisure to 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 art work. This afternoon, you can take an optional tour to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp, now a memorial to those who perished. (B)
Day 23DEPART PRAGUE
Bid farewell to Prague and transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. (B)
Day 1VILSHOFEN - EMBARKATION
Embark your cruise in Vilshofen. Tonight gather on board for a Welcome Dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 2VILSHOFEN – PASSAU
This morning you are free to explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau. This afternoon you have a choice of two tours. The first option is a walking tour of this 2,000-year-old city, noted for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture, cobblestoned streets, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to one of the world’s largest pipe organs. Another option is a guided bike tour along the Inn River to Weinstein (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 3LINZ - GMUNDEN
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. You will have the choice of two different excursions: a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the historic town of Gmunden; or take an excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart, and enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4MELK – KREMS (DÜRNSTEIN)
Cruise through the narrow Strudengau this morning en route to Melk. A guided tour will take you to Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries and the inspiration for the novel The Name of the Rose. From here, continue cruising the beautiful Wachau valley to Krems. You will have the choice of two excursions this afternoon. The first is a motor coach ride to Dürnstein, where you will have a wine tasting and walking tour through the town’s medieval cobblestoned streets, past 16th-century town houses, wine taverns, and the magnificent blue facade of the Baroque Stiftskirche. High above town, look for the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionhearted was once imprisoned and held for ransom. As an alternative, enjoy a guided bike tour from Krems to Dürnstein and back (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 5VIENNA
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 enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert or join a “Vienna Wine and Music Evening” excursion to a traditional wine tavern to enjoy music, good cheer and newly pressed local wine. The ship moors in Vienna overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 6BRATISLAVA, 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. As an alternative, take a “Communist History” tour that includes such architectural landmarks as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and Soviet War Memorial. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 7BUDAPEST, 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. After dinner, the ship will sail a special “Illuminations Cruise” past the illuminated river front of Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 8BUDAPEST
You will have an excursion to Puszta today, the vast Great Hungarian Plain which stretches across to the East, where Hungarian cowboys still wear traditional dress and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. Experience the warm hospitality and enjoy a light lunch of goulash. (B,L,D)
Day 9MOHACS - PÉCS - VILANY
After arriving in Mohacs, depart for your excursion to Pecs, the 2010 European Union Cultural Capital. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pecs became an important early Christian diocese and Turkish cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, 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 Mohacs. After lunch, enjoy a wine-tasting excursion to sample aromatic, spicy wines from the vineyards of Vilany. As an alternative, take a guided bicycle tour to Mohacs in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 10VUKOVAR, CROATIA – NOVI SAD, SERBIA
This morning, choose either a city tour of Vukovar or an excursion to the town of Ilok. Your 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. As an alternative, travel to Ilok to visit a local winery, sample different vintages, and have a walking tour of the town. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia. Enjoy a walking tour of Novi Sad in the afternoon, from Danube Park through the streets of the Old Town district. (B,L,D)
Day 11BELGRADE
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including 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. You will have free time in the city center after your tour to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the city’s main pedestrian and shopping area. A guided bicycle tour is available in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 12CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES – VIDIN, BULGARIA
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 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. Late this evening, the ship cruises to Vidin. (B,L,D)
Day 13VIDIN
The Baba Vida Castle, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, stands guard over the Danube at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th- century castle has massive walls and four imposing towers, a stark contrast to the bucolic park that surrounds the castle. From here, take an excursion to Belogradschik, a beautifully restored 6th- century fortress, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. The ship moors overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 14GIURGIU – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – ROUSSE, BULGARIA
Enjoy a walking tour of Rousse or a full day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” In Bucharest, visit the Open Air Museum, which was dedicated to the traditional architecture of rural Romania. After lunch you will have two options: a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world; or a tour of the newly renovated Lipscani district, the historical city center of Bucharest. The evening is yours to spend however you wish. (B,L,D)
Day 15ROUSSE – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark your cruise in Rousse. (B)
Day 1ROUSSE - EMBARKATION
Embark on your cruise in Rousse. Tonight gather on board for a Welcome Dinner. (D)
Day 2BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Enjoy a full day excursion to Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.” Visit the Open Air Museum, which is dedicated to Romania’s traditional architecture. After lunch, you will have two options: a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world, or a tour of the city’s historical center. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 3VIDIN, BULGARIA
Today, enjoy a leisurely day of cruising the Danube, arriving in the late afternoon at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th-century Baba Vida Fortress sits 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 Belogradschik, a beautifully restored 6th-century castle, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations. (B,L,D)
Day 4CRUISING - 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 Mountains and the Balkan Mountains. Today’s passage will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure. (B,L,D)
Day 5BELGRADE, SERBIA
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and explore some of its 5,500 streets, 16 plazas and 32 squares. On your panoramic tour, you will see the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, take the optional “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. A guided bicycle tour is available in the afternoon (capacity controlled). (B,L,D)
Day 6NOVI SAD –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, where you may choose between two tours: 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. (B,L,D)
Day 7MOHÁCS - PÉCS, HUNGARY
Arrive in Mohács during breakfast and then depart for your excursion to Pécs, EU Cultural Capital 2010. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pécs became an important early Christian bishopric and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, 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 main Catholic Cathedral in the city, as well as the restored Synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács. (B,L,D)
Day 8BUDAPEST
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, brandy and scones. Try a lunch of goulash, the national dish, before returning to the ship in Budapest. (B,L,D)
Day 9BUDAPEST
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. (B,L,D)
Day 10BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Wake up 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, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in one of Imperial Vienna’s great formal concert houses. (B,L,D)
Day 11VIENNA
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, 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. (B,L,D)
Day 12DÜRNSTEIN – MELK
This morning arrive in Dürnstein, where you will take a guided walking tour along the town’s medieval cobblestone streets, passing by 16th-century town houses, wine taverns, and the distinctive blue façade of the local church. Your tour includes a wine tasting at a local vintner, where you will enjoy several different vintages. As an alternative, explore the majestic Wachau Valley on a guided bike tour from Dürnstein to Melk (capacity controlled). The ship arrives in Melk 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 moors overnight in Melk. (B,L,D)
Day 13LINZ – GMUNDEN
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. Your walking tour will take you along the Landstrasse to the city’s main square. You will see St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Marian Column, Landestheatre and St. Martin’s, the oldest church in Austria. Return to the ship for brunch. This afternoon you have the choice of three different excursions: a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the historic town of Gmunden; or join an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov, a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border; or take an excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart, and enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 14PASSAU, 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 fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. As an alternative, explore the city on a guided bike tour (capacity controlled). This afternoon, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, a charming 1200-year-old Bavarian town where you will experience a mini “Oktoberfest” celebration with local food, beer, Bavarian folk music and dances. (B,L,D)
Day 15VILSHOFEN – DISEMBARKATION
This morning, disembark your ship in Vilshofen. (B)

 

 

DATES & RATES

Prices are per person in a Cat. E.
Click to view individual sailing stateroom category pricing.


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Notes:

Important:  Dates, prices & itineraries for 2013 sailings are subject to change.

Port Charges:  $294 per person.

Single Supplement for Cruise:  50% of twin price; Jr. Suites 100% of twin price.

Single Supplement for Land:  $910 per person.

Istanbul Hotel:  The Ritz-Carlton (or similar).

Plovdiv Hotel:  Dedeman (or similar).

Prague Hotel:  InterContinental or Hilton Old Town (or similar).

Bedding:  Please select bedding configuration at the time of booking. The choices are: Option A: Two twin beds Option B: One large bed (larger than queen size).

SHIP(S)

AmaCerto

This 164-passenger vessel incorporates the most advanced design offering spacious staterooms featuring our exclusive twin balconies, multiple dining venues, heated pool, Internet/WiFi access and more.

AmaPrima

This 164-passenger vessel incorporates the most advanced design offering spacious staterooms featuring our exclusive twin balconies, multiple dining venues, heated pool, Internet/WiFi access and more.

REVIEWS

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