Detailed Itinerary Celebration of Classical Music: The Danube

7- Night Cruise

Day 1
Arrive in Budapest and board your luxurious river cruise ship. (D)

Day 2
Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture and tradition. Your city tour begins with a visit to the Great Market Hall before going to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. You’ll see Heroes’ Square and Castle Hill, home to the Fisherman’s Bastion and Mattias Church. As an alternative, you can hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city below. In the afternoon, enter a world of grandeur and musical history as your knowledgeable local guide leads you through the exquisitely designed Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest. From its grandiose neo-Renaissance façade to its dramatic marble staircases to its immaculate ceiling frescoes, this building has played host to countless operas and ballets for more than a century and its beauty will leave you speechless. Take your moment in the spotlight on stage, with the possibility of witnessing actual performers in action. Following your visit to the opera, venture to number thirty-five Vorosmarty Street where the Franz Liszt Memorial Museum is located. Franz Liszt was a renowned 19th-century Hungarian musician and composer whose works spanned more than six decades – and he lived on the first floor of this building from 1811-1886. Learn more about his life and the music that made him famous before returning to your ship. If you prefer venturing off the beaten path or are returning to the city for a repeat visit, join our Jewish heritage tour which visits the museum at beautiful Dohány Synagogue, as well as the Tree of Life Holocaust memorial and the Temple of Heroes, dedicated to Jewish Hungarian soldiers who fought during WWI. (B,L,D) Note: The Great Market Hall is closed on Sundays.

Day 3
Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. Plus, enjoy a surprise musical performance as part of this included excursion. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city or enjoy a guided bike tour, pausing to take photos with some of the celebrated statues in Old Town. In the afternoon, take in the breathtaking scenery along the Danube River from your balcony or while up on the Sun Deck – you may even catch a glimpse of the gleaming Bratislava Castle as you leave the city. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Sail through Austria’s beautiful Wachau Valley to Melk and explore the city known for its magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries. Within these walls you will find frescoes painted by Johann Michael Rottmayr and Paul Troger, as well as a famed collection of musical manuscripts. You will also be treated to a beautiful live choral performance in Melk’s community hall. If you prefer a more active adventure, hike up to the Melk Abbey and then visit this magnificent Baroque monastery or join a guided bike tour to Melk. Enjoy an afternoon scenic cruise while in Melk before making your way to Linz. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Arrive in Linz, where you’ll have several choices of excursions. Opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg where you’ll tour the historic center, lovely Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. You will also visit the museum at the famed yellow building known as Mozart Birth House and residence where the legendary composer was born in 1756 and lived until 1773. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the Basilica St. Michael where the wedding scene from The Sound of Music was filmed. Or join a morning walking tour through the old city center of Linz and by the Mozarthaus where Mozart composed his Linz Symphony and Linz Sonata in only three days in 1783; or go on a bike tour of the city’s famed “Cultural Mile,” passing the contemporary Ars Electronica Center and the New Cathedral. In the afternoon, for those not taking the full-day tour to Salzburg, you can also choose to visit charming Český Krumlov, located just over the Czech-Austrian border. (B,L,D)
*Note: Not available with full-day Salzburg excursion

Day 6
Sail from Linz to the grand capital of Vienna on a morning scenic cruise. Once there, the “City of Waltzes” offers a wealth of gems and your city tour showcases its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs. Conclude your tour in Vienna’s historic city center and visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or discover Vienna by bike. Alternatively, visit a traditional café to experience a true Vienna specialty with its very own national holiday and a unique history to match: the rich chocolate sachertorte – and savor this treat with a piping hot Viennese coffee. In the evening, join us for a very special live classical performance at a renowned local concert hall. (B,L,D)

Day 7
Explore the city of music while following in the footsteps of world-renowned composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, from their past residences to museums to grand monuments. Alternatively, pedal along the scenic Danube River and through charming neighborhoods to the nearby town of Klosterneuberg and its majestic 12th-century Augustinian monastery overlooking the Danube River. During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time to further explore what this musical city has to offer. (B,L,D)

Day 8
Bid farewell to Vienna and prepare for your flight home. (B)

Experience More Connections
Welcome to the grand cosmopolitan city of Budapest – long a center of great beauty, elegance and sophistication.
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Let the beauty of Bratislava come alive as you visit one of the most exciting cities in Europe, rich in history and architecture.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss II – with native sons like these, it’s no wonder that classical music continues to reverberate through the streets of Austria – particularly Vienna.
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