Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (D)
Day 2 Amsterdam
There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” Afterward your ship sets sail for Cologne. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Cologne, Germany
Cologne is one of Germany’s largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent gothic cathedral. The Germano-Roman Museum next to the cathedral is a must for history buffs! Try a Kölsch in one of the many taverns and shop for a bottle of “4711,” the original eau de cologne. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim
The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Pass the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where sweet songs of local beauties lured enchanted sailors to their doom. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM in pretty Rüdesheim. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to explore the Drosselgasse and pick up some souvenirs. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Miltenberg
Located on the Main River, Miltenberg is a picturesque Bavarian village that thrived on income from river traffic. Its cultural wealth and affluence are reflected in the beautiful medieval and renaissance houses and the gothic splendor of the Merchant Hall. This afternoon, learn how to bake a local SOFT COOKIE specialty. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Würzburg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. The magnificent BISHOP’S RESIDENZ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance(B,L,D)
Day 7 Bamberg
Another beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significanceis medieval Bamberg. Your walking tour takes in its breathtaking cathedral, the Old Town Hall straddling the River Regnitz, and serpentine streets with charming houses and 18th-century mansions. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Nuremberg
Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses—all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg’s traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. The city is the capital of Upper Palatinate, a bustling university town, and one of Bavaria’s cultural centers. It is here you will find Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)
Day 10 Linz, Austria–Grein
After breakfast this morning, a Local Guide will acquaint you with Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, and an important river port. Culture is an important part of life in Linz. Composer Anton Bruckner lived here and Mozart’s Linzer Symphony was composed in the city. In the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Join a local expert for a guided walk and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional excursion to Salzburg or to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.(B,L,D)
Day 11 Dürnstein
Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, is without a doubt the landmark of Dürnstein. A Local Guide will take you on a walking tour of this town, which lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region, and will tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. (B,L,D)
Day 12 Vienna
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, the city has much to offer: lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your included tour. You do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B,L,D)
Day 13 Vienna-Bratislava, Slovakia
In the late morning, your ship leaves Vienna, allowing you to relax on board until the mid afternoon when you arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. A Local Guide will show you the charming Old Town with its Town Hall and views of Mirbach Palace, as well as gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL. (B,L,D)
Day 14 Budapest, Hungary
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. Seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with FISHERMEN’S BASTION and the Matthias Church is among the many sights your Local Guide will show you. (B,L,D)
Day 15 Mohacs, Excursion to Villány Wine District
This morning, enjoy some leisurely cruising while taking in the peaceful riverscape of southern Hungary. After lunch, an excursion takes you into the Villányi district, where some of Hungary’s best red wines are produced. Learn more about which varietals are grown, and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines. (B,L,D)
Day 16 Osijek & Vukovar, Croatia
Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. Accompanied by local experts, explore both Osijek, an important economic and cultural center, as well as Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers. Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as The Battle of Vukovar. This and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (B,L,D)
Day 17 Belgrade, Serbia
The capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local expert will be proud to show you its main sights, which include the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS; St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox church; and Marshal Tito’s tomb and monument. The city center has a lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. (B,L,D)
Day 18 Iron Gates
The Serbian fortresses of Smederevo and Golubac and the Trajan Table marking the Roman conquest of Dacia are impressive sights on the right bank of the Danube. The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (B,L,D)
Day 19 Sivstov, Bulgaria–Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Rousse
A comfortable ride from Svistov is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces, and the PATRIARCH’S CHURCH. The historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM and the outstanding collection of frescoes in the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. Rejoin your ship in Rousse. (B,L,D)
Day 20 Harsova, Romania. Excursion to Murfatlar
Day 21 St. Georghe, Danube Delta
Maybe this morning you will wake up early to watch the sunrise over the Black Sea. Later, enjoy a small celebration to mark “Km 0.” From its source in the Black Forest, to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river, and today it’s time to celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey, at “Km 0.” This afternoon, enjoy an excursion into the Delta, a UNESCOThe World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance World Heritage site, and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. (B,L,D)
Day 22 Cernavoda . Excursion to Constanta
Cernavoda lies at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here, drive to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Enjoy a guided tour of this popular resort town and visit the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Late this afternoon, return to your ship. (B,L,D)
Day 23 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest
Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place here. During your included tour, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon, and the Royal Palace Square, scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. (B)
Day 24 Bucharest–Istanbul, Turkey
Today, fly to Istanbul. Free time to relax and begin soaking up the unique atmosphere of this city built on two continents. (B)
Day 25 Istanbul
Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, renamed Constantinople in the year 330, and finally called Istanbul, the city on the Bosporus remains one of the most exciting places in the world. Its strategic location as gateway between the Orient and the Occident, the Islamic and the Christian worlds, and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean predestined it for a turbulent history. Guided sightseeing includes Emperor Justinian’s HAGIA SOPHIA and Sultan Ahmet’s BLUE MOSQUE, magnificent monuments to two competing world religions that stand peacefully side by side; TOPKAPI SERAGLIO, residence of the Ottoman Sultans; and the GRAND BAZAAR. (B)
Day 26 Istanbul
A free day in Istanbul to explore on your own. Or, why not join a full day optional excursion to the fabulous archaeological site of Ephesus? Fly to Izmir, then travel to the city which later became the capital of Roman Asia Minor. When St. Paul arrived here he was so awestruck that he asked, “Is there a greater city?” Visit the Library of Celsus, the Amphitheater, and listen to exciting “inside stories” of life in ancient Ephesus as you walk down its “Champs Elysées.” Also visit the House of the Virgin Mary before returning to Istanbul for a final evening in Turkey. (B)
Day 27 Istanbul
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
AMSTERDAM: Welcome reception; canal cruise
COLOGNE: Guided sightseeing
RHINE GORGE: Cruise through the gorge
RÜDESHEIM: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; special treat
MILTENBERG: Guided walk; baking demonstration
WÜRZBURG: Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz
BAMBERG: Guided sightseeing, see the Old Town Hall
NUREMBERG: Guided sightseeing
MAIN DANUBE CANAL: Cruise in the canal
REGENSBURG: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting
LINZ: Guided walk
GREIN: Guided walk
DÜRNSTEIN: Guided walk, see the Stiftskirche
VIENNA: Guided sightseeing; excursion to the Vienna Woods, visit Heiligenkreuz Monastery
BRATISLAVA: Guided sightseeing
BUDAPEST: Guided sightseeing, visit Fishermen’s Bastion
MOHÁCS: Wine tasting in Villány wine region
OSIJEK: Guided sightseeing
VUKOVAR: Guided sightseeing
BELGRADE: Guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
IRON GATES: Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge; see the Trajan Table
VELIKO TÂRNOVO: Guided sightseeing, visit the Patriarch’s Church
ARBANASSI: Guided visit of the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity
HARSOVA: Excursion to Murfatlar
DANUBE DELTA: Delta excursion
CONSTANTA: Guided sightseeing, visit the Natural History & Archaeological Museum
BUCHAREST: Guided sightseeing, see the Parliament Building and visit the National Art Museum
ISTANBUL: Guided sightseeing, visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Seraglio, and Grand Bazaar; Host service during your stay
All This Included
The North Sea, the Black Sea, and the rivers in between are the focus of this memorable cruise along the magnificent Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. Relax and enjoy as you cruise past quaint villages, taking in the scenery and learning about the history. Cruise through Amsterdam’s lovely canals and the Main Danube Canal, sail through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge, and enjoy included guided sightseeing in each city—Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Vukovar, Osijek, Belgrade, Constanta and Bucharest. Spend time in the charming wine village of Rüdesheim, enjoy a baking demonstration in the pretty Bavarian village of Miltenberg, Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest, Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress, and Patriarch’s Church in Veliko Târnovo. Without a doubt the highlight at the end of the cruise is the excursion into the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife, and a chance to celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey as it flows into the Black Sea. Then a final highlight as you fly to exotic Istanbul, Turkey, for three overnights, free time, and guided sightseeing that shows off the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Seraglio, and famous Grand Bazaar. A vacation of a lifetime!
Deluxe 22-night cruise from Amsterdam to Oltenita in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds.
Buffet breakfast in Bucharest and Istanbul; superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements.
Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
Headsets for shore excursions.
Accommodations on this Tour
Bucharest: Athénée Palace Hilton (SF)
Istanbul: Crowne Plaza Istanbul Old City (SF)
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Imagery or Avalon Tranquility
Cabin upgrades are available.
In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package, at the price quoted.