Day 1 Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic
Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The city straddles the Vltava River with domes, cupolas, spires and pinnacles highlighting its skyline.
Day 2 Prague
Prague is a 1,000-year-old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures such as the Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles Bridge. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square or stroll along the Vltava River. (B)
Day 3 Prague
A free day for you to explore the city at your own pace. Your Cruise Director will have other suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day 4 Prague–Nuremberg, Germany (Embarkation)
After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 5 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. Nuremberg’s traditions include its famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights included on your tour are the Old Town Hall and the Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Linz, Austria
Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. An optional full-day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular Sound of Music sights. Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Vienna
Melk’s magnificent BENEDICTINE ABBEY dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. This evening, arrive in Vienna, known as the “City of Music,” which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s capital 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 city tour. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. (B,L,D)
Days 10-11 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. Not far from the city and an integral part of Hungarian rural life is the PUSZTA, the vast grasslands where the country’s beloved fiery horses are reared. (B,L,D daily)
Day 12 Kalocsa–Pecs
Kalocsa was founded by St. Stephen in 1009 as an archbishopric and has a most turbulent history. This quiet town, which is best known for paprika and folklore art, is dominated by the Archbishop’s Palace and Kalocsa Cathedral. Here, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT before continuing to Pecs, Hungary’s fifth-largest city and the richest in terms of Turkish architecture. (B,L,D)
Day 13 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 14 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 15Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik
Vidin is an important Danube port, situated in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS, known as “Baba Vidin,” is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In the afternoon, drive to nearby Belogradchick to view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. (B,L,D)
Day 16 Svistov, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Rousse
A comfortable ride away from the river port of 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. Today, Rousse is Bulgaria’s largest inland port. (B,L,D)
Day 17 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.” During the included tour this afternoon, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. (B)
Day 18 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania
Head out of the city to your first stop, BRAN CASTLE of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then, into the Carpathians to SINAIA to visit the monastery of the same name, built in memory of Mihail Cantacuzino’s visit to Mount Sinai. This afternoon, head slowly back to Bucharest. (B,L)
Day 19 Bucharest
A day to rest and explore Romania’s capital city. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day 20 Bucharest
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
- PRAGUE: Guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradcany Castle grounds
- NUREMBERG: Welcome reception; guided sightseeing
- MAIN DANUBE CANAL: Cruise in the canal
- REGENSBURG: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting
- PASSAU: Guided walk
- MELK: Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey
- VIENNA: Guided sightseeing
- BUDAPEST: Guided sightseeing, visit Fishermen’s Bastion; Puszta excursion with display of horsemanship
- KALOCSA: Orientation; organ concert
- PECS: Orientation
- BELGRADE: Guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
- IRON GATES: Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge; see the Trajan Table
- VIDIN: Visit the fortress
- BELOGRADCHIK: See the rock formations
- VELIKO TÂRNOVO: Guided sightseeing, visit the Patriarch’s Church
- ARBANASSI: Guided visit of the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity
- BUCHAREST: Guided sightseeing, see the Parliament Building and visit the National Art Museum, guided full-day excursion to Transylvania, visit Dracula’s Bran Castle and Sinaia Monastery
All This Included
Discover some of the continent’s best-kept secrets on this river cruise through Central and Eastern Europe, from Prague to Bucharest. Spend three nights in both Prague and Bucharest, and enjoy plenty of leisure time in Budapest and Vienna to explore on your own. Guided sightseeing in each city shows you the highlights, with inside visits of Hradcany Castle grounds in Prague, Melk’s awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey, Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest, Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, and Patriarch’s Church in Veliko Târnovo and the National Art Museum in Bucharest. Also cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge and Main Danube Canal, stop in the Puszta for an exhibition of Hungarian horsemanship, enjoy an organ concert in Kalocsa and visit the diverse rock formations of Belogradchik. Conclude your vacation with an excursion to Transylvania. All of this and more awaits you on this marvelous cruise vacation!
- Deluxe 13-night cruise from Nuremberg to Oltenita in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds.
- Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
- Headsets for shore excursions.
- Full buffet breakfast in Prague and Bucharest and one lunch in Bucharest; 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.
Accommodations on this Tour
Prague: Hilton (SF) or InterContinental (SF)
Bucharest: Athénée Palace Hilton (SF)
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Imagery or Avalon Tranquility
- Hotels will be as shown, or similar. Final hotel names will be available in April 2012.
- 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.
- Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
- Due to closure of locks on the Main Danube Canal for maintenance reasons, embarkation for departure April 09 (Avalon Imagery) will be in Passau and there will be some modifications to the itinerary.
- Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
- Cabin upgrades are available.
- 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.