Grand European Tour

  • Grand European Tour
Resort: Grand European Tour
Operator: Viking River Cruises
Destination: Austria
Price From: £2695.00

Overview

Imagine 15 magical days on a cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, seeing the best of The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary.

Admire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Sample the food and wine of Austrias Wachau Valley. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapests Caf Gerbeaud. Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary, with engaging encounters at every bend.

Itinerary Details

Day 1

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the van Gogh Museum next door. (D)

Day 2

Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. You learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, plus you enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return aboard for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 3

Cologne, Germany

You have a morning tour of Cologne, including a visit to the Dom, Germanys largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your tour, spend the rest of the day and evening exploring Cologne on your own: There are Roman ruins, interesting neighborhoods and wonderful museums like the Fragrance Museum and the Chocolate Museum. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; we depart at midnight. (B, L, D)

Day 4

Koblenz, Germany & Middle Rhine

Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping in Koblenz to visit Marksburg Castle, the only Rhine fortress never destroyed. After your tour, continue cruising this stunning stretch of the Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the Lorelei Rock, which marks the rivers narrowest point and is named after the legendary Rhine maiden who lured sailors to their demise. Lunch and dinner are served aboard your ship. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Miltenberg, Germany

The morning is spent sailing along the beautiful Main River as it winds its way through the Spessart region, home of the actual Snow White. After lunch, we stop in Miltenberg, known for its half-timbered houses and Germanys oldest inn. Join our walking tour that concludes with free time for you to explore. Back on your ship, learn about the regions glassblowing traditions during a live demonstration. We sail through the night to Wrzburg. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Wrzburg, Germany

After breakfast, tour Wrzburgs Bishops Residenz, one of Germanys largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then enjoy scenic afternoon cruising. Or, instead of touring Wrzburg, join an optional full-day journey along Germanys Romantic Road to Rothenburg, which features a turreted city wall and impressive Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Bamberg, Germany

Sail through the morning; after lunch we visit Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and perhaps try some of the towns distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 8

Nuremberg, Germany

After breakfast, disembark in Nuremberg and visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, the Nazi parade grounds of the 1930s; then see the Palace of Justice, site of the infamous Nuremberg Trials. Spend free time exploring Nurembergs Old Town, or join an optional World War II tour that includes the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. We depart just before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Regensburg, Germany

Arrive in Regensburg midday. After lunch, tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peters Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Wrstkche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germanys oldest restaurant. Dinner is served aboard before our evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 10

Passau, Germany

Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the towns narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. Youll see the New Bishops Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephens Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europes largest church organ. Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Passau organ concert is only available May 1-October 31 and is closed on Sunday.

Day 11

Melk & Krems, Austria

After breakfast, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austrias finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship; cruise through the spectacular Wachau Valley this afternoon. Before dinner, you have time to explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate, or sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing region. (B, L, D)

Day 12

Vienna, Austria

Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the citys baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephans Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or you may take an optional tour to Schnbrunn Palace, the Versailles of Vienna, erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the worlds oldest zoo and Roman ruins. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)

Day 13

Vienna, Austria

Enjoy a day at leisure in Vienna. Perhaps see an unrivaled collection of Old Masters and other spectacular art treasures at the Museum of Fine Arts, or visit the Albertina, with the most valuable graphic arts collection in the world. Maybe ride the Riesenrad, the worlds oldest Ferris wheel, or go shopping for high-quality gifts inspired by the turn-of-the-century arts movement. A cup of coffee or tea and a slice of exquisite schertorte are a must for any afternoon in Vienna. Later, rejoin your ship and sail for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 14

Budapest, Hungary

The Danube River divides Hungarys capital city into the once separate towns of Buda and Pest. Explore both sides, starting with Pests National Opera House and historic Heroes Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermens Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 15

Budapest, Hungary

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic, where you tour Old Town landmarks and Prague Castle. (B)

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