Experience the heart of Europe along the great rivers that shaped its borders and traditions. Unpack once and enjoy an intimate look at five countries, three storied rivers and timeless cities on one exclusively chartered, first-class ship. Tour medieval Germany; explore Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest; and marvel at the incredible beauty of the Rhine Gorge and Wachau Valley. Plus, personalize your experience with a choice of included shore excursions in select ports, including Amsterdam! Adventure awaits on this once-in-a-lifetime journey! No single supplement!
Aboard the stylish, 82-cabin MS Amadeus Imperial, part of the innovative Lueftner Cruises fleet, savor attentive, friendly service from a professional crew ready to pamper you throughout your journey. Travelers can relax on the River Terrace, or gather in the Amadeus Club or Panorama Bar for entertainment. Savor delectable breakfast buffets and regional and international specialties for lunch and dinner served with wine, beer and soft drinks. Shipboard amenities include a sun deck, fitness center and massage room. Wi-Fi is complimentary.
Pre Tour Option – Begin your journey with two nights in historic Budapest. Enjoy a guided excursion to Szentendre, a delightful village known for its baroque architecture. Visit the town’s historic center and its Marzipan Museum, home of Hungary’s famous candy makers. Plus, ample leisure time allows you to discover Budapest’s captivating culture and cuisine on your own. Also includes the services of an Travel Director and Hospitality Desk; guide gratuities; baggage handling between the ship and hotel; and all taxes and service charges.
Post Tour Option – Delve into picturesque Amsterdam in greater depth during this two-night stay! From your centrally located, first-class hotel, explore the city’s lively neighborhood streets, scenic canals and world-class museums and attractions. Plus, stroll through the Old Harbor and learn about Dutch nautical heritage at the National Maritime Museum, featuring a replica of a 17th-century, three-masted ship. Also includes museum admission and a guide; guide gratuities; the services of an Travel Director and Hospitality desk; baggage handling between the ship and hotel; and all taxes and service charges.
day 1 & 2
Arrive at Amsterdam Airport. Your Travel representative will join you for a transfer to the pier to embark your first-class river ship. After unpacking, board a canal cruiser for a unique tour of Amsterdam by waterway. Marvel at the delightful and colorful houses, parks and architectural gems lining the city’s canals.
Amsterdam | Personalize your Cruise
Start the day with a discussion on the state of affairs in Holland. Then choose between 1) a tour of the Rijksmuseum, home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other renowned artists, 2) a guided bike tour of the scenic Waterland, or 3) a walking tour of the Herengracht, Amsterdam’s canal district. Later, gather with your shipmates for a convivial Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Arrive in Cologne and enjoy a tour the town’s medieval quarter. Visit Kölner Dom and the 12th-century cathedral that also is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Depart Cologne this afternoon and take in scenery along the Rhine as you continue to Amsterdam.
Koblenz | Personalize Your Journey
More than 2,000 years ago, the Romans established a settlement at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers. Today, Koblenz occupies that same strategic location. Choose between (1) a walking tour of Koblenz, passing by the Town Hall, the onion-domed Liebfrauenkirche, the Alte Burg and other sites, including the iconic German Corner, or (2) hop on a cable car for a ride to the famous Ehrenbreitstein Fortress perched above the Rhine River. Back on board, pass by the legendary Loreley Rock and thrill to an inspiring setting of castles, small villages and vineyards.
Begin the morning with a Frühschoppen! Nibble, sip and socialize as you enjoy the German tradition of drinking beer accompanied by tasty snacks. Upon arrival in medieval Miltenberg, follow your heart down romantic streets, passing half-timbered façades, a 13th-century castle and other endearing architecture. A walking tour showcases the town’s highlights, including Germany’s oldest inn, the Riesen, and the red sandstone Marktbrunnen fountain. Visit a local wine shop, known for its delicious red and white vintages and assortment of fruit brandies.
Würzburg | Personalize Your Journey
Würzburg will inspire you with its magnificent churches and history-steeped landmarks. Choose from (1) a visit to the 18th-century Würzburg Residenz, a palace of staggering size, plus a walking tour to see St. Kilian’s Cathedral and the Old Town Hall, or (2) a journey through the Franconian heartland, passing fairy-tale villages with enchanting architecture. Stop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities.
Bamberg | Personalize Your Journey
The UNESCO-listed village of Bamberg has many treasures to share! Choose from (1) a walking tour that highlights the city’s Gothic and baroque architecture or (2) a culinary tour with visits to a local bakery, butcher shop, deli and candy store to sample local Franconian foods.
Nuremberg | Personalize Your Journey
Encounter Nuremberg by choosing from (1) a city tour to see the Hauptmarkt, the Gothic fountain created by Heinrich Beheim, the courthouse where World War II trials were held, plus other popular landmarks, (2) a visit to the Documentation Center Museum, home to an exhibit that examines the National Socialist regime’s reign, or (3) a trip through the countryside to visit a family-run Franconian farm where you can chat with the family and learn about their traditions.
Regensburg is one of Germany’s most whimsical towns with a trove of pretty squares and a skyline of impossibly tall towers. Enjoy a walking tour to see the old Roman tower, the 12th-century stone pedestrian bridge and the yellow town hall. Admire the stunning stained-glass windows, towers and other elements of St. Peter’s Cathedral, and visit the Thurn und Taxi Palace, formerly a Benedictine monastery.
With its Italian-style architecture, gentle rolling hills and position at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers, Passau is called “one of the most beautifully situated towns in the world.” Highlights of this romantic city include Niedernburg Abbey, the medieval Veste Oberhaus — which offers fantastic panoramic views — and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, home of the world’s largest cathedral organ with almost 18,000 pipes.
Melk | Dürnstein | Personalize Your Journey
Cruise to Melk and enjoy a tour of its extraordinary Benedictine abbey. Continue to the beloved village of Dürnstein, located in one of Austria’s notable wine-growing regions. Discover the personality of this tranquil town by choosing from (1) a walking tour of the city, where King Richard the Lionheart of England was held captive during the Crusades, (2) a leisurely bike ride along a portion of the 745-mile Danube Bicycle Trail, or (3) a visit to a winery to enjoy samples from its cellar.
Vienna, Austria | Personalize Your Journey
The vibrancy of Vienna echoes in its grand facades and timeless sights. Discover this elegant city for yourself by choosing from (1) a tour of the Imperial Apartments of Hofburg Palace, plus the Houses of Parliament and the Opera House, (2) a drive outside of Vienna where the hills are covered in beautiful forests, or (3) a tour of the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of the Imperial family. Tonight, tap your toes during a waltz demonstration aboard the ship.
Bratislava, Slovakia | Personalize Your Journey
Bratislava exudes old-world charm and is made for strolling. After an enriching discussion on the Velvet Revolution, choose from (1) a tour of Bratislava’s old town highlights, (2) a visit to old town to explore venues associated with Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel, plus a private concert by a young musician, or (3) a tour outside of the city to see sweet Slovak villages and the rolling hills of vineyards, plus a winery visit. Later, gather for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
Budapest | Personalize Your Journey
Discover one of Europe’s most magnificent capital cities! Choose from (1) a deep dive into the history of Budapest with visits to Heroes’ Square, the Opera House and the Gothic-style Parliament Building, (2) a guided tour of Budapest’s bustling Great Market Hall, built in the 19th century, or (3) a tour of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter beginning at the Great Synagogue. Tonight, delight in the city’s awe-inspiring panoramas during an evening cruise.
Depart for home
Your journey through the heart of Europe has come to an end! After breakfast, depart for your home city.
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