Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring. After dinner on board tonight, enjoy an evening cruise on your ship to admire Budapest’s beautiful scenery from the vantage point of the Danube River. (D)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Today we visit highlights of the hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest sides of the city, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch on board your ship; the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. You may choose to join us on an optional excursion to experience the thermal springs, restorative natural spas whose waters locals have bathed in for centuries. Or, perhaps select another of our optional excursions designed to allow you to delve deeper into the history, culture and cuisine of this fascinating city. Return to your ship for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Bratislava this afternoon and embark on a walking tour of Slovakia’s charming capital with a long and fascinating history. It is the only national capital that borders two other countries, Austria and Hungary. See attractions like the medieval Town Hall complex and fortifications at Michael’s Tower, the baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, and pass by several Hapsburg-era baroque palaces before returning to your ship. This evening you can relax or take a walk before our late departure. (B, L, D)
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 city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s 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. Alternately, you may choose to join an optional excursion to see the famed Lipizzaner Stallions; or, express your creativity and create a lasting keepsake at an optional art workshop inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)
Today’s highlight is an exclusive visit of the splendid Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery for more than 900 years. Participate in an exclusive visitor program at Göttweig, created to provide behind-the-scenes understanding of the daily business of the venerable institution. Continue by coach to Dürnstein and enjoy exploring the city on your own before returning on board for lunch. Then, you may disembark for an optional walking tour of Dürnstein followed by a scenic drive through the Wachau Valley and a visit to the beautiful 900-year-old Melk Abbey, before rejoining your ship in the evening. Alternatively, enjoy a leisurely cruise through the Wachau Valley from Dürnstein to Melk. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Linz this morning and set off on an all-day excursion to the beautiful Bohemian town of Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ride through the scenic Czech countryside and take a walking tour featuring the lovely historic center of the city with many baroque and Renaissance buildings, dating back hundreds of years. You have some free time to enjoy Krumlov’s charming streets, filled with cafés, shops, galleries and pubs. Maybe stop for lunch in one of the many local restaurants. Return on board for dinner and a late-evening departure. (B, D)
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. Admire the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Enjoy an onboard lunch, but return to the city to further explore on your own before dinner. (B, L, D)†Passau organ concert is available May 1–October 31 only and is closed on Sundays.
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Munich airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 additional nights in the breathtaking Czech capital of Prague. (B)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.