Munich, transfer to Passau (embark)
Arrive at Munich Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship docked in Passau.
Passau, cruising the Danube River
Cruise the picturesque landscape and hairpin loop in the middle of the Danube, known as Schlögener Schlinge, appointed a “Natural Wonder of Austria.” Once at your first German port of call, Passau, discover the medieval city with a walking tour along the cobblestone streets to the baroque St. Stephan’s Cathedral, where you’ll have a rare opportunity to hear a concert played on Europe’s largest pipe organ. You then have two “Go Active” choices. For cyclists, join a local guide for a bike ride along the Inn River; for hikers, go on a guided hike with a nature expert along the beautiful Ilz River. Spend your second night onboard at the festive Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: The organ concert is only available May 1 – October 31, excluding Sundays and Catholic holidays. An alternative venue will be organized before and after these dates.
Linz (Salzburg or Linz)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full day Salzburg* OR Linz town and country: opera house and cider farm visit Salzburg or Linz—the choice is yours. In UNESCO-designated Salzburg, you’ll see Mozart’s childhood home and the garden where the famous “Do-Re-Mi” scene from The Sound of Music was filmed. If you wish, head to nearby Linz instead, a former Roman settlement that is now a vibrant center for the arts. After a guided walking tour that stops for coffee and a taste of Linzer torte, venture into the countryside to visit a local farm and sample another delicious treat— hard cider, a specialty of the region. *Note: Lunch is not offered with the full day excursion to Salzburg.
Melk, cruising the Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Dürnstein “Village Day” with choice of exclusive Nikolaihof wine estate visit and tasting OR exclusive saffron workshop with village stroll OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Wachau Valley bicycle ride, and Melk Abbey with library visit Take a guided tour of the village of Dürnstein, where you have a choice of activities, depending on your tastes. Sample the organic wines at the historic Nikolaihof estate, perhaps the oldest winery in Austria, which produces some of the world’s best Rieslings. Prefer a tasting of a different type? Visit one of the world’s only bio-dynamically certified saffron producers, where you’ll educate your taste buds with flavorful delicacies as you taste saffron-infused chocolate and jams. You’ll then set sail through spectacular UNESCO-protected Wachau Valley to Melk. For a more active adventure, bike along the Danube through the scenic Wachau Valley to Melk. Once in Melk, visit its 900-year-old abbey, a significant center of learning over the centuries and home to the famous baroque library that inspired the novel The Name of the Rose.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at Kunsthistorisches Museum OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Vienna walking tour, and exclusive “Royal Anniversary” Mozart and Strauss Concert at a Viennese Palace You’re in for a real treat with “Morning with the Masters,” an exclusive early opening and art tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, showcasing the Habsburg’s imperial treasures as well as magnificent works of art by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian and Tintoretto. Afterward, be treated to a Bellini cocktail on the stunning cupola terrace. If you prefer to experience the city as locals do, go on a guided walk that highlights Viennese essentials, such as coffee, sausages, wine, music and public transportation. No visit to the “City of Waltzes” is complete without music, so you’ll be treated to an exclusive private “Royal Anniversary” concert, celebrating Maria Theresa’s 300th birthday and legacy in a Viennese palace.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Bratislava walking discovery tour Enjoy a day of leisure onboard as your ship cruises the Danube Bend, which is lined with scenic towns—some of the oldest settlements in the country—nestled at the foot of lovely wooded hills. You will also explore Slovakia’s capital city, a thriving commercial center with a village-like atmosphere and a fascinating mosaic of architectural styles.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Budapest city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” Budapest bike tour Choose one of three ways to discover the wonders of the “Queen of the Danube.” Savor the beauty of both Buda and Pest on a panoramic tour showcasing key highlights. If you prefer to experience the city as the locals do, then take a ride on the metro; stop at a lively market hall; visit the oldest and most beautiful garden in the city, Károlyi; and explore the National Museum. For a more active exploration, join “Green Budapest” with stops at various sites, such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Rose and Japanese gardens, the Olympic pool, Várkert Bazár and Gellert Baths, followed by a picnic on Margaret Island—complete with local wine and other typical delights. Cap your day off with the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Disembark the ship in Budapest and transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in charming Budapest.