Those longing for the romance of Old World Europe will get to travel into the very heart of the continent, where empires were built, kings and queens were crowned and some of the world’s greatest music was composed and performed by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven. Grand European cities like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest forever remain timeless. Admire the beauty of Austria’s Lake District and the Czech Republic’s charming mountain town, Ceský Krumlov. From grand abbeys and fortresses perched high above the Danube to plentiful iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, be romanced by the Danube with all her regal and romantic splendor.
EMBARKATION – PASSAU, GERMANY. Embark your cruise in Passau. This evening meet your fellow passengers on board.
PASSAU – LINZ, AUSTRIA. Join a walking tour and marvel at Passau's Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Or take a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus fortress. En route to Linz, cruise through the dramatic Schlögener Schlinge (Horseshoe Bend), considered a “Natural Wonder of Austria” in 2008.
LINZ – GREIN. Join a walking tour through the old city center of Linz and by the Mozart House; or bike along the city’s famed “Cultural Mile” and the Danube. For those who love The Sound of Music, enjoy a full-day excursion to Salzburg and tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the Basilica St. Michael, where the famous wedding scene in the movie was filmed. In the afternoon, you have the choice to visit the charming Czech mountain town of Český Krumlov, or visit Greinburg Castle, the oldest residential castle in Austria. Or enjoy a scenic cruise onboard as you journey further down the Danube.
MELK – SPITZ. In the morning, you can visit the 900-year-old Melk Abbey situated high atop the granite cliffs of the Danube, or get active with a bike to Spitz before returning to Melk and the ship for lunch. During the afternoon, journey from Spitz to Dürnstein and stroll along the cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, with its famed church tower on a walking tour. Those who wish a more active adventure of the area can cycle to Dürnstein or take a hike around Spitz. In the evening, be treated to an exclusive wine festival where you’ll enjoy some of the regions famous wines, including Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, as well as music and dancing.
VIENNA. Vienna offers a wealth of gems and your city tour showcases its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs. Conclude your tour in Vienna’s historic city center, and then visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral; or discover Vienna by bike. During the afternoon, you can enjoy leisure time, exploring Vienna on your own; or you can visit the UNESCO-designated Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. Built in the 18th century as an imperial summer residence, this magnificent 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Austria.
VIENNA – BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA. Sail from Vienna to your next destination. Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY. During the morning, sail toward Budapest, passing through the scenic Danube Bend where you’ll see some of Hungary’s oldest settlements, including Esztergom, Visegrád and Szentendre. Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture and tradition. Visit the Great Market Hall before going to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. You’ll see Heroes’ Square and Castle Hill, home to the Fisherman’s Bastion and Mattias Church. As an alternative, hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city. Cap the day off with a special evening illuminations cruise.
BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark the ship as you prepare for your flight home.