Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists and poets throughout the centuries. Travel to legendary destinations on a 7-night cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. Explore a 2,000 year-old city, savor Wachau Valley wines, and experience the timeless beauty and fascinating history of Vienna and Budapest.
VILSHOFEN – EMBARKATION. Embark your cruise in Vilshofen and attend an exclusive Oktoberfest celebration with traditional beer and Bavarian folk music and dancing. Afterwards enjoy a welcome aboard wine toast with your fellow passengers.
VILSHOFEN – PASSAU. Explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau, known as the “City of Three Rivers.” Join a walking tour or if you prefer to be more active, hike high into the hills for a visit to the “Veste Oberhaus,” Passau’s Castle Hill; or go on a guided bike tour to Wernstein.
LINZ, AUSTRIA. The ship arrives in Linz where you’ll have several choices of excursions. Opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg where you’ll tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the famed Basilica St. Michael and site of the wedding scene in The Sound of Music. Alternatively, you can join a morning walking tour through Linz’s old city center and by the Mozart House; or go on a guided bike tour along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube. You can also choose to visit the charming mountain town, Český Krumlov, or the Austrian Lake District, a famed resort area.
WEISSENKIRCHEN. Cruise through the Strudengau and Wachau valleys to Weissenkirchen, gateway to Dürnstein. Once here, you can choose to join a walking tour in Dürnstein along its cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, Dürnstein’s famed church cloister tower, considered the most beautiful of its kind in all of Austria. For the more active adventurer, you can venture high above the town for a visit to the majestic ruins of Kuenringer Castle, or “Dürnstein” (dry stone) castle from which Dürnstein derives its name. After free time in Durnstein, you will leave for a special wine tasting in Weissenkirchen, nestled in the Wachau Valley. Wines from the Weissenkirchen region tend to have a pronounced freshness, spiciness, finesse and complexity. Locally grown Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners are renowned around the world and you will get to sample a few.
WEISSENKIRCHEN – KREMS, AUSTRIA.. Visit the UNESCO-designated Melk Abbey (Stift Melk), one of Europe’s largest and most revered Baroque monasteries. Within these walls, you will find frescos painted by Johann Michael Rottmayr and Paul Troger, as well as a famed collection of musical manuscripts. After your tour, enjoy free time exploring the picturesque village of Melk, one of Europe’s great cultural heritage sites. Or for the more active cruise, take a guided bike tour through the picturesque Wachau Valley. Sail to Krems, where you will enjoy a special wine tasting at Schloss Gobelsburg, formerly a Cistercian monastery, one of the oldest wineries in Austria. Visit this beautiful castle and have the opportunity to tour their cellars, learning more about the traditional methods drawn from historical wine-making practices, as well as tasting some traditional Austrian wines.
VIENNA. The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems and your city tour showcases them, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace. Your tour concludes in the historic city center with a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Or if you prefer a more active tour, take a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time to further explore this iconic city.
ESZTERGOM, HUNGARY. Esztergom is your gateway to Budapest. Your city tour begins at Budapest’s Great Market Hall, where you’ll discover plenty of delicious food and shopping. Afterwards, you’ll visit both the Buda (hilly) and Pest (flat) sides of the Danube River. You’ll see the 19th-century Chain Bridge, which connects the Buda district with Pest; and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, which contains some of Budapest’s most important medieval monuments and museums.
BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark the ship as you prepare for your flight home. (B) Note: The Great Market Hall is closed on Sundays.