Uncover Europe’s majestic jewels.
Indulge your passion for majestic art, architecture, music and history on an all-encompassing journey through four countries along three great rivers— the Danube, Main and Rhine—and to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites.
From exotic Budapest, “Queen of the Danube,” to imperial Vienna, “City of Waltzes,” to the sky-high spires of Cologne’s Gothic cathedral—centuries of intriguing history and culture unfold before your eyes. The Melk Abbey’s great library overlooking the Danube and the Würzburg Residence’s soaring ceiling fresco by Tiepolo will leave you mesmerized. And throughout your journey, tantalize your senses with exclusive wine, apricot brandy and beer tastings, along with regional culinary delicacies. Discover the grand sweep of history and the dynamic present along legendary rivers on a magnificent journey that gives you the best of Europe’s great treasures as well as off-the-beaten-path gems.
Who will enjoy this cruise? Travelers wishing to discover the full spectrum of European culture, history, art and architecture; and connoisseurs of fine food and world-class wine.
Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
Called the “Queen of the Danube,” in part because of the way the city hugs the banks of the river, Budapest is an enchanting city that vibrantly mixes East and West, medieval and modern. Made up of two parts— Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—and divided by the Danube, Hungary’s capital presents an array of architectural styles that reveal its long and varied history. You’ll have two enticing ways to experience the city—a panoramic guided tour aboard a motorcoach with a visit to the Parliament, or discover the Budapest that locals love on a special walking tour of the city’s most important landmarks.
Cruising the Danube River, Vienna
Today is your day to relax onboard, enjoying the luxuries of your river cruise ship while soaking in the spectacular scenery all around you as your ship heads for Vienna. Come up to the Sun Deck to admire the city’s landmarks strung along the riverbanks.
Vienna is a cultural treasure trove revered for its art and music (and sinfully rich pastries). Experience the City of Waltzes with your choice of excursions. Begin your day with an itinerary highlight—our “Morning with the Masters” at the Vienna Art History Museum. Then, you can choose between two different guided tours: a panoramic city tour or our “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour.
Cruising the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen (Melk)
Awaken to the spectacular scenery of the Wachau Valley, one of the most beautiful stretches of river landscape in all of Europe. Named for its white church, Weissenkirchen may very well be the prettiest village in the Wachau Valley. A local expert will show you around and introduce you to some regional delicacies, including a wine tasting. Prefer to go for baroque? Visit the 900-year-old Melk Abbey and its extraordinarily opulent library. Later, you can stretch your legs with a vineyard hike.
Just before reaching Passau, the ship will pass through the famous Schlögener Schlinge—a “gooseneck” or hairpin turn in the Danube. Located at the confluence of three rivers—the Danube, Inn and Ilz— Passau is well known for its ornate baroque cathedral. Today, the city is unusually well preserved, having been spared the brunt of Allied bombing during WWII, as you’ll see on your walking tour.
Today in Regensburg, you can travel through time or get a crash course in making craft beer, then watch high-tech robots assemble the Ultimate Driving Machine. Regensburg is a friendly town with quaint cobblestone streets, historic Roman ruins and a medieval city center. The remnants of Regensburg’s golden age are still on display, but don’t let its illustrious history fool you into thinking the town’s best days are all in the past.
Arrive in the archetypal medieval German city of Nuremberg. Nuremberg is justifiably famous for its gingerbread and pocket watches, and it was also the site of some key moments in 20th-century history. You’ll choose between two memorable ways of exploring this exceptional city. You can hop aboard a motorcoach and “Do as the Locals Do,” or you can accompany a local expert to the city’s most important WWII sites, including the enormous Nazi Party Rally Grounds—the actual site of the Nazi Party rallies.
Your floating boutique hotel takes you to Bamberg today, a well-preserved town that offers a fascinating glimpse of medieval times. Explore the city on foot or opt to head deeper into the Franconian countryside to experience an authentic slice of rural life—including a tractor ride. Like Rome, the city is built on seven hills—but in Bamberg, a church tops each one.
Your ship will dock in the charming Franconian town of Würzburg, where you can visit the extraordinary Würzburg Residence, one of the most opulent baroque palaces in Europe.
After today, you may never eat a pretzel again without thinking of the town of Wertheim. You’ll meet one of Germany’s best pretzel makers, as well as the owner of a historic wine estate. If you’re more in the mood for a scenic bike ride, you are welcome to do that as well.
Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe due to its profusion of bankers and soaring skyscrapers, which coexist with the city’s traditional Old Town architecture. Choose a brief tour that gives you an overview of this major European financial and trade center. Alternatively, visit romantic Heidelberg and its Renaissance castle.
Experience Germany’s fabled Rheingau in one of two ways today. Take in spectacular views of the region’s famous vineyards from the perspective of an aerial cable car, or venture within an atmospheric medieval monastery and taste the Rieslings made on site. The town is best known for its narrow avenue of shops and wine bars called the Drosselgasse. Experience the most spectacular scenery on the Rhine later in the afternoon as you cruise past the famous Middle Rhine Valley.
Enjoy a delightful tour of Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its stunning Renaissance façade. Wander through the historical center and take in its charming atmosphere and narrow alleyways flanked by old houses. No matter how you choose to explore Old Town, you’ll also have ample free time to explore the city on your own.
Enjoy the luxury of a full day in the “Venice of the North,” starting with a delightful tour of the Van Gogh Museum. Afterwards, explore the city with a canal ride or on foot with a local expert.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight home.