Join us for a 12-day cruisetour as you sail the Danube River from Germany, through northern Austria to Hungary. Explore historic Bavaria and the enchanting city of Salzburg—birthplace of Mozart and the filming location for The Sound of Music. Take in a dramatic performance of The Passion Play—a depiction of the trial, suffering and death of Christ. A 400-year-old pledge to God that is celebrated once every ten years, you will witness this time-honored tradition. With medieval towns, grand cities and stunning scenery, this cruisetour is sure to inspire.
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Day 1 - Munich
Today, you will arrive in Munich. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Hilton Munich Park Hotel (or similar). Depending on your arrival time, you may relax or take time to get acquainted with the city on your own. Your Viking Tour Director is available to help you plan your time in Munich so you can make the most of your visit.
Day 2 - Oberammergau
After breakfast, travel to the charming hamlet of Oberammergau. Here, you will enjoy a performance of Passionsspiele, The Passion Play. The play’s origins date back to 1633 when the Great Plague descended upon the village. After many lives were lost, the villagers made a promise to God that they would tell the story of Christ, should no more lives be lost. The tradition continues today and it is a great honor for Oberammergau’s residents to be a part of this powerful dramatic performance. During the intermission, enjoy a traditional Bavarian dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Salzburg
This morning, embark on a scenic drive to Chiemsee—a beautiful freshwater lake immersed in a picturesque setting. Upon arrival, you will take a boat ride to Herreninsel. Meet your guide and take a stroll to Herrenchiemsee Palace. Built by King Ludwig II in 1878, its design replicates the Palace of Versailles. Explore its rooms and extensive grounds with your guide. Return to your motor coach and continue your journey to Salzburg. Check in to your hotel and enjoy free time to explore with dinner at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 4 - Salzburg
This morning, explore more of Salzburg, the revered birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a walking tour as you take a stroll past many of the city’s grand sights. Stop at the Alter Markt, Salzburg’s oldest marketplace, dating from the 13th century. At Domplatz, see the impressive Salzburg Cathedral and the Statue of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by allegoric figures on four sides. You will also see St. Peter’s Abbey and Salzburg’s famous Festival Halls, where international stars of opera, concert and theater have performed during the Salzburg Festival for nearly a century. After your tour, enjoy free time to further explore and dinner at your leisure. (B)
Day 5 - Passau
After breakfast, set out to see the most renowned sites where The Sound of Music was filmed, including the gardens at Mirabell Palace, where the Pegasus Fountain and a now-famous stairway played a role in the song “Do-Re-Mi.” You will also see Nonnberg Abbey, Hellbrunn Palace and St. Michael’s Basilica, where Maria and Baron von Trapp’s wedding was filmed. Continue to Passau, situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn Rivers, to embark your ship. (B)
Day 6 - Passau
Today you will take a walking tour of this elegant town, called the Dreiflüssestadt (“City on Three Rivers”), which is situated at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn Rivers. 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.† This afternoon, you are free to explore Passau. See the sights and experience the local culture, or simply relax on board your ship before departure. (B, L, D)
†Passau organ concert is available May 1–October 31 only and is closed on Sundays.
Day 7 - Linz
Wake up 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)
Day 8 - Krems
After scenic sailing this morning through the Wachau Valley, you will arrive in Krems. Enjoy lunch on board, then depart your ship for an exclusive visit to the splendid Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery for more than 900 years. You may also pay a visit to a local vineyard for a tasting before returning to your ship. Dinner will be served on board as we prepare to set sail for Vienna. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Vienna
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. Stephen’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. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the “Versailles of Vienna,” erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world’s oldest zoo and Roman ruins. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Bratislava
Arrive in Bratislava this morning 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. Enjoy scenic cruising this afternoon as we set sail toward Budapest. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Budapest
Today we visit highlights of the once separate towns of Buda and Pest, 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, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. You may wish to visit the Art Nouveau Gellért Spa, or one of the many other lavish facilities in this “City of Healing Waters.” Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Budapest
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Budapest, giving yourself more time to explore the bustling Hungarian capital. (B)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.