Join Viking for an experience that comes along once every decade. Witness the trial, suffering and death of Christ in The Passion Play in Oberammergau. Cruise the fabled Danube, gazing upon the heavenly hilltop setting of Göttweig Abbey, Austria’s revered monastery. Step inside the hushed interiors of Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral. With medieval towns, grand cities and hallowed sites, this cruisetour is sure to inspire. Limited availability; please reserve today.
Day 1 - Munich
Welcome to Munich, the historic capital of German Bavaria. Transfer to your hotel from the airport. After settling in, take time to explore the Marienplatz, the city’s main square overseen by the magnificent ornate facade of New Town Hall.
Day 2 - Oberammergau
Journey to the charming hamlet of Oberammergau today, where you will enjoy a performance of Passionsspiele, The Passion Play. This depiction of the trial, suffering and death of Christ is performed once every ten years, keeping the terms of a promise the townspeople made to God after they were spared from the plague in 1633. Today, many of Oberammergau's residents still take part in this powerful work of art featuring dramatic performances, beautiful music and choral accompaniment. The play takes place in two parts this afternoon and evening. Enjoy an included traditional dinner during the three-hour intermission. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 - Regensburg
After a leisurely morning set off toward Regensburg, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and the oldest city along the Danube. Along the way, enjoy a short stop in Munich, famed for its centuries old buildings and wealth of museums. Take a stroll around the city and free time for lunch before continuing your journey to Regensburg, where you will be welcomed on board your ship. (B, D)
Day 4 - Regensburg
This morning, meet your local guide for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Alternately, you may instead choose to cast off on a ferryboat ride to marvel at the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You will also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey*, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Upon your return in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the same included walking tour of Regensburg that was offered this morning. Or, you may choose instead to sample some of the excellent local beer on an optional excursion to explore the brauhaus culture and Bavarian microbrews or take a full-day optional tour to Nuremberg. Rejoin your ship for dinner. We depart this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
* Weltenburg Abbey tour is available from May–October only.
Day 5 - Passau
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. See the New Bishop’s Residence and view the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own. Alternately, you may instead choose a full-day optional excursion to explore glorious Salzburg; visit the Italianate Old Town, see settings from the film The Sound of Music and enjoy lunch at Austria’s oldest restaurant. Return to your ship for dinner and departure. We cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Krems
This morning, cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spotting attractive riverside towns and castle ruins along the way. After lunch, disembark in Krems and visit Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. The splendid ceiling fresco in the imperial stairwell is one of the largest in the world. Visit the church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship and continue cruising toward Vienna. Arrive in Vienna just after dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening. Or, you may choose one of this evening’s optional excursions, such as a classical concert in the “City of Waltzes.” (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Vienna
Awake in Vienna. Today we tour this Austrian capital. 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. Or, you may join us for an optional excursion to visit Schönbrunn Palace, erected in 1778 and admired as the “Versailles of Vienna.” Dinner is served on board. Or, you may choose to head to the famed Grinzing district to join locals in a high-spirited Heurigen celebration of the year’s wine vintage. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 - Vienna
Spend another enriching day in Vienna. You many choose to join one of our many optional excursions, including a panoramic tour of Vienna by bike, a visit to the local Farmers’ Market with a local chef, or an all-day excursion to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, filled with lovingly restored baroque city palaces and leafy squares. Early this evening, enjoy scenic cruising as we start sailing toward Budapest. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Budapest
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Drive through Heroes’ Square and learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy brilliant views of the Danube and the beautiful Hungarian Parliament building from Fishermen’s Bastion. Return to your ship for lunch; the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. You may also choose to join us on one of several optional excursions designed to reveal this fascinating city’s culture, history and cuisine in greater depth. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 - 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. (Breakfast)
* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.