Itinerary: Budapest to Amsterdam

Imagine 15 magical days along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. From Holland’s windmill-studded tulip fields to Germany’s fairytale castles, from the engineering marvel of the Main-Danube Canal to the picturesque vineyards of Austria’s Wachau Valley, this epic voyage presents the highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Savor a decadent Sachertorte in a Viennese café and panoramic views of imperial Budapest—and along the way, discover the legend of the Lorelei, the ancient art of glassblowing, the music of Mozart and more.

 

Day 1 Budapest (Sept 9th)

Arrive in Budapest, capital of Hungary, and transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to explore the city on your own—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)

 

Day 2 Budapest (Sept 10th)

The Danube River divides this Hungarian capital city into “Buda” and “Pest.” Explore both parts, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, stroll Fishermen’s Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch aboard with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (B, L, D)

 

Day 3 Bratislava (Sept 11th)

After an afternoon arrival, you embark on a walking tour of Slovakia’s charming capital to see attractions like the medieval fortifications at Michael’s Tower, baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. You also pass by several baroque palaces from the Habsburg Dynasty before you return to your ship and depart late tonight. (B, L, D)

 

Day 4 Vienna (Sept 12th)

Ride along Vienna’s Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. You will also see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return aboard for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. After dinner, enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)

 

Day 5 Melk (Sept 13th)

Today, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. See its wonderful frescoes and admire the comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts in its library. Rejoin your ship and cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)

 

Day 6 Passau (Sept 14th)

On this morning’s walking tour, see Passau’s narrow streets and Italianate architecture, and pass the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century fortress that served for centuries as a bishop’s stronghold. Then, listen to a concert on Europe’s largest pipe organ in St. Stephan’s Cathedral.† Enjoy free time and dinner aboard. (B, L, D)

 

Day 7 Regensburg (Sept 15th)

Arrive in Regensburg after breakfast and tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)

 

Day 8 Nuremberg (Sept 16th)

During morning cruising, you may choose to attend an interesting presentation about the European Union. Arrive late morning in Nuremberg; after lunch, disembark for a tour. Visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, used in the 1930s as Nazi parade grounds, and see the Palace of Justice, site of the famous Nuremberg Trials. See the Old Town area as you walk down past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Spend more time exploring Nuremberg, or join an optional World War II history tour including the Documentation Center Museum. Enjoy free time throughout the evening; dinner is served aboard. Ship departs in the wee hours of the morning. (B, L, D)

 

Day 9 Bamberg (Sept 17th)

Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late-Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the very picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard. (B, L, D)

 

Day 10 Würzburg (Sept 18th)

After breakfast, tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy lunch aboard—or, take an optional excursion along Germany’s “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, which features a turreted city wall and lovely Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner and an evening glassblowing demonstration. (B, L, D)

 

Day 11 Wertheim (Sept 19th)

Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Stop in a bakery and a butcher shop, and learn about Wertheim’s glassblowing tradition. Enjoy free time to explore before returning to your ship for lunch. (B, L, D)

 

Day 12 Middle Rhine & Koblenz (Sept 20th)

Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine; this stunning stretch of the river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You pass the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point; the rock is named for a local legend about Rhine Maidens who lure sailors to their doom. This afternoon, stop to visit Marksburg, the only Rhine castle never destroyed. Rejoin your ship in Koblenz and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

 

Day 13 Cologne (Sept 21st)

Arrive in Cologne during breakfast, then disembark for a tour of Germany’s fourth largest city. Stroll through the Old Town past St. Martin’s Church and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Use your free time to enjoy Cologne’s atmospheric waterfront before returning aboard for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)

 

Day 14 Kinderdijk (Sept 22nd)

Sail along the Rhine during the morning hours, enjoying scenic views. You can try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). Arrive around lunchtime at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; tour this fascinating network of windmills and other ingenious flood management technologies. Return to your ship for a dinner of Dutch cuisine, and then sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a juniper liqueur, as we sail toward Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands. (B, L, D)

 

Day 15 Amsterdam (Sept 23rd)

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Amsterdam; take time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, museums and exciting nightlife. (B)

 

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