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INQUIRY FORM



GRAND EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE
  24 DAYS FROM $10,090 US
Details below or click here for more information INQUIRY FORM


Travel like the royals of old on our Grand European Cruise, combining Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat with Budapest to the Black Sea to create an unforgettable 24-day cruise tour through the heart of Europe. This remarkable voyage from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers, taking you through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Glide past grand cathedrals, medieval monasteries, and historic citadels - as well as through the Main-Danube Canal and the Iron Gate of the Danube. This private, inclusive shore excursions take in many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and in-depth exploration of cities including Amsterdam, Koln, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade and Bucharest. It's the ultimate European river cruise!

Day 1 Embark on your cruise in Amsterdam
Meals D
Your ultimate European river cruise starts at 4:00 PM in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A transfer is included from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport or Central Station directly to your riverboat. Enjoy a welcome briefing and a leisurely dinner as you settle into your floating hotel for a memorable two-week-cruise on the Main, Rhine and Danube Rivers.


Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Map Day 2 Great art, a canal cruise and more in Amsterdam
Meals B, L, D
Amsterdam... the name itself conjures up images of the Dutch capital's myriad cultural treasures, from gabled houses, markets and cafes to awe-inspiring museums housing a treasure trove of world-famous art - and it's all yours to enjoy today. Your guided tour of the famed Rijksmuseum is really inspiring - a firsthand look at Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch is like meeting the artist himself, and you'll love seeing acclaimed works by other well-known "Old Dutch Masters." Once an exclusive royal privilege, a private sightseeing cruise by canal boat on the city's network of concentric, tree-lined 17th-century canals provides a unique view of Amsterdam's blend of architectural styles - they date all the way back to medieval times - and a unique taste of daily life in this easygoing city. Join us for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner tonight as we chart a course to Germany.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 3 Modern and ancient history in Koln
Meals B, L, D
After a morning of cruising and lunch aboard the riverboat, your explorations continue in Koln (Cologne), the oldest city in Germany. A guided walking tour of city sights includes a visit to twin-spired Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), boasting one of the world's largest church facades; it is one of Europe's most beloved Gothic cathedrals. You'll have some free time to wander through Cathedral Square and the Hohe Strasse pedestrian area in the afternoon, or enjoy an optional visit to Koln's Roman-Germanic Museum, built around the mosaic floor of a 3rd-century villa and showcasing a large collection of Roman artifacts (closed on Mondays). Dinner aboard ship tonight is followed by an onboard performance by local musicians.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 4 Cruising the Rhine... the Lorelei and a visit to Rudesheim & the merry music machines
Meals B, L, D
The perfect Rhine cruise... glide along the river until early afternoon, and relax as your Tour Director shares a tale or two during the cruise through the scenic - and literally legendary - Lorelei Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in Rudesheim, where an entertaining lunch in a local German restaurant with an old-world ambiance precedes a visit to Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett, an eclectic collection of mechanical musical instruments housed in a 15th-century castle in Rudesheim, followed by free time. Walk back to the ship or ride the mini train; enjoy dinner while cruising the Rhine tonight.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 5 A full day cruising the Main
Meals B, L, D
Enjoy the views as your Rhine cruise continues into the Main River, for a full day of cruising through scenic valleys studded with castles, cathedrals, and fortified towns. A Bavarian-themed dinner aboard the riverboat tonight precedes a demonstration of the time-honored skill of glass-blowing, followed by a crew show or an evening of music and dancing.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 6 Rothenburg or Wurzburg, plus a wine tasting
Meals B, L, D
Spend the morning cruising and have lunch aboard the riverboat before arriving in Wurzburg for choice of sightseeing. You can choose an excursion to medieval Rothenburg, on Germany's "Romantic Road," to see its Gothic cathedral and gabled houses on a walking tour, and enjoy some free time. Or stay in Wurzburg and visit its famous Residenz, where the town's prince bishops lived from 1744. One of the largest and most beautiful Baroque palaces in Germany, it was built and decorated in the 18th century by an international team of architects, painters, and sculptors, and is today recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, all will gather in Wurzburg for a wine tasting, then return to the riverboat for dinner aboard ship.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 7 Along the Main to Bamberg
Meals B, L, D
Your riverboat cruises along the Main to the Bavarian town of Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated atop seven hills. After discovering the town's lovely gardens, medieval architecture and 13th-century Gothic cathedral with its four imposing towers on a guided walking tour of Old Town, you'll have time to explore this charming town on your own. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy a barbecue dinner on the Sun Deck tonight, weather permitting.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 8 Historic Nurnberg and the Main-Danube Canal
Meals B, L, D
This Main, Danube and Rhine cruise arrives this morning in historic Nurnberg, where you'll have a choice of a walking tour through Nurnberg's medieval ramparts to the Imperial Castle and the old city, or view the Courthouse, Zeppelinfeld rally grounds, and other sites associated with World War II and its aftermath, and visit the Documentation Center. Your riverboat negotiates the Main-Danube Canal today, which ultimately links the North Sea with the Black Sea - and which you'll learn all about from a local expert during your transit. The idea goes back as far as Charlemagne, but wasn't realized until this canal was completed in the 1990s; pass through 16 locks as the waterway traverses the mountains. Dinner is aboard the riverboat this evening, with music and dancing to follow in the lounge.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 9 Ancient Regensburg and on to Passau
Meals B, L, D
With its roots as a Roman encampment on the Danube, the quintessential Bavarian town of Regensburg is home to more than 1,400 original historic buildings. Walking here is a delight and is the only way to view the sights up-close. A local guide will lead the way as you see the town's 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Germany's oldest surviving stone bridge), the 15th-century Altes Rathaus (Town Hall), the towering Dom St. Peter, and the remains of the Roman wall. Visit the princely house of Thurn und Taxis on a guided tour, followed by free time. Enjoy an onboard musical performance by a local quartet before your ship sets off for Passau.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 10 Explore Baroque Passau & cruise the Danube
Meals B, L, D
The riverboat docks in the port city of Passau, dating way back to Roman times. Spend time exploring this lovely Bavarian town - well-known for its Baroque architecture including unique four-story homes, scores of churches and marvelous stained glass - on a walking tour; inside St. Stephan's Cathedral, you'll see (and maybe even hear) the largest pipe organ outside of the U.S. (and the world's biggest cathedral organ). Listen to commentary from your Tour Director and take advantage of other activities as you continue your Danube, Main and Rhine cruise in the afternoon, bound for Melk, Austria. This evening, enjoy a musical performance by a classical trio.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 11 Melk's Baroque abbey... and an Imperial Evening in a Vienna palace
Meals B, L, D
Your next destination is the town of Melk, Austria, where you'll step back in time on a guided tour of its 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey, perched on a rocky outcrop above the river. Inside this Baroque masterpiece are fine frescoes, early manuscripts, and a high altar. Back aboard the riverboat, enjoy views of castles, vineyards, small towns, monasteries and medieval ruins while cruising through the Wachau Valley toward the magnificent Austrian capital city of Vienna. Tonight, an Exclusive - a private, gala Imperial Evening in the opulent Palais Pallavicini, a private 18th-century palace in the heart of the city, featuring a sumptuous dinner and live Viennese music - just might sweep you off your feet!

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 12 An "Imperial" day in Vienna
Meals B, L, D
Get an overview of Vienna, Austria's capital and one of Europe's greatest cities, with a morning sightseeing tour of this historic former capital of the Habsburg Empire. Take your choice of a tour of Schonbrunn Palace, built to rival Versailles, or a guided visit to the Sisi Museum and the amazing Imperial Apartments inside the Hofburg, the Habsburgs' former Imperial palace that today is the official residence of Austria's president. Explore the city as you wish this afternoon, or return to the riverboat; dinner is aboard ship tonight.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 13 Across the centuries in Bratislava, Slovakia
Meals B, L, D
Depart Vienna after breakfast, and spend the morning cruising to Slovakia. Arrive early afternoon in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, where 17 centuries of history are chronicled on a walking tour led by a local guide. Highlights include Baroque palaces from the Habsburg era, along with St. Martin's Cathedral, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, and a visit to Old Town Hall. This evening, a taste of Slovakia with a Slovak dinner followed by entertainment aboard the riverboat; set off for Budapest tonight.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 14 Both sides of remarkable Budapest
Meals B, L, D
Your remarkable riverboat voyage from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises into Budapest, Hungary's capital, today - the mid-point of your grand European river cruise. Standing on opposite banks of the Danube, Budapest's two distinct sections - Buda and Pest - were once independent cities. Explore both on a day of sightseeing that includes views of patriotic Heroes' Square in Pest, dominated by statues of great leaders from Hungarian history; the Gothic-Revival Parliament building, an iconic feature of the Budapest skyline along the Danube; and Fishermen's Bastion, standing watch like a sentinel over the river. The afternoon is free to explore.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 15 Sightseeing in Budapest, then your cruise of the lower Danube River begins
Meals B, L, D
Sightseeing in Budapest today includes the Hungarian Parliament building, a 19th-century neo-Gothic masterpiece on the Danube (when open). Spend some time exploring as you please before joining your riverboat for your cruise of the lower Danube River. Set out for Kalocsa this evening.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 16 Antiquities and more in Hungary
Meals B, L, D
Arrive in Mohacs this morning for an excursion to Pecs and a tour of its 11th-century cathedral. Here you'll also explore the fascinating Christian Necropolis, a complex dating back to the 4th century that includes underground burial chambers and chapels adorned with early Christian art and frescoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the 19th century, Pecs was famous worldwide for the exquisite Zsolnay porcelain manufactured here, and your visit includes a stop at the Zsolnay Museum for a look at its stunning examples of Art Nouveau stoneware, tiles and pottery. Visit a winery in Villany for lunch (this region is renowned for its red wines) then return to Mohacs for dinner aboard ship.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 17 Visit historic Vukovar, Croatia and on to Novi Sad in Serbia
Meals B, L, D
Your riverboat exploration of the lower Danube cruises into Croatia; an onboard lecture by a local expert provides insights into the country's culture and history. Dock in the Baroque city of Vukovar, once showcasing opulent 18th-century mansions, but now poignantly symbolizing the effects of the 1990s war as it rebuilds; visit the home of a Vukovar family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, who will share homemade refreshments with you. Reboard your riverboat for lunch and cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, enhanced by commentary by your Tour Directors. You'll have a little free time this evening to explore Novi Sad before your cruise continues to Belgrade.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 18 The sights of Belgrade and a private palace visit
Meals B, L, D
Dock in Belgrade, Serbia's modern capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers. A shipboard lecture sets the stage for sightseeing that includes visits to Tito's Memorial and the formidable Kalemegdan Fortress, and views of busy Slavija Square (now one of the city's major squares, but once a large pool where residents hunted wild ducks!), Parliament, Republic Square and City Hall. You'll also enjoy a special private visit to the beautiful Royal Palace of Dedinje in Belgrade, built in the 1920s for the Yugoslavian royal family; HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family reside there today. Return to the riverboat, where Serbian performers entertain with musicians and dancers this evening.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 19 The Iron Gate of the Danube, King Decebalus and more
Meals B, L, D
Continuing one of the popular Danube cruises, relax on a day's cruise past the fields and vineyards of Eastern Europe; shipboard activities which may be offered throughout your cruise range from cooking demonstrations to folkloric, music and dance performances. Pass into Romania and through the Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a two-mile-long series of narrow gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. As you glide along the Bulgarian / Serbian border, look for the massive monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus - Europe's tallest rock sculpture, completed in 2004, carved into the riverbank on the Romanian side - as well as spectacular views of the Transylvanian Alps.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 20 Bulgarian art & architecture in Ruse or Ivanovo
Meals B, L, D
Your journey along the lower Danube cruises to Bulgaria; largely off limits during four centuries of Ottoman rule and decades behind the Iron Curtain, the country's rich natural beauty and history is yours to discover today. Disembark after lunch in Ruse - often referred to as "Little Vienna" for its Art Nouveau homes, Austro-Hungarian architecture and lively cafes - for a choice of afternoon sightseeing. You may join us for a guided walking tour of Ruse, or a beautiful (but challenging) hike to the celebrated Rock Churches in the village of Ivanovo, whose stony chambers carved into steep, cliffside caves reveal stunning medieval frescoes inside; a visit is richly rewarding.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 21 Constanta & Mamaia on Romania's Black Sea coast
Meals B, L, D
Walk off the ship in Cernavoda, Romania, for a day trip to the Black Sea coast. Take a guided tour of the key port city of Constanta, originally the ancient Greek colony of Tomis and home to numerous Greek and Roman antiquities; sights include an Art-Nouveau casino, and a monument to the Roman poet Ovid, who was exiled here by the Emperor Augustus. Then it's on to Mamaia, the largest seaside resort on the Black Sea, for lunch and time at leisure to enjoy the beach before returning to the riverboat for the last night of your cruise. Join us for the Captain's farewell reception and dinner this evening.

Lodging Aboard the Riverboat

Day 22 Disembark for a visit to an immense palace & more in Bucharest
Meals B, L
Disembark your riverboat in Cernavoda and travel across fertile plains to Bucharest, capital of Romania and once regarded as the "Paris of the Balkans." A sightseeing tour of city landmarks includes Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch; erected to commemorate Romania's reunification and those who fell in World War I, it is a smaller but otherwise exact copy of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Lunch in the Old Town, the city's charming historic center; a former enclave of artisans and merchants in the 16th century, it's now a trendy district of old inns, antique shops, galleries, and cafes, riddled with winding networks of vaulted cellars, cobblestone streets and passageways. Settle in for the next two nights at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of the city, then depart for the massive Palace of Parliament (a.k.a. the People's Palace), built by dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu to be the center of political power in the capital; the Soviet-style white marble complex, 12 stories high, with over a thousand rooms and four underground levels, is the world's largest building after the Pentagon, and some parts of it are still unfinished! An introductory tour concludes with a special farewell reception and dinner at the ubiquitous Palace, complete with musical entertainment.

Lodging JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

Day 23 A choice of excursion to Transylvania, Targoviste or Peles Castle in the Carpathian Mountains
Meals B, L, D
A choice of sightseeing today echoes the legacy of 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler"), thought to be the historical model for Bram Stoker's Dracula. You may choose to take an excursion to Transylvania's 14th-century Bran Castle, which Tepes once used as a fortress during his military campaigns. Or you can opt for a trip to Targoviste to see the ruins of Tepes' palace, including its imposing watchtower, restored in the 19th century; you'll also visit the army barracks (now a museum) where Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was tried and executed in 1989; or an excursion into the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania for a visit to Peles Castle and Sinaia. Lunch at a local restaurant and return to Bucharest for free time and dinner at leisure.

Lodging JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

Day 24 Homeward bound
Meals B
Tour ends in Bucharest, Romania. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel to Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport and Bucuresti Gara de Nord; please allow 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

VALUE INCLUDES
Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tour Directors and Tour Cruise Director
All private shore excursions – $2,168 Value!
A private Imperial Evening at a traditional palace in Vienna featuring dinner and Viennese performers
In Amsterdam, a guided tour of the famed Rijksmuseum, home to many masterpieces
Day exploring Nürnberg, the walled medieval town whose history is forever intertwined with World War II
Choice of sightseeing in Vienna – a visit to the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments in the Hofburg or to Schönbrunn Palace
Memorable visits to Melk Abbey, Kölner Dom, and Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett in Rüdesheim
Guided sightseeing in the historic European capitals of Bratislava, Slovakia, and Budapest
Two nights at a hotel in Budapest and two nights in Bucharest at a hotel with an ideal location next to the Parliament Palace
Dinner at the massive Parliament building (the "People's Palace") in Bucharest
Visit with a Croatian family in their private home in Vukovar
Private piano performance on a visit to the Béla Bartók Memorial House in Budapest
A visit to the city of Pécs in Hungary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Passage through the Iron Gate on the Danube River
Choice of Romanian excursions exploring the story of Vlad Tepes, 15th-century inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted

MEALS
67 meals (23 breakfasts, 22 lunches & 22 dinners)
Some meals in local restaurants; beer and wine with lunch and dinner on the riverboat, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharge


Departure Dates: 
May - August

Prices
From approx $10,090 US per person based on double occupancy



To book or for more information please complete the 
INQUIRY FORM

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