Amadeus Waterways Magnificent Europe: 16 Days - A Truly Grand Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through the Heart of Europe and Across the Continental Divide.
A magnificent cruise indeed as you follow the route of emperors and kings on your exciting European journey along three great rivers and through five fascinating countries! Marvel at the engineering wonders of the Main-Danube Canal as you traverse Europe's Continental Divide by ship. Discover the culture and traditions of grand old capitals like Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest. Visit perfectly preserved medieval towns and cruise through Europe’s loveliest countryside with fairytale castles and sample the finest wines and local gourmet cuisines.
DAY 1, DEPART USA
DAY 2, ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION Arrive in charming Amsterdam and embark your luxurious river cruise ship. Meet your fellow travelers tonight at the Welcome Cocktail Reception. (D)
DAY 3, AMSTERDAM After breakfast, admire beautiful 17th-century homes, charming churches and 16th-century merchant houses on a guided canal boat tour. Enjoy an afternoon information briefing as you cruise towards Germany. Tonight, be our guest at the Captain's Gala Welcome Dinner. (B,L,D)
DAY 4, COLOGNE, GERMANY - KOBLENZ Cruise past fashionable Düsseldorf, before arriving in Cologne for a guided morning walking tour through the old part of the city and a visit to the fabled 13th-century Gothic cathedral. At lunchtime, continue to 2,000-year-old Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel rivers. Take an after dinner walk through this charming town. (B,L,D)
DAY 5, KOBLENZ - RÜDESHEIM Today, sail through the fascinating Rhine Gorge, passing castle after castle and the infamous Lorelei Rock. After lunch, arrive in Rüdesheim and visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Explore the Drosselgasse, a narrow alley lined with wine taverns and restaurants during your free time before the ships sails late this afternoon. (B,L,D)
DAY 6, MILTENBERG - WERTHEIM Arrive in Miltenberg and disembark for a morning walking tour of this delightful old Franconian town with its narrow cobblestone streets and gabled, half-timbered houses. Return to the ship for lunch and continue cruising to charming Wertheim where you can watch an amusing glass-blowing performance. Leisurely browse in the market square before boarding your ship for an overnight cruise to Würzburg. (B,L,D)
DAY 7, WÜRZBURG During your guided tour, see the major sights including the magnificent Residenz Palace. This afternoon explore Würzburg on your own, or take an optional tour along the Romantic Road to medieval Rothenburg. Late this afternoon cruise to Bamberg. (B,L,D)
DAY 8, BAMBERG In the afternoon, enter the Main-Danube Canal in enchanting Bamberg, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Disembark for a guided tour of this medieval gem. There is free time before you continue your cruise this evening to ancient Nuremberg, capital of Franconia. (B,L,D)
DAY 9, NUREMBERG Today, decide to either tour medieval Nuremberg and see the storybook 900-year old ramparts that surround this historic city and the Imperial Castle, or join the “modern tour” of the city’s role in the 20th-century, see the Zeppelin field and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. At lunchtime, rejoin the ship further along the Main-Danube Canal and continue to the highest point of your cruise - 1,332 feet above sea level, where you cross Europe's Continental Divide. (B,L,D)
DAY 10, REGENSBURG A guided morning tour will show you the city's architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Pretoria, gates to a Roman fort built in 179 AD. The afternoon is free to shop or relax along the Danube. In the evening, enjoy a music performance onboard. (B,L,D)
DAY 11, PASSAU - LINZ, AUSTRIA After breakfast, arrive in picturesque Passau for a walking tour, or join the optional excursion to Salzburg and its popular Sound of Music sights. Those staying onboard can enjoy a scenic journey to Austria. (B,L,D)
DAY 12, MELK - DÜRNSTEIN - WEISSENKIRCHEN Cruise through the narrow Strudengau and reach the Wachau Valley this morning. A guided tour takes you to Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe's largest baroque monasteries. From here, continue on a short cruise to Dürnstein, for a walking tour through cobblestone streets that reveal quaint 16th-century town houses and taverns. Continue through the lovely Wachau Valley, dotted with castles, to the town of Weissenkirchen, for some wine tasting tonight. (B,L,D)
DAY 13, VIENNA During a guided sightseeing tour you will see the Hofburg Palace, the Vienna Opera House, the Ringstrasse, St. Stephen's Cathedral and visit the National Library. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll along the main shopping street, Kärntnerstrasse, or sample some of Vienna's famous pastries. Tonight, explore the vibrant Austrian capital on your own, or join an optional evening concert. The ship moors overnight. (B,L,D)
DAY 14, VIENNA - BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA Spend another morning in Vienna, perhaps join an optional tour to the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace, rejoining the ship in Bratislava in the afternoon. Or, enjoy a morning of scenic cruising to Bratislava followed by a walking tour of Bratislava, which reveals the city's major sights, including the Old Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral. The rest of the afternoon is free to shop or explore on your own. Tonight, there is an evening music performance onboard. (B,L,D)
DAY 15, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Your morning is free for last minute shopping. After lunch, your sightseeing tour takes you to historic Buda Castle from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the River. Your tour also features the distinctive Fisherman's Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen's Basilica and much more. Tonight enjoy a Gala Farewell Dinner with Gypsy music. (B,L,D)
DAY 16, DEPART BUDAPEST Your cruise comes to an end. (B)
With the decrease in the value of the dollar and the high price of fuel the cost of hotels and meals have doubled in European during the last three years. Savy travelers have come to understand that a river cruise offers the best value for a European Vacation. Accommodations, all meals on board and shore excursions are included in the price and some companies even include wine with dinner. Because of this, you do not have to live in fear of the $300 per night hotel bill, the $100 not so wonderful restaurant meal and the $10 cup of coffee with no free refills. Many people believe that by dealing directly with the cruise line, they cut out the expense of a middleman. But when it comes to cruising, this is never the case. The cruise lines depend on travel agents to sell their product, and so it is the cruise lines who pay the agent's commission, not the customer. The lines also offer agents various extra incentives, bonus commissions and value-added perks, giving the travel agents more pricing leverage and the ability for us to offer you lower rates: There are many superb and well-trained travel agents, but there are not many who know as much as we do about river cruising.