Itinerary

Day One and Two - Budapest, Hungary

Your personal chauffeur service will pick you up in an executive car and take you to your UK departure point, from where you'll fly to the Hungarian capital of Budapest to join your luxury river vessel, meeting your crew at a welcome reception this afternoon. On day two, you'll get to explore one of Europe's liveliest cities on a guided city tour, taking in such famous sights as the Heroes' Square, the massive hilltop castle complex with the Fishermen's Bastion and the Matthias Church, which dates back to the 11th century. During free time in the afternoon, you may wish to take a stroll across the symbolic 19th century Chain Bridge, the most famous of the city's eight bridges which connect Buda on the right bank and Pest on the Danube's left. Or perhaps you may choose to take in marvellous views of the city from the viewing platform at St Stephen's Basilica, or shop for goodies on Budapest's main shopping street, Vàci utca, shopping for handcrafted emboidery or Herend porcelain, or savour a rich cream cake in the famous Gerbeaud Cafe.

Day Three - Bratislava, Slovakia

Today you're in Slovakia, visiting its capital city of Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. A local guide will reveal the charms of the Old Town on a guided walk along the cobbled streets, taking in the old stone Town Hall and the Gothic cathedral of Saint Martin.

Day Four - Vienna, Austria

A treasure trove of Baroque treasures, the Austrian capital of Vienna was once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire, and has a rich cultural legacy, including the famous Viennese waltz and was a hub for numerous classical composers, attracting the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss II, composer of the famous Blue Danube. Today's guided tour will showcase such highlights as the lavish Hofburg Palace, the iconic Vienna Opera House, the famous Ringstrasse, and the awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral. During some free time, shop along the Kärntnerstrasse, or tuck into some tasty Apfelstrudel or, better yet, the world-famous sachertorte, and enjoy the Austrian national drink of coffee and people-watch. This evening, an optional concert is available (for an additional fee).


Day Five - Dürnstein

This morning, you'll visit the UNESCO-listed Abbey of Göttweig, perched high atop a hill overlooking the magnificent Danube, and only a short drive away. A local guide will take you on a tour of this wonderful monastery, where you will no doubt admire the fresco-decorated imperial staircase, which is considered a masterpiece of baroque architecture, before rejoining the ship in Dürnstein for lunch. The town of Dürnstein is renowned for its baroque, blue Stiftskirche which overlooks the river, and this afternoon your local guide will tell you the historic tale of the incarceration of King Richard the Lionheart in the castle on the hill - now merely ruins - and how the people of England had to pay a King's ransom for his release, during a guided walking tour along this small, cobbled town lined with 16th-century residences. This evening, enjoy sampling some of the region's famous wines.

Day Six - Passau, Germany

Today you'll have a choice of full-day optional excursions (for an optional fee): perhaps you may like to venture to Salzburg, where you can take in some of the famous sights from the classic Sound of Music, the popular 'Romantic Austria Tour', or head to the Czech Republic for its famously beautiful, UNESCO-listed town of Český Krumlov, rejoining your ship this evening in Passau. Alternatively, you may prefer to spend the day enjoying some scenic river cruising as the ship continues to Passau, where the Inn, Itz and Danube Rivers converge. In Passau, an included guided walk will take you through Passau's labyrinthine narrow cobbled streets lined with elegant patrician houses, taking in the Italian baroque St Stephen's Cathedral, home to one of the world's largest church organs, with 17,774 pipes.

Day Seven - Regensburg

Welcome to Regensburg, the capital of Upper Palatinate, one of Bavaria's cultural centres, and home to the 12th century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany's oldest restaurant. You'll discover a bustling university town and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Germany, taking in such architectural highlights on your guided walking tour as the Old Town Hall and Porta Pretoria, the remaining gates to an ancient Roman fort built here in 179AD.

Day Eight - Nuremberg

This morning relax on board as the ship continues cruising onwards to the German city of Nuremberg, once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and more recently famous for the War Trials. You'll arrive this afternoon, and find a city much restored to its former glory, following about 90% destruction of its Old Town in Second World War. You can choose to explore the thousand-year-history of the city's medieval fortifications during a guided sightseeing tour, which takes in extraordinary gothic churches and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or - if you prefer more modern history - join a specialised 'Nuremberg Rally Grounds' tour. There'll be some free time to try some tasty Lebkuchen, or maybe make a wish at the beautiful fountain in the Hauptmarkt (main square) - if you turn its gold ring three times, legend has it that your wish will come true!

Day Nine - Bamberg

Once the residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties, and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this morning you'll arrive in medieval Bamberg, twinned with the English town of Bedford. A guided walking tour will showcase its historic centre, home to a magnificent 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and a distinctive Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River, half-timbered and adorned with a beautiful fresco. When the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall, they had no choice but to build it in the middle of the island! In the afternoon, you'll continue cruising down the Main River as you head for Würzburg.


Day Ten - Würzburg

Set in the midst of steep, verdant vineyards in the heart of the Franconian wine country, and with its beautiful Marienberg Fortress and 15th century Old Main Bridge, it's little surprise that rzburg is known as the 'Pearl of the Romantic Road'. Home to lavish baroque and rococo architecture, of which the 18th century Bishop's Residenz is undoubtedly the most famous and beautiful example, which you'll be able to see for yourself on your guided tour. Inside the Bishop's Residenz, you will have the opportunity to admire the largest ceiling fresco ever painted.

Day Eleven - Main River Village

The banks of the Main River are home to charming small towns, many tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. But you will also find many picturesque Bavarian towns complete with half-timbered houses lining narrow streets, one of which you'll be able to explore for yourself with a local guide on a guided walk.

Day Twelve - Rüdesheim and Rhine Gorge

Rüdesheim is a charming, quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, and here you can also see and hear a large collection of self-playing callipes and music boxes dating between the early 18th and 20th centuries during a visit to Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Later, enjoy the most beautiful stretch of the River Rhine as you cruise downstream from Rüdesheim through the marvellous Rhine Gorge, lined with lofty cliffs rising up to 400ft and dotted with fairytale castles, and passing the legendary Lorelei Rock, which was believed to be the site where the songs of sirens enchanted sailors, leading them to their doom.

Day Thirteen - Cologne

One of Germany's largest cities, Cologne is famous for its river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of the majestic Gothic cathedral, which had suffered much damage during 14 aerial bombings during the Second World War (yet remained standing). Today, you can choose how you would like to experience this historic city - whether you'd prefer a 'guided city walk' in the afternoon, or gain an interesting insight into the city's Jewish history with a special 'Jewish Cologne tour'. During free time, head to a tavern and try the local Kölsch, or shop for a bottle of 4711, the original 'eau de cologne'.

Day Fourteen - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Today you're in the Netherlands, in the heart of its capital city of Amsterdam, where you'll experience it in the best possible way: from the canals on a canal cruise, gliding along the centuries' old system of canals, past graceful stately homes which date back to the city's glory age as a trade hub. Tonight, enjoy a delectable farewell dinner.

Day Fifteen - To UK

Disembark today after breakfast, and transfer to the airport for your return flight home, where you'll be picked up by executive car and taken home.



    Various departure dates available

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  • Avalon Vista sailing from Budapest

    Avalon Vista sailing from Budapest

  • Bratislava, Slovakia

    Bratislava, Slovakia

  • Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria

    Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria

  • Durnstein, Austria

    Durnstein, Austria

  • Panorama Suite

    Panorama Suite

  • Wurzburg, Germany

    Wurzburg, Germany

  • Bamberg, Germany

    Bamberg, Germany

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Amsterdam, Netherlands