Fly into Prague
, a city where stone bridges, Gothic cathedrals and golden towers are overseen by a commanding castle. On arrival be transferred to your hotel. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers at a Welcome Reception. Stay Three Nights:
Prague, Grandior Hotel
Today join a local guide to explore Prague's Old Town. Visit the impressive St Vitus Cathedral, which is considered to be the largest in the world. Wander across Charles Bridge, a Czech landmark that straddles the beautiful Vltava River. Finally, stop for some time to browse through the wooden stalls in Prague's Old Market Square. (B)
Insider Experience: Visit Nelahozeves Castle, a regal Renaissance residence set high above the Vltava River. On a guided tour, uncover the aristocratic world of the Lobkowicz family. After the tour, you'll be treated to afternoon tea.
Having become familiar with the layout of Prague, enjoy today as you please. Perhaps visit a rooftop bar for superb views over stunning cathedrals and churches with a local Fleki (black beer) in hand. (B)
Bid farewell to Prague and continue south, where you will travel through an enchanting rural region steeped in wine making tradition. Continue through Slovakia and arrive in Budapest
, Hungary. Board your Travelmarvel river ship and later this evening, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception. Afterwards, set off on a twilight cruise through the glittering heart of Budapest, passing under the Chain Bridge and past Parliament building, lit up and sparkling while Buda Castle and the Fisherman's Bastion shimmer in the distance. Stay 14 Nights:
aboard your premium Travelmarvel river ship (B/D)
Today, enjoy views of one of the Danube's most enchanting riverside cities as you wake up in the heart of Hungary's capital. After breakfast, the history, beauty and charm of Budapest are illuminated as a local guide leads you through the city. See Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion and Heroes' Square. Learn about the turbulent history of Buda Castle and see the spectacular Hungarian Parliament Building, perched on the edge of the Danube River. (B/L/D)
Embrace the splendour of the former Habsburg empire in Vienna
. Discover this city's elegance as you drive around the Ringstrasse. Learn about some of the city's most famous buildings - the Vienna State Opera House, the Museum of Fine Arts and more. Upon arriving in the city centre, enjoy a walking tour with your local guide, for an insider's view of St Stephen's Cathedral, the Graben, Hofburg Palace and the Albertina. Perhaps this evening, enjoy a concert of compositions of Mozart and Strauss through to the Sound of Music. (B/L/D)
Pay a visit to the famous Naschmarkt. Browse the fresh produce stalls and sample some local delicacies.
You'll be spoilt for choice in a city so rich in great cafes, impressive historical buildings and fabulous shopping opportunities, so be sure to ask your expert Cruise Director for any insider tips of how to spend your free time today. Otherwise embark on your choice of optional excursion today to Schonbrunn Palace or Bratislava. (B/L/D)
Dock in Durnstein, where you have free time to explore at your own pace. A walk through the cobbled streets leads to 16th-century town houses and taverns, while surrounding vineyards provide the opportunity to taste some of the local wine or the apricot schnapps this lovely little town is known for. Continue to Melk and join a local guide for a tour through the magnificent Melk Abbey, set atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River. After lunch ensure you are on the Sun Deck or in the Lounge as you cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, one of the most beautiful and famous in Austria. (B/L/D)
Arrive in the 'Three Rivers City' of Passau. On a guided tour, you'll soon see that Passau flaunts a distinctly Baroque character, as the town was rebuilt in the style after two catastrophic fires destroyed it in the 1600s. You also have the option to enjoy a fascinating day excursion to the city of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, or tour the sights from the classic movie 'The Sound of Music', including the famous Wedding Church. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: Enjoy your very own authentic Bavarian experience on board your river ship, complete with local beer, fantastic food and folk dancing.
Having reached the Danube River overnight, Regensburg awaits at the meeting point of the Danube and Regen rivers. Join a guided walking tour which tells of the medieval city's story through the ages. There are plenty of well preserved sights to see as Regensburg was lucky to escape most of the devastating bombings of World War II. See the ancient Stone Bridge, which gracefully arches across the water, as well as the Old Town Hall, the World Heritage-listed city centre and the Porta Pretoria - ancient gates to a Roman fort built in AD179. You will spend the entire day in this charming city, docked right in the heart of town, and there is an option of an express tour followed by extra free time. Alternatively organise a packed lunch and a bicycle and enjoy the freedom as you head out to explore the city and surrounding countryside on your own terms. (B/L/D)
Glide over the Main-Danube Canal, crossing Europe's Continental Divide (435 metres above sea level) thanks to the canal's 16 stair-step locks. Continue to the site of Hitler's infamous Nuremberg rallies, Nuremberg played a pivotal role for the Nazis during World War II. Learn about the city's Nazi era as you visit such sights as the Palace of Justice. Nuremberg is also a great place to explore on foot, discovering hidden boutiques and artisan stores as you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets. (B/L/D)
Spend a leisurely morning cruising along the last stretch of the Main River before arriving at Bamberg. Here you can choose between taking an express tour to free yourself up for an afternoon of free time or take an indepth guided tour, during which you'll gaze upon such sights as the Old Town Hall and the Bamberg Cathedral. A visit to one of the historic taverns is perhaps the best place to get a taste and feel for the local Bavarian culture. This is where you can mingle with the friendly locals, enjoying pretzels and steins of local smoked ale. (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, board a coach and travel through the green rolling hills and rich vineyards which sit on the fringe of the pretty town of Wurzburg. The architectural beauty that defines Wurzburg is on show today as you admire its magnificent Baroque palace. A walk through the Court Garden is a delight, with its terraced gardens and water basin encircled by stunning yew trees. Enjoy free time to explore this enchanting wonderland. After lunch, you might like to enhance your journey even further with an excursion to medieval Rothenburg. This small fairytale village is one of the prettiest in Germany. This evening, sit down to dinner with your fellow travellers back on board your river ship as you cruise through the evening towards Miltenberg. (B/L/D)
Disembark your river ship and see the evocative town of Miltenberg, with many half-timbered buildings dating from the 15th to 18th century. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: Get a rare glimpse into local life as you are welcomed into the home of a friendly Miltenberg family. Enjoy coffee and cake made fresh for you that morning by your gracious hosts, who are eager to share with you stories of their town's history and way of life.
Rudesheim, Rhine Gorge
Dock in Rudesheim, and board the Winzerexpress mini-train, bound for Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Admire delicate songbird boxes and curious musical dolls. Stroll back to your river ship, perhaps stopping for a Rudesheimer coffee along the way. Later see the ever-changing colours of the magnificent Rhine Gorge, with vineyards that turn from deep green, to red, to bare wood through the season as Pfalzgrfenstein Castle and Lorelei Rock stand unchanged by the passing of the centuries. (B/L/D)
As you cruise into the riverside Gothic city of Cologne, the sheer magnitude of the history of the region becomes apparent as your Cruise Director tells of how the twin spires of the famous cathedral, the Kolner Dom, took over six centuries to complete. Head to the Sun Deck as this magnificent architectural masterpiece comes into view. Disembark your ship in Cologne and take the short drive to Bruhl. Later, return to Cologne and enjoy free time to discover over 2,000 years of history at the Old City. (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: Imagine what life would have been like in the times of archbishop-elector Clemens August on a visit to World Heritage-listed Augustusburg Castle and Falkenlust hunting lodge. On a tour of the magnificent 8th-century castle, learn enthralling stories of its infamous former resident and enjoy a walk through the perfectly landscaped parks between the castle and the lodge, where the archbishop would come to practise falconry.
Today, cruise to the eclectic city of Amsterdam
. Clustered by historic houses and studded with low bridges, Amsterdam's network of 17th-century canals lends the city its nickname - The Venice of the North. A canal cruise with a local guide, ready to share stories of daily life in this fascinating city, is surely the best way to get to know Amsterdam and today, you'll board a glass-top boat and glide through the city's maze of waterways. Back on land, enjoy some free time, or join your local guide for a walking tour through some of Amsterdam's more colourful neighbourhoods. Perhaps grab a map to explore the canal crossed streets lined with unique tall and narrow buildings that epitomise this carefree, cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a myriad of great shopping opportunities, stopping to see the traditional blue and white Delfware pottery and making sure to visit one of the many artisan cheese makers or chocolatiers found in the traditional tall houses that line the canal shores. Perhaps visit the bustling Dam Square, or art lovers might want to explore the city's thriving art scene, being sure to stop in at the Van Gogh Museum, or get your photo taken at the 'I amsterdam' sign at the famous Rijksmuseum. Enjoy a delicious Captain's Farewell Dinner back on board your river ship later this evening. (B/L/D)
Disembark Ship, Amsterdam, Paris
After breakfast this morning, disembark your ship in Amsterdam. Remaining guests board your coach and traverse the beautiful landscapes of the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France and say 'bonjour' to the spectacular French capital, Paris. Representing the essence of France, this is a brilliant city in which to concludeyour European journey. Arrive at your stunning hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps get your bearings by taking a twilight stroll before sitting down to a delicious meal in one of Paris's famous restaurants. Stay Three Nights: Paris, Les Jardins du Marais (B)
This morning, fling open the door to some of Paris' best-loved sights on a guided city tour. Feel the excitement of one of the world's most iconic streets, the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, and marvel at the impressive Arc de Triomphe, the famous archway at the intersection of 12 boulevards. The afternoon, perhaps relax in front of the Eiffel Tower at Champs de Mars park, or discover a cosy cafe to sample some of France's famously rich food. You also have the opportunity to enjoy dinner and cabaret at the iconic Moulin Rouge tonight. (B/L)
Insider Experience: Ascend the Eiffel Tower, where sweeping vistas and delicious French cuisine await.
Today, you're bound to fall head over heels for the 'City of Love' during a full day at leisure. Will you enjoy a whirlwind romance with the bohemian fervour of the Latin Quarter? Or cement an enduring devotion to the art of the Louvre Museum? Perhaps you'll become enamoured with the Seine River, as you take a stroll along its park-lined banks towards the legendary Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame. You may even like to take a tour to Montmatre and the Bascilica of Sacre Coeur followed by a Seine River cruise. (B)
Say 'au revoir' to Paris as your adventure comes to an end this morning. After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Homeward bound, your head and heart will be filled with endless happy memories of your journey through the magical countries of Europe. (B)