Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley's beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily life in an abbey on an exclusive visit to Göttweig. This 8-day itinerary reveals the best of these places, while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery.
Welcome to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Transfer to your ship from the airport.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or do a bit of exploring. Tonight, return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (D)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
Today we visit highlights of the once separate towns of Buda and Pest, starting with Pest's National Opera House and historic Heroes' Square. In Buda, walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen's Bastion and Matthias Church. Enjoy lunch on board your ship, with the rest of the day to explore on your own. You may wish to visit the Art Nouveau Gellért Spa, or one of the many other lavish facilities in this 'City of Healing Waters.' Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. (B/L/D)
Arrive in Bratislava this afternoon and embark on a walking tour of Slovakia's charming capital with a long and fascinating history. It is the only national capital that borders two other countries, Austria and Hungary. See attractions like the medieval Town Hall complex and fortifications at Michael's Tower, the baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral, and pass by several Hapsburg-era baroque palaces before returning to your ship. This evening you can relax or take a walk before our late departure. (B/L/D)
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city's baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephen's Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Or you may take an optional tour to Schönbrunn Palace, the 'Versailles of Vienna,' erected in 1778 and graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world's oldest zoo and Roman ruins. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert. (B/L/D)
Today's highlight is an exclusive visit of the splendid Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig, a working monastery for more than 900 years. Participate in an exclusive visitor program at Göttweig, created to provide an understanding of the daily business of the venerable institution. You may also take an invigorating bicycle ride through the Wachau Valley before returning to your ship. This afternoon, enjoy scenic sailing as we cruise toward Linz. (B/L/D)
Wake up in Linz this morning and set off on an all-day excursion to the beautiful Bohemian town of Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ride through the scenic Czech countryside and take a walking tour featuring the lovely historic center of the city with many baroque and Renaissance buildings, dating back hundreds of years. You have some free time to enjoy Krumlov's charming streets, filled with cafés, shops, galleries and pubs. Maybe stop for lunch in one of the many local restaurants. Return on board for dinner and a late-evening departure. (B/D)
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town's narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. Admire the New Bishop's Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe's largest church organ.† Enjoy an onboard lunch, but return to the city to further explore on your own before dinner. (B/L/D)†Passau organ concert is available May 1–October 31 only and is closed on Sundays.
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the Munich airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey with 3 additional nights in the breathtaking Czech capital of Prague. (B)* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.
We had a wonderful time and were lucky to have excellent weather. The ship was so luxurious, and we were impressed by the fantastic staff and service. Everyone was welcoming and kind. The food was delicious. Shore excursions were well organised and informative - all the locations were beautiful. Would definitely go again!
Magical Christmas market tour 1Sandy, QLD, Australia, Dec 2016
Budapest beautiful city. Would recommend staying here for 1-2 nights before starting cruise. Book hotel close to Christmas markets and shopping street if travelling in December. Heaps of designer shopping than elsewhere in Europe. Extremely cold, sometimes below freezing so bring suitable clothing or buy great bear when you arrive. Wondrous city, Christmas ...read more lights and markets and excellent range of goods and Hungarian food in stalls. Danube rather drab at this time of year food, crew and entertainment onboard was excellent. No complaints about ship but would have liked more attention paid to the Christmas markets and shuttle buses provided to these venues. I would not do this cruise in winter if I wasn't interested in seeing the Christmas markets and decorations. Vienna, Linz and Passau lovely, interesting cities, would give Melk Abbey a miss if I went on this tour again and also possibly Bratislava. Not a lot to offer and too cold at Christmas.
Very relaxing holiday 0Keith Morrison , NSW, Australia, Dec 2016
Viking cruises very comparable with other providers. Service, food & excursions all very good. Staterooms in some catergories far too small though.
Best cruise EVER! 1Joe & Maria Coppolecchia , QLD, Australia, Sep 2016
We have had a few holidays on cruise ships, but never again. The Viking river cruises are the best way to travel and see the world. Everything was thought out brilliantly. The tours were amazing with tour guides informative and thoughtful of everyone's needs. The cruise staff were so helpful and nothing was overlooked when it came to our needs and wants. ...read more I haven't stopped talking about how wonderful everything was. After travelling for a few weeks, to have down time on the boat was perfect. Thank you to Viking for a memorable holiday.
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