Day 1: Australia – – Budapest
Depart on your international flight to Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
Day 2: Budapest
Welcome to Budapest! Make your own way to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. You may choose to immediately begin exploring the city, or you can opt to remain at the hotel and unwind after the flight. Meet up with your Tour Manager this evening for a briefing and welcome drink.
Day 3: Budapest (B) –
A city tour is the perfect way to begin to learn about Budapest’s rich history and culture. You begin on the Pest side of the river and will see Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Move across the river to Buda to tick off sights including the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the city’s famed cobblestone streets.
Optional: Dinner and Show
Travel out to the fringe of Budapest, to a gorgeous forest setting, to enjoy a traditional Hungarian dinner and a culture performance. Watch on as dancers perform traditional folk music to live gypsy music. Tour duration is approximately 3 hours. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Budapest (B, D) –
Head out to Holloko, a regional village in Cserhát whose name translates to “raven-stone” and enjoy a walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will gain insight into the life of the Palóc people and local craftsmen. There is some free time in the village that can be used to enjoy an authentic lunch, before the group travels back to Budapest. This afternoon, a transfer takes you to the port for the cruise. Once embarkation formalities are taken care of, there is a Welcome Dinner served aboard.
Day 5: Budapest (B)
Today, enjoy the delights of Budapest independently. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the “City of Baths” and visit a traditional Turkish bath house with its thermal pools and spas, or stroll along the Danube Promenade, a walkway along the Danube that goes from the Elisabeth Bridge to Chain Bridge, offering stunning views of the capital. Another option is to head to Margaret Island, a quite getaway within the city, that serves as a recreational park, located in the middle of the Danube River. Perhaps, join the optional half day Taste of Budapest tour.
Optional: Half Day Taste of Budapest
Explore the local food scene, at the Hold Street Market Hall, while getting introduced to the history of Hungarian cuisine. Taste local cheeses from family farms around Budapest and salami delicacies, along with Hungarian meats and sausages served with fresh bread and mustard. End the tour with a sweet Budapest pastry – local strudel and a cup of coffee. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Budapest – Bratislava – Vienna (B, L, D) –
This morning, enjoy the tranquil scenery as you sail along the scenic Danube. In the late afternoon, arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, a mix of modern and Baroque architecture. This capital city is among the youngest in Europe, yet retains a rich history dating back more than 2000 years. Walk along the cobblestone lanes of the historic town center; view St. Martin’s Cathedral, coronation site of the kings of Hungary, the 13th century Old Town Hall and the Franciscan church. Time to explore this colorful city on your own before returning to the ship for dinner. This evening, the ship will set sail to Vienna
Day 7: Vienna (B, L, D) –
Vienna is a city synonymous with Imperial elegance and opulent architecture. Admire Vienna’s beautiful landscape on a city tour that sees you drive along Ringstrasse, the main palace- and park-lined boulevard. Pass Hofburg Palace, the State Opera house, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Parliament building. You have this afternoon and evening as free time.
Optional: Schonbrunn Palace Tour
Visit the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace on an afternoon excursion. This palace was the former summer residence of the Hapsburg emperors and is home to resplendent Baroque apartments and immaculate gardens. Tour duration is approximately 3 hours. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Classical Viennese Concert
Vienna is known as the ‘City of Music’ and tonight’s optional activity is a concert of works from Mozart and Strauss, two of Vienna’s most famous musicians. The masterpieces are accompanied by a professional dance performance, which brings to life the Golden Age of 19th-century Viennese ballrooms. Tour duration is approximately 2-and-a-half hours. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Vienna – Melk (B, L, D) –
This morning, arrive in the village of Durnstein, one of the prettiest towns on the Danube. Free time to stroll this quintessential village in the heart of the Wachau wine district. Walk along medieval cobblestone streets revealing 16th-century town houses and wine taverns. Continue cruising late this morning and relax on board as the boat cruises through the scenic Wachau Valley, with lovely storybook views of vineyards, castles, hilltop ruins and monasteries. Later, disembark in Melk for a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. View the Abbot’s chambers, the Kaiser’s walk, and the lavish library. The ship will set sail as you dine on board this evening.
Day 9: Passau (B, L, D) –
The cruise reaches Passau and passengers can spend the whole day to explore as they wish. Passau is a 2500-year-old German city located on the Austrian border and boasts a mix of Roman, Italian Baroque and Gothic influences. The ship sets sail for Regensburg in the evening.
Optional: Full-Day Tour of Salzburg
Travel to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of the beloved ‘Sound of Music’ story. A walking tour around the city includes seeing Mirabell Gardens, Mozart’s former home, Salzburg Cathedral and St. Peter’s Cemetery. Lunch is enjoyed at a local restaurant and is followed by some leisure time. Tour duration is approximately 9 hours. Additional cost applies.
Day 10: Regensburg (B, L, D) –
Arrive in Regensburg today. This German city is one of the best preserved medieval locations in the country and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A guided walking tour takes you past the best of the city’s stunning architecture, including Old Town Hall, the St. Peter Cathedral and the Porta Praetoria. Return to the boat in the afternoon or keep uncovering Regensburg’s charms at your own pace. Tonight is your final evening spent aboard the ship.
Day 11: Regensburg – Pilsen (B) –
Disembark your Danube river cruise this morning and travel with the group by road to Prague. On your way, stop in the city of Pilsen for a delightful city tour of where you will visit Republic Square, one of the largest medieval squares in the Czech Republic, and gaze upon the gothic style of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral & Old Town Hall. View the onion domes of the Great Synagogue before your free time to explore Pilsen on your own. Tonight, mix with the locals at Wenceslas Square, shop for local handicrafts, enjoy one of the many charming cafes or dine at a world-class restaurant.
Day 12: Prague (B)
There is a morning walking tour around Prague. Make a stop at Hradcany Castle (Prague Castle) to admire views over the Lesser Town and Charles Bridge, and to see the complex’s courtyards, St George Basilica and St Vitus Cathedral. The group continues to the Jewish Quarter and Old Town Square to appreciate the famous Astronomical Clock.
Optional: Half-Day Terezin Tour
Visit Terezin, the concentration camp used by the Nazis during World War II. It is now a memorial. This tour includes visits to the Memorial of National Martyrdom, the Small Fortress and the Museum of the Ghetto. Tour duration is approximately 4-and-a-half hours. Additional cost applies.
Day 13: Prague (B)
Make the most of your remaining full day in Prague by seeing any sights you missed or revisiting any favourite places from your time here.
Optional: Mala Strana Tour
Mala Strana, also known as Lesser Town, is one of Prague’s most historic districts. Explore this enchanting part of Prague, filled with important cultural landmarks such as the Charles Bridge with its 30 Baroque statues of various saints, and beautiful Kampa Island which is full of quaint restaurants and a lovely park. This evening, perhaps try traditional Czech cuisine at a popular restaurant. Remember to sample Prague’s national treasure – its world-renowned beer. Additional cost applies.
Day 14: Prague – – Australia (B)
Arrange your transfer to the airport so you can catch the return flight to Australia.
Day 15: Australia
Arrive in Australia today.