TAUCK RIVER CRUISES
12 Days | The Blue Danube
PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST
Day 1 | Prague, Czech Republic. Tour begins at 6:00 PM at the Prague Marriott Hotel. A transfer is included from Prague's Ruzyne Airport to the Prague Marriott Hotel, ranked among the Top 100 Best Luxury Hotels of the World. Tauck brings you inside Prague’s soaring cathedrals and city architectural riches with sightseeing hosted by local guides. Begin your amazing Danube river cruise with a royal welcoming reception, tour and dinner at 16th-century Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. Immerse in an evening of classical cultural treasures – music and art played an important role in the aristocratic world of the Lobkowicz family. (D)
Day 2 | Prague. Start today's exploration of Prague in the ancient Hradcany (Castle) district, where you'll see 1,000-year-old Prague Castle's complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens. Exquisite European architecture awaits on a guided excursion that takes you to the Hradcany (Castle) district and the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus – an exclusive private tour of the grand libraries of Strahov Monastery is a highlight. Spend time at leisure exploring the courtyards and squares of Prague’s winding cobblestone streets, or join us on a walking tour through ethereal Old Town; see the famous Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church, iconic Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. Sample the culinary pleasures of Prague with dinner on your own tonight; the city's many fine restaurants and cafés feature a wide range of cuisines... and some of the best schnitzels, goulashes, strudels, dumplings and beer the region has to offer. Tomorrow – your Danube river cruise begins. (B)
Day 3 | Regensburg, Germany. Embark. Drive to the quintessential Bavarian town of Regensburg, whose roots stretch back to Roman days. The best way to explore this treasure-trove of history is on foot, as our local guide leads you on a walking tour that includes the Steinerne Brücke, a medieval stone bridge over the Danube; the Gothic Dom St. Peter; the 15th-century town hall; and the remains of the town’s Roman wall. Enjoy lunch on your own – perhaps opting for some of the town's famous Bavarian sausage – before boarding your riverboat in Regensburg to launch your 7-night Danube River cruise. Join your shipmates, the Captain and crew at the Captain's welcome reception and dinner aboard the riverboat tonight. (B,D)
Day 4 | Passau. Enjoy the views from your riverboat's sun deck, lounge, or the windows of your outside cabin. Your first port of call on your Danube River cruise is Passau, Germany; accompanied by a local guide whose love for Passau is evident, take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of this Baroque town renowned for its lovely stained glass and nearly 100 churches. See the Altes Rathaus, the old town hall with 14th-century origins, murals on the façade and a glockenspiel in the tower; and visit St. Stephan's Cathedral, home to a magnificent pipe organ that is one of the world's largest. Return to the riverboat for lunch as Tauck's Danube river cruise continues to Linz, Austria. (B,L,D)
Day 5 | Salzburg, Austria or Cesky Krumlov. Your boat stays docked in Linz today, with a choice of how you spend your day – full-day excursions to Salzburg (Austria) or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Salzburg is the hometown of Austria’s beloved composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The setting for The Sound of Music, Salzburg is a parade of beautiful Baroque architecture, painted wrought-iron signage, ornate church towers and grand palaces. You’ll visit Mozart’s birthplace and the very cleverly designed Mirabell Gardens, with some free time in Salzburg before rejoining the riverboat for dinner. Alternatively, travel through beautiful wine-producing country to Cesky Krumlov. This town has earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site roster – and that’s the entire town – due to its incredibly well-preserved medieval heritage. A walking tour includes Krumlov Castle; the many steps are worth it to get a look at the mix of medieval, Renaissance and Rococo designs. Free time precedes your return to the riverboat for dinner; your riverboat stays docked in Linz this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 6 | Wachau Valley cruise. Dürnstein. Your Danube River cruise continues through the Wachau Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved medieval landscapes. Dock in Dürnstein for a closer look at its 16th-century Baroque houses and 13th-century Romanesque church on a walking tour along cobblestone streets. If you wish, take an invigorating climb up the steps to the ruins of Kuenringerburg, a hilltop castle above the town where Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom during the Crusades. Enjoy some free time in this charming riverside town, and sample the fruits of the Wachau Valley vineyards during a wine tasting at an authentic Austrian tavern. Depart early evening for Vienna. (B,L,D)
Day 7 | Vienna. Your riverboat arrives overnight in Vienna, Austria, where you'll get an overview of this former capital of the old Habsburg Empire – and one of Europe's grandest cities – on a brief morning sightseeing tour where you'll see the Ringstrasse, the Opera House, City Hall and Parliament. A choice of sightseeing today features a tour of the Habsburgs’ Schönbrunn Palace, an architectural masterpiece and Austrian cultural treasure, or the amazing Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg, Austria’s official presidential residence. Nothing quite compares to the royal treatment – and pageantry – you will experience tonight at our private Imperial Evening in a historic Viennese palace. Welcome cocktails and dinner precede a spectacle of beautiful ball gowns, and a musical performance that celebrates the rich legacy of Mozart... an unforgettable highlight of your Danube River cruise! (B,L,D)
Day 8 | Cruise the Danube. Bratislava, Slovakia. Pursue your own interests this morning in glorious Vienna – which boasts over a hundred museums of all kinds, magnificent boulevards, the intriguing Prater – and then return to the riverboat to continue your Danube River cruise to Slovakia. Dinner tonight introduces you to a glimpse of daily life in Slovakia with a taste of regional cuisine and an on-board performance by a talented troupe of Slovakian dancers. (B,L,D)
Day 9 | Bratislava. Martin Sloboda, our resident expert, takes you inside contemporary Slovakia and Bratislava for a look at politics, the economy, religion, the social order, preservation and emergence of the arts, and much more prior to a walking tour of this cobblestoned, vehicle-free city. See 17 centuries of history eloquently chronicled in its 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, and St. Martin’s Cathedral, site of the coronation of many Hungarian kings and queens, and sample some of Slovakia’s delectable almond pastry at a local café. After some exploring on your own, return to the riverboat and celebrate your memorable Danube river cruise with the Captain and crew at the Captain's shipboard farewell reception and dinner tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 10 | Budapest, Hungary. Disembark. Your extraordinary Danube River cruise ends this morning in Budapest, Hungary, which is split into the sections of Buda and Pest by the Danube River. After disembarking your riverboat and bidding the crew farewell, explore the city's Buda side on a walking tour of Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; see Fishermen’s Bastion with its Neo-Romanesque design, and admire the stained glass windows and centuries of history in Matthias Church (may be closed on some days due to services). After lunch at a local café, spend the rest of the day pursuing what interests you most in Budapest. (B,L)
Day 11 | Budapest. The Pest side of the city reveals itself to you today on a visit to Heroes’ Square – bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary – and sightseeing including the spectacular Parliament building and tree-lined Andrassy Avenue. There may be some surprises in store on a special visit to the opulent State Opera House, opened in 1884, with its gilded vaulted ceiling, murals, royal boxes and three-ton chandelier. Conclude your Danube River cruise adventure by spending the afternoon exploring what interests you most in Budapest; you may want to stroll along fashionable Váci Utca, one of the city's grandest boulevards. Budapest has acquired quite an excellent reputation for its cuisine; tonight’s special farewell dinner is at the grand Akademia Club in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – a fitting finale to Tauck's enriching Danube river cruise. (B,D)
Day 12 | Budapest. Tauck's delightful Danube River cruise ends in Budapest, Hungary. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from the the Budapest Marriott Hotel to Budapest's Ferihegy Airport. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport. (B)
NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.
12 DAYS | PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST
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