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TAUCK RIVER CRUISES
24 Days | Grand European Cruise
Eastbound


AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST

Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. Embark. Your cruise through the heart of Europe starts at 4:00 PM in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A transfer is included from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport directly to ms Treasures. Kick off this most remarkable of North Sea to Black Sea cruises with a traditional toast featuring Dutch gin, followed by dinner aboard the riverboat. (D)

Day 2 | Amsterdam. You'll be inspired by the acclaimed art by the Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt's The Night Watch, and many others you'll see on a guided tour of Amsterdam's renowned Rijksmuseum this morning. Then enjoy views of the city's remarkable architectural styles on a canal boat cruise along its network of 17th-century canals. The fun continues with a festive evening aboard the riverboat including the Captain's welcome reception, a special welcome dinner and a live musical performance. (B,L,D)

Day 3 | Köln (Cologne), Germany. Fascinating commentary by your Tauck Director (which you can listen to in your cabin if you choose) and lunch al fresco on the riverboat's sun deck enhance your morning's sail to the next stop on your Rhine cruise – Köln (Cologne), Germany's oldest city. Your guided walking tour includes the lofty, twin-spired Kölner Dom, elaborately decorated with pinnacles and buttresses; it is the tallest Gothic structure in the world, and took over 600 years to complete. Stroll through Köln's Hohe Strasse pedestrian area and Cathedral Square at your leisure in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Koblenz or Marksburg Castle. Rudesheim. Dock in Koblenz, and choose either a walking tour of Old Town, or a trip to 13th-century Marksburg Castle, built high above the Rhine. Relax as your Tauck Director shares a tale or two during the afternoon’s cruise through the scenic – and literally legendary – Lorelei Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett, an eclectic collection of mechanical musical instruments housed in a 15th-century castle in Rüdesheim, precedes tonight's entertaining dinner in a local German restaurant with an old-world ambiance. (B,L,D)

Day 5 | Lohr. As your most memorable of North Sea to Black Sea cruises continues through scenic valleys studded with castles, cathedrals, and fortified towns, enjoy a demonstration of the time-honored skill of glassblowing. An excursion to historic Lohr takes you to see the Bayersturm (the town’s 14th-century watchtower), half-timbered houses and other notable sites on a walking tour. A Bavarian-themed dinner awaits aboard the riverboat tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 6| Rothenburg. Würzburg. Today's shore excursion takes you to medieval Rothenburg, on Germany's "Romantic Road," to see its Gothic cathedrals and gabled houses. Later, a visit to charming Würzburg reveals the town's ornate Alte Mainbrücke, a centuries-old bridge over the River Main, and the 18th-century Residenz, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting in this famous Baroque palace's wine cellar. And you'll know you're cruising through Bavaria when an oompah band plays for you tonight! (B,L,D)

Day 7 | Bamberg. Continue along the Main to the Bavarian town of Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated atop seven hills. After discovering the town’s lovely gardens, medieval architecture and 13th-century Gothic cathedral with its four imposing towers on a walking tour of Old Town, you'll have time to explore more of this charming town on your own. (B,L,D)

Day 8 | Cruise the Main-Danube Canal. Nürnberg (Nuremberg). Tauck's ultimate riverboat voyage from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises the Main-Danube Canal today, a major engineering achievement that makes this grand trip possible – and which you'll learn all about from a local expert during your transit. The idea goes back as far as Charlemagne, but wasn't realized until this canal was completed in the 1990s; pass through 16 locks as the waterway traverses the mountains. Sail on to historic Nürnberg, where you'll have a choice of a walking tour of the city's walled medieval center, or a visit to the Courthouse, the Documentation Center, the Zeppelinfeld and other Nürnberg sites associated with World War II and its aftermath. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant; dinner is aboard the riverboat this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 9 | Regensburg. Passau. Stop in the well-preserved medieval town of Regensburg, once a campsite for the Roman legions. On a walking tour with our local guide, you'll stroll past the Steinerne Brücke, a medieval stone bridge over the Danube that's the oldest in Germany; Altes Rathaus, the 15th-century town hall that was once the seat of the Imperial Diet; and Dom St. Peter, the town's towering Gothic cathedral. After exploring Regensburg as you please this afternoon, cruise along the Danube to Passau. (B,L,D)

Day 10 | Passau. The riverboat docks in the port city of Passau, dating way back to Roman times. Spend time exploring this lovely Bavarian town – well-known for its Baroque architecture including unique four-story homes, scores of churches and marvelous stained glass – on a walking tour. Visit St. Stephan’s Cathedral, where you’ll see (and maybe even hear) Europe’s largest pipe organ (and the biggest cathedral organ in the world), boasting over 17,000 pipes! Listen to commentary from your Tauck Director or take advantage of other onboard activities you continue your cruise in the afternoon, bound for Melk, Austria; this evening, enjoy an on-board musical performance by the Donau Klang Trio. (B,L,D)

Day 11 | Melk, Austria. Wachau Valley. Durnstein. Your next destination is the town of Melk where you'll step back in time on a guided tour of its 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey, perched on a rocky outcrop above the River Danube. Inside this Baroque masterpiece are fine frescoes, early manuscripts, and a high altar. Enjoy views of medieval castles while cruising through the Wachau Valley to picturesque Dürnstein; stroll along its twisting lanes on a walking tour, and, if you wish, walk up to the hilltop ruins of a castle where King Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom during the Crusades – the vistas are simply spectacular! A wine-tasting in a local restaurant and dinner back on board cap a delightful day as you riverboat makes its way to legendary Vienna. (B,L,D)

Day 12 | Vienna. Get an overview of Vienna, Austria's capital and one of Europe's greatest cities, with a morning sightseeing tour of this historic former center of the Habsburg Empire. Take your choice of a guided visit to Schönbrunn Palace, the Habsburgs' summer home built to rival Versailles, or a tour of the Imperial Apartments inside the Hofburg, the former Imperial palace that today serves as the official residence of Austria's president. Tonight, a Tauck Exclusive – a private, gala Imperial Evening at a traditional palace in Vienna, featuring a sumptuous dinner and live Viennese music celebrating the magic of Mozart... it's a spectacle of elegant finery that just might sweep you off your feet! (B,L,D)

Day 13 | Bratislava, Slovakia. Wake up this morning in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, where 17 centuries of history are chronicled on a walking tour led by a local guide. Highlights include Baroque palaces from the Habsburg era, along with St. Martin's Cathedral, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall, and a visit to Old Town Hall. Please join the Captain and crew for a cocktail reception, dinner and musical entertainment aboard ship tonight.(B,L,D)

Day 14 | Budapest, Hungary. Your remarkable riverboat voyage from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises into Budapest today, the mid-point of your grand European trip. Join us for a guided tour of landmark sites in Hungary's legendary capital city, divided by the Danube into the separate sections of Buda and Pest, including a special visit to the opulent, 19th-century neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House in Pest. (B,L,D)

Day 15 | Budapest. Spend a memorable day exploring Budapest sites on both sides of the Danube with your local guide, including patriotic Heroes’ Square, honoring leaders from Hungary's early history; the Hungarian Parliament building, a 19th-century neo-Gothic masterpiece on the Danube; and Fishermen’s Bastion, standing guard over the river. (B,L,D)

Day 16 | Kalocsa. Celebrated for its paprika and folk art, you'll learn about the colorful history of paprika production in Kalosca, Hungary at the Paprika Museum; visit the beautiful Baroque library in the Bishop's Palace, housing one of the finest early collections in Europe; and attend a tasting at a Hungarian winery before rejoining the riverboat. (B,L,D)

Day 17 | Vukovar, Croatia. ms Treasures progresses along the lower Danube into Croatia, whose turbulent history is the focus of an on-board talk by a local expert. Then travel overland to the Baroque city of Vukovar, once showcasing opulent 18th-century mansions, but now poignantly symbolizing the effects of the 1990s war as it rebuilds; you'll visit with a Vukovar family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict. Your journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises on to Serbia this afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 18 | Belgrade, Serbia. Dock early morning in Belgrade, Serbia's modern capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers, with roots dating back to 3 BC. A shipboard lecture sets the stage for sightseeing including visits to Tito's Memorial, St. Sava Church, and Kalemegdan Fortress, one of the city's key historic sites. You'll also see busy Slavija Square in the heart of Belgrade, Serbia's Parliament complex, Republic Square, the National Theatre and City Hall. Highlights of the day include a special Serbian lunch at a former prince's residence followed by Tauck's special private visit to the Royal Palace of Dedinje, currently home to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family. Back aboard your riverboat, enjoy some leisure time before dinner, followed by a Serbian music and dance presentation. (B,L,D)

Day 19 | The Iron Gate. Relax on a day's cruise past the fields and vineyards of Eastern Europe; shipboard activities which may be offered during your cruise range from cooking demonstrations to cultural, music and dance performances. Pass into Romania and through the Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a two-mile-long series of narrow gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. As you glide along the Bulgarian / Romanian border, look for the massive monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus – Europe's tallest rock sculpture, completed in 2004 – carved into the riverbank on the Romanian side, as well as spectacular views of the Transylvanian Alps. (B,L,D)

Day 20 | Svishtov, Bulgaria. Veliko Turnovo. Learn all about Iconography with a lecture and demonstration as your journey to the Black Sea cruises to Svishtov, Bulgaria, for excursions to nearby towns. Travel to the medieval capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnovo, whose ancient walled fortress and castle are set atop three hills overlooking the Yantra River, to explore, enjoy lunch and perhaps shop for local crafts. In the nearby town of Arbanassi, you'll visit the Konstant-Salieva House and the Archangels Michael & Gabriel Church. A busy day concludes with an on-board presentation on Bulgarian customs, as well as special music and dance perfomances. (B,L,D)

Day 21 | Cernavoa, Romania. Black Sea Coast. Arrive in Cernavoda and head off on a day trip to Romania's Black Sea coast. Your first stop is the historic port of Constanta, originally the Greek colony of Tomis in ancient days; see the city's numerous Greek and Roman antiquities, a monument to the poet Ovid (who was exiled here in Roman times) and the distinctive 19th-century waterfront casino on your guided tour. Continue on to a seaside resort for lunch featuring local Romanian specialties. As the riverboat portion of your remarkable trip from the North Sea to the Black Sea cruises towards its conclusion, celebrate with us aboard ms Treasures at the Captain's farewell cocktail reception and dinner tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 22 | Bucharest. Disembark. After disembarking your riverboat and bidding the crew goodbye in Cernavoda, travel through the Romanian countryside to Bucharest, capital of Romania and once regarded as the "Paris of the Balkans." A sightseeing tour includes Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch; erected to commemorate Romania's reunification and those who fell in World War I, it is a smaller but otherwise exact copy of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. You'll also pay a visit to the massive People's Palace, home to Romania's Parliament; the world's second-largest building after the Pentagon, some parts of it are reportedly still unfinished! Tonight you'll spend the first of two nights close to the People's Palace at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of the city. (B,L)

Day 23 | Bucharest. A choice of sightseeing in Romania today features the legacy of the 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler"), thought to be the historical model for Bram Stoker's character of Dracula. You may choose to take a full day's excursion to tour Transylvania's 14th-century Bran Castle, which Tepes once used as a fortress during his military campaigns and is now a Romanian national monument, returning to Bucharest early evening. Or you can opt for a boat ride to Snagov Island to visit isolated Snagov Monastery, whose grounds are said to contain the final resting place of the infamous prince, as well as a stop at Caldarusani Monastery, followed by an afternoon at leisure back in Bucharest. Please join us for our farewell dinner in Bucharest tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 24 | Bucharest. Tauck's amazing North Sea to Black Sea cruise ends in Bucharest, Romania. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel to Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport; please allow 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.

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EASTBOUND ITINERARY
24 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST
Click here to view 24-day WEST BOUND itinerary. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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