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23 Days | European Sojourn


Day 1 | Bucharest, Romania. Arrive at the Bucharest airport and transfer to the superior first class Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar) in the heart of the city for a 1-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing, or begin doing a bit of exploring on your own.

Day 2 | Bucharest. Giurgiu. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a morning tour of the city. See the Arch of Triumph, the Antim Monastery and the iconic Palace of Justice, completing your tour at the Palace of Parliament. You then proceed to Giurgiu to board your ship and enjoy a welcome dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Rousse, Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanassi. Today you disembark at Rousse for a full-day excursion to Bulgaria’s former capital, Veliko Tarnovo. There you will see Tsaravets Hill and the ruins of the royal castle. During free time, shop for local crafts along Samovodska Charshia. Proceed to Arbanassi for lunch in a local restaurant and a guided tour of the Nativity Church with its intricate floor-to-ceiling murals and icons. Rejoin your ship at Nikopol/Svishtov and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Vidin. Belogradchik. Arrive in the picturesque Bulgarian port of Vidin during breakfast, then take an excursion to see Belogradchik Fortress, built right into the striking Belogradchik Rocks. See the fortress’s amazing construction, begun in Roman times and greatly extended by Bulgarian czars and the Ottomans, and enjoy breathtaking views. Lunch aboard is followed by free time to explore Vidin’s city center, Orthodox churches and the ruins of the city’s once-grand synagogue. Depart during dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Scenic Cruising. Iron Gates. Today, enjoy scenic cruising as you travel through one of the most picturesque areas of the Lower Danube. The Iron Gate is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural wonders, a spectacular narrow gorge with enormous white limestone cliffs. Your cruise director will provide commentary about the region and scenic points of interest as you sail toward Belgrade. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Belgrade, Serbia. Wake up in Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Take a guided walk through the grounds of Kalemegdan Fortress, now a beautiful park; also see the Orthodox cathedral and stop at the Square of the Republic. Lunch aboard, then free time to explore Belgrade’s gracious architecture or visit one of its many museums, like the Nikola Tesla Museum. Dine aboard or experience some of Belgrade’s nightlife—we depart very late this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Vukovar, Croatia. Osijek. Cruise along the Danube, arriving at Vukovar around noon. Disembark for an afternoon excursion to the charming Croatian city of Osijek. Inhabited by humans since Neolithic times, this area has had several heydays under the Romans, the Ottomans and the Habsburgs; now it is a pleasant town popular for its baroque buildings, parks and monuments. Return aboard for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Kalocsa, Hungary. Sail into Hungary this morning, arriving in Kalocsa after lunch. Take a guided city tour including a visit to the Archbishop’s Palace. Then, you are treated to a performance of traditional Puszta horsemanship. Return to the ship and dine aboard as we depart for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Budapest. Arrive in Budapest, capital of Hungary.  The Danube River divides this Hungarian capital city into “Buda” and “Pest.” Your guided tour shows you both parts, starting with Pest’s National Opera House and historic Heroes’ Square. In Buda, stroll Fishermen’s Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Take some free time to explore before returning aboard for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Budapest. Today is yours to explore Budapest on your own—visit a museum, do some shopping, ride around the city on its wonderful subway system, peek inside one of the Art Deco spas or visit the Great Synagogue and Jewish Quarter. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; we remain docked until the wee hours so you can spend some more time ashore this evening if you like. (B, L, D)

Day 11 | Bratislava, Slovakia. After an afternoon arrival, you embark on a walking tour of Slovakia’s charming capital to see attractions like the medieval fortifications at Michael’s Tower, baroque Jesuit Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. You also pass by several baroque palaces from the Habsburg Dynasty before you return to your ship and depart late tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | Vienna, Austria. Ride along Vienna’s Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. You will also see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return aboard for lunch. The afternoon is yours to further explore Vienna; after dinner, enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | Melk. Today, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. See its wonderful frescoes and admire the comprehensive collection of medieval manuscripts in its library. Rejoin your ship and cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 14 | Passau, Germany. On this morning’s walking tour, see Passau’s narrow streets and Italianate architecture, and pass the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century fortress that served for centuries as a bishop’s stronghold. Then, listen to a concert on Europe’s largest pipe organ in St. Stephan’s Cathedral.† Enjoy free time and dinner aboard. (B, L, D)
† Passau organ concert not available after November 1.

Day 15 | Regensburg. Arrive in Regensburg after breakfast and tour this wonderfully preserved medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site including structures dating back to Roman times. Discover many 13th- and 14th-century patrician houses and see the splendid St. Peter’s Cathedral. During free time, visit the Alte Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Cruise through dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 16 | Nuremberg. During morning cruising, you may choose to attend an interesting presentation about the European Union. Arrive late morning in Nuremberg; after lunch, disembark for a tour. Visit the ruins of Zeppelin Field, used in the 1930s as Nazi parade grounds, and see the Palace of Justice, site of the famous Nuremberg Trials. See the Old Town area as you walk down past the Albrecht Dürer House and Main Market Square. Spend more time exploring Nuremberg, or join an optional World War II history tour including the Documentation Center Museum. Enjoy free time throughout the evening; dinner is served aboard. Ship departs in the wee hours of the morning. (B, L, D)

Day 17 | Bamberg. Enjoy a tour of Bamberg, with its medieval city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your walking tour includes a visit to the magnificent 11th-century cathedral, reworked in late-Romanesque style in the 13th century, and the very picturesque city hall built on a tiny island in the middle of a river. Take some free time to enjoy Bamberg and sample some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 18 | Würzburg. After breakfast, tour Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy lunch aboard—or, take an optional excursion along Germany’s “Romantic Road” to Rothenburg, which features a turreted city wall and lovely Gothic and baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship for dinner and an evening glassblowing demonstration. (B, L, D)

Day 19 | Wertheim. Wertheim is located at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. During your morning walking tour, experience life in a typical small German town. Stop in a bakery and a butcher shop, and learn about Wertheim’s glassblowing tradition. Enjoy free time to explore before returning to your ship for lunch. (B, L, D)

Day 20 | Middle Rhine. Koblenz. Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine; this stunning stretch of the river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You pass the Lorelei Rock, which marks the river’s narrowest point; the rock is named for a local legend about Rhine Maidens who lure sailors to their doom. This afternoon, stop to visit Marksburg, the only Rhine castle never destroyed. Rejoin your ship in Koblenz and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 21 | Cologne. Arrive in Cologne during breakfast, then disembark for a tour of Germany’s fourth largest city. Stroll through the Old Town past St. Martin’s Church and visit the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Use your free time to enjoy Cologne’s atmospheric waterfront before returning aboard for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 22 | Kinderdijk, Holland. Sail along the Rhine during the morning hours, enjoying scenic views. You can try your hand at sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard). Arrive around lunchtime at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; tour this fascinating network of windmills and other ingenious flood management technologies. Return to your ship for a dinner of Dutch cuisine, and then sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a juniper liqueur, as we sail toward Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands. (B, L, D)

Day 23 | Amsterdam. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Amsterdam; take time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, museums and exciting nightlife. (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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