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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
23 Days | European Sojourn
Southbound


AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST

Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. Arrive in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, and transfer to your ship. After boarding, the rest of the day is yours to relax or begin exploring the city on your own. (D)

Day 2 | Kinderdijk. This morning, sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you tour this fascinating network of windmills and other ingenious flood management technologies. After lunch aboard, enjoy an afternoon of sjoelen (Dutch table shuffleboard) and sample Dutch cheeses and jenever, a juniper liqueur. Cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Cologne, Germany. You have a morning tour of Cologne, including a visit to the Dom, Germany’s largest cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your tour, spend the rest of the day and evening exploring Cologne on your own—there are Roman ruins, interesting neighborhoods and wonderful museums like the Fragrance Museum and the Chocolate Museum. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Lunch and dinner are served aboard; we depart at midnight. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Koblenz. Middle Rhine. Cruise past hilltop castles along the Rhine, stopping in Koblenz to visit Marksburg, the only Rhine castle never destroyed. After your tour, continue cruising; this stunning stretch of the Rhine 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. Lunch and dinner served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Miltenberg. The morning is spent sailing along the beautiful Main River as it winds its way through the Spessart region. After lunch, stop in Miltenberg, known for its half-timbered houses, including the oldest inn in Germany. You have a walking tour and some free time to explore. Back on board, learn about the region’s glassblowing traditions during a live demonstration; you also have the opportunity to learn some useful German words and phrases. Sail through the night to Würzburg. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | 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 scenic afternoon cruising—or instead of touring Würzburg, take an optional full-day 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 interesting presentation about the European Union. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Bamberg. Sail through the morning; after lunch, we visit 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 perhaps try some of the town’s distinctive smoke-flavored beer before returning aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Nuremberg. After breakfast, disembark in Nuremberg. 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. Spend some free time exploring Nuremberg’s Old Town area, or join an optional World War II history tour including the Documentation Center Museum. We depart just before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Regensburg. Arrive in Regensburg in the late morning; after lunch, 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. Dinner is served aboard before our evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Passau. 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.† Take some time this afternoon to explore Passau before returning aboard for dinner. (B, L, D) † Passau organ concert not available after November 1.

Day 11 | Melk, Austria. Dürnstein. After breakfast, visit the abbey at Melk, a 900-year-old Benedictine monastery featuring Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship; cruise through the spectacular Wachau Valley this afternoon. Before dinner, you have free time to explore Dürnstein. You can see Kuenringer Castle, or sample some local vintages from this famous wine-producing region. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | Vienna. 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 rest of the day is yours to further explore Vienna’s many cafés and museums; you could visit the home of your favorite classical composer. After dinner, enjoy an optional classical concert. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | Bratislava, Slovakia. Arrive early and 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 for an afternoon of scenic cruising. Late tonight, arrive in Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 14 | Budapest, Hungary. The Danube River divides this Hungarian capital city into “Buda” and “Pest.” Explore 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. Enjoy lunch aboard with the rest of the day to explore on your own. Return to your ship for a traditional Hungarian dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 15 | Budapest. After breakfast, disembark for a final free day in Budapest—explore a museum, do some shopping, ride around the city on the 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. Enjoy a final evening in the Hungarian capital. (B, L, D)

Day 16 | Kalocsa, Hungary. Sail into Kalocsa this morning and 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 aboard and enjoy your lunch during departure. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 17 | Osijek, Croatia. Wake up in Vukovar and have breakfast before your excursion to the 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 lunch and departure. International cuisine for dinner in the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 18 | 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 19 | 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 Vidin. (B, L, D)

Day 20 | Vidin, Bulgaria. 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, 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 21 | Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanasi. After breakfast, disembark at Russe 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 Arbanasi for lunch in a local restaurant and a guided tour of the Nativity Church with its intricate floor-to-ceiling murals and icons. Return to your ship and dine aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 22 | Giurgiu, Romania. Bucharest. Disembark in Giurgiu and proceed to the superior first class Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar) in the heart of the Bucharest for a 1-night stay. This afternoon, enjoy a half-day tour of Romania’s lovely capital city. See the Arch of Triumph, the Antim Monastery and the iconic Palace of Justice, completing your tour at the Palace of Parliament. Enjoy a final evening in Bucharest. (B, L)

Day 23 | Bucharest. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 3 nights in the Black Sea region. (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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SOUTHBOUND
23 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO BUCHAREST
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