Viking River Cruise – Romantic Danube – Nuremberg to Budapest
Note: From your Host
We have never hosted a cruise where someone has not suggested we feature a European river cruise. Even those who have had the experience want to absorb the beauty and many cultures again. After much research and interviews with knowledgeable river tour folks our attention focused on the Danube River between Nuremberg Germany and Budapest Austria. There is no question that this is one, if not the most beautiful, stretches of river in all of Europe, lined with the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. Please enjoy our itinerary and put this tour on your 2018 Bucket List.
During this 8-day journey, encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital—traditional “Buda” and more cosmopolitan “Pest”— and from Fishermen’s Bastion, see how the river divides this fascinating city. Experience Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture, and tour riverside towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley.
In Germany, explore a baroque cathedral and stroll cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses. Savor the tastes of authentic dishes, learn about local legends, and understand why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his famous melody.
Sail to charming cities & villages.
Visit Budapest’s Castle District and cross the famous Chain Bridge. Explore Göttweig Abbey, one of Austria’s most revered monastic centers, and make dumplings with Wachau Valley apricots. See Europe’s largest pipe organ in Passau, or travel to Salzburg. Celebrate Vienna’s musical heritage at a concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. With medieval towns, grand cities and stunning scenery, this 8-day journey on the “Blue Danube” is one you’re sure to love.
- 8-day cruise with river-view stateroom
- Scenic cruising along the Danube Bend, Wachau Valley and the Main-Danube Canal
- 6 guided tours with audio headset
- Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Culture Curriculum: Learn how to make your own apple strudel; enjoy musical entertainment highlighting Austrian & Hungarian classics; attend lectures on the European Union, Viennese coffee houses and Mozart; learn how to make your own apple strudel
- Wine/beer/soft drinks/ with lunch & dinner on board
Nuremberg to Budapest – Itinerary by Day:
Day 1 - Nuremberg Embark
Day 2 - Nuremberg Afternoon Nuremberg City Tour Main-Danube Canal Scenic cruising
Main–Danube Canal & Nuremberg, Germany
Very early this morning, we sail through the locks that comprise the Main–Danube Canal, an engineering marvel that stretches 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube. It began as Charlemagne’s dream in 793 and was completed in 1992 with 16 locks that raise the water level 1,332 feet. Today, it enables river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
Arrive in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city, around lunchtime. Afterward, your city tour features Zeppelin Field, the former Nazi parade grounds, and the Palace of Justice, the venerable vestige of the Nuremberg Trials; or, you can join an optional World War II tour of the illuminating Documentation Center Museum. You have a brief stop at the main courthouse before returning to Old Town, enclosed within ancient city walls.
Your tour comes to a close with a walk from the imperial palace grounds, past the Albrecht Dürer House and on to the Main Market Square with its elaborate Gothic fountain. Afterward you have some time on your own to explore.
Day 3 – Regensburg Morning Night Regensburg Walking Tour
After breakfast, meet your guide dockside for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Take time to stroll the streets, shop or visit Germany’s oldest restaurant, the Alte Würstküche. Lunch is served aboard your ship.
This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising along the Danube River, or take an optional Danube Narrows excursion. Travel by road to Kelheim and board a ferryboat to explore the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. Visit Weltenburg Abbey, renowned for the dark ale brewed here by monks since 1050, then rejoin your ship in Kelheim in time for dinner.
Day 4 - Passau Morning Afternoon Passau City Tour & Organ Concert
Arrive this morning in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You’ll see the New Bishop’s Residence and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ. Enjoy lunch aboard your ship, and return to the city for further exploration on your own before departing. Alternately, set out this morning with your guide to enjoy a full-day optional tour of picturesque Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. We cruise through the night.
Day 5 – Krems Morning Afternoon Benedictine Abbey Tour Wachau Valley Scenic cruising Vienna Evening Overnight
After breakfast, explore the time-honored town of Krems and see the Steiner Tor, the last remaining city gate. Visit Göttweig, a working Benedictine abbey that owns many of the vineyards along the Danube. The splendid ceiling fresco in the imperial stairwell is one of the largest in the world. Visit the church, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Rejoin your ship and cruise leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste some local Austrian specialties as you spot attractive riverside towns and castle ruins along the way.
Day 6 – Vienna Afternoon Vienna City Tour
Today we tour the Austrian capital of Vienna. Ride along the Ringstrasse, which replaced the city walls in the mid-19th century. See some of the city’s baroque architecture, including the world-famous Opera House, St. Stephan’s Cathedral and Hofburg Palace. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to further explore. As always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time. Alternately, you may choose to join an optional excursion to see the famed Lipizzaner Stallions; or, express your creativity and create a lasting keepsake at an optional art workshop inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. After dinner, relax or enjoy an optional classical concert.
Day 7 – Danube Bend Scenic cruising Budapest Morning Overnight Budapest City Tour
Your morning begins with a panoramic tour of the Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Walk up the hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church; enjoy brilliant views. Rejoin your ship in Visegrád for lunch as we cruise along the scenic Danube River. Enjoy a midafternoon Viennese coffee workshop, complete with apple strudel.
Day 8 – Budapest
Disembark and be shuttled to the airport for the trip back to Iowa with all the wonderful memories and photographs.
As is our Gold Crown Travel and Tour tradition we will fly Cedar Rapids to Nuremberg Germany and return Budapest Austria to Cedar Rapids. Both flights are included.
Your accommodations aboard the Viking Gullveg will be category B,.Veranda (Balcony). We don’t want anyone to miss a thing.
All inclusive trip insurance paid at time of booking will cover all pre-existing conditions and will allow trip cancellation for ANY REASON. Travel Protection plan summery #A425V is on file and available upon request.
Down payment, Airfare and insurance will be deducted from final payment.
Total: $5650 pp.dbl.oc.
$500 Down Payment at time of booking.
$695 Round trip airfare Cedar Rapids-Nuremberg-Budapest-Cedar Rapids. (Airfare is a promo and re-calculated for Viking each month. This airfare is valid through the month of May,2017. To lock in the May promo, airfare must be paid in full along with the deposit by May 31st. 2017
$619 All inclusive Travel protection plan. If the Travel protection is purchased and paid at the time of booking trip cancellation can be made for any reason including pre existing conditions.
Full payment is due 12/18/2017.
We realize Vikings payment program is a little more flexible and complex than most. It is designed to give you maximum flexibility along with providing the best individual financial alternatives as the time of sailing approaches.
Please give us a call for an explanation on how this trip will work best for you.