OPTIONAL: 3 NIGHT PRE-CRUISE TOUR IN PRAGUE
Sunday, March 28 – Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Day 1: Sunday, March 28
ARRIVE IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
You will be met on arrival at Prague Airport and transferred to the lovely Hotel Thalia, located in the center of Prague near Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square.
OVERNIGHT: Hotel Thalia (3 nights)
Day 2: Monday, March 29
This morning meet your escort in the lobby. Our morning walking tour reveals why Prague, which was never bombed in WWII, is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through Old Town, dominated by the twin spires of St. Tyn Church. Stop at the iconic Astronomical Clock, built in 1399, where the saints come marching in, every hour on the hour! Then board our private tram car to Prague Castle and the adjacent Strahov Monastery, a stunning room holding the literary treasures of the Czech Republic. This afternoon is free to explore Prague’s Old Town, Wenceslas Square and charming cafes. Enjoy lunch on your own, with many restaurants and eateries all around. (B)
OPTIONAL TOUR: Take a fun optional excursion to Prague’s own U Flecku Brewery (founded in 1499) with a Pilsner beer tasting and lunch.
Day 3: Tuesday, March 30
PRAGUE / OPTIONAL TOURS
Today is at leisure to explore Prague on your own. Highly recommended is an optional walking tour of Old Town and the Jewish Quarter. Old Town, dominated by the huge spires of St. Tyn’s Church, has been the center of commercial life in Prague since the Middle Ages. Continue into the Jewish Quarter, Europe’s best preserved Jewish ghetto. Your guide will provide commentary about the history and insight about Prague’s history and its dynamic Jewish community. Or there is a more profound morning tour to the Terezin Memorial, a Czech national monument. This Napoleonic military fortress was converted by the Nazis into a WWII concentration camp. Tonight enjoy a special dinner with Moravian wines at the renowned Mlynec Restaurant, overlooking the Vltava River. (B,D) NOTE: Tonight smart casual dress please.
Day 4: Wednesday, March 31
PRAGUE – REGENSBURG, GERMANY – VILSHOFEN: EMBARKATION
Depart from Prague via motorcoach and enjoy a stop in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an interesting and photogenic mixture of ancient Roman walls supporting more modern structures. Discover Regensburg on a guided walking tour showcasing the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria. Later this afternoon continue to Vilshofen, where you will board AmaMagna, your luxury cruise ship. Cap the day off with an exclusive festive Oktoberfest celebration. (B,D)
Romantic Danube River Cruise
Wednesday, March 31 – Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Day 1: Wednesday, March 31
Arrive Vilshofen and make your way to the AmaMagna for embarkation on your luxury cruise ship. Cap off the day with an exclusive festive Oktoberfest celebration.
Day 2: Thursday, April 1
VILSHOFEN – PASSAU
Join a walking tour and marvel at Passau’s Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Or take a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus fortress. You can also ride to Wernstein on a guided bike tour. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Friday, April 2
LINZ, AUSTRIA TO GREIN, AUSTRIA
Join a walking tour through the old city center of Linz and by the Mozart House; or bike along the city’s famed “Cultural Mile” and the Danube. For those who love The Sound of Music, enjoy a full-day excursion to Salzburg and tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the Basilica St. Michael, where the famous wedding scene in the movie was filmed. In the afternoon, you can visit the charming Czech mountain town of Český Krumlov. Later in the day, visit Greinburg Castle, the oldest residential castle in Austria. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Saturday, April 3
MELK, AUSTRIA TO SPITZ, AUSTRIA
In the morning, you can visit the 900-year-old Melk Abbey situated high atop the granite cliffs of the Danube, or get active with a bike to Spitz before returning to Melk and the ship for lunch. During the afternoon, journey to Spitz and take a guided excursion to Dürnstein to stroll along the cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, with its famed church tower on a walking tour. Those who wish a more active adventure of the area can hike to the historic Dürnstein Fortress, cycle through Spitz or hike around Spitz. In the evening, be treated to an exclusive wine festival where you’ll enjoy some of the region’s famous wines. (B,L,D)
Tip: Delicious liqueurs made from apricots are a local specialty here.
Day 5: Sunday, April 4
Vienna offers a wealth of gems and your city tour showcases its regal splendors, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs. Conclude your tour in Vienna’s historic city center, and then visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral; or discover Vienna by bike. During the afternoon, visit the Palace of Schönbrunn, an exquisite example of Baroque architecture and opulence. Built as the summer residence of the Habsburg Emperors and spanning an astounding 1,441 rooms, this Rococo palace soon became one of their favorite homes. Your visit will include a guided tour of the Imperial apartments, the carriage museum and the equally impressive gardens
TIP: Take a taxi or public transport and join one of the hourly walking tours (reservations required) of Vienna’s incredible equestrian institution the Spanish Riding School.
Day 6: Monday, April 5
WACHAU VALLEY – BRATISLAVA
Enjoy a morning scenic cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley before arriving in Bratislava. Host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens between 1536 and 1830, Bratislava certainly has earned the title “Coronation City of Kings,” as you’ll discover during your walking tour. Or join a special “Tastes of Slovakia” tour. For a more active adventure, hike to its gleaming castle. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Tuesday, April 6
During the morning, sail toward Budapest, passing through the scenic Danube Bend where you’ll see some of Hungary’s oldest settlements, including Esztergom, Visegrád and Szentendre. Budapest offers an unmatched combination of culture and tradition. Visit the Great Market Hall before going to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. You’ll see Heroes’ Square and Castle Hill, home to the Fisherman’s Bastion and Mattias Church. For a more exercising alternative, hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city. (B,L,D)
A reasonable degree of mobility is required for all passengers on this program. Most of the guided tours provided on your cruise are walking tours. Many historic villages in Europe are located on hilltops, where it is necessary to walk up and down hilly, cobblestone streets that may have narrow passageways. Ships docked in port are often rafted side-by-side to another river ship. Passengers are then required to ascend and descend flights of 12 or more stairs to walk up to observation deck, down to gang planks to enter or exit the rafted ships. To participate in tours and get on and off the ship, travelers must be able to walk unaccompanied.
Disabilities and Wheelchairs
Persons with a walking disability or an injury, or who require a wheelchair/scooter or other mobility device, must have another dedicated person traveling with them to assist/push etc. The ship’s crew and other cruise guests are not available to assist persons with limited mobility. On customized pre or post cruise land programs, the Expanding Horizons tour manager is authorized to remove, or ask to leave from the tour, any traveler incapable of, unwilling to, or impeding the overall movement and progress of the tour group.