OPTIONAL: 3 NIGHT PRE-CRUISE TOUR IN PRAGUE
Tuesday, July 19 – Friday, July 22, 2022
Day 1: Tuesday, July 19
ARRIVE IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
You will be met upon arrival at Prague Airport and transferred to the Prague to the Hotel Eurostars Thalia (or similar), located in the center of Prague near Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square.
OVERNIGHT: Hotel Eurostars Thalia or similar hotel (3 nights)
Day 2: Wednesday, July 20
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: Thursday, July 21
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: Friday, July 22
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 AmaViola, your luxury cruise ship. Cap the day off with an exclusive festive Oktoberfest celebration. (B,D)
Romantic Danube River Cruise
Friday, July 22 – Friday, July 29, 2022
Day 1: Friday, July 22
VILSHOFEN, GERMANY: EMBARKATION
Arrive Vilshofen and make your way to the AmaViola for embarkation on your luxury cruise ship. Cap off the day with an exclusive festive Oktoberfest celebration.
Day 2: Saturday, July 23
VILSHOFEN – PASSAU, GERMANY
Explore Vilshofen’s beautiful old town before cruising to Passau, known as the “City of Three Rivers.” Join a walking tour or if you prefer to be more active, hike high into the hills for a visit to the “Veste Oberhaus,” Passau’s Castle Hill; or go on a River Inn bike tour. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Sunday, July 23
The ship arrives in Linz where you’ll have several choices of excursions. Opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg where you’ll tour the historic center, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg, stop at Mondsee, home of the famed Basilica St. Michael and site of the wedding scene in The Sound of Music. Alternatively, you can join a morning walking tour through Linz’s old city center and by the Mozart House; or go on a guided bike tour along the city’s famed “Culture Mile” and the Danube. You can also choose to visit the charming mountain town, Český Krumlov, located just over the Czech-Austrian border. (B,L,D)
*Note: Not available with full-day Salzburg excursion
Day 4: Monday, July 25
Cruise through the Strudengau and Wachau valleys to Weissenkirchen, gateway to Dürnstein. Once here, you can choose to join a walking tour in Dürnstein along its cobblestone streets to the Baroque Stiftskirche, and then visit Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey. For the more active adventurer, you can opt to hike up to the fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held, or take a bike ride along the Danube through the Wachau Valley. As an alternative excursion, visit a local apricot grower, where you’ll enjoy the region’s finest apricot treats. Later in the evening, enjoy a special wine tasting of locally grown, world-renowned Riesling and Grüner Veltliner in Weissenkirchen. (B,L,D)
Tip: Delicious liqueurs made from apricots are a local specialty here.
Day 5: Tuesday, July 26
The “City of Waltzes” offers a treasure trove of gems and your city tour showcases them, including the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace. Your tour concludes in the historic city center with a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Or if you prefer a more active tour, take a guided bike ride through Vienna. During the afternoon, enjoy leisure time to further explore this iconic city. (B,L,D)
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: Wednesday, July 27
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 up to Bratislava Castle, offering magnificent views of the city. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Thursday, July 28
Your city tour begins at Budapest’s Great Market Hall, where you’ll discover plenty of delicious food and shopping. Afterwards, you’ll visit both the Buda (hilly) and Pest (flat) sides of the Danube River. You’ll see the 19th-century Chain Bridge, which connects the Buda district with Pest; and the UNESCO-designated Castle Hill district, which contains some of Budapest’s most important medieval monuments and museums. As an alternative choice, you can hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city below. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Friday, July 29
BUDAPEST – DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the ship as you prepare for your flight home. Or enjoy a city tour if you are staying on for the Budapest post-cruise tour. (B)
OPTIONAL: 2 NIGHT POST-CRUISE TOUR IN BUDAPEST
Friday, July 29 – Sunday, August 1, 2022
Day 1: Friday, July 29
BUDAPEST: ROYAL PALACE OF GODOLLO / LAZAR EQUESTRIAN ESTATE
Disembark the AmaViola at 9am. We have a uniquely Hungarian sightseeing program today visiting two superb attractions outside the city. The Royal Palace of Godollo was the summer getaway for Emperor Franz Josef and his beloved queen Elizabeth, fondly called “Sisi” by Hungarians. After a tour of the palace visit the extraordinary Lazar Champions Estate. Here brothers Vilmos and Zoltan Lazar raise Hungary’s finest horses, including the beautiful white Lippinzan breed and the enormous Hungarian draft horses. Enjoy a phenomenal riding show by Hungarian hussars in traditional costume, followed by refreshments and an authentic and delicious country lunch. NOTE: Great photo opportunities here! This evening is at leisure.
TIP: Tonight stroll down Kazinczy Street and explore the lively Jewish Quarter’s night life. This is Budapest’s version of Bourbon Street with the many “Ruins” bars and night clubs. (B,L)
Overnight: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus (2 nights)
Day 2: Saturday, July 30
BUDAPEST AT LEISURE / GYPSY DINNER
Today is at leisure to explore Budapest, arguably central Europe’s most substantive city. Budapest has been a crossroads between Europe and Asia since the time of Genghis Khan. Our tour desk in the hotel will offer optional tours to the Hungarian Parliament and Opera, the Szentendre Artist Village or an exploration of the city’s many Jewish sites and historical places. Tonight enjoy a Gypsy farewell dinner at the historic Karpatia Restaurant. (B, D)
Day 3: Sunday, August 1
This morning check out of the hotel after breakfast. You will be transferred to Budapest International Airport for onward flights. (B)
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.