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Avalon River Cruise - Europe River Cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna

2014 Season

From $3,119

        



Length:  13 days from Amsterdam to Vienna

Overview

This magnificent vacation includes a deluxe cruise that reveals the best of Europe along the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. Enjoy a canal cruise past Amsterdam’s 16th-century merchant houses and through the impressive Main Danube Canal. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge past the legendary Lorelei rock, visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in charming Rüdesheim, have fun at a beer tasting in Bamberg, and enjoy a tasting of local specialties in Bavaria’s picturesque Wertheim. Also, see the sights with Certified Local Guides in Cologne, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Grein, and Vienna. See the Stiftskirche in Dürnstein and visit the splendid Benedictine Abbey in Melk and the Bishop’s Residenz—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—in Würzburg. While on board, be sure to have your camera ready for the majestic scenery and charming towns you’ll pass on this memorable vacation!

Duration:  13 Days



Ships Serving this Tour:   Illumination    Luminary      

Start Date End Date
02 May, 2014 14 May, 2014
22 May, 2014 03 June, 2014
11 July, 2014 23 July, 2014
29 August, 2014 10 September, 2014
19 September, 2014 01 October, 2014




Day 1   Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation). Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. The streets, squares, and canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a vibrant atmosphere, and with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Most notably, the works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)

NOTE:

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.


Day 2   Amsterdam. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps to join a biking optional excursion (weather permitting). Afterward, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland and set sail for Germany. (B,L,D)

Day 3   Cologne, Germany. Today, enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising before reaching Cologne after lunch. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a “JEWISH COLOGNE” tour. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)

Day 4   Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim. The dramatic RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom, before arriving in Rüdesheim, the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (B,L,D)

Day 5   Wertheim. Today, relax on board until your afternoon arrival in Wertheim. The town is situated at the confluence of the Tauber and Main Rivers, and a GUIDED WALK shows you its medieval center. Enjoy a TASTING of local specialties and some free time before departing for Würzburg. (B,L,D)

Day 6   Würzburg. Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (B,L,D)

Day 7   Bamberg. Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as you cruise gently along the Main River. Before lunch, attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE to learn more about the European Union. This afternoon, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town’s serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)

Day 8   Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This morning, choose either a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s medieval fortifications, extraordinary gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized “NUREMBERG TRIALS” tour. During free time, be sure to try some tasty Lebkuchen and make a wish at the beautiful fountain in the Hauptmarkt (main square). Legend says your wish will come true if you turn its gold ring three times. This afternoon, relax on board and attend an interesting LECTURE about the engineering marvel that is the Main-Danube Canal. (B,L,D)

Day 9   Regensburg. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING this morning include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. In the Middle Ages, many mansions were built with high towers to emphasize the status and wealth of their owners, and many still remain today. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), Germany’s oldest restaurant. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Leave Regensburg at lunchtime sailing toward Austria. (B,L,D)

Day 10   Linz, Austria–Grein. After breakfast this morning your Local Guide will acquaint you with Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and an important river port. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. Maybe wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river, or visit the neo-gothic New Cathedral, the largest church in Austria, with capacity for 20,000 visitors. In the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Join a Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. Its castle is the oldest residential castle in Austria, and its theater—built in 1791—is Austria’s oldest theater. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional full-day excursion to Salzburg or to ?eský Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in the late afternoon in Grein. (B,L,D)

Day 11   Dürnstein–Vienna. This morning, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley before arriving in Dürnstein. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade is without a doubt the landmark of this small town which in the heart of the Wachau wine region. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. This evening, arrive in Vienna, where an optional concert is available tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 12   Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your GUIDED TOUR. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! (B,L,D)

Day 13   Vienna (Disembarkation). Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Meals:  Superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast (B) with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch (L) with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner (D) including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements
Terms and Conditions
Note: Flights are NOT included with the cruises and unless otherwise stated above transfers are also NOT included.
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