Welcome to Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city. Transfer from the airport to your ship.* After boarding, you have free time to explore the city on your own—or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and start getting oriented. (D)
Day 2Nuremberg & Main-Danube Canal
Your morning tour of Nuremberg features the former Nazi parade grounds and the Palace of Justice, historic home of the Nuremberg Trials. You have a brief stop at the Court House before walking from the imperial castle grounds past the Albrecht Dürer House to the Main Market Square in the Old Town area enclosed by ancient city walls.
After lunch aboard, participate in lively and entertaining discussion about the European Union as you sail through a number of locks that comprise the Main-Danube Canal. The canal, an engineering marvel stretching 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube, enables river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Dinner is served aboard and you cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 3Kelheim & Regensburg
This morning, 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 or shop—as always, your Program Director can help you plan your free time.
This afternoon, spend more time in Regensburg, perhaps visiting the Alte Wurstküche, Germany’s oldest restaurant. Or, choose an optional excursion to Kelheim at the southernmost point of the Main-Danube Canal. Travel by road to Kelheim, then embark on a ferryboat ride to explore the 400-foot chalk cliffs and dramatic scenery of the Danube Narrows. You also visit the renowned Weltenburg Abbey, famous for its dark ale, brewed here by monks since 1050. Rejoin your ship for dinner and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
Arrive early 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 the Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You see the Oberhaus Fortress and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephan’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.† Eat lunch aboard, but return to the city for further exploration on your own before an early evening departure and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
†Passau organ concert is only available May 1–October 31 and is closed on Sunday.
Day 5Melk & Vienna
Join a guided tour through the ornate interior of this baroque gem of architecture—the Benedictine abbey at Melk. See its elaborate frescoes and admire the library's extensive collection of medieval manuscripts; enjoy the garden courtyard and the terrace views. Rejoin your ship for lunch and an afternoon cruise through the extraordinarily scenic Wachau Valley. Later, enjoy a workshop about Viennese coffee, complete with apple strudel. Arrive after dinner in Vienna and enjoy an evening at leisure, or you may choose to attend an optional evening concert in this “City of Waltzes.” (B, L, D)
After breakfast, begin your half-day city tour. See some of Vienna’s gracious architecture, then ride along the beautiful Ringstrasse with sights including the Opera House, Stadtpark and Hofburg Theater. You then see St. Stephan’s Cathedral. After lunch aboard, the afternoon is yours to further explore this city on your own. Shop along the Kärtnerstrasse or take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace, home of Maria Theresa and summer residence of the Habsburgs. Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Take a panoramic city tour through the more modern “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 of the city below. Return to your ship for lunch and the rest of the day is yours to explore both sides of the city. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your time in Budapest for 2 nights, so you can explore the city in greater depth. (B)