Magnificent Europe 2018 APT River Cruise
On this 15 Day Magnificent Europe cruise, glide from Amsterdam through five countries to Budapest. Stop to take in the iconic attractions and charming secrets of Europe’s heartland as you cruise down the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.
Fly from the UK to the iconic canal-covered city of Amsterdam. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your ship before getting to know your fellow travellers and APT Cruise Director at a Welcome Reception. After your first dinner on board, you may like to explore the city at your own pace.
Enjoy time to explore and taste the region’s cheeses before returning to your ship. Later today, set off along the great Rhine River, and enjoy a Gala Welcome Dinner as you cruise.
Freedom of Choice: Perhaps embark on a canal cruise and admire the city from a glass-top boat as you glide past 17th-century homes, churches and 16th-century merchant houses. You may prefer to visit Zaanse Schans, a lovely village famous for its wooden windmills, traditional Dutch houses and specialty produce.
Enter Germany and cruise into Cologne, a glorious city centred around the twin spires of its famous cathedral. Choose to take a tour of this historic city, or embark on a walking tour to sample a variety of local beers and snacks.
Signature Experience: Later, rejoin your ship in Bonn and gently cruise to Andernach for an exclusive visit to Namedy Castle. This 14th-century residence is home to Princess Heide von Hohenzollern who has opened the doors of her spectacular castle just for you. Enjoy some free time to wander about the castle’s rooms, hidden nooks and magnificent grounds at your leisure, then savour dinner in the ballroom, accompanied by a classical piano recital.
Today you’ll approach what is known as the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. Glide past crumbling ruins that cling to rocky cliffs and rolling hillsides marked with perfectly planted vineyards. Dock in Rüdesheim and take a trip aboard the quaint Winzerexpress mini-train to the town centre. Later, you’ll head back to your ship to enjoy a tantalising dinner on board and reflect on your day of activity.
Freedom of Choice: Perhaps tour Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, home to the world’s most beautiful collection of fascinating automated musical instruments. Alternatively, take in yet more sublime views over the stunning Rhine Valley as you travel in a gondola to the Niederwald Monument
Witness the skilful art of glass-blowing on board as you cruise toward the pretty Franconian town of Miltenberg this morning. Watch on in wonder as a highly skilled expert creates beautifully crafted objects using traditional techniques, and learn more about this time-honoured tradition. Spared from the destruction of World War II, the town of Miltenberg is much like a time capsule, revealing what old-world village life was like in Germany before the war. Featuring remarkably preserved buildings and lively town squares, this is a beautiful example of Germany’s pre-war history.
Signature Experience: You’ll discover more about Miltenberg as a local guide takes you on a special discovery of the town. Stroll along the winding cobblestone lanes, explore quaint half-timbered shops, mingle with the town’s friendly residents and indulge as you sample some of the truly delicious local fare along the way.
The immense architectural beauty of Würzburg is on display today as the choice of touring is yours.
Freedom of Choice: Perhaps stroll through this fascinating city to the Würzburg Residence. An 18th-century palace that once belonged to the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg, this regal building is home to a number of historic wonders. Inside, you’ll marvel at the intricate tapestries, gilded stucco work and ceiling frescoes by famed Tiepolo. If you prefer to see more of the countryside, embark on a journey along the Romantic Road, one of Germany’s original and most celebrated holiday routes. This beautiful thoroughfare takes you through lush wooden swathes of land to the marvellous medieval town of Rothenberg where you’ll stop for an insightful tour.
This morning your ship will arrive in World Heritage-listed Bamberg, another of the few German cities that wasn’t destroyed during World War II. Here you will explore the Old Town with a guide to discover a range of historic churches and buildings, including the town hall on the River Regnitz. Following your tour, rejoin your ship to cruise onto the Main-Danube Canal. Having taken 32 years to construct, the canal links the North and Black seas and is recognised as a feat of modern engineering.
Learn all about the renowned Bavarian city of Nuremberg today. A compelling historic city tour takes you to a selection of World War II sites, including the Reich Party Rally Grounds, the site of Hitler’s now infamous annual rallies that were held from 1927 to 1938. Discover medieval architecture, including the 900-year-old ramparts that surround the city, the Imperial Castle and much more. Back on board later this afternoon, sample some freshly baked gingerbread before continuing to cruise along the Main-Danube Canal.
Dock alongside one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, Regensburg, standing at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. On a guided tour taking in the city’s highlights, see such sites as the iconic Old Town Hall, the World Heritage-listed city centre, and the remains of the Romanesque fortress walls, including one of the country’s most ancient stone buildings, the Porta Pretoria. You’ll also see the impressive 12th-century Stone Bridge that arches gracefully across the water. Tonight, enjoy the finest cuisine for dinner.
Board the Majestic Imperator this morning. Disembark in Salzburg where a city tour includes some of the sights from the classic film, The Sound of Music, before some free time to explore at your own pace. Later, you will re-board the graceful Majestic Imperator and mingle with your fellow passengers as you’re entertained by live music. Sweep through more beautiful countryside as this elegant train makes its way to Linz where you will re-join your ship for dinner.
Signature Experience: Today, an exquisite private rail journey aboard the Majestic Imperator reveals the legacy of the once-powerful Habsburg Empire as you travel from Passau to Linz via Salzburg. Step aboard your privately chartered train and be greeted with a drink as you are transported back to a time of grandeur and opulence. Wander through the elegant carriages, taking in artworks and furnishings that once belonged to the imperial family, including a section of curtain from the Vienna State Opera and the original mirror from Empress Elisabeth of Austria’s salon carriage. Relax amid your luxurious surrounds and savour delightful refreshments as you slowly make your way through the enchanting alpine countryside.
Freedom of Choice: Disembark in Melk for a guided tour of Melk Abbey. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the abbey offers spectacular views of the Danube and is renowned as one of the world’s most famous monastic sites. Alternatively, you may choose to join a local guide for a tour of the town before riding a bicycle along the banks of the Danube River from Melk to Dürnstein. For those that are keen to maintain a more leisurely pace, it is also possible to rejoin your ship in Melk and cruise to Dürnstein instead, passing through the beautiful Wachau Valley wine region along the way. On arrival, roam Dürnstein’s cobblestone lanes at your leisure and perhaps view the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionheart, the King of England, was imprisoned in 1192.
Arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital, home to striking architecture, a rich classical musical culture and vibrant cafés. Take in a number of the city’s most important landmarks as you enjoy an orientation tour along the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s famous ringed boulevard officially opened by Emperor Franz Joseph I on 1 May 1865. You’ll then embark on a guided walk to the impressive St Stephen’s Cathedral.
Signature Experience: Tonight, another Signature Experience awaits at the princely family of Liechtenstein’s City Palace in the heart of Vienna. Attend an exclusive Cocktail Reception and a private concert featuring members of the Mozart Boys’ Choir, a full orchestra performing classical masterpieces by Strauss and Mozart, and an operatic recital of some of the world’s most famous arias. In keeping with Viennese tradition, the evening draws to a close with a performance of the Radetzky March.
Freedom of Choice: On your second day in Vienna, perhaps tour Schönbrunn Palace, the former rococo summer residence of the imperial family. Wander through its lush, manicured gardens and marvel at sculptures representing deities and virtues. Alternatively, join an excursion to Bratislava, the diverse capital of nearby Slovakia, where a mixture of 18th-century rococo design and communist-era architecture make this a city of alluring contrasts. An alternative option is to visit the famed Spanish Riding School to witness the beautiful Lipizzan horses and their skilled riders and trainers during a morning practice session.
Arrive in Budapest, where a guided tour offers a thrilling discovery of this grand, beautiful and historic city. See Buda Castle, the Royal Palace, Fisherman’s Bastion and more. Reflect upon the magnificent days that have just gone by as you sit down to the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. Tonight, you’ll enjoy one final highlight as your ship sets off on a twilight cruise through the city. Be enchanted by the lights of the remarkable Hungarian capital sparkling around you as you enjoy your last night aboard - the perfect end to an unforgettable journey.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Please note all departure dates are listed in the enquiry form.
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Call for exclusive fares on selected May - December departures!
- Savings of up to £3,400 per couple on selected November & December departures if booked by 31st May!
- Return scheduled flights from the UK
- 14 nights on one of APT’s luxurious Concerto River Ships
- Home-to-airport transfers by private car
- Unique cultural experiences in up to 16 towns, villages & cities
- Enriching Signature Experiences and Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
- Includes 40 meals: 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches and 14 Dinners
- Complimentary beverages served at your discretion on board
- APT Cruise Director and expert local guides
- Butler service, room service, complimentary laundry service and champagne on arrival in select suites
- Private Concert At City Palace - Attend a private classical concert featuring members of the Mozart's Boys Choir at the City Palace in Vienna
- Dine At Namedy Castle - Princess Heide von Hohenzollern will open the doors of her castle just for you. Enjoy dinner in the Hall of Mirrors
- Board The Majestic Imperator - Board the Majestic Imperator for a private rail journey across Austria's countryside. Stop in Salzburg for a tour