Magnificent Europe 2019 APT River Cruise
Cruise in luxury down the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest taking in the iconic attractions and charming secrets of Europe's heartland.
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.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Perhaps admire Amsterdam’s canals from a glass-top boat as you glide past 17th-century homes, churches and merchant houses. Or visit Zaanse Schans, a lovely village famous for its traditional Dutch houses, windmills and specialty produce. Otherwise, enjoy a relaxing morning sailing along the Rhine, while a local baker conducts a stroopwafel demonstration. Alternatively, on select spring departures, take the opportunity to visit the stunning Keukenhof Gardens. Tonight, enjoy a Gala Welcome Dinner.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Enter Germany and cruise into Cologne, a city centred around the twin spires of its famous cathedral. Here, take a tour through the historic city centre, and sample local beers and snacks. Alternatively, embark on a bike ride to see City Hall and the remains from Roman times and the Middle Ages.
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.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: 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, one of Germany’s most revered cultural and historic cities, and take a tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, home to the world’s most beautiful collection of fascinating automated musical instruments. Alternatively, board a scenic gondola for exceptional views over the Rhine Valley or sample wines from the region during an onboard tasting. Tonight, enjoy a dinner on board and reflect on your day.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: 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 history. Perhaps stroll along the winding cobblestone lanes, explore quaint half-timbered shops, mingle with friendly residents and sample some delicious local fare along the way. Alternatively, acquaint yourself with the German language during an interactive lesson on board your ship. Otherwise be guided through a picturesque Franconian vineyard as you learn about the specialty wines of the region during a hike.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: The immense architectural beauty of Würzburg is on display today as you 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 Rothenburg where you’ll stop for an insightful tour. Otherwise, visit a family owned farm, where you’ll tour the property before sitting down to morning tea as you learn about local farming life.
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.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: A historic 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. Alternatively, walk in the footsteps of Swedish King Gustavus-Adolphus, with a hike through the Schwarzach Valley. Back on board, sample some delicious freshly baked gingerbread while cruising the Main-Danube Canal.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: On a guided walking tour taking in the city’s highlights, see such sites as the iconic Old Town Hall and the World Heritagelisted city centre. Alternatively, learn how to polka during a fun Bavarian dance lesson at a local beer haus. Another option is a gourmet walking tour, where you will discover culinary secrets of past centuries. Then, gain an insight into the art of haute cuisine at the Michelin-starred restaurant Storstad, where you will enjoy a presentation and the chance to sample a variety of delights. Or perhaps hear an informative talk on board from a student of the University of Regensburg.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Disembark in Passau and travel to Salzburg, where a city tour takes you to several sights from Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic film, The Sound of Music. Alternatively, embark on a full-day journey to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, renowned for its World Heritage-listed status with a stunning 13th-century castle above the Vltava River, its old town square and quaint lanes teeming with ancient architecture. Both touring options will then conclude in the pretty city of Linz, where you will re-board your river ship. A third alternative is to enjoy a walking tour of Passau, then cruise into Austria and on to Linz.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Cruise through the Wachau Valley wine region today. Disembark in Melk for a guided tour of Melk Abbey, one of the world’s most famous monastic sites. Or join a local guide for a tour of the town. You may then choose to ride a bike along the banks of the Danube River from Melk to Dürnstein, or rejoin your ship and cruise to Dürnstein instead. On arrival, roam the village’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. On select autumn departures, perhaps participate in some vineyard work at a local winery as part of the wine harvest season.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: 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 in 1865. You’ll then embark on a guided walk to the impressive St Stephen’s Cathedral.as imprisoned in 1192. On select autumn departures, perhaps participate in some vineyard work at a local winery as part of the wine harvest season.
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: You have a choice of exciting activities to choose from 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 enjoy a round of golf.
Arrive in Budapest and choose your sightseeing activity for the day. 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.
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE: After your Budapest city tour follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) and embark on an imperial train journey. Enjoy a Welcome Reception at Budapest’s Royal Waiting Room, then board your elegant steam train, which features carriages from the early 1900s. A traditional game lunch worthy of royalty is served, before disembarking for a guided tour of Gödöllö Palace, a favourite of Sisi. (operates on all April to September departures only).
After a final delicious breakfast on board, it is time to bid farewell to your new-found friends as you disembark your luxurious river ship for the last time in Budapest. Upon disembarkation, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Please note all departure dates are listed in the enquiry form.
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- Exclusive savings of up to £4,836 per couple - book by 28th February 2019*
- 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
- Grand Empress Steam Train - On select departures, follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth of Bavaria, embark on an imperial train journey, then tour Gödöllő Palace.