European Gems APT Travelmarvel River Cruise
Discover the beauty of Europe while cruising along the river. Explore cities such as Budapest, Vienna & Amsterdam.
Fly from the UK to Budapest in Hungary. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your premium river ship that waits in the heart of this beautiful city. After enjoying some time to settle into your comfortable stateroom, head for the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers and meet your crew. You’ll then begin your journey in style as you set off on a twilight cruise through the Hungarian city. Be enchanted by the lights of the remarkable Hungarian capital sparkling around you as you make new friends and familiarise yourself with your home for the next fifteen days.
After breakfast this morning, the history, beauty and charm of Budapest is illuminated as a local guide leads you through the city. See Matthias Church, a breathtaking symphony of colour that displays flawless beauty, then visit the Fisherman’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square. The turbulent history of the regal Buda Castle is sure to astound you, as this birthplace of Hungarian kings has been besieged no less than 31 times since its inception. You’ll also have the chance to see the city’s most famous structure, the spectacular Hungarian Parliament Building, perched on the edge of the Danube River. Back on board your river ship this evening, enjoy a delightful Gala Dinner as you cruise towards Vienna.
This afternoon, pay a visit to the famous Naschmarkt. Browse the fresh produce stalls and sample some local delicacies, including Kaiserschmarrn and Palatschinken.
Embrace the splendour of the former Habsburg empire and the sheer elegance of the Austrian capital as you drive around the famed Ringstrasse. You’ll learn about some of the city’s most famous buildings including the Vienna State Opera and the Museum of Fine Arts. During the tour, you’ll be exposed to the rich classical music culture and history of this beautiful city. On arriving in the city centre, join a walking tour for an insider’s view on a number of landmarks, including St Stephen’s Cathedral, the Graben, Hofburg Palace and the Albertina.
With an entire day at leisure, you will have the opportunity to decide how you’ll shape your experience in glorious Vienna, a cultural utopia of music, art and food. Perhaps you may pay a visit to the Hofburg area, or might like to head to a cosy coffee house where you can try a traditional Sachertorte. You’ll be spoilt for choice in a city so rich in attractions, so be sure to ask your expert Cruise Director for any insider tips. Alternatively, you could ask about our range of Enhance Your Journey tours, including a visit to the grand Schönbrunn Palace or an excursion to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava (own expense). If you wish, why not join an evening concert of Austrian music. Known as “A trip through the history of Austrian Music”, bask in some of the most famous compositions of Mozart and Strauss (own expense).
Cruise to the quaint town of Dürnstein, where you can walk over cobbled streets past 16th-century town houses and taverns. You’ll find the town dominated by the hilltop ruins of the castle where King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Afterwards, dock in the surprisingly picturesque city of Melk and join a local guide for a tour through magnificent Melk Abbey, an active Benedictine monastery since 1089. Sitting atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River, this magnificent abbey is home to around two dozen practising monks, who you may spot strolling around the sculptures and frescoes in their long black sweeping robes. Stop to take in the vast river views from this breathtaking vantage point. Return to your ship and enjoy a dinner with your fellow travellers.
Back on board, you’ll enjoy your very own traditional Bavarian experience as you sample flavoursome local beer and Bavarian snacks, accompanied by traditional folk music, song and dance.
Following breakfast on board this morning, travel to the idyllic city of Passau, named for its location at the convergence of the rivers Inn and Ilz with the mighty Danube. Today you are spoilt for choice as you can choose to either take part in a walking tour of Passau, grab a bike and set out for the morning to explore yourself, or join one of the optional Enhance Your Journey tours. On a fascinating guided tour, you’ll discover that Passau flaunts a distinctly baroque character and intriguing history. This pretty town was rebuilt in the style after two catastrophic fires that left it in ruins inthe 1600s. Alternatively, you have the opportunity to embark on a Salzburg tour including sights from “The Sound of Music” or visit the Czech town of Český Krumlov, home to more than 300 historical buildings (own expense). Afterwards, everybody can enjoy a delightful evening at leisure.
Continue along the Danube this morning towards the medieval town of Regensburg, located in the southern region of the Bavarian Forest. Here, a guided tour tells of the medieval city’s journey through the ages. 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; the history of this beautiful city is revealed as you stroll.
Cruise the Main-Danube Canal, crossing Europe’s Continental Divide (435 metres above sea level) thanks to the canal’s 16 stair-step locks. Continue to Nuremberg, the site of Hitler’s infamous rallies, held annually from 1927 to 1938. Nuremberg played a pivotal role for the Nazis and you’ll learn all about the city and indeed the era during a World War II tour that includes such sites as the Zeppelin Field and the Palace of Justice. Finish your day back on board with a drink and an exquisite dinner prepared by your expert chef.
One of the few German cities that wasn’t destroyed during World War II, the World Heritage-listed city of Bamberg beckons this morning. You’ll be treated to a guided tour, during which the history will come to life as you gaze upon such sights as the Old Town Hall and the Bamberg Cathedral. A visit to one of the historic taverns is the best place to get a taste for the local Bavarian culture. Here, you’re sure to find friendly locals eating pretzels and swapping tall tales over steins of local beer.
Verdant rolling hills and rich vineyards sit on the fringe of pretty Würzburg, with the winding Main River a prominent feature of this stunning city. The architectural beauty that further defines Würzburg is on show today as you see the gardens of the Würzburg Residence. Here, a walk through Würzburg Court Garden is a delight, with its terraced gardens and water basin encircled by stunning yew trees. Afterwards, you are given the opportunity to discover the beautiful medieval town of Rothenburg (own expense).
INSIDER EXPERIENCE: Discover true German hospitality as you are welcomed into the homes of friendly Miltenberg locals for coffee and cake.
Arrive at the beautifully evocative town of Miltenberg. Here, enjoy an Insider Experience before returning to your ship to enjoy time at leisure. As the sun sets, watch the glittering lights of medieval towns slip past as you sit down to dinner and cruise through the night.
Your ship docks in Rüdesheim this morning, the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town. Here, the Winzerexpress mini-train will take you through town to the fascinating Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, home to the most beautiful collection of automated musical instruments in Germany. Rejoin your ship for a true highlight of your holiday – the awe-inspiring wonder of the Rhine Gorge, considered by many to be the most beautiful section of the Rhine River. Watch in delight as steep slopes covered in vineyards drift past, dotted with ancient castles. Later this afternoon, return to Cologne and enjoy time at leisure.
INSIDER EXPERIENCE: Here, pay a visit to World Heritage-listed Augustusburg Castle the lavish rococo-style residences of archbishop-elector Clemens August. On a tour of the 18th-century castle, learn enthralling stories of its infamous former resident and marvel at the ornate staircase, with marble and stucco work by Balthasar Neumann.
As you cruise into the riverside city of Cologne, head to the Sun Deck and watchas the magnificent twin spires of its famous cathedral, the Kolner Dom, appear on the horizon. Disembark your ship and take a short drive to the town of Brühl.
Clustered by historic houses and studded with low bridges, Amsterdam’s network of 17th-century canals lends the city its nickname – ‘The Venice of the North’. Today, you’ll board a glass-top boat and glide past the city’s waterside facades, watching the bicycle-loving locals ride along with carefree abandon as you drift through the city’s waterways. Back on land, enjoy a guided walking tour of Amsterdam’s colourful neighbourhoods before time at leisure. Savour this time to further explore the wondrous architecture, curious shops and intricate churches of the city. Tonight, enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Dinner as your journey draws to a close.
After a final breakfast on board, it is time to bid farewell. Upon disembarkation, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
- Save up to £2,000pp - book by 29th February 2020
- Return scheduled flights from the UK
- Unique cultural experiences in up to 14 towns, villages & cities
- Insider Experiences
- 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 14 Dinners
- Complimentary soft drinks, beer and local wine with lunch and dinner
- On board Travelmarvel Cruise Director, Entertainment and Activities Coordinator, and local guides
- Overseas transfers, port charges and tipping