Imperial Cities & Danube Cruise 2019 Great Rail Journeys

Begin your Imperial adventure early and explore the multi-faceted histories of two European giants, Berlin and Prague. From Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, to landmarks that have had much significance within our lifetimes, experience centuries in just a few days.

Brandenburg Gate

Itinerary

From London St Pancras, you take the Eurostar to Brussels followed by the train to Berlin, travelling via Cologne. You spend the first night of your tour here at the Maritim Berlin Hotel.

This morning you embark on a guided tour of Berlin, soaking up the sights of this once divided city including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a section of the Berlin Wall, as well as the Reichstag, meeting place of the current German parliament. Heading back to the train station you continue your journey, heading south to Prague for two nights.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Czech capital today, starting at Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. Walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues along its walls, and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus' Cathedral, into which entrance is included. The rest of your day is at leisure before dinner back at the hotel.

Following a buffet breakfast, you join the rail service to Budapest. Arriving in Budapest, you meet the Amadeus Queen and are welcomed with a cocktail in the lounge before dinner. Later take in the illuminated sights as you sail around the city. You are also treated to a performance from a local Hungarian folk band in the lounge.

This morning you enjoy a guided coach tour, introducing you to Budapest's main sights. You will pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion. You return to the ship for lunch, after which you have some free time before you begin cruising to Bratislava. Your departure time means you arrive at the scenic Danube Bend just as the sun sets. This section of the river has a long and fascinating history and from the sun deck or panoramic windows in the bar, you'll be able to see castle ruins, churches, pretty houses hidden in the hills and dense forests, all soaked in the golden glow of twilight.

Your morning is at leisure aboard before you moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, you set out on a guided coach tour of Slovakian capital. Located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava straddles the Danube which neatly divides the city into two parts; the Baroque Old Town (Stare Mesto) and the new city. This picture-postcard city destination historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobbled stoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, pastel 18th century rococo buildings and street cafés galore. Following your excursion, you return to the ship for another delicious, 5-course dinner.

After a calm night of cruising, you arrive into glorious Vienna, for a comprehensive sightseeing tour. This is a chance to relish in Austria's Imperial heritage, one full of tradition and rich in architectural, artistic and musical heritage. You'll see many of Vienna's finest ornate buildings, including the impressive Hofburg Palace. This vast complex of buildings demonstrates the awesome power and wealth commanded by the Habsburgs. You'll also take in the impressive Opera House, one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building. Tonight a real treat awaits us on board, where after dinner we are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for an exclusive, private recital. Be whisked away by the music as you immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience, as the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most popular and skilled orchestras in the world.

Today we reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. We arrive in the idyllic village of Dürnstein where you have time at leisure. As we sit down to lunch on board we begin cruising along the picturesque Wachau Valley, an extremely scenic area with green valleys and vineyards rising up from the river, picturesque riverside towns, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views. We then journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube and is home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

On Day 8 we disembark in Linz, where you have a choice of excursions. You could head further into the countryside for a day spent amidst the spectacular scenery of the Austrian lakes. Make stops in UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses perched on the tiny plain between the mountains and Hallstättersee Lake, as well as Mondsee. This pretty town is set on the lake of the same name, and its most famous sight is the 15th-century parish church, which featured in the wedding scenes of 'The Sound of Music'.

Otherwise, travel by coach to Salzburg, via Mondsee, one of Austria's most famous cities and known as the birth place of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We rejoin the ship in Passau

Regensberg is our port of call this morning, which we explore on foot. This medieval town contains many buildings that testify to its history as a trading centre and to its influence on the whole region from the 9th century onwards. Back on board tonight, we attend the Captain's gala dinner, a chance to don our evening-wear and celebrate our cruise experience.

On Day 11 we disembark after breakfast to start the journey back home via Cologne, where we spend the night. On Day 12 we complete our journey back to London.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
06 May 2019 £2,195 Upgrade to first class from £400pp
20 May 2019 £2,295 Upgrade to first class from £300pp
10 June 2019 £2,295 Upgrade to first class from £300pp
24 June 2019 £2,295 Upgrade to first class from £300pp
10 September 2019 £2,295 Upgrade to first class from £300pp
22 September 2019 £2,195 Upgrade to first class from £300pp

What's Included

  • All rail and coach travel throughout your tour and a fully escorted return journey by rail back to London
  • Exclusive meeting point at a dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • 4 nights' hotel accommodation
  • 7-night cruise on board the Amadeus Queen
  • 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Guided city tours of Berlin & Prague
  • Entrance to Hradcany Castle and St Vitus' Cathedral
  • Tour Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Melk Abbey and Regensburg
  • Cruise the Danube Bend and through the Wachau Valley
  • Enjoy an on board recital from members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra & a Hungarian folklore show
  • Unique flexible excursions allowing you to choose how you spend your day with options including: Tour of Salzburg and an excursion to the Austrian Lake District