Fairytale Bavaria & Danube Cruise 2020 Great Rail Journeys

Bavaria's magnificent castles, mysterious forests and magical mountains are the backdrop to this majestic tour, uncovering many hidden gems in the historic kingdom of Bavaria. Discover fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle and ride the Bavarian Zugspitz Mountain Railway, from a base in the charming village of Fussen.

Great Rail Journeys
Budapest

Itinerary

Meet at London's St Pancras International this morning in time for the Eurostar service to Paris. Here cross the city and catch the local train to Stuttgart for a night at the Maritim Hotel.

This morning journey to F\xFCssen by rail, where you'll spend the next three nights. Your arrival time means you have time to explore a little bit of this classic Bavarian town. Perched on the banks of the Lech River, F\xFCssen offers a snapshot of Bavarian life, with its pretty squares and its cobbled street.

Today sees you venture out into the nearby countryside for an enthralling excursion to 2 of the finest castles in Bavaria. Begin at the honey-coloured Hohenschwangau (Castle of the High Swan County), before visiting glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. The most famous of all King Ludwig II's castles, Neuschwanstein bristles with towers and spires. The building is a fantastic imitation of a medieval castle; one which was equipped with some very modern conveniences for its time.

Today you'll ascend the highest mountain in Germany, the noble Zugspitze. To reach the summit, first board the remarkable Zugspitze Railway, then the final leg of ths journey is taken by cable car. On your descent, stop at beautiful Lake Eibsee before returning to F\xFCssen.

Following breakfast, you'll be driven to Munich for the train to Budapest. On arriving in Budapest, you'll meet the Amadeus Queen or Silver II 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 enjoy a guided coach and walking tour, introducing you to Budapest's main sights. 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.
Return to the ship for lunch, after which you have some free time before you begin cruising to Bratislava, passing through the splendid Danube Bend along the way. 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.

The morning is at leisure aboard before you moor up early this afternoon. After lunch, set out on a guided coach and walking tour of the 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 destination boasts historic Gothic buildings, several universities, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a refreshing cosmopolitan atmosphere. The historic centre features delightful cobblestoned roads, pedestrianised plazas, 18th-century rococo buildings and street caf\xE9s galore. Following your excursion, you have plenty of free time to explore.

After a calm night of cruising, arrive into glorious Vienna for a 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 most ornate buildings, including 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. After dinner you are joined by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for a private recital. Be whisked away by the music and immerse yourself in this singularly exceptional experience.

Today reach Austria's Wachau Valley, a famous wine-making region. Arrive in the idyllic village of D\xFCrnstein where you have time at leisure. As you sit down to lunch on board, 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. Journey by coach to Melk Abbey, enjoying entrance to this 11th-century Benedictine Abbey which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube. It is also home to the Abbey Church, considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches north of the Alps.

Disembark in Linz this morning, 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 at UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses, Hallst\xE4ttersee Lake, and 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 birthplace of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage site. Rejoin the ship in Passau.

Disembark in Linz this morning, 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 at UNESCO listed Hallstatt, one of Austria's most photographed villages thanks to its traditional pastel-coloured houses, Hallst\xE4ttersee Lake, and 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 birthplace of Mozart. A guided sightseeing tour reveals the city's internationally renowned Baroque architecture, a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage site. Rejoin the ship in Passau.

Your cruise comes to an end and you disembark your ship in Passau. Here you are escorted by your Tour Manager by rail to London.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
10 September 2020^ £2,965

What's Included

  • All rail and coach travel throughout your tour and a fully escorted return journey by rail back to London
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from London to Budapest and from Passau to London
  • Exclusive meeting point at a dedicated Great Rail Departure Office in St Pancras
  • 4 nights' hotel accommodation and a 7-night cruise onboard Amadeus Queen
  • 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Drinks included with every evening meal on board
  • Tea & Coffee facilities in your cabin
  • Danish Bacon, British Sausage & Yorkshire Tea on board
  • Hohenschwangau Castle & Neuschwanstein Castle and Lake Eibsee
  • The Bavarian Zugspitze Mountain Railway
  • 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